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Manual: Unix-Based Web Hosting

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    The sophisticated mailing system called PlusMail(tm) is included as part of your service. In addition to being able to have nearly unlimited infobots by simply adding text files to a directory, you can also redirect mail for everyone in your domain by simply modifying a text file.

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  • Email Redirects

    There is a file in your home (root) directory called .redirect. This file can be edited and reuploaded. Just make sure that each of your redirects is on its own line, with a space between the name and where you want it directed to. Don't add empty lines between entries, and make sure the file is saved in text (ASCII) format, and uploaded in text (not binary) format. When you download it to your hard drive, you will see that it already has a one-line entry that looks like this:

    default yourdomain@yourdomain.com

    This line must be left as is, otherwise your POP email accounts could get messed up. But suppose you want all email for your domain to go to your already existing POP account somewhere else. You would then change your .redirect file to look like this:

    default yourdomain@yourdomain.com
    yourdomain existingaddress@somewhereelse.com

    If you want to redirect other names in your domain to other people, you could make the file look like this, as an example:

    default yourdomain@yourdomain.com
    fred 73452.452@compuserve.com
    info goddess@afterlife.com

    This would redirect mail for fred@yourdomain.com to 73452.452@compuserve.com, info@yourdomain.com to goddess@afterlife.com, and all other email in your domain would go to yourdomain@yourdomain.com.

    The benefit of PlusMail redirects is that you don't need a separate POP account for each email address you want to use in your domain. You can put in your webpages, "Send email to help@yourdomain.com" without the need to create a separate entry in the .redirect file because ALL email goes by default to yourdomain@yourdomain.com, unless "help" is specified to go somewhere else!

    Multiple redirection is possible. For instance if you want email to go to two addresses at the same time, enter the different emails with no space and a comma to separate them. You can have upto 4 email address to cc:...they must be listed on the same line though. For example:

    help beavis@aol.com,butthead@prodigy.net

    Email redirects can be used in conjunction with autoresponders to return an error message to people sending emails to invalid email addresses on your domain. This autoresponder could send back an error message like "Oops, you reached an invalid address, please try again." See "Simple Autoresponders" for how to implement this.

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    Simple Autoresponders

    An autoresponder is a simple way of setting up an email address which will return a message automatically when someone sends email to it. Here are the instructions for setting this up.

    In your root (home) directory, there is a directory called infobots. Set up a welcome message in this directory -- you can name it anything you like, but for our example we'll call it info. Don't call it info.txt -- just name it plain info with no file extension. The text for the welcome message could say:

    "Thank you for requesting more information about our webpage design package. We have several design packages to choose from. Here are our prices..."

    Now, whenever someone sends email to: info@yourdomain.com they will automatically receive that text email message to whatever email address they specified as their return-to address. It's as simple as that. Don't set up a redirect in your .redirect file for this.

    You can have as many autoresponders as you want. Just save them all in the infobots directory and give them each a unique name of anything with between 3-16 characters long.

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    Listservers / Mail Lists

    PlusMail can also be used to create simple listservers. There is a limit of 5,000 subscribers per listserver. Here are the instructions for setting up a listserver:

    1) Set up a welcome message in the infobot directory -- you can name it anything you like, but for our example we'll call it welcome.

    The text file could say:

    "Welcome to our listserver. You are now subscribed and any email you wish to publish for all other subscribers to see can be sent to listserver@yourdomain.com."

    This message will be automatically returned to the sender each time someone subscribes.

    2) Now you need to set up a configuration file to tell the mail system to build a mailing list. In your infobot directory create a file called infolist. This is used to tell the system what to do with addresses received from each infobot response. You can have as many lists as you want. But in keeping with the listserver example above, we will call it listserver.

    Here's what the file should look like:

    welcome listserver

    The first line should have a space between the two names and be uploaded in text format, not binary.

    You can have multiple listservers, such as listserver1, listserver2, etc., but you should only have one configuration file. It must be called infolist. To handle all three examples, you'd make the infolist file look like this, with each listserver on its own line, with no blank lines in-between:

    welcome listserver
    welcome2 listserver2
    welcome3 listserver3

    2A) Now when someone wants to subscribe to your list in the above example, they would email welcome@yourdomain.com. This would return the infobot created called "welcome" and put their email address into the mailing list file in the maillists directory on your server. You can go in and download the maillist file after it has been created and people have subscribed. The mailing list file will be created AFTER the first person subscribes, or if you yourself send email to "welcome@yourdomain.com" to test it. Put yourself on the mailing list to try this. People don't need to subscribe themselves -- you can add their names for them, or remove them at any time by modifying and uploading the file in the "maillists" directory. People cannot automatically unsubscribe themselves. You must go in and manually remove their email address from the list.

    3) Now when you or anyone who has subscribed to the list wants to send mail to all subscribers, you or they can send email to listserver@yourdomain.com and the PlusMail system will send it to the entire list.

    4) To password protect the file, add a password to the first line of your maillists file. In order to mail to the list, this password must be in the first line in the body of the message. Anybody that sends to the list without the password will have their message sent to the default address in the .redirect file. You can then decide if you want them to mail to the list and give them the password if you desire.

    5) If you want to see who is subscribing to your listserver without having to go and check the maillists file periodically via FTP, you can put a line in your .redirect file. NOTE: it is important that you have the infobot installed before entering the address line in the .redirect. For the listserver example we used above, the line you would add would look like this:

    welcome yourdomain@yourdomain.com

    The welcome document you created will be sent to the subscriber, AND you will receive their email message.

    Note: When sending email to your listserver for the first time, you will get the autoresponder email back right away, but you may not see the corresponding maillist file right away, as our system takes time to build it. Wait 15 or 30 minutes or so and it will show up. (Depending on the time of day and current traffic conditions, our servers may be allocating it to a lower priority.)

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