Basic usage

Logging In

The first thing you do to use phpList is log in. This chapter assumes that you already have an installation and that you have a user name and password.

phpList when you are logged out

When you are not logged in, any page you visit in your phpList installation will prompt you to enter your username and password. For example, if I visit my dashboard, which usually resides at


I would see my login prompt, marked below in red.


How to log in to phpList

To log in, enter the username in the Name: box and password in the Password: box, then click Continue. The default username is admin, however, your system administrator may give you a more personalised login.


When you have successfully entered your username and password, you will see the page you were trying to access. In this case, the Dashboard.


It is a good idea to bookmark your dashboard and use it as the primary way to access your phpList. Depending on your configuration, your dashboard might look a little different, for example there might be more items on your menu bar.

How to log out of phpList

The Logout button will always display in the top right of your installation.

Remember to logout when you are not using phpList: your installation contains the personal data of your subscribers and it is your responsibility to keep it secure.



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Adding your first subscribers

This chapter will explain how to make a list of email recipients, called subscribers, and how to send your email campaigns.

phpList is a powerful tool: there are several ways to add subscribers and demographic information about them (name, location, interests etc).

In this chapter we are going to cover the most basic scenario.

How to get your first subscribers

The chances are, if you are planning to use phpList, you have some subscribers already. You may have a complex database of contact information, a list you exported from an application, or a simple list of emails on a sheet of paper.

In this example, we will be following the progress of Ethical Pets, who we introduced in the Case Studies chapter. They will be emailing customers of their online shop. The list of emails was obtained by exporting a list of customer emails from their shop software.

Create a list in phpList

First of all you need to create a subscriber list. This will help you organize your subscribers. In phpList, you must have at least one list, but you can have many of them. In this example, we will create just one list called The Ethical Pets Gazette, which is the name of the Ethical Pets newsletter.

First, navigate to Subscribers > Subscriber lists in the main menu.


This will take you to a page which shows you all your lists. Currently you can see just one list, a system default list called test.

To create a new list click the Add a list button.


You then need to enter your List name and List description (which may be displayed publicly).

In this case, you tick the Public list box too, because we want people to know about the list.


Add Subscribers to phpList by copy and paste

Once this page is complete, click Save. You can edit this page again later if you need to. Next we click Add some subscribers


This will bring us to the Import Subscribers by Copy and Paste page.

We now need to copy our list of subscribers. In this case, the list has been stored in Libreoffice Calc. Right click the column which contains the emails and click Copy.



Then, returning to phpList, we right click in the input box and select Paste.


Finally, we click Import emails.