SMF2.1:News and newsletters From Online Manual

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Please see SMF1.1:News and newsletters, SMF2.0:News and newsletters or SMF2.1:News and newsletters depending on the version of SMF you are using.

The News and Newsletters section is located at Admin > Main > News and Newsletters. Administrators can permit other membergroups to access these features via the settings.


This feature enables you to display short news items in a prominent position on your forum. You can use BBCode to format these messages. When SMF is first installed, there will be one news item: "SMF - Just Installed". Type your own message in this box and then click the Save button. To add further news items, click the button Add another item. A news item can be removed by selecting the checkbox next to it, followed by clicking on the Remove selected button.

It is possible to configure how and where the news items are displayed on your forum. The following settings are found in Configuration > Current Theme. They must be set for each theme that your forum uses.

  • Enable random news line in the forum header - When this option is enabled, a news item is shown randomly in the forum header each time you refresh the page or navigate through the forum. This feature might not be available for all themes.
  • Show news fader on board index - This displays a news box at the top of the board index. News items are shown here one at a time with a fading effect between each one.
  • Fading delay between items for the news fader - This sets how long each news item is displayed before the next item is shown in the news fader. The time is set in milliseconds.


If you need to contact some or all members of the forum, this feature can be used to send either an e-mail or private message, as a newsletter.

Membergroup Selection

First, check the boxes next to the membergroups which you would like to receive these newsletters. If you would like to send a newsletter to users in a particular post count group, you need to enable permissions for post count groups in Admin > Permissions > Settings > Enable permissions for post count based groups.


Clicking on the Advanced link underneath the membergroup listing gives you access to the following options:

  • E-mail Addresses - In this box you can add any additional e-mail addresses that you would like the newsletter to be sent to.
  • Members - This enables you to add the usernames of any additional members whom you would like to receive the newsletter.
  • Excluded Groups - Here you can select groups which you do not want to receive the newsletter. Exclusion overrides inclusion. If a member belongs to both an included group and an excluded group, that member will be excluded. As long as the member belongs to any groups checked here, they will not receive the newsletter. This includes primary and secondary membergroups.
  • Excluded Members - This works in a similar way to the above option. You can add the usernames of members whom you do not want to receive the newsletter, no matter which membergroup(s) they belong to.
  • Override Notification Settings - You can select this so that the newsletter is also sent to members even if they have opted not to receive announcements by e-mail in their profile (Profile > Modify Profile > Notifications). It is not recommended to force members to receive announcements, unless it is really important.

Composing a Newsletter

After completing the steps above, click the Next button, which opens the form for composing the actual content of the newsletter.

  • Subject - The default subject is "Site name: Subject".
  • Message box - You can enter almost anything you want in the message box, including HTML. Most e-mail clients support HTML, but not all of them do. If you want to use HTML in the newsletter, you must select the option Send in HTML format (see below).
  • Send this to these groups using personal messages - Newsletters can be sent in the form of a personal message, instead of an email.
  • Send in HTML format - This must be checked if you want to use HTML tags in the e-mail.
  • Add <br />s and &nbsp;s to this message. - This is enabled by default to ensure that the line breaks and spaces are shown correctly in the email. However, if you select the option to send in HTML format, you can uncheck this option.

Certain variables can be used in the email:

  • {$board_url} - The URL to your forum.
  • {$current_time} - The current time.
  • {$} - The current member's email.
  • {$} - The current member's link.
  • {$} - The current member's ID.
  • {$} - The current member's name.
  • {$} - The most recently registered member's link.
  • {$} - The most recently registered member's id.
  • {$} - The most recently registered member's name.


The Settings page of the News and newsletters section of the Administration Center allows an administrator to configure a few settings pertaining to forum news items and newsletters.

  • Groups allowed to edit news items - Select the groups that you wish to allow the ability to add and edit news items.
  • Groups allowed to send out forum newsletters - Select the groups that you wish to allow the ability to send newsletters.
  • Enable XML/RSS news - Allows people to link to the RSS feeds of recent posts made on your forum and other similar data. For details see the XML feeds page.
  • Maximum message length - Here you can specify the maximum amount of characters to show for each RSS feed item. It is also recommended that you limit the size of recent posts and news because in some clients the amount of RSS data that is displayed is expected to be truncated.