Email in MODX Cloud: Overview

Making Sure Your Important Messages Get Through

The best and simplest solution for optimal email delivery, is to use a third-party ESP.

Transactional Email Deliverability

Emails such as contact form messages, purchase receipts, registration confirmations, password resets and other system-generated messages, must reach your recipients' inbox. However, getting those messages into the inbox is getting more difficult for a variety of reasons.

As such, we cannot 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 the standard MODX Cloud plans, unmaintained sites or applications become compromised and end being used to automatically send spam emails. This type of behavior results in the server's IP address getting added to a temporary blacklist so anti-spam services can prevent them from clogging inboxes. Because IPs on multi-tenant platforms are shared across the server, any site, including yours, will be affected by this 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. Google has their own spam management and you only get out when they’re ready to unblock your IP address. Blacklist removal is a waiting game with no guarantees.

As an aside, with regard to site compromise (hacked sites), there is an approximate ratio of 100:1 for sites running WordPress compared to MODX only. And, of those compromised MODX sites, most appear to have been compromised before being imported to MODX Cloud.

Maximize Email Delivery in MODX Cloud

One factor email providers consider to determine the validity of an email is an SPF record. Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records tell email services and applications what domains and IP addresses are allowed to send email on behalf of your website. This limits the ability for spammers to impersonate emails and weighs into whether a message will get flagged as spam or placed in the inbox. If your website is going to 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.

  1. 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 alphbetical order) include Amazon SES, Mailgun, Mailjet, Mandrill by MailChimp, Postmark and Sendgrid. 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. Most of these providers have a free plan suitable for most MODX Cloud sites to send transactional messages.
  2. Use your own email provider via SMTP. Every MODX allows define an SMTP server to use instead of the 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.
  3. 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.)

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 Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365 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.

Bulk Email

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.

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