How to Use Amazon SES STARTTLS SMTP with ExpressionEngine: A Guide

As a data scientist or software engineer, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to set up an email system for your application. There are numerous options, such as SendGrid, MailChimp, and more. However, many prefer Amazon SES due to its scalability, reliability, and integration with other AWS services. In this post, we’ll look at how to use Amazon SES STARTTLS SMTP with ExpressionEngine.

How to Use Amazon SES STARTTLS SMTP with ExpressionEngine: A Guide

As a data scientist or software engineer, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to set up an email system for your application. There are numerous options, such as SendGrid, MailChimp, and more. However, many prefer Amazon SES due to its scalability, reliability, and integration with other AWS services. In this post, we’ll look at how to use Amazon SES STARTTLS SMTP with ExpressionEngine.

What is Amazon SES and STARTTLS SMTP?

Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) is a cost-effective, flexible, and scalable email service that enables developers to send mail from within any application. You can use the SMTP interface to integrate Amazon SES into your application, email client, ticketing system, or other software.

STARTTLS is an extension to plain text communication protocols, which offers a way to upgrade a plain text connection to an encrypted (TLS or SSL) connection instead of using a separate port for encrypted communication.

What is ExpressionEngine?

ExpressionEngine is a flexible, feature-rich content management system that empowers thousands of individuals, organizations, and companies around the world to easily manage their website. It’s free, open-source software that offers robust functionality and security.

How to Send Email Through Amazon SES STARTTLS SMTP with ExpressionEngine?

Step 1: Set Up Amazon SES

To get started, you’ll need an Amazon AWS account. Once signed in, navigate to the Amazon SES console. Here, you’ll need to verify your domain or email address, and then set up your SMTP settings.

Step 2: Acquire SMTP Credentials

From the SES console, navigate to SMTP settings and create a new set of SMTP credentials. These credentials are different from your AWS access keys.

Step 3: Configuring ExpressionEngine to Use Amazon SES

After acquiring your SMTP credentials, you’ll need to configure ExpressionEngine to use Amazon SES for sending emails. Here are the steps:

  1. In the ExpressionEngine control panel, navigate to the Email Configuration settings (Developer > Email Configuration).
  2. In the “Protocol for Sending Email” field, select “SMTP.”
  3. For the “SMTP Server Address,” enter the endpoint provided in your Amazon SES SMTP settings. It should look something like email-smtp.us-east-1.amazonaws.com.
  4. Set the “SMTP Server Port” to 587. This is the STARTTLS port.
  5. For “SMTP Server Username” and “SMTP Server Password,” enter the SMTP credentials created earlier.
  6. Finally, set “SMTP Encryption Type” to “STARTTLS.”

Step 4: Testing Your Setup

After the setup, it’s important to send a test email to ensure everything is working correctly.

Troubleshooting and Tips

If you encounter issues, here are some tips:

  • Check your SMTP credentials. Ensure that you’re using the SMTP username and password, not your AWS access keys.
  • Make sure your domain is verified in SES and you’re below your sending limits.
  • Check your server’s firewall settings. The firewall must allow outbound connections on the SMTP port (587).

By integrating Amazon SES with ExpressionEngine using STARTTLS SMTP, you can take advantage of the scalable, reliable, and secure nature of Amazon SES, while working within the familiar environment of your ExpressionEngine CMS. This setup will ensure your emails are sent smoothly and securely, providing a better experience for your users.


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