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SitePoint PHP Blog:
What is SparkPost?
Apr 25, 2016 @ 13:50:47

The SitePoint PHP blog has a post to their site introducing SparkPost, an email delivery service (in the same vein as Mandrill) that you can hook into your PHP applications to prevent the need to run your own mail servers.

I’ve used Mandrill for as long as I can remember. It sends transactional email, like the kind you receive when you sign up for a new account. Like me, many have been happy to use a free account for sending a relatively low number of emails a month. That is, until recently, when Mandrill caused a bit of a stir. The heart of the matter is that Mandrill removed their free tier. Anybody wishing to send mail through Mandrill now requires a paid-for MailChimp account

[...] Mindful that people are looking for alternatives (to power their personal newsletters or whatever), I spoke to Aydrian Howard. Aydrian is the Developer Advocate at SparkPost, whom I met at FluentConf. We talked for a bit about SparkPost and what makes it different from MailChimp.

After the little bit of Q&A about the service, the tutorial gets in and shows you how to get SparkPost set up for your application. They help you install their own client library and send a first test email using your account. Code is provided showing the configuration of the client with your key and the options you can define when sending the message.

tagged: sparkpost email send tutorial introduction mandrill

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/what-is-sparkpost/

php[architect]:
Mandrill Alternatives for PHP Applications
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:07:16

With the recent (well, not too recent) announcement from MailChimp about the shift to a paid model for their Mandrill email service, PHP developers have been busy looking for alternatives. In this post to the php[architect] site Sandy Smith explores some of the other options out there, how they compare and what they have to offer.

n case you might have missed the announcement, MailChimp is changing Mandrill to be an add-on to paid MailChimp accounts, thus eliminating the generous free tier. We’re big fans of MailChimp and use its mailing list service for our own announcements, but a full MailChimp account isn’t going to be for everybody. [...] Many people also know Mandrill by reputation and will need options in the future. For you, we’ve put together this list of viable transactional email alternatives with PHP and major PHP application support.

Included in their list are services like:

For each service he includes a paragraph talking about what integrations and libraries there are for their use as well as what's included in their "free" levels.

tagged: mandrill alternative email service options sdk overview

Link: https://www.phparch.com/2016/04/mandrill-alternatives-for-php-applications/

php[architect]:
Sending HTML Emails with Drupal 7, Webform, and Mandrill
Jul 21, 2014 @ 12:42:45

The php[architect] site has a new tutorial posted giving you a step by step guide to sending HTML email with the combination of Drupal 7, Webform and Mandrill (the mail service by Mailchimp).

By default, Drupal is configured to send out plain text emails. For many developers, plain text email is sufficient and preferable to HTML email. HTML email is still, in this day and age, not guaranteed to render the same across email clients, more likely to be labeled as spam, and requires a significant amount of testing to make sure it works. Still, a minimally styled HTML message can be easier for recipients to read and help reinforce your brand/design (if you don’t depend on images to do so). In this article, we’ll look at the modules to install and configure to enable HTML emails and, specifically, how to change the default Webform email template to send submissions as HTML.

The tutorial comes in four different sections, each with plenty of description and some code to make it happen:

  • Set up your site to send email
  • Allow outgoing email to use HTML
  • Formatting Outgoing Email
  • Send Webform Submission as HTML Emails
tagged: tutorial html email mandrill drupal7 webform

Link: http://www.phparch.com/2014/07/sending-html-emails-with-drupal-7-webform-and-mandrill/

NetTuts.com:
Adding Bitcoin Payment Processing to Your Website
Aug 19, 2013 @ 12:38:53

On NetTuts.com there's a new tutorial that shows you how to integrate an up and coming payment method into your site's flow - Bitcoin. The tutorial uses a combination of Javascript and a PHP backend and BIPS as the payment processor.

Bitcoin has definitely started to become more mainstream, and with its global reach and minimal fees, it is a payment method worth considering. In this article, we will take a look at what Bitcoin is, as well as how to start accepting them in your applications. [...] I'm not going to get into the specifics, but essentially each time a transfer of currency takes place, the money is signed with the two parties keys and then hashed, and these transactions are appended to the global log. This allows coins to be publicly traced back, and to see if the money really belongs to someone or not.

He starts off explaining what the whole bitcoin system is based on and some of the common advantages and disadvantages around it. He then gets into the actual application, creating a simple structure using the Slim microframework and a bit of HTML to make a simple payment site. The BIPS processor is used to handle the payment and the Mandrill service to send the confirmation emails. Curl requests are used to call the services, so you'll need it installed as a PHP extension to make their examples work.

tagged: bitcoin processing payment mandrill bips tutorial

Link: http://net.tutsplus.com/tutorials/javascript-ajax/adding-bitcoin-payment-processing-to-your-website