I'm building a site and I'd like to use a VPS for a variety of reasons (Scalability, I'd like to run Sphinx for search, etc.). I'm slowly learning how to administer a server by playing with "my pet linux" in a VM on my laptop, so I think I'll be reasonably ok there - at least until I a) fold the site for doing so poorly, b) can afford to have someone help me out when I need it.
Where I really fall down, though, is mail. I "know" I need it, but I'm not sure how to administer it, or if there are other options.
Here are my use cases I can think of off the top of my head:
- Sending/receiving feedback and other emails as my site. I.e. as firstname.lastname@example.org rather than a gmail address.
- Account verification on signup - confirmation links and the like.
- Eventually, I think I'll want to be able to send emails sort of like stackoverflow does for question responses. Totally opt-in, but it seems like a nice to have (especially since it might help bring people back who forgot about the site for whatever reason). This means interop with PHP, which I assume is pretty trivial once the server is functioning anyway.
Linode has a tutorial that seems relatively easy to follow for getting the basics setup, but is this really the right direction to take?
I'm open to alternatives, such as free/cheap third party services or tools, but if you can suggest a good easy-to-setup/admin email server to run on my web server, with some tutorials I could follow to get it running, that would be appreciated.
Having written my use cases above, I suppose a case could be made for my not actually needing email at the start. I could use email@example.com for feedback-type emails, and possibly not bother with email confirmations for accounts (a la reddit) since I'd never be able to keep up with blacklisting "mailinator" type sites anyway.