Customizing SMF > Tips and Tricks

[TIP GUIDE] Setting up a gmail account on SMF

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How to set up Gmail on your forums!

Please be aware recent Google changes mean you need to log into your Google control panel and set App security lower or you wont be able to send mail and you will get what appears as invalid login attempts. You can set up two stage login if you wish but this is only so you understand the reason why you may not be able to send mail.

Ive seen a few people looking for information about this recently and also faced this problem myself when it comes to setting up a gmail account to run from your forums.

There are 2 ways to do this really depending on how you decide to set this up.

1: You use a single address you have made from a google invatation like
2: You set up a domain with google apps so you have your own domain like

The basic SMF side will be the same for both really but with the google apps you can have up to 50 email addresses free with your sites url for the addresses.If you dont need that you use a single address you set up.

How to set it up for your forums using a single gmail account

 Make a new email for your forums ensuring it has a decent password.
 Login to your SMF Admin panel and open Server settings > Feature configuration

 Set Mail type to:             SMTP
 Set SMTP server to:         ssl://
 Set SMTP port to:            465
 Set SMTP username to:
 Set SMTP password to:     Your email password
 Confirm the password
 Save the settings.

 If you run Apache server ensure php_openssl is enabled in your php extensions or you wont be able to send mail using ssl://

If the above is done correctly you should now be able to let the forums send mail to verify accounts or newsletters ect.

The second way using your own domain is as follows

Create an account with google apps here  You need your own url for this.

Once the account is created then if your on hosting it will give you the details of how to link to your host site.
If you own your own urls then you need to login to your url control panel and set the following MX records,They can be found under DNS settings:

(Save after each new MX entry,do not change the order of the contents,Make sure the . is on them all)

NAME:                                    PRIORITY:
ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.                   10
ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.            20
ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.            20
ASPMX2.GOOGLEMAIL.COM.              30
ASPMX3.GOOGLEMAIL.COM.              30

You then need to set up a new CNAME entry with mail as the name and as the content.

On your forums you need to follow the steps above but replace the email address with your new domain one as follows:

Login to your SMF Admin panel and open Server settings > Feature configuration

Set Mail type to:                          SMTP
 Set SMTP server to:                     ssl://
 Set SMTP port to:                        465
 Set SMTP username to:       
 Set SMTP password to:                 Your email password
 Confirm the password
 Save the settings.

This should now work correctly and when it sends mail it will have the forums domain name and also you have the inbox you can log into for return mail.

Its important at this point on this second way using your domain to be patient since your MX records will take up to 48 Hours to resolve before you may actually be able to send mail.The google control panel will verify if this has happened or not.Once the MX records have propegated on the net you should then be able to use the mail for the forums without any issues.Dont be tempted to keep changing settings it wont work you just need to wait on this part for them.You can tell from control panel google give you when it is resolved.

You get up to 50 free mails on the standard free package and the option to upgrade but for guild sites and small forums it is nice to use your own domain for mails.

I hope this is of help to some of you who have had problems setting up gmail on your forums. ;)

Nice guide only bad really is the email limits like you said.

Indeed, really good and thorough guide. I'm sure it will come handy to many users.
Thank you nightbre  ;)

really nice tip and guide ;)  very useful.  thanks.

I was looking for something like this! Although I don't use GMail myself and won't use it just for this; this has given me a GREAT start on my custom email mod... =] Thanks!


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