Dutch Django meeting: django-newsletter (Kees van Drongelen & Mathijs de Bruin)

Tags: pun, django

Kees told us briefly how he ended up with Django. He used Python before he used Django. A big boost was seeing SQLObject, an object relational mapper (ORM), at a Charleroi Europython conference. The ORM, much nicer than plain SQL, was what brought him to Django in the end.

One of their goals with django-newsletter was to make it “vandal-proof”: enforcing good habits. Just short pieces of text with an image, for instance. So it enforces a nice readable accessible newsletter with nice images and relatively short blurbs of text.

Another goal was using the admin, as it is a nice piece of functionality in Django. Settings like templates to use. Also for instance importing addresses (csv, vcards).

Installing django-newsletter is just a case of grabbing it from pypi in the usual manner. http://pypi.python.org/pypi/django-newsletter. (Tip: use django-extensions, a handy collection of tools/functionality.)

Messages are created through the admin. Fields make sure you fill in a couple of details like a proper title that make it a good readable email. In addition you add articles with an image and a piece of text. All in all it makes for a nice email.

Tinymce is a good editor and they use it through django-tinymce. And yes, it includes a Word paste function that cleans up the Word mess quite nicely.

Sending emails is best done through a professional email host that takes real care of deliverability and whitelisting and so. This helps a lot with spam filters and other nastinesses. (Though they currently use their own mailserver…)

They think that customers want newsletter functionality that integrates into the site. Instead of external newsletter-senders like mailchimp that provide a different user interface.

Tracking: you could add google analytics javascript code to your template. That works fine.

Ducks.  Has nothing to do with this article :-)
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My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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