Which Email Add-on Should I Use?November 25, 2016


In this KB, we will cover the following:

  • Which email add-on should I use ?
  • Common questions related to Email add-ons


Cloudways offers a number of add-ons related to email. In this KB we are going to explain the different options, so you can better understand which one you may need.

Transactional Email – This is email leaving your server / application with destination a third party (your customers, subscribers …). We advice to always use a third party service for safe email delivery (as directly sending email from cloud servers is not reliable). For this you can use our inexpensive Elastic Email Add-on, or if you already use any such services (Sendgrid, Mailgun, Mandrill …) you can configure it to be used with your server(s) via our free SMTP Add-on (note that you are responsible for paying any third party service that you are using).

Mailboxes – If what you need are mailboxes for your domain (e.g. john.doe@mydomain.com) to send and receive email, then we have partnered with Rackspace to offer, at a very discounted rate, extremely reliable mailboxes. Simply sign-up for our Rackspace Email Add-on and let us know how many do you need.

Common Questions Related to Email add-on’s:

Q: Can I use both SMTP Add-on (free) and Elastic Email add-on on the same server?
A: No. You can only use one of the transactional email add-ons on your server. You can either choose the SMTP Add-on (bringing your own third party service) or the you can activate the Elastic Email Add-on.

Q: Can I use different sender email address for different applications using the same transactional email service?
A: Yes, you can use different sender email address for different applications. This has to be configured at your application level. Any sender email address that you define for your application, has to be verified by adding a SPF and DKIM TXT record at your domain registrar’s DNS management panel.

Q: Can I use Rackspace with the SMTP Add-on?
A: Rackspace is for mailboxes (e.g. john.doe@mydomain.com) for sending and receiving emails while transactional email services are used for outgoing emails from your server. Rackspace service is configured with a rate limit of outgoing emails, so it is not suitable for automated, mass volume transactional emails. For more queries related to Rackspace add-on, click here.

Q: Why are emails sent from my application landing into the spam folder of recipients?
A:  You need to make sure that the sender address being used for your domain and the FROM header are set accordingly. If they are set accordingly already, then make sure that correct SPF and DKIM DNS records (depending on the transactional email service used) are configured on your domain registrar.

Q: Can I use different transactional email providers for different applications on the same server?
A: The free SMTP Add-on, sets the default transactional email provider at the server level, so all applications in that specific server will use the same provider. If for some reason, you want to use different transactional email providers for different applications, you will have to achieve so using specific plugins/extensions on your application. 

Q: I do not want to pay for any transactional email service, can I use Gmail for server outgoing email?
A: Yes, you can use it for low volume outgoing email. Check the following KB to configure it. Note that there is an approximate limit of 500 emails per day with a maximum of 500 recipients per email. For mass volume, any third party service (Sendgrid, Mailgun, Mandrill …) or our own ElasticEmail add-on will be much more reliable. 

Q: Can I use SMTP port 25 for outgoing emails?
A: Cloud hosting providers like Vultr and Google blocks outgoing SMTP port 25 by default for security purposes. We suggest using port 587 or 2525.

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