If you are into a lot of PHP coding, then there is a good chance that you may have come across the mail sending feature offered by the language. And if you have not come across it, then this is a good place to know what PHP Mailer is all about. Often always, when developing a website on PHP for commercial purposes, there is a need of sending an email from the application to the user’s Id such as for resetting the password or verification mail post registration. It is a tiresome and grueling task where you have to configure all the basic needs of SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and then send the email. There are libraries out there in the market that are developed to ease a PHP coder job and PHP Mailer is one of them. But it is not just one amongst many but a unique and powerful library that must come as a top priority over the remaining when you have to decide on one library. This short article covers extensively about what is PHP Mailer and how can it make a difference in your PHP programming journey.
PHP Mailer is a library exclusive for PHP Language that helps in writing email sending related code easily. It brings in the Object Oriented style of programming structure to the native PHP mail function. There are several ways of sending an email such as using: Native mail() function, Sendmail and Qmail and there is support for each of these types in PHP Mailer library. Therefore it is not appropriate to call this as simply an alternative to the mail() function as it can do more than that. This library was introduced in 2001 and is a very reliable tool for sending email as over the years, it has improved a lot through different version releases. There are actually another set of third-party libraries that also help in assisting the mail writing task such as Zend_mail but of all, PHP Mailer is quite old and stable and unique. Version 6.0.7 is the latest version that has been released on Feb 1, 2019. The 5.2 version will no longer receive updates from the PHP Mailer team as it has been declared deprecated.
Bulk PHP Mailer is simply the configuration available in PHP Mailer that allows sending to multiple large email addresses all at once. Bulk PHP Mailer can be used as an alternative to BCC sending style in CPanel Webmail clients and Free email service. Bulk PHP Mailer can be configured using SMTP or using the Default PHP Mail Function.
Now, after becoming little familiar about what is PHP Mailer, the subsequent question that arises is if the PHP Mailer is slower while compared to the native mail() function? Since mail() function is a built-in feature of PHP, the question is no doubt inevitable! Yet to the contrary, there is not much difference when it comes to performance. Furthermore, one should possess a piece of sound knowledge about SMTP and its configuration in order to send an email and the complexity keeps on increasing when advanced features are necessary for the email that has to be sent. PHP Mailer keeps it simple for you to send an HTML email or to attach files to the mail. Thus, it offers a greater flexibility than PHP mail() function. Interestingly, one can use their own SMTP server unlike the inability while using mail function on UNIX platforms. There are another advantage and reason why a library could be used in much preference since email injections and spamming is very much likely to occur when one uses the mail() function. High-level knowledge about RFC standards is expected to avoid these problems but it is hard for a normal programmer to learn and understand about this.
1. PHP Mailer allows the user to send emails that contain multipart batched files along with the usual plain text and HTML contents.
2. It implements the basic protocols such as SSL that stand for Secure Sockets Layer and TCS which is Transport Security Layer. It is thereby easy to realize that the PHP Mailer stays in line with the RFC standards that are recommended internationally.
3. Apart from the regular SMTP, one can also switch between Qmail and POP3 protocols. Therefore no one should be ridiculed by the complexity each of these offers while resorting to usage as PHP Mailer packs support for these all features.
4. Escaping the characters, formatting the text and encoding special characters can happen in one go by using PHP Mailer. If one is not using this library then it becomes the job of the developer to sit back and write code for all of these three requirements.
5. You can use a non-local server when required rather than the stricter mail function that forces you to use only a local server. In order to use a non-local server, one shall have authentication from it.
6. Impressively, this library has over 40 set of error messages that explains the cause of failure while sending an email. That says its user-friendly nature of debugging style.
7. There is a fallback to plain text in the cases where the client doesn't support HTML but the intended mail is having rich HTML content.
8. It also has an active community that constantly offers solutions to every type of problem or confusion that is encountered while using the library.
9. The most popular users of this PHP Mailer library are the powerful PHP Content Management software such as Drupal and WordPress.
10. You can authenticate the POP protocol and then send an email through SMTP. Thus, it is safe to declare that the PHP Mailer supports POP-before-SMTP mode of verification prior to sending an email.
11. There is multiple language support. This means that the error messages can be translated into the desired language out of the 43 languages that are available. Thus, one can easily conclude that PHP Mailer has a lot of functionalities that come along with it to ease the task of writing email specific PHP Code for a powerful and complicated website. You are relieved from doing all the grunt work of setting up an email specific code. It is always advisable to take the path that is least in offering hassles when you are into an organization and code uniformity is a top priority. The code will be easy to maintain and make changes in the future for the other developers as well.