Monday, September 28, 2020

How to send Emails using PHP

Hello, dear readers! welcome back to another section of my tutorial on PHP. In this tutorial guide, we will be studying about how to send Emails using PHP.

PHP must be configured correctly in the php.ini file with the details of how your computer system sends email messages. Open the PHP.ini file available in /etc/ directory and then find the section headed [mail function].

The window users should make sure two directives are supplied. The first is known as SMTP that define your mail server address. The second directive is known as sendmail_from which defines your own email address.

The configuration for Windows OS should look something like this -

[mail function]
; For Win32 only.

; For win32 only
sendmail_from =

Linux users simply need to let PHP know the location of their sendmail application. The path and any desired switches must be defined to the sendmail_path directive.

The configuration for Linux should look something like this -

[mail function]
; For Win32 only.

; For win32 only
sendmail_from = 

; For Unix only
sendmail_path = /usr/sbin/sendmail -t -i

Sending Plain Text Email

PHP uses mail() function to send an email. This function requires three mandatory arguments which specify the receiver's mail address, subject of the message and the actual message. Additionally there are two optional parameters.

mail( to, subject, message, headers, parameters );

The following is the description for each of the parameters -

Sr.NoParameter & Description


Required. Specifies the receiver / receivers of the email



Required. Specifies the subject of the email. This parameter cannot contain any newline characters



Required. Defines the message to be sent. Each line should be separated with a LF (\n). Lines should not exceed 70 characters



Optional. Specifies additional headers, like From, Cc, and Bcc. The additional headers should be separated with a CRLF (\r\n)



Optional. Specifies an additional parameter to the send mail program

As soon as the mail function is called, PHP will attempt to send the email then it will return true if successful or false if it fails.

Note - Multiple recipients can be specified as the first argument to the mail function in a comma separated list.

Sending HTML Email

When you send a text message using PHP then all the content will be handled as simple text. Even if you incorporate Html tags in a text message, it will display as simple text and the Html tags will not be styled according to Html syntax. But PHP provides the option for sending an Html message as and actual Html message.

While sending an email, you can specify a Mime version, content type and character set to send an Html email.


The following example is going to send an Html email message to copying it to You can code this program in such a way that it should receive all the content from the user and then it should send an email.

      <title>Sending HTML email using PHP</title>
         $to = "";
         $subject = "This is subject";
         $message = "<b>This is HTML message.</b>";
         $message .= "<h1>This is headline.</h1>";
         $header = " \r\n";
         $header .= " \r\n";
         $header .= "MIME-Version: 1.0\r\n";
         $header .= "Content-type: text/html\r\n";
         $retval = mail ($to,$subject,$message,$header);
         if( $retval == true ) {
            echo "Message sent successfully...";
         }else {
            echo "Message could not be sent...";

Sending Attachments with Email

To send an email message with mixed contents, it requires that you set the Content-type header to multipart/mixed. Both the text and also the attachment section can be specified within boundaries.

A boundary is always started with two hyphens, followed by a unique number which can not appear in the message part of the email. A PHP function md5() is used for creating a 32 digits hexadecimal number in order to create a unique number. A final boundary which denotes the email's final section must also end with two hyphens

   // request variables // important
   $from = $_REQUEST["from"];
   $emaila = $_REQUEST["emaila"];
   $filea = $_REQUEST["filea"];
   if ($filea) {
      function mail_attachment ($from , $to, $subject, $message, $attachment){
         $fileatt = $attachment; // Path to the file
         $fileatt_type = "application/octet-stream"; // File Type 
         $start = strrpos($attachment, '/') == -1 ? 
            strrpos($attachment, '//') : strrpos($attachment, '/')+1;
         $fileatt_name = substr($attachment, $start, 
            strlen($attachment)); // Filename that will be used for the 
            file as the attachment 
         $email_from = $from; // Who the email is from
         $subject = "New Attachment Message";
         $email_subject =  $subject; // The Subject of the email 
         $email_txt = $message; // Message that the email has in it 
         $email_to = $to; // Who the email is to
         $headers = "From: ".$email_from;
         $file = fopen($fileatt,'rb'); 
         $data = fread($file,filesize($fileatt)); 
         $msg_txt="\n\n You have recieved a new attachment message from $from";
         $semi_rand = md5(time()); 
         $mime_boundary = "==Multipart_Boundary_x{$semi_rand}x"; 
         $headers .= "\nMIME-Version: 1.0\n" . "Content-Type: multipart/mixed;\n" . "
         $email_txt .= $msg_txt;
         $email_message .= "This is a multi-part message in MIME format.\n\n" . 
            "--{$mime_boundary}\n" . "Content-Type:text/html; 
            charset = \"iso-8859-1\"\n" . "Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit\n\n" . 
            $email_txt . "\n\n";
         $data = chunk_split(base64_encode($data));
         $email_message .= "--{$mime_boundary}\n" . "Content-Type: {$fileatt_type};\n" .
            " name = \"{$fileatt_name}\"\n" . //"Content-Disposition: attachment;\n" . 
            //" filename = \"{$fileatt_name}\"\n" . "Content-Transfer-Encoding: 
            base64\n\n" . $data . "\n\n" . "--{$mime_boundary}--\n";
         $ok = mail($email_to, $email_subject, $email_message, $headers);
         if($ok) {
            echo "File Sent Successfully.";
            unlink($attachment); // delete a file after attachment sent.
         }else {
            die("Sorry but the email could not be sent. Please go back and try again!");
      mail_attachment("$from", "", 
         "subject", "message", ("temp/".$_FILES["filea"]["name"]));

      <script language = "javascript" type = "text/javascript">
         function CheckData45() {
            with(document.filepost) {
               if(filea.value ! = "") {
                  document.getElementById('one').innerText = 
                     "Attaching File ... Please Wait";
      <table width = "100%" height = "100%" border = "0" 
         cellpadding = "0" cellspacing = "0">
            <td align = "center">
               <form name = "filepost" method = "post" 
                  action = "file.php" enctype = "multipart/form-data" id = "file">
                  <table width = "300" border = "0" cellspacing = "0" 
                     cellpadding = "0">
                     <tr valign = "bottom">
                        <td height = "20">Your Name:</td>
                        <td><input name = "from" type = "text" 
                           id = "from" size = "30"></td>
                     <tr valign = "bottom">
                        <td height = "20">Your Email Address:</td>
                        <td class = "frmtxt2"><input name = "emaila"
                           type = "text" id = "emaila" size = "30"></td>
                        <td height = "20" valign = "bottom">Attach File:</td>
                     <tr valign = "bottom">
                        <td valign = "bottom"><input name = "filea" 
                           type = "file" id = "filea" size = "16"></td>
                        <td height = "40" valign = "middle"><input 
                           name = "Reset2" type = "reset" id = "Reset2" value = "Reset">
                        <input name = "Submit2" type = "submit" 
                           value = "Submit" onClick = "return CheckData45()"></td>
                  <table width = "400">
                        <td id = "one">

Alright guys! This is where we are rounding up for this tutorial post. In my next tutorial post, we will be discussing about File Uploading in PHP. 

Feel free to ask your questions where necessary and i will attend to them as soon as possible. If this tutorial was helpful to you, you can use the share button to share this tutorial.

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Thanks for reading and bye for now.


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