There may well be a better solution to this problem, and I welcome those as well.

At the moment, I have an e-mail form on my website where people can send an e-mail directly to my gmail account through a PHP script. However, when I receive those e-mails, sometimes gmail flags it as possibly spam or phishing; presumably because the e-mail didn't come from a known server.

I was just wondering if there was anyway to tell gmail that if it comes from my server, it is safe. I thought that maybe I could add a unique custom header and tell gmail that that means it's a safe source?

I'm not very familiar with the deeper complexities of e-mail and e-mail servers, so any help would be much appreciated.

  • You could start by creating the appropriate SPF record in your DNS zone. – joeqwerty Aug 4 '13 at 23:52

Configure your application code to use a SMTP relay service, rather than sending the emails yourself.

Sendgrid springs to mind, as a possible alternative, but there are many alternative SMTP as a Service solutions.

As you're using Amazon EC2 already, it's definitely worth investigating Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) which has a very generous free tier allowance.

  • Are there any free alternatives to Sendgrid? This is just a personal, non-commercial website for use as an online CV/Resume. – Luke Aug 4 '13 at 22:05
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    I googled for 'free SMTP relay' and found a whole bunch with free tiers. There's also a free tier on Amazon Simple Email Service... – Tom O'Connor Aug 4 '13 at 22:30
  • You can use your own Gmail account as a relay. Just setup an application specific password, and use the settings they give you. – Butters Aug 5 '13 at 1:32
  • You can, but they have hard sending limits, which aren't that high. – Tom O'Connor Aug 5 '13 at 8:34
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    It looks like Amazon SES is perfect for me, as I am already using an EC2 instance to host the site anyway.. the first GB of e-mails per month costs nothing, and there is absolutely no way I would expect to get that many. So, I will accept this as the answer. Thanks! – Luke Aug 5 '13 at 9:06

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