Your website is not sending emails? You probably experienced this problem already. Popular CMS platforms such as Joomla and WordPress usually rely on PHPMail script that's installed on the server. Is there a better solution for sending emails? Yes! Please keep reading...
Battle against SPAM will probably never be finished completely! There are two choices for modern webmasters: To invest a lot of time and run in-house mail servers or to invest some money and use third company's services for handling website's email messages. The most popular company for email marketing is probably Mailchimp. You can open your free account and maintain your mailing list using their services[ for free. If your mailing list grows over 2,000 addresses, you must switch to a paid monthly membership.
However, beside marketing emails, your site should send other kinds of emails. In example, when somebody is trying to reach you using the contact from on your site. Your site should send an email message to your address, right? Also, when somebody opens an account on your site, in order to confirm his/her membership, your site should send an email to the potential new member to confirm his/her membership.
If you are running Joomla or WordPress website, by default, PHPMailer is set as sender of these messages.
PHPMail script in most cases does the job. But, some hosting providers don't include this script in order to protect their servers from spammers. PHPMail is intensively used by those who are sending unwanted SPAM email messages. So, even when your hosting provider has PHPMail installed on the server and allows you to use it, you should consider a better solution. The main reason is increasing of deliverability of your messages. Actually, not all email messages that your site sends ends up in the recipient's inbox. Many of your site's messages will be filtered and considered as SPAM, so it will never been seen by your site's visitor. There are many reasons for that. In some occasions, your hosting provider's IP address could be blacklisted because many SPAM messages comes from that IP. No matter if you are not from the spammer's world and you never sent a single SPAM message, your site's emails could be considered as unwanted. Why? Because, one IP can be shared between many different websites. If your neighbour's site sends some unwanted email messages, your site's messages could be filtered as well.
Like for marketing email messages (mailing lists), there are third party's services for transactional email messages. You can rely on their services and forget about PHPMail. You should also don't have to worry if how your web hosting's IP is blacklisted, because all messages that your site sends will be sent from the third party's servers and IPs (that's why it's called transactional).
People who care about email service only (third party transactional email providers) probably does the job better than people who are responsible for all server's services (web hosting providers). So, if you have any problems with sending emails from your site, you should consider switching from PHPMail to a commercial transactional email provider. The previously mentioned company, Mailchimp, recently started a transactional email service called Mandrill. If you site sends less than 12,000 emails each month, this service is FREE for you! This is a large amount of emails (400 per day), so it will probably be enough for all small to middle sized websites. This is a very good tool for all webmasters because this service could fix all problems with your improperly configured PHPMail and also increase deliverability of your site's emails for free! This means that less of your site's emails will end up in recipient's Junk folders!
After Mandrill registration, you can log in your account and see your "SMTP & API Credentials". You can see Host, Port and your SMTP username. Create a new API key which will be your SMTP password. This is what you enter in Joomla or WordPress configuration.
Configure Joomla to send emails with Mandrill
Login to your Joomla administration panel. Go to Site > Global Configuration and click Server tab. Under Mail Settings, select SMTP, and for SMTP Authentication select Yes. Leave SMTP Security to None and enter all data that you can find on your Mandrill account (port, username, password and host). You can save your configuration and check the next email that you receive from your Joomla site.
Configure WordPress to send emails with Mandrill
Unfortunately, WordPress core doesn't allow sending emails through SMTP. Therefore, you must install a plugin prior to sending WordPress site's emails through Mandrill. We recommend Easy WP SMTP plugin. After installation and activation of the plugin, you should configure it to send emails using your Mandrill account. Under General Settings, you should enter all data that you can found in "SMTP & API Credentials" section of your Mandrill account.
If you are using GMail, you can see that all future emails sent from your site, have a via parameter, with value, in example mailXX.wdcXX.mandrillapp.com. Also, Mailed by and Signed by fields now have value mandrillapp.com (it's usually empty when sending by PHPMail). This confirms that emails that your site sends, are sent from a known server which is signed.