Creating a template

Creating your template

There are lots of ways to create your template. You could

  • Design and write your own
  • Pay someone to do this for you 
  • Modify a generic/Open Source template that you have bought or "recycled"
  • Use the super-simple DIY template in the next chapter.

Here are some tips to help you set up your template for use with phpList.

If you don't understand the information in this chapter and you don't have anyone to help you with your template, then skip to the next chapter for a super simple template.

The Basics 

You should use inline styles, and unless you have configured phpList especially with a plugin, you must use a single column template.

If you choose a responsive template, your campaign editor should not use images with a width larger than a smartphone screen (max 320 by 480 pixels).

The footer in phpList is quite specialized and is described in a separate chapter. If you plan to have a footer in your design, please read the footer chapter before you start work.

Logo: upload or remote link?

When you are designing or modifying your template, you need to decide if you will include your logo in the campaigns as an attachment or use a remote image. If you include your logo as an attachment it will always display to the recipient.

an uploaded logo is included in your campaign 

If you use a remote link, however, the image will only display when the subscriber gives permission (in most email and webmail clients).

a remotely hosted logo is not included in your campaign 

If you decide you upload your image then leave the local link (or just a use a "broken link") and you will be prompted to upload the image when you are adding your template to phpList.

A mandatory placeholder in the body 

You must include some strings that phpList will replace during the sending stage.


The obligatory string is [CONTENT]. This will be replaced with the content of your message when you send your campaign.

the content placeholder in phpList [content] 

Adding your template to phpList

To add a template to phpList, go to Campaigns > Manage campaign templates from the main menu.

manage campaign templates phpList

You will then see a list of templates already in the system. By default there is one template, the system template (which styles things like the confirm subscription emails).

add a new template

Click Add new template

Name your template

First, give your template a Title. This will display in the list of templates to choose from during the campaign composition stage, so it is important that the name makes sense to the person writing the campaigns.

In this case we called the template phpList announcements, because it is the template we use when we announce a new version of phpList. We have different templates for community news and phpList hosted special offers, for example.

name your template and upload it

Upload your file 

To add your template you can paste the html into the editor, or upload it as a file. In this example we are uploading it.

Click the Browse button, locate the template file on your computer and click Open. The file name will then appear next to the Browse button (as shown in the image above).

Save your template 

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save changes, using the checking tools if you wish.

save your new template

Upload your logo? 

The next screen gives you an opportunity to upload your template images, if you have any. This will usually be a logo. In this case the logo is hosted remotely and so no image is listed to upload.

add images to your template, or not

Click Save images.

Your template will now be added to your list of Existing templates.

If you wish to set this template as the default for all campaigns, you can check the button under CAMPAIGN DEFAULT

a new template  

Defaults and settings 

There are some default settings for templates and footers at Config > Settings under campaign settings

For example you can choose which template will be used by default by referring to its ID.

specify default template phpList 

The ID of the template can be found next to the template name when you go to Campaigns > Manage campaign templates from the main menu.

template ID phpList 

Using your template

During campaign composition, use headings and other formatting as normal. You do not need to apply any additional styling such as text colour, if those elements are dealt with in your template.

compose ready for template

In the Format of the send campaign workflow, select your template from the Use template dropdown. 

format tab of compose process choose template  

The template and theme are then applied during sending.

template is applied   


Discuss this chapter here.