Choosing Between Private SMTP Server, phpMail, and API Key from PHPLIST.COM

When I’ve used newsletter mailer plugins in Wordpress and similar tools, I’ve usually had a dedicated SMTP account whose address and credentials I input into a configuration file or plugin form.

phpList’s config.php file has a series of PHPMAILERHOST, PHPMAILERPORT, and PHPMAILERSECURE settings that seem along the same line.

What I’m a bit confused about is the documentation recommends obtaining an API key if I’d like to send emails from’s servers. Which seemed to imply selecting this option might eliminate the need for me to set up SMTP server credentials in the config.php file. Tried this with a test campaign and got FAILED messages for my test addresses.

Does using the API Key require first setting up a private SMTP server or cofiguration of PHP Mail?

I’m not aware that you can configure your instance of phpList to send through the email servers. I am aware that they offer a service to initiate a sending on your server, using an access key, this is basically a workaround provided by phpList for people that get confused on setting up a cron job to send and process bounces. This service provides the ‘cron job’ for sending, via an https connection from to your server, and sends through the smtp server specified in your config.php file.

Hey Dan,
I’m still a bit confused and trying to retrace my steps.
Here’s a screenshot of the service I mentioned.

And what I found in the online phpList manual/docs. I’ve posted below.

I have access to an SMTP and IMAP servers for the domain associated with my instance of phpList, so maybe I don’t need a need a remote queueing service.

Not clear on relationship to the queuing service and traditonal SMTP/IMAP server services.

And am assuming that newsletter tracking data (opens, clicks, etc.) is delivered back via HTTP rather than email protocols…yes?

3. Any other questions?

Use the Hosted Service now has a “secret” way to get our servers to process your queue for you. There are no payment plans and if you use this, you will help us to tweak the way it works, and in return we will process your queues without charge.

We offer this, because the last thing we’d want is that the queue processing is an obstacle for using phpList. From any point of view, but mostly performance, we advise the use of commandline processing because that is the most powerful way of sending. phpList Hosted is using commandline for everything. But in some cases this may not be an option. This is where our service hopefully fulfills a need.

To use the queue processing service sign up here

Once you signed up, get your API key.

The first time you try to manually process your queue, you will get the option to set up processing with You can use that to set up the API key.

Alternatively go to

and enter the API key.

From then on, when you place a campaign in the queue, or requeue an existing one, it will activate the processing from our servers. We will run the queue very often and make sure your campaigns are sent.

If you place an embargo on a campaign, the hosted queue processing service will detect this and wait until your embargo has passed to send your campaigns.

We do keep track of the statistics, and we will give you a summary in your account pages. The service uses the exact same system as the normal remote processing outlined above and we have no other access to your system.