Enabling E-Mail to be Sent from Your Site

Sending e-mails is an integral feature of any site.  This ability allows your site to communicate updates and other notifications to your customers.  Examples of this would include sending e-mail receipts to customers and notifications to customers to return to their abandoned shopping carts.  This article will help you to enable e-mail on your site.

Get an SMTP Server/Service

In order to send e-mails from your site, you'll first need to have an SMTP server/service that allows you to send e-mails from.  You might already have an SMTP service provided by your domain registrar, and there's a few popular options listed below as well.

Hotcakes Cloud SMTP Server

If you're a Hotcakes Cloud customer, your SMTP service should already be added and enabled for you.  If it's not, your SMTP information is below.

  • Server:  smtp.appliedi.net
  • Connection Limit:  1
  • Max Idle Time:  0
  • SMTP Authentication:  Anonymous
  • SMTP Enable SSL:  unchecked

Enabling E-Mail Support

Once you have your SMTP connection information, proceed to the steps below.

In order to proceed, you'll first need to login as a superuser.  When you do, your control panel will show you a "Host" section.  You'll want to choose "Host Settings" from that section.

The Host Settings page has a large number of things that you can configure.  You'll want to proceed to the Advanced Settings tab, and find the SMTP Server Settings section below that tab.

The SMTP Server Settings section has all of the fields necessary to allow e-mails to begin sending to the various people using your site.

Setting Name Description
SMTP Server and Port

This is the "address" of where your SMTP server lives.  This information will be given to you by your technical team, or your service provider.  If you need to add a port number, you simply add it to the end of the server with a colon.  Examples of an SMTP address are shown below.

  • smtp.example.com
  • smtp.example.com:1234
Connection Limit The default connection limit is 1.  This defines how many connections you'll allow to the SMTP service.  You shouldn't change this value unless our team or your SMTP service provider tells you to.
Max Idle Time This defines how long (in milliseconds) the SMTP connection will remain open until it closes due to inactivity.  It is okay for it to close, so in nearly all instances, you should leave the default value of 0.  If you need to change this value, one second would be 1000.  
SMTP Authentication 

This defines the method by which your SMTP service requires authentication to be done.  Your service provider will tell you which one to use.  

  • Anonymous:  This method doesn't use any security or further authentication at all. 
  • Basic:  This method requires that you supply login credentials, without any additional security applied.  Credentials are passed in clear text, allowing everyone in the world to potentially see your SMTP connection information.
  • NTLM:  This method ensures that your SMTP communication is done in a way that's potentially the most secure.
SMTP Enable SSL If you check this option, the direct communication between Hotcakes and your SMTP service provider will be done using an SSL connection.  This would be the difference between using http://smtp.example.com and https://smtp.example.com, where the latter example is as secure as you can get (which is obviously preferred).  Not all SMTP providers support this option, so be sure to check with them to see if they support it before you enable this setting.
SMTP Username If required, you would enter the username your SMTP provider tells you to use here.  This is only available when using Basic SMTP Authentication.
SMTP Password If required, you would enter the password your SMTP provider tells you to use here.  This is only available when using Basic SMTP Authentication.

Once you enter the information you need to have in place, you can click the Test SMTP Settings button to see if the SMTP settings you entered work or not.  

If the settings you entered are valid, you'll see the following message at the top of the page.  You'll also receive a test e-mail message at the e-mail address that's specified for the primary administrator user account on your site.

If the settings you entered have any issues, you'll see this message at the top of the page instead.

When you are happy with the result, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Update button to save your changes.

That's it!  Your site will now be able to successfully communicate notifications to you and your customers.

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