Usually, when I install Mautic, there is a bit of back and forth with the client to get the information required to get the job done.
This is my list of information that needs to be provided to get Mautic installed and operational in one sitting.
- Hosting login details with SSH access (and SSL Certificate)
- Hosting/FTP/User login details for the site(s) to be tracked
- Details of site elements to be replaced with Mautic forms
- Email address for mail to be sent from and access to the account
- Access to DNS records of the email domain
- Login details for a transactional email service
- Access to current mailing system (If applicable)
- Email/Page template designs
This one is obvious, I need access to the hosting account where Mautic should be installed.
If tracking will be installed on any website which uses secure URLs, the Mautic domain should also have an SSL certificate or the tracking script will be blocked by browsers.
If the hosting supports free certificates such as Let's Encrypt or cPanel then I install one anyway for future-proofing.
I don't recommend installing Mautic into a sub-folder of an existing site due to current issues with various asset paths, which means I need access to (or be able to create) a subdomain or a separate domain name.
For ease of use, the hosting should have SSH access for smoother updates and cron job testing.
If the current hosting is either underpowered, can't install a free cert or doesn't have SSH access and the client also doesn't have an existing email service then I recommend setting up a new account with AWS (See below).
Once Mautic is installed, the tracking script needs to be added to the main website. That needs either FTP details or administrator login details if the site to be tracked uses a CMS for which there is an existing plugin available.
Newsletter signup forms, contact forms etc that need to either be replaced with forms from Mautic or connected to Mautic forms through a CMS plugin.
That requires CMS login details with a suitable access level.
Contact forms are easy enough to connect, but newsletters will require a double opt-in campaign to be set up, which may also require an email/page template.
Once Mautic is installed, it needs an email address to be sent from. It's best to know the 'from' email and name before even starting the install since it is asked for during the install steps.
When using a third-party email service you need to confirm that you own the address and that it exists, which will usually be done by sending you an email with a link to click. That requires access to the mailbox to verify the address.
Depending on the email provider and email transactional service, I may need to set up email folders for bounced mail and complaints with corresponding filters. If the email address is managed by cPanel then I also need cPanel access to add the filters, but I would generally have this anyway if the 'from' address is using the main sites domain name.
Most transactional email services require a DNS record to be set up as confirmation of ownership to be able to send email as from that domain.
Regardless of whether it's needed for verification, access to DNS records is essential for setting up SPF/DKIM/DMARC records to prevent emails ending up flagged as spam.
If the install will be sending out more than a trivial amount of emails then you need to use a third-party email service (Or run your own servers specifically for this reason on a different IP address to the main domain).
Login details are needed to connect Mautic to the service and route the mail.
If the client doesn't have an existing service then I generally recommend using AWS.
If the client is currently using another service for marketing automation or just sending newsletters then I need access to that system.
For any campaign to be successful it needs some recipients. So access is needed to any service we are about to replace so that any email lists can be exported and imported into Mautic as specific segments.
I would usually do this just before any forms on the site are integrated and Mautic is about to be put into use. There is no point switching site forms if the old system is still being used and no point in importing lists if those lists are still growing, so it all needs to be done at the same point after any necessary testing.
In general, this is only really needed early on if we are about to replace an existing email system.
If the client currently uses another mailing service then I can generally create a mail template based on the one(s) they are currently using.
For newsletter campaigns, a page template will be needed for the double opt-in confirmation page although. This only needs to be basic, so if a company has no specific design then a basic template can be created using the style of the main website.
The faster you can get this information from the company, the faster the system can be put to use, as there's no mail without a mail template, so it's worth asking for at the start.
Whilst this isn't really a part of any checklist, it's something that crops up quite often.
If the client doesn't have an existing account with an email service, or their hosting isn't suitable for the install then I usually push for a new AWS account to be set up and to be sent the login details.
This is generally to simplify the whole setup by keeping multiple services under one roof.
When a new AWS account is created it comes with one year's free access to several services. This includes a t1.micro instance which is suitable for hosting Mautic tracking a small to medium website.
Their SES (Simple Email Service) is reliable and one of the cheaper options compared to other services. The first 62,000 emails per month are also free.
I also like to use the S3 service to store daily database backups and weekly file backups of the install should anything bad ever happen to the hosting.
So access to an AWS account can allow me to set up a server, install Mautic and an SSL certificate, connect it to the email service and store backups all through one login.
This isn't intended to be a one-off, set and forget article. I will update it with anything else that becomes apparent in the future.
If there is anything that you think is missing, let me know in the comments!