When your list is first created, certain attributes such as the appearance of its web pages and the content of the standard messages sent out when subscribers join or leave a list, are perfectly acceptable and no additional customisation is required. However, our system does provide a large set of standard templates and a rich set of customisation features which mean that list owners themselves can enhance these to present a much more personalised feel to their list.

Even though there are a large number of templates which can be customised, by just customising a few, its possible to make your list stand out and really convey information about its purpose and character. One common customisation is the list homepage WWW_INDEX. You can change the colours in the list home page to be the same as your organisation, you can also add logos, other images and relevant URLs to your own or related organisations. And by providing links back to your list from your own web site its possible to fully integrate your list with your own web site.

By customising the WELCOME template, which determines the message that is sent to new subscribers, you can clearly state your list policy on matters such as acceptable standards of subscriber behaviour, use of attachments and the files area, policies on job or conference adverts and other matters of general list etiquette.

Just by customising these two templates

Text Box: Tips for Owners - Templates by Les Cesek

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JISCmail 2004

you can appreciably enhance and personalise your list.

All of our templates can be accessed via the templates button in list management. You will find there are two sets; for the web, and for mail parts of your list (although slightly confusingly, the welcome email template is in the web section).  Select a template and press the edit button, and you can then add your customisation. There is no technical coding required, just find the right words for the mail templates, and some basic HTML will be enough for the web templates. Any changes which you make, and then save, take effect straightaway and therefore its possible to quickly develop a new look perhaps starting with small changes, and then with confidence, you can embark on more sophisticated designs. You could perhaps work with your web designers to share colour and layout features with your own web site.  This process is quite safe, as its always possible to delete your customisations and return to the system defaults by just pressing the delete button during editing.

The owner’s manual, at


has a whole section on templates and gives full details on what each one does and how to use the various customisation techniques. We also have some experience of template customisation here at the Helpline and we’re always happy to advise & assist.



List of templates

WWW or Mail

Change template