How do I send email from PHP scripts?

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You can send email from PHP scripts (as long as you follow our anti-spam policies, described below).

When you use PHP to send email, you can specify the “bounce” (“Return-Path”) address to make sure that undeliverable messages are sent where you expect. See our page explaining the “Return-Path” for more information.

If you want to specify a bounce address, your script should use "-f" (where “something” is the address you want to use, of course) as the fifth parameter to PHP’s mail() function. Here’s one example of doing that:

$from_address = "";
mail ($to, $subject, $body, "From: $from_address", "-f $from_address");

Doing this makes sure that “bounces” go to the correct address. The address must end with your domain name to be accepted by our mail servers.

The PHP mail() function documentation has more details explaining the various mail() parameters.

What if I don’t specify a bounce address?

If you don’t specify a bounce address at all, the message will still be delivered.

However, the bounce address will default to a special address that forwards to the administrative contact address we have on file for your account), and some recipients may see notices like “via” in their mail headers.

If you can’t change your script, you can set a different default sending address based on your own domain name.

E-mail script policies

We do have some restrictions on the type of email that can be sent from scripts on the server.

It’s okay to send email from a script as long as the script can only send messages to you (for example, the results of feedback forms).

However, to prevent strangers from abusing your script to send spam or harass others, you do have to follow specific rules and ask our permission before using scripts that can send email to other people. Our requirements for giving permission are:

To get approval for a script that sends email to other people, just upload it to your website and contact us, telling us the name of the script and asking for permission to use it. If you’re using a mailing list you have already compiled, please provide details of how you verified each address (for example, by sending us the date and IP address used to confirm each subscription request).