SMS Remote Control
Add pages to your CMS via SMS text message!
Yup, you heard us right! V-SMS is a plugin that allows you to create and publish Vanilla CMS pages from anywhere in the world using just a regular mobile phone.
How Does it Work?
The system works by receiving and parsing specially-crafted SMS text messages sent to an inbound number and redirected to a 'listener' page on your server (the plugin itself). Within each message is embedded a variety of information required to create a new page:
- The page's parent page ID (0 if top level)
- The page's title
- Whether the page is a menu item (0 or 1)
- The access level (role) of those allowed to edit the page
- Your admin ID (a unique number, displayed in the 'Users' area)
- The main content of the page
- Whether the page should be set active or not (0 or 1)
The message must begin with the word 'CMS', with subsequent variables separated by a hash symbol (#). All seven (7) variables above must be provided.
A simple SMS might look like this:
The total SMS length cannot exceed 750 characters - no error checking is in place and the system will silently fail if this character limit is exceeded. However, if you include custom Smart Tags within your SMS, you could theoretically publish very complex and lengthy pages.
We intend to add the following V-SMS features:
- Concatenate and queue multiple SMS batches to create more page content
- Provide cut-down functions for updating, deleting and de-activating pages
- Create, delete and edit sidebars
- Remotely toggle the site's maintenance mode
- ...and more!
To lockdown the system and prevent abuse, you can hard-code a list of mobile phone numbers that are allowed to use V-SMS to create new pages on your website.
SMS Delivery Notification
Delivery notification messages confirming the status of your SMS can be provided for a small fee, currently around 8 pence per message. You'll need to contact us for this feature to be added to your plugin.
Provision, Quality and Scope of Service
Before your installation of Vanilla can receive SMS messages, you'll need to set up an account with Txtlocal - the SMS provider that V-SMS depends upon. Don't worry - it's totally free and you only pay for credit that you use for outbound text messages (see Delivery Notification above). We can do all this for you once you've installed the plugin, it usually takes about 10 minutes.
We're proud to use Txtlocal as our SMS provider of choice. Using only carrier-grade networks and with coverage in over 200 countries, we've always found their service to be reliable, efficient and excellent value for money. And no, we're not being paid to say this, we just like to give credit (boom-boom) where it's due.