How to send email with PHP

How to send email with PHP Posted in PHP | 13 Comments

One thing you are definitely going to deal with, when programming in PHP is sending emails. Although is seems like a very trivial and easy to accomplish task sometimes there can be unexpected obstacles.

First of all we will start with the most common way to send plain text email. I’m pretty sure everobody is familiar with the mail() function.

$To = ''; 
$Subject = 'Send Email'; 
$Message = 'This example demonstrates how you can send plain text email with PHP'; 
$Headers = "From: \r\n" . 
"Reply-To: \r\n" . 
"Content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 \r\n"; 
mail($To, $Subject, $Message, $Headers); 

The parameters of the mail() function are pretty much self-explanatory. The only thing here that can cause confusion is the “Content-type” header. Content-Type states what sort of content is the email message. It can be text, html, file, image and many others. The “Content-type” header may also contain information about the character encoding.

Now we will send another email, but this time we will add attachment to it. The idea is much the same, only the headers have to be set.

$b = 0; 
$mail_attached = ""; 
$boundary = md5(time()); 
$fp = fopen($file_name,"rb"); 
$content[$b] = fread($fp,filesize($file_name)); 
$mail_attached .= "--" . $boundary . "\n" 
. "Content-Type: binary/octet-stream; name="basename($file_name)" \n" 
. "Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64 n" 
. "Content-Disposition: inline; filename="basename($file_name)" \n" 
. chunk_split(base64_encode($content[$b]))."\n"; 
$mail_attached .= "--".$boundary."\n"; 
$add_header = "MIME-Version: 1.0\n". 
"Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="$boundary"; Message-ID: <".md5($email_from).">"; 
$mail_content = "--".$boundary."\n". 
"Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"\n". 
"Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit \n\n". 
$msg." nn". 
mail($email_address, $subject, $mail_content, "From: ".$email_from."\nCC: ".$email_cc."\n
BCC: ".$email_bcc ."\n Errors-To: ".$email_from."\n".$add_header); 

First of all we need to create a unique string, for our email message, which we call boundary string. Our file data must be between those boundary string, so that it can be identified as file by email programs. We use md5 ot the current time. Then we have to add our file. We read its contents and load it into string. Than we have to encode it with base64_encode function and split it to smaller pieces of data. These chunks of data are required by the MIME type specifications. Now we close the boundary string. The only thing left is to add our message to this email.

We are done sending emails with mail() function. Although it is very easy the mail function doesn’t provide us a way to send emails using SMTP authentication. Many of today’s Mail servers require this kind of authorization and it is important that you know how to handle this.

Fortunately there is an equaly easy way to send email from PHP script using SMTP authentication. All you have to use is PEAR Mail Package. It is distributed along with PHP itself, so you just have to ckech if it is istalled on your system. If it is, the only thing you have to
do is to set up the required parameters for an SMTP authentication.

$From = "Sender's name <>"; 
$To = "Recipient's name <>"; 
$Subject = "Send Email using SMTP authentication"; 
$Message = "This example demonstrates how you can send email with PHP using SMTP authentication"; 
$Host = ""; 
$Username = "smtp_username"; 
$Password = "smtp_password"; 
// Do not change bellow 
$Headers = array ('From' => $From, 'To' => $To, 'Subject' => $Subject); 
$SMTP = Mail::factory('smtp', array ('host' => $Host, 'auth' => true, 
'username' => $Username, 'password' => $Password)); 
$mail = $SMTP->send($To, $Headers, $Message); 
if (PEAR::isError($mail)){ 
} else { 
echo("Email Message sent!"); 

As you can see in the example above, you have to include the PEAR Mail package, so your script can use it. It has to be done only once, so we use include_once. Then you have to put your data in the fields and that’s it. What the rest of the code does is create a new SMTP object, using the data you entered and send the email.

By Rz Rasel Posted in Php

2 comments on “How to send email with PHP

  1. Browsing I noticed your web site book-marked as: How to send email with PHP | arzrasel. I’m assuming you book-marked it yourself and wanted to ask if social bookmarking gets you a ton of visitors? I’ve been contemplating doing some bookmarking for a few of my sites but wasn’t sure if it would yield any positive results. Thank you.

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