The magic of PHPMailer

Recently I updated the website for my club, the Association for Women in Computing at WWU, to send e-mails via PHPMailer. We have a contact form with the usual subject, content, name, etc. and want to send all that to our e-mail address. The previous e-mail system went through the school’s network  and was very much broken, so it was in need of a good fix.

It was easier than I thought it would be, mostly just building some basic PHPMailer code. Add the script to your site, create a new instance of PHPMailer, and set the various properties on that instance. For example, if your mailer is $mail, you set the subject of the email like so:

$mail->Subject = “E-mail subject here”;

Then once you’re done adding all the properties, you do $mail->Send, and you’re good to go!

For the server, I ended up just creating a new Gmail e-mail address so I could use Gmail as a host. So our host property looked something like this:

$mail->Host = “smtp.gmail.com”

And then you use the Gmail address and login for the Username and Password properties. Simple and easy!

PHP does already have a built-in mail function, conveniently called mail(), which is fine for super simple e-mails but PHPMailer makes it easy to do more complicated things, like adding an attachment or using SMTP to send the e-mail. So unless you only want to do very basic things with mail in PHP, I’d stick with a library.

Official instructions and examples can be found on their Github.

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One Response to The magic of PHPMailer

  1. RMAU says:

    so, i know i’m missing the appropriate code to show me errors where it’s hanging. that’s yet another part i haven’t learned yet.

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