Configure MODX to Use an Email Service Provider

Email Service Providers (ESP) improve email deliverability and give you great diagnostic logs when problems arise. ESPs virtually eliminate your mail ending up in spam folders or being blocked by webmail providers. 

Some ESPs offer a free tier that allows you to send 1000s or more emails per month, adequate for many sites’ transactional emails like registration confirmations and receipts. Some of the more popular ones include Mandrill (requires paid Mailchimp Account), PepipostSendGrid, Postmark, Mailgun, Mailjet and Amazon SES.

You need the following information from your ESP to configure MODX to send emails via their service:

  • SMTP Server Address
  • Username (sometimes the API key)
  • Password (often a unique API key)
  • Port Number (usually 587)
  • Connection or protocol prefix (usually tls)
  1. Login into the MODX Manager where you wish to add an ESP to for email delivery.

  2. Settings Cog

    At the top right of the MODX Manager, click/hover on the cog icon to reveal the menu.

  3. Click on System Settings

    From the cog menu, click on System Settings and you'll be taken to a page with a grid of various settings and their values.

  4. Enter SMTP into the Search by key field.

    In the field at the top right of the grid that has the placeholder text of Search by key… enter "SMTP" (without the quotation marks) as this will filter all the settings you need.

  5. Complete the setup of your SMTP settings for your ESP as follows:

    • Use SMTP: Yes
    • SMTP Port should usually be 587, or an alternate port your ESP provided
    • SMTP Connection Prefix should usually be set to tls, but may vary depending on your ESP
    • SMTP Authentication: Yes
    • SMTP Password should be the password your ESP provided
    • SMTP User should be the username your ESP provided

    Here's a screenshot example using the information from Mandrill:

    SMTP settings in MODX using Mandrill as an example.

See the screenshots below for some of the more popular ESPs’ settings.

Mandrill (requires paid MailChimp account)

Mandrill SMTP credentials view.


Sendgrid SMTP credentials view.


Postmark SMTP credentials view.


Mailgun SMTP credentials view.

Amazon SES




 Mailjet may work with 587/tls, but most examples show 465/ssl.,2.htm

Mailjet SMTP credentials view.




If you think you've got everything set up properly, but emails are not sending, see our guide to Troubleshooting Email Delivery for details steps and tests to help resolve any issues.

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