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We use Mailman to run our list server, we are also able to setup Mailman instances running on other domain names, see our prices for details.

List Options

When a Mailman list is created there are various behaviours of the list that need to be considered:

  • Public or private archives
  • Open (anyone can join) or closed (administrator has to approve all members)
  • Announcement list (only a few people are allowed to post to it) or discussion list (all members can post to the list)
  • Hidden (no link to the list at or public (listed in the list of lists at

Private or Public Archives

You can make the archives private or public via the Archiving Options page in the admin interface.

Having open archives is good for announcements list and for discussion lists for open projects, you probably want to have open archives unless there is a good reason for them to be private. If you have closed archives then you should also make the list closed because if people can join the list without admin approval and then read the archives then the archives are not private although they appear to be private.

Open or Closed List

You can set if approval is needed for new list members via the Privacy options… > Subscription rules page in the admin interface.

Select the Confirm radio button for open lists and the Confirm and approve option for closed lists.

You should also consider who can access a list of list members, by default all list members can access the list of members, this is probably fine for a closed list of trusted people but it’s not a good idea for an announcements type list, this can be set via Privacy options… > Who can view subscription list?.

Discussion or Announcement List Type

By default all list members can post emails to a list — this is a discussion type list.

To restrict who can post to a list, to make it an announcements only list, you need select Yes for the Privacy options… > Sender filters > By default, should new list member postings be moderated? option.

To allow some list members to send emails to the list you then need to make sure that the mod box is unticked by their email address on the Membership Management… > Membership List page.

To change an existing discussion type list to an announcements list you can use the Membership Management… > Membership List > Set everyone’s moderation bit, including those members not currently visible option.

Hidden or Public List

By default all lists are listed on the public list of lists on the server, in order to remove a list from this list you need to select No via the Privacy options… > Subscription rules > Advertise this list when people ask what lists are on this machine? option.

Subscribe Form

If you would like to have a form for people to use to subscribe to you list on your own site then you can copy and amend this HTML code (you just need to change the action URL):

<form method="post" action="">
    <label for="email">Your email address:</label>
    <input name="email" id="email" size="30" value="" type="text">
    <input value="Subscribe" type="submit">