WebSMS User Guide

WebSMS version 3.1.3 | 7 May 2018
HSL Mobile's WebSMS solution is a quick and easy online solution for organisations to send and receive SMS through a regular web browser. This solution requires no technical preparation or experience and you can send an SMS to a single mobile phone or thousands of mobile phones.

Within the WebSMS solution contact details can be stored in the Phonebook or within Distribution Lists. Contacts can be imported and exported from WebSMS to allow integration with external systems.

Each WebSMS account can have multiple users who can have separate access to the same messages, folders, Distribution Lists and the Phonebook. A designated administrator can manage users and determine their level of access to the WebSMS account.

To send a message, users can simply enter the mobile number(s) that they wish to send to or retrieve details from the Phonebook or Distribution Lists. The user would then type the message content and click ‘Send’. The message is then delivered to the mobile phone(s) in a small number of seconds and WebSMS will indicate when it is delivered to each mobile phone.

Replies to messages sent to mobile phones from WebSMS will come back into WebSMS and can be viewed in the Inbox. New messages can be sent to WebSMS from mobile phones simply by the mobile user sending an SMS text message to the mobile number associated with the WebSMS inbox.

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Get a WebSMS account
Using WebSMS requires an Advanced Services account from HSL Moble. Clients may select to use WebSMS for only sending SMS messages to mobiles (i.e. one-way) or for sending and receiving SMS messages (i.e. two-way). An account can be requested at https://hslsms.com/sign-up/.

In order to receive SMS messages through WebSMS, one of our inbound solutions is also required - Virtual Mobile Number (VMN), Virtual SIM (VSIM) or SIM Card Hosting. Further details on our inbound solutions can be found at https://hslsms.com/services/.

Once an application for service has been processed, clients receive login details for their new WebSMS account. The login is personal to the user and the portal ensures that the service is completely secure and available only to authorised users within the organisation. Users can then simply login to their WebSMS account using a standard web browser to use WebSMS.

Get WebSMS account

Free 14-Day Account with Message Credits

Benefits of WebSMS

WebSMS is a simple and effective way of sending SMS text messages to the mobile phones of one or many people.  It can be used to avoid expensive or impractical methods of communication (e.g. making telephone calls) and to quickly and effectively get a message out.  It typically takes a handful of seconds for a message to reach a mobile phone after you send it from WebSMS.

WebSMS can integrate with external systems (e.g. MIS or database) to easily and quickly communicate with contacts.

There are a number of ways in which messages can be sent to suit different situations:

  • manually enter a mobile number
  • select contact from phonebook
  • select distribution list of contacts
  • drag and drop a distribution list CSV file of contacts
  • enter a message manually
  • select a pre-prepared message
  • select a pre-prepared message and manually modify

Replies from recipients or new messages sent to you can also be read in your WebSMS inbox.

WebSMS is very simple to use, but to assist users it has online help available on every page.


  • Recipients of a message can be selected from phonebook, distribution lists and/or manually entered
  • Folders can be used to organise received messages
  • Secure portal and message storage
  • Sensitive messages not stored (message content)
  • One of more inboxes, each with their own inbound number
  • Multiple users of same WebSMS account
  • User permissions
  • Import and export of CSVs for phonebook, distribution lists and messages
  • UCS2 is supported for non-latin characters
  • Highly reliable managed SMS service
  • 24x7 telephone and email support available
  • Service levels to suit customer needs

Each section within WebSMS has a help icon that when clicked will show online help information relevant to that section.

If you require any assistance in using WebSMS, our Support team is available to help you. They can be contacted by telephone on +44(0)1506605260 or 01506605260 option 2 or by email to support@hslmobile.com.

1. Messages
Sending Messages

Sending a message involves specifying the recipients of the message using the To field and the text of the message in the Message field. Once this is done and you press the "Send" button the message is then on its way to all the recipients.

Users may also select the source (or originator) address they wish to use when sending a message if they have more than one source address on their WebSMS account. This is selected within the From field when composing a message. When the mobile user replies to a message, their reply will be received into the WebSMS inbox associated with that source address.

To send a new message to one or more mobile phones, WebSMS users enter the mobile number or numbers into the To field in the Compose section. Users can additionally begin to type a Phonebook entry or Distribution List name and the auto-complete function will then show a drop-down box matching entries in the Phonebook or matching Distribution List names. Users can then select the appropriate entry using either their mouse or keystrokes. Alternatively, users can select the recipient’s details from the Phonebook or Distribution List beneath the To field or using the icons alongside the To field v3.1.3. As recipients are added and removed from the To field the total number of recipients to whom the message will be sent is shown at the bottom of the Compose section v3.1.3. 

Ensure when using auto-complete with the To field that the distribution list or phonebook entries remain in the format they are returned, for example “Director” <1234567890>; “Customers” [Distribution List:4 entries].

Additionally, one or more of any of these ways of specifying recipients can be used for each message. For example, you could type a mobile number into the To box, followed by a phonebook entry and then two distribution list entries. Please note that multiple entries should all be separated by a semi-colon (;). To complete the message, users would then enter the message content into the Message box and click on ‘Send’.

The message to be sent to the recipients is entered into the Message field. Either a template can be selected to specify a pre-prepared message (that can be modified as necessary) or a message can be freely entered.

The Info entry at the bottom of the Compose section will show the number of SMS and characters used by the message. If non-GSM characters are used in the message then the message will be sent as UCS2 (as indicated by the Mode).

Long SMS
Concatenated (long) SMS, where a message is longer than a single SMS, is also supported by WebSMS. Users would simply type the message and the Info line (see diagram 1) will indicate how many SMS will be required to send the message. Please note that the message will be received on the recipient’s mobile phone as one message, however clients will be billed for the number of SMS that are required for sending the whole message.

Message templates
Users can create, name and store message templates which can be used when sending the same, or similar, messages to a number of contacts simultaneously. For example, when sending a notification message to a group of contacts contained within a Distribution List.

To create a new template, users would click on the Templates section and select “New template.” Users would then enter a title for the template, type the message content they wish to use in the template and press Save. The template will then be stored and added to their list of templates. When sending a message using a template, users would select the Compose section as they normally would to send a message and then select the template they wish to use. The user can then amend the message template content for this message if required before sending the message.
Diagram 1: Compose section where recipients are entered and message content written.
Sent items
Users can then easily view the current status of their sent messages and see confirmation showing when they had been successfully delivered (indicated by a green icon). Users may also then click on the icon to view further details regarding the sent message. The Sent folder details the time and date the message was sent, who sent the message, the mobile phone number the message was sent to as well as the content of the message.
Diagram 2: Sent folder showing messages that have been sent, by whom, to which contacts, message content and delivery status.
Receiving Messages
In addition to sending messages using WebSMS, users can also view received messages in their Inbox. These incoming messages may either be replies to messages that have been sent from WebSMS, or new messages from a mobile. WebSMS will show the time and date when the message was received, along with the sending mobile number and message content, as can be seen in diagram 3.
Diagram 3: Inbox showing messages received from mobiles. Multiple inboxes, each with its own inbound number, are supported.
To reply to a received message simply click on the message's From entry (i.e. the name or mobile number). The Compose section will then appear with the To field already containing the recipient to whom you are replying. You can then enter the message in the Message field and press the Send button to send the reply.
2. Folders
Received SMS messages are automatically placed in the Inbox folder and sent messages in the Sent folder. Below the Inbox, users can create folders and move messages between folders as required. Folders can then be sorted by name or the number of messages contained within each folder.
3. Phonebook

The Phonebook can be used to store individuals’ contact details in order to help expedite the message sending process. Phonebook entries can be easily added, changed or deleted. When viewing the phonebook, entreies can be sorted by either name, mobile number or “other” as required.

Use the "New phonebook entry" button to add a new phonebook entry. To clear all entries from the phonebook use the "Empty phonebook" button.

When sending messages, users can begin to type the name of a contact in the Phonebook and then the associated mobile number will be shown on screen. Users can then simply click on the details shown and the number will be added to the “To” field.

4. Distribution lists
Distribution Lists can be used when sending the same message to a group of contacts. Each list can contain a number of entries, which can be added to, changed or deleted as required.  Each Distribution List is named and can contain multiple entries (no limit to the number of entries). 

When viewing the available lists they can be sorted either by description, date of last update or the number of entries in the list.  When viewing an individual list entries can be sorted by name, number and other fields.

Users can create (use "New distribution list" button) and maintain a set of distribution lists and the entries which each list contains. To add an entry to a list use the "New list entry" button or alternatively import from CSV. Each entry within the Distribution List can also be named and will show the full corresponding mobile number in international format.

Users should note that when sending messages to a chosen Distribution List, the message will be sent to all the entries in the list.

Use of distribution lists in Compose section
There are a number of ways in which distribution lists can be used in the Compose section:

  • CSV files containing distribution lists can be dropped directly into the To field to both import the list and immediately send a message using that list. v3.1.3
  • CSV files containing distribution lists can be imported and used in the To field through the DL icon alongside the To field. v3.1.3
  • The DL icon alongside the To field can be used to selected and de-select distribution lists. v3.1.3
  • Distribution lists can be selected and de-selected from the drop-down list beneath the To field.
  • The To field has an auto-complete feature that allows you to see matching distribution list names when you type part of a list name.

Sync distribution lists using Wonde API for schools
WebSMS can be synchronised with a school's management information system (MIS) through the Wonde API. Periodic synchronisation can be scheduled to create/update all class, group, staff and other lists. Supported MIS can be found at https://www.wonde.com/integrations.
5. Import/export
CSV content can be uploaded in order to populate either the Phonebook or the Distribution Lists previously described. Please note that there is a tick box on the screen which when selected will retain your existing contacts and add the uploaded contacts to this. If the tick box is not selected then the existing contacts will be deleted and replaced with the newly uploaded contacts. If the tick box is selected then the existing contacts will be kept and any new non-duplicate contacts being imported will be added.
6. User settings
Each user can amend their details within the My Settings section. Users may amend their name, email address, position held within their company, telephone number and also their WebSMS password.

In addition to their details, users may also select their preferred time zone. Furthermore, users can choose their preferred session timeout period (how long the WebSMS account will remain logged-in using your browser without being used) and the default inbox to be shown when Inbox is selected. A diagram showing the "My settings" section can be seen in diagram 4.
Diagram 4: My settings section where users can change settings related to their account.
7. User management
Each WebSMS account has User Management capabilities whereby a designated administrator can create users and determine each user’s level of access for the WebSMS account. HSL will issue an administrator username and password to each client to be used by the client’s designated WebSMS administrator. The client’s administrator can then setup the required usernames and passwords for further users.

For each user, the administrator can configure the required access relating to User Management, Templates, Folders, Phonebook and Distribution Lists.  Access rights can be assigned as read-only (users can only read content and not make any changes), full-access (users can send, view and amend) or deny (user is not able to view or change).

Add user
Clicking on the "Add user" button within User Management displays a number of fields to be completed about the new user. Once the "Save" button is pressed the new user account will be created and an email will be sent to the email address you entered for the user containing the URL for WebSMS and the user's new username and password login details. Please note that once a username has been created, it can not be changed. Additionally all usernames should be basedon the account and the client’s name, for instance, companyA’s username would be “companyA-xxx.”

Manage user
Once the account is created you can see it listed alongside all other WebSMS users of your account. From here you can perform the following operations on the user's account by clicking on the appropriate icon:

  • update user
  • set permissions
  • delete user
  • user password reset

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