Making Sure Your Important Messages Get Through
TL;DR: save yourself endless frustration and tons of time by using a third-party ESP.
Tech Note on Port 25
As of November 2022, MODX Cloud blocks port 25 for outgoing SMTP connections from our servers, a common practice for many reputable providers.
In addition, we disable outgoing email on new accounts to protect against abuse and prevent IP reputation damage. If you need to send emails, please open a ticket using the green help button in your MODX Cloud Dashboard.
With that said, you really should use a third-party ESP for sending emails which is never blocked.
Transactional Email Deliverability
Contact form emails, purchase receipts, registration confirmations, password resets, and other system-generated messages must reach your recipients' inbox. However, getting them there is increasingly difficult.
As such, we do not guarantee email delivery from MODX Cloud servers, but we do our best to ensure it works as reliably as possible.
On a multi-tenant platform, like those used for the standard MODX Cloud plans, unmaintained sites or applications can be compromised and used to send spam or phishing emails. This can result in the server's IP address getting added to a blacklist so anti-spam services can prevent them from clogging inboxes.
Unprotected Contact Forms
Similarly, contact forms that are not protected and that send a copy of the message to the “submitter” of a message can be used to spam hundreds or thousands of emails an hour using scraped email lists as the “submitters”, often containing honeypot email addresses designed to catch spammers. This is another prescription for landing on email blacklists. Do not send a copy of the message to email form submitters, ever.
Multi-tenant IPs and Blacklists
Because IPs on multi-tenant platforms are shared across the server, any site, including yours, will be affected by blacklisting.
We actively manage blacklist removal and IP reputation and strive to get the servers unlisted as soon as we detect an issue. It is difficult and time-consuming, though, and out of our control. Blacklist removal is a waiting game with no guarantees.
Maximize Email Delivery in MODX Cloud
Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records tell email services and applications what domains and IP addresses are allowed to send emails on behalf of your website. This can make it harder for spammers to impersonate your domain for emails and can send them to spam. If your website will send email, no matter where it is hosted, an SPF record is a must.
SPF records are one piece of the email delivery puzzle. Here are three more methods to ensure email, from your sites hosted in MODX Cloud, will get to the intended inbox.
- Use an Email Service Provider (ESP). We highly recommend taking advantage of services that specialize in getting emails sent. Some of these service providers (in alphabetical order) include Amazon SES, Mailgun, Mailjet, Postmark, Sendgrid and Sparkpost. Beyond just delivering your email, you'll also get stats on bounced messages or those marked as spam—you don't get this when you rely on the server email. These typically start around $10/month; a few have free tiers.
- Use your email provider via SMTP. Most CMSes, including MODX, allow you to define an SMTP server to use instead of the local server’s mail system. You can use most email services or create a Gmail and Google Apps just for the website. This should be free.
- Get a dedicated private endpoint on MODX Cloud. For larger organizations, you'll get an IP address all to yourself. Keep your sites secure and up to date and you should never be on a IP or server blacklist unless you actually send spam. We still highly recommend using an ESP. (Contact sales for more information about dedicated private endpoints.)
Having Trouble with Sending Email?
If you're having issues with sending email in MODX Cloud, please refer to Troubleshooting Email Delivery for self diagnosing and resolving email issues.
Inboxes and Webmail
People choose MODX Cloud because we are the experts in building and supporting fast, finely-tuned hosting for MODX CMS. We do not offer email (POP/IMAP) inboxes or webmail because we believe you should choose providers who are experts at that, too. Email inbox providers such as GSuite, Gmail, Microsoft Office365/Outlook.com and Zimbra have solved the business email problem and offer secure, high-quality, reliable email accounts with powerful anti-spam filtering and well designed and tested webmail access.
MODX Cloud's Acceptable Use Policy prohibits sending bulk email and newsletters from its servers. Maintaining your contact list in MODX Cloud is fine, but for sending email campaigns, we recommend services like Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, My Emma, or any similar email newsletter services.