Send Email with PHPmailer

Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to send email with PHPMailer with an HTML form.

Many websites and applications rely heavily on email since it makes it possible to notify users, connect with users, and more. Even if the built-in PHP mail function offers the bare minimum in email capabilities, your needs might not be met. In this situation, PHPMailer is useful.

What is phpmailer

PHPMailer is a popular open-source PHP library for sending emails. It provides a simple and efficient way of sending emails from a PHP script, with a lot of advanced features, such as supporting multiple transport methods, including SMTP, Sendmail, and mail(), providing support for attachments and HTML emails, and much more.

Install PHPMailer

Here’s how to install PHPMailer:

Download PHPMailer:

You can download PHPMailer from its official website ( or through composer. If you’re downloading it manually, unzip the downloaded file.

Include PHPMailer in Your PHP Script:

You can include the required PHPMailer files in your PHP script using the following code:

require 'src/Exception.php';
require 'src/PHPMailer.php';
require 'src/SMTP.php';

use PHPMailer\PHPMailer\PHPMailer;
use PHPMailer\PHPMailer\Exception;


This form will allow the user to enter the recipient’s email address, the subject of the email, and the email message.

<form action="send_email.php" method="post">
  <label for="email">To:</label>
  <input type="email" id="email" name="email" required>

  <label for="subject">Subject:</label>
  <input type="text" id="subject" name="subject" required>

  <label for="message">Message:</label>
  <textarea id="message" name="message" rows="5" required></textarea>

  <input type="submit" value="Send Email">

PHP Script

Create the PHP Script: This script will be responsible for processing the form data and sending the email using PHPMailer.

  use PHPMailer\PHPMailer\PHPMailer;
  use PHPMailer\PHPMailer\Exception;

  require 'src/Exception.php';
  require 'src/PHPMailer.php';
  require 'src/SMTP.php';

  if ($_SERVER['REQUEST_METHOD'] === 'POST') {
    $to = $_POST['email'];
    $subject = $_POST['subject'];
    $message = $_POST['message'];

    $mail = new PHPMailer(true);

    try {
      $mail->Host = '';
      $mail->SMTPAuth = true;
      $mail->Username = '[email protected]';
      $mail->Password = 'secret';
      $mail->SMTPSecure = 'tls';
      $mail->Port = 587;

      $mail->setFrom('[email protected]', 'Sender Name');

      $mail->Subject = $subject;
      $mail->Body = $message;

      echo "Email sent successfully";
    } catch (Exception $e) {
      echo "Failed to send email: {$mail->ErrorInfo}";

Note: Replace the placeholders in the script such as and [email protected]

Save the PHP Script: Save the script with a .php extension, for example, send_email.php

Test the HTML Form: Load the HTML form in your browser and test it by entering the recipient’s email address, subject, and message. Submit the form and check if the email was sent successfully.

In this example, the email is sent using SMTP. You can also send an email using other methods supported by PHPMailer, such as Sendmail or the mail() function. Detailed documentation is available on the official website.

Advantage of PHPMailer

PHPMailer provides support for multiple transport methods, including SMTP, Sendmail, and mail(), so you can choose the method that works best for your setup.
Advanced Features
PHPMailer provides support for attachments, HTML emails, and much more, making it easy to send complex emails with images, links, and other content.
Easy to Use
PHPMailer provides a simple and intuitive API that makes it easy to send emails from a PHP script, without having to worry about the underlying details of how email works.
Widely Used
PHPMailer is widely used and well-documented, with a large community of users who can provide support and help with any issues you encounter.
Open Source
PHPMailer is open-source software, so you can use it freely in your own projects and contribute to its development.

Disadvantage of PHPMailer

To utilize PHPMailer in your project, you must first download and install the library. Your development process may require an additional step as a result, particularly if you are not accustomed to obtaining and installing libraries.
While PHPMailer provides a range of advanced features and options, it can also be more complex to use than the default PHP mail function. If you only need to send simple emails, PHPMailer may be overkill for your needs.
If you encounter issues with PHPMailer, debugging can be more complex than with the default PHP mail function, especially if you are not familiar with the library.
If you are not careful with the settings and configuration of PHPMailer, there is a risk of exposing sensitive information, such as your SMTP credentials, to potential attackers. It is important to ensure that you follow best practices for securing PHPMailer, such as using encryption and authentication.
Email Deliverability
Emails sent using PHPMailer run the risk of being marked as spam or prohibited by email providers because it is a third-party library. When using PHPMailer, it’s crucial to keep track of your emails’ deliverability because this can affect it.

Options that developers can utilize in PHPMailer

Transport Method
PHPMailer provides support for multiple transport methods, including SMTP, Sendmail, and mail(), so you can choose the method that works best for your setup.
Email Address and Name
You can set the sender email address and name using the setFrom method.
You can add one or more recipient email addresses using the addAddress method.
You can set the subject of the email using the Subject property.
Message Body
You can set the message body using the Body property. You can send both plain text and HTML emails.
You can attach files to your email using this addAttachment method.
You can set the authentication parameters for your SMTP server, such as username and password, using the Username and Password properties.
You can set the encryption method used by your SMTP server, such as SSL or TLS, using the SMTPSecure property.
You can set the port used by your SMTP server using the Port property.

PHPMailer offers a wide variety of features and options for developers, as outlined in the comprehensive documentation accessible from the official website. Experienced users can make use of even more advanced features.

Differentiate between the default PHP Mail function and PHPMailer

Here’s a comparison between the default PHP mail function and PHPMailer.

FeaturePHP mail functionPHPMailer
FlexibilityLimited to basic email sending.Supports multiple transport methods, including SMTP, Sendmail, and mail().
Advanced FeaturesLimited to basic email sending.Supports attachments, HTML emails, and more.
Ease of UseBasic syntax with limited options.Simple and intuitive API with a range of options and features.
Widely UsedCommonly used but not as widely adopted as PHPMailer.Widely used and well-documented with a large community of users.
Open SourceNoYes, open source software.

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