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Thread: Needed: 3rd party email provider (via API) for POWWEB website SENDMAIL scripts

  1. #1

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    Needed: 3rd party email provider (via API) for POWWEB website SENDMAIL scripts

    Greetings,

    Have read many postings about the growing email problems at POWWEB, and totally understand they are a "webhost solution" not an "email solution". I have been a POWWEB customer for 14 years and mostly happy with the service.

    Most of the postings read talk about sending and receiving email from email applications such as Thunderbird and Outlook. What I have not seen are postings that talk about outgoing emails from CGI scripts, and how a "dedicated email service" can help fix the problem while the website remains on POWWEB.

    Like so many others, the current Spamhuas blockage/blacklisting of POWWEB mail servers is increasingly impacting the usage of one of my small business websites, SKI-IT-AGAIN.COM, which is a highly "outgoing" email dependent site. The SIA website is much like a popular Classified Listing site only solely for water sports equipment. In the past 2-3 years, the site has reached million-page view months during the peak ski season (JUN-SEP) so this is rapidly becoming a large problem for SIA.

    Am receiving more and more complaints from AOL, YAHOO, and HOTMAIL users they are not receiving the mail kicked off by the website. The website mail CGI makes use of SENDMAIL to kick off the "response" (aka form mail) from the prospective buyer to the seller. But due to the spam problems with POWWEB accounts, the companies using Spamhaus are not processing the incoming emails.

    Therefore, a solution is needed, whereby the SIA website can remain on the POWWEB servers, but have the CGI script access a third party email service via API to send out the emails.

    SIA receiving emails has not been an issue, only receipt of SIA "form mail". Obviously if the form referenced the API directly, then login credentials would need to be "in the form" which is not acceptable. All form data would need to be collected by the website's mail CGI script, then sent to the 3rd party email API, so proper login credentials could be provided in a safe manner.

    Am sending this message to several 3rd party email providers for their responses, but am opening a ticket to ask if POWWEB Exchange hosting could be a solution to this. One question that immediately comes to mind is, are the exchange servers the same machines as the webhosting and mail servers. In other words, will the exchange servers be blocked as well as well since they are POWWEB servers?

    Feel free to post replies on your experiences with this OR send a private message. Would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has solved this form mail dilemma.

    LarryG

  2. #2
    target='_blank' snowmaker's Avatar
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    I use the PHP mail function in many of the contact forms on most of the sites that I create here. The only problem I have had is once I was using a Powweb registered domain's email address as the mail function's sendto address that forwarded to another ISP's email address, and I'm not sure of the exact problem as no error messages were received anywhere. Editing the form's code to sendto directly to that ISP's email address resolved the issue. Here is a simple PHP code example of how I use the mail function.
    PHP Code:
    <?
    $subject 
    "Example";
    $message "Hello!\n";
    $mailto  "[I]an email address to send to[/I]";
    $headers "From: [I]an email address that will be the sent from[/I]";

    mail("$mailto""$subject"$message""$headers");
    ?>
    -bruce /* somdcomputerguy */
    'If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.'

  3. #3

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    Thanks Bruce

    Bruce,

    FWIW ... PHP MAIL() typically still uses SENDMAIL() or some other Mail Transfer Agent in the background. It is not making use of an actual SMTP from what I understand.

    Therefore, would think whether calling SENDMAIL direct from a Perl script or using PHP MAIL, the same "spammy" problem would exist.

    No matter what MTA being used (POW uses Exim apparently), they are from POWWEB mail servers which are being blocked by companies (such as AOL, HOTMAIL, YAHOO) that use Spamhaus as their filter.

    Now one question to ask the community is ... would it be any better to employ an actual SMTP server solution versus a CGI pool script (ie sendmail, php mail, etc.) for the outgoing mail problem? Would that be any less likely to be blocked? My initial thought is makes no difference cause still coming from a POWWEB mail server although some authentication may occur which marks the item as less spam-like.

    Definitely not an expert here ... just trying to solve a problem (for my situation) that many people seem to having.

    And if that means using an API enabled dedicated mail service, so be it (as mentioned by RTOOHIL in the HOW MAIL WORKS sticky).

    Thanks again!
    LarryG

  4. #4
    target='_blank' snowmaker's Avatar
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    I don't have an AOL, HotMail or Yahoo email account but I know a few people that have (or had) a HotMail or a Yahoo email address, and if I can find out if they still do I'll test them and see if they work with the PHP mail function.
    -bruce /* somdcomputerguy */
    'If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.'

  5. #5

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    Rotating Server IPs

    Bruce,

    The blocks are not absolute. IOW, some AOL, HOTMAIL, YAHOO users of my site can get their email, some can't, and that changes back and forth.

    Like the sticky says, when POWWEB determines an IP has been blacklisted, they rotate the IP to help email continue to go thru, but its a Band-Aid at best.

    POWWEB recommendation is if email is paramount to your business website, a dedicated solution is best.

    Was just curious if:
    a) any given internal email implementation is better than straight CGI pool
    b) if anyone has any good feedback on the available 3rd party API providers.

    LarryG

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