Moblogging Module

The Moblogging Module (Control Panel: Modules > Moblog) allows you to submit entries with images or other files by email. This is typically used by people with camera-enabled cellphones so that they can email in a picture they took.

Basically, you send an email with a file or image attachment and some text to an email address. ExpressionEngine will then check that email account and look for any waiting messages that match a certain criteria. When it finds such a message it will process the message: the file is copied to a specified location and an entry is generated in a specified weblog.

Main Screen

The main Moblog Module screen shows a list of links to access the various features of the Module.

Moblogging Module main screen

NOTE: There is also a separate page that covers the syntax available in the Moblog Email Template, which is a crucial part of setting up a Moblog.

Moblog Accounts

A link off of the main Moblog Module page brings up this screen. On this screen you can manage your existing Moblog accounts.

Moblog Accounts screen

Each of your existing Moblog accounts is listed. You may follow the Modify link to edit the information for any Moblog. You may delete existing Moblog accounts from this screen as well.

Create a New Moblog

This screen allows you to create a new Moblog account.

Create a New Moblog screen: General Settings

Full Moblog Name

The full display name of the Moblog account.

Short Name

The short name for the Moblog account. It must be a single word with no spaces or special punctuation.

Time Between Checks

The amount of time that will elapse between checks of your Moblog account. The time is specified in minutes, but you may use decimal fractions (such as 20.5). This is used in conjunction with the {exp:moblog:check} tag on your page.

Moblog Enabled

You can determine whether or not the Moblog account is enabled. If the account is disabled then it will not be included when checks are made.

File Archive Mode

Enabling this preference basically means that your moblog is only used for uploading files. With this enabled, entries in the corresponding weblog will not be created when a moblog email is processed.

Create a New Moblog screen: Entry Settings

Choose Weblog

Determine with which weblog the Moblog account will be associated. When you send in an entry, the entry will go into this weblog. If you do not specify a weblog, then no entries will be created when you send an email; only the attachments will be processed.

Default Categories

You may choose to which category or categories the entry will be assigned. This choice is simply a default; it can be overridden when sending the email.

Default Field

You may choose to which field the entry will be assigned. This choice is simply a default; it can be overridden when sending the email.

Default Status

You may choose to which status the entry will be assigned. This choice is simply a default; it can be overridden when sending the email.

Default Author

You may choose to which field the entry will be assigned. This choice is simply a default; it can be overridden when sending the email.

Authorization Required in Email?

If this preferences is set to Yes, then you will need to provide a valid username and password in the email sent. This ensures an extra level of security so that only authorized people will be able to post via the Moblog Modules. If the user authentication from the email fails then an entry will not be posted.

Delete Unauthorized Moblog Emails?

You may determine how ExpressionEngine will handle an "unauthorized" email. If you require email authorization (above) and the email fails the authorization (for instance the username or password are incorrect) then you can have ExpressionEngine automatically delete that email. If you do not set this, then the email will be left on the server.

Upload Directory for Files

You may determine into which of your File Upload directories the file attachments will be placed. You may define them in the File Upload Preferences section.

Moblog Template

This allows you to specify exactly how the contents of your email will be handled. The syntax for the Template is covered on the Moblog Email Template page.

Create a New Moblog screen: Email Settings

Email Account Type

The type of email account. Currently, only POP3 accounts are supported. IMAP support will be added.

Email Address

This is the email account to which you will be sending your emails. ExpressionEngine will check this account to find emails you've sent that should be processed by the Moblog Module.

Incoming Mail Server

The email server on which the email account you specified resides. This is the server to which ExpressionEngine will attempt to connect. This is typically something like mail.yourdomain.com.

Email Account Username

The username for the specified email account. Once submitted, the information will be encrypted in ExpressionEngine.

Email Account Password

The password for the specified email account. Once submitted, the information will be encrypted in ExpressionEngine.

Moblog Subject Prefix

When ExpressionEngine checks the specified email account, it will ignore any messages that do not have this text in the subject. The text does not technically have to be at the beginning of the subject, either; it can appear anywhere in the subject. If you leave this setting blank, then all emails will be processed.

Valid 'From' Emails for Moblog

You can specify a list of email addresses from which you can submit Moblog emails. This preference will allow you to add in another layer of security so that ExpressionEngine will only accept emails that you want it to process. This feature will check what address is specified as "From" on emails and compare it to your list.

You can specify one or more email addresses by either placing them on separate lines in the textarea or by separating them with a space. If you leave the setting blank then ExpressionEngine will not filter emails based on where it is "From".

Ignore Email Text

Here you can specify any text in the email which you want to ignore. This is useful for email accounts such as those through Hotmail or Yahoo that add advertisements at the bottom. It's also useful for removing automatically-added signatures.

ExpressionEngine will first try to match the entire specified text to something in the email. If there is no match, then it will go through each of the lines (a line being one ended in a carraige return) of specified text individually and try to match content in the email in order to remove the desired content.

Create a New Moblog screen: Image Settings

Image Width

If your images will be of a known width, then enter that here. ExpressionEngine will attempt to determine the size of the image, but due to server differences this is not always possible. If you do not know what size the images will be then set it to 0 (zero).

Image Height

If your images will be of a known height, then enter that here. ExpressionEngine will attempt to determine the size of the image, but due to server differences this is not always possible. If you do not know what size the images will be then set it to 0 (zero).

Resize Image on Import?

If this is set to "yes" then ExpressionEngine will resize your image according to the following two settings. This supersedes the settings above. In order for image resizing to work you must ensure that it is set up correctly under Image Preferences.

In general, due to the limitations of the image libraries, image resizing is only available for JPG and PNG type images. GIF and other image formats cannot normally be resized automatically. ExpressionEngine will automatically determine your image resizing protocol and only resize those image capable of being resized.

Resize Width

The width to which you wish to resize your images.

If only the width is set (and the height is 0) ExpressionEngine will automatically calculate the height in order to retain the aspect ratio.

Resize Height

The height to which you wish to resize your images.

If only the height is set (and the width is 0) ExpressionEngine will automatically calculate the width in order to retain the aspect ratio.

Create Thumbnail on Import?

If you elect to have a thumbnail created, then ExpressionEngine will create a thumbnail version of the image of the size specified below. In order for thumbnailing to work you must ensure that image resizing is set up correctly under Image Preferences.

In general, due to the limitations of the image libraries, thumbnail creation is only available for JPG and PNG type images. GIF and other image formats cannot normally be thumbnailed. ExpressionEngine will automatically determine your image resizing protocol and only resize those image capable of being resized.

Thumbnail Width

The width for your thumbnail images.

If only the width is set (and the height is 0) ExpressionEngine will automatically calculate the height in order to retain the aspect ratio.

Thumbnail Height

The height for your thumbnail images.

If only the height is set (and the width is 0) ExpressionEngine will automatically calculate the width in order to retain the aspect ratio.

Check Moblog

The Check Moblogs section allows you to manually check any Moblog accounts for new emails to process.

Check Moblogs screen

Here you select which Moblog to check and hit Submit. You will receive error messages with information if there is a problem. Otherwise you will receive success messages with details.