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My application is similar to a reminder service that reminds users of events that they scheduled. I'm sending emails to users through a PHP script. I'm not sending one email to multiple recipients. Each recipient receives a different message. I plan to use cron jobs every minute and expect the application to send roughly 200 individual emails in 1 hour (for a small user base that may grow).

I don't have hosting experience with this type of application. I plan to start on a shared host and move up in the future to vps or dedicated. Most shared hosts that I looked into allow 50-100 emails per hour with delays between mailings. Please kindly inform me what I should look for in web hosts for this kind of application.

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closed as off topic by mdpc, Ward, EEAA, Dave M, Iain May 30 '12 at 21:32

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you have no direct experience with implementing a mail server, then you might well be better off starting with a cloud service, that manages submission and delivery of outgoing mail. Some examples are;

HP sendgrid;
http://sendgrid.com/pricing.html

Amazon AWS (SES);
http://aws.amazon.com/ses/

The reason that I would suggest services like this, is that you could literally have your application running in a few hours with a hosted SMTP relay, at a far lower implementation time and less cost that to run a mail server on a dedicated VPS or server instance in a datacentre.

The traditional method would be to run one of the popular mail transport agents (MTAs) such as sendmail or postfix to handle submissions from your PHP application and then outgoing delivery to the recipient.

The more recent major distros appear to be moving to postfix as the default MTA (CentOS 6.2 and Ubtuntu 12.x) so that would appear to be the place to start, regarding documentation.

Obviously either Ubuntu, Centos, fedora or any of the major distros of linux have sendmail or postfix packaged in their repositories.

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Thank you Tom! sendgrid looks promising. –  Cyber Junkie May 30 '12 at 21:42

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