Cloudways Email: Everything You Need to Know

Steve Allen


When you buy through links on this site, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Cloudways Email Solutions

If you’ve decided to use Cloudways to host your websites but are confused how emails work, then keep reading.

Because in this post, I’m going to share everything you need to know about Cloudways email.

You’ll know the difference between things like:

  • Mailboxes
  • SMTP
  • Transactional Email
  • Marketing Emails

And, I’ll show you how you can integrate all this into WordPress.

Let’s get started.

Cloudways Email vs Typical Web Hosting Email

If you’ve used regular web hosting before, like A2Hosting or SiteGround, then you know that email comes standard with these services.

That’s because they have SMTP pre-installed on the server and are able to control all of this with cPanel.

Cloudways on the other hand only installs what you need to run an application of your choosing, like WordPress.

This means that if you require email functionality, you’ll need to addon a separate SMTP service to your Cloudways installation.

When you activate one of these services, you can create business email addresses and send and receive email from your server or directly from website.

Depending on the functionality you need, will depend on the service that’s right for you.

Let’s take a look at the different technologies and services we can choose from.

What are the Different Types of Email Services?

1. Mailboxes

Mailboxes are provided by email service providers. Like personal email accounts, you can sign up to an email service provider for your business that will include your domain name in the email.

You then have access to an inbox or SMTP to be able to send and receive emails via it’s own web interface or an email client.

Technically you could also use these services for the sending of contact form emails directly from your website, but with limited use.

If you’re just starting out or you have a relatively small audience, then you can use the mailbox service providers SMTP to send minimal outgoing emails from your website.

Then if you need more outgoing emails which surpass the sending limits or you need more of a secure and advanced solution then you’ll need to use an SMTP service.

2. SMTP Services

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or SMTP is a protocol which allows the sending of emails between servers.

These emails can include anything from form submissions and WordPress account notifications to password resets and product order details.

The difference between an SMTP and a Mailbox service provider is that an SMTP doesn’t provide an email address with your domain name but focuses on reliable deliverabilty of emails.

Many SMTP services also offer detailed analytics, email validation, marketing automation and more depending on the service you choose.

3. Transactional Email

Transactional email services are SMTP service providers who focus on transcational emails.

Transactional emails are any emails that customers receive about an order they have purchased from a website.

If you run a WordPress eCommerce site that uses something like WooCommerce, you’ll likely need a transactional email provider.

These services offer speedy and reliable email delivery so your customers never miss an email about their orders.

4. Marketing Emails

Email marketing services offer the sending of marketing capaigns including, promotional emails, newsletters, welcome and onboarding sequences, cart abandonment and more.

These services are separate from your hosting environment and usually reqire a paid subscription depending on the size of your email list.

Some of the above services include a combination of marketing solutions, SMTP and transactional email depending on who you go with, but I just wanted to clear up what each service or technology does differently so you know which one you might need.

5. Self-Hosted Email Marketing

In recent years, there are more companies providing self-hosted email marketing solutions.

These can be all-in-one solutions like Mautic or WordPress plugins like FluentCRM.

These powerful solutions give you the features of the most popular Email Marketing providers such as ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign, but are stored on your own server and the sending is done through a third-party SMTP service.

The benefits of using such technology are the flexibility and control you gain, it’s affordability and that you own the platform it runs on.

The disadvantage is that you are required to set everything up yourself which can take some time and skill to learn, that you are liable for any losses of your data and to implement increased security and backups to protect yourself from these losses.

Built-In Options for Cloudways Email

Cloudways has some great built-in options that cover all our email requirements.

Mailboxes with Rackspace

If you need a business email address, you can activate the Rackspace email add-on.

Once activated, you can add mailboxes, aliases, mail forwarding, and more for your domains.

Rackspace pricing in Cloudways is $1 per month for each mailbox you create.

You will then need to add DNS records at your domain name registrar. Then, you can access your email accounts through webmail or an email client.

Read this cloudways article to learn how to a set up Rackspace on Cloudways.

SMTP Server with Elastic Email

If you need transactional email on your Cloudways server then you can activate the Elastic Email addon.

When doing so, Cloudways acts as a bridge to utilise the Elastic Email SMTP service and the fee is charged to your Cloudways account.

This is one of the most affordable ways to send email from your server or WordPress site, costing as little as $0.10 per 1000 emails sent.

To activate it, all you have to do is click the More options icon in the Cloudways navigation bar and choose Add-ons.

You’ll then see a list of available add-ons. Click on the pencil next to Elastic Email and select the number of emails you think you’ll need on a monthly basis and click Subscibe. You can always increase this in the future.

Now you can choose Elastic Email under the server SMTP tab. This will then automatically send emails out using the Elastic email service.

To improve deliverability, you also have the option of verifying the domains under each application you have installed.

Verifications include SPF, DKIM, Tracking, MX, and DMARC. Each record will have to be added to your registered domain DNS settings.

You can then varify each domain back in the Elastic Email Add-ons page by clicking the shield icon.

Here’s a step by step guide to set up Elastic Email on your Cloudways server.

Another extra step for WordPress users is to add the Elastic Email WordPress plugin to further configure the way WordPress sends emails, get detailed email sending reports and send test emails.

To configure it, copy the generated API key on the Elastic Email Add-on page and paste this into the plugin settings page.

Third-Party SMTP Options

If you use any of the following SMTP services, you can use the credentials each service provides and configure your Cloudways server to send emails through them.

Available services include Mailgun, Mandrill, AuthSMTP, or Sendgrid. You even have the option of choosing custom SMTP details.

To add your credentials, go to your server in Cloudways and click the SMTP tab. Select Your Own SMTP and your prefered service from the dropdown.

Make sure you’ve added the correct DNS records that correspond to the service you use for emails to deliver properly.

Mailbox Alternatives When Using Cloudways

The above options are of course the available email solutions built into the Cloudways platform but you don’t have to use any of them.

It’s completely possible to sign up to any business email provider or SMTP service and bypass the server by using a third-party WordPress plugin like WP Mail SMTP.

Here are a couple of options that I have used. I personally recommend Private Email by Namecheap.

NameCheap – Affordable and Reliable Business Email

Namecheap are a great option to use as your business email solution if you already have your domain name purchased with them.

Their email service is reliable and simple to use and it’s also very affordable.

They even allow you to use the service for free for 2 months so you can try the service out before buying.

Zoho – Free Business Email

Zoho email is another great option for you mailbox solution.

They also offer a forever free plan for 1 mailbox and 5GB of storage. This only gives yo web access only though, so you’ll need to upgrade if you want to use their SMTP or login with a different email client.


If you need an email account with your domain name, you have a few options. Namecheap is great if you’re already using them for your domain name.

Zoho is a good option for people on a budget and if you’d prefer something more built-in to cloudways then you might want to try the RackSpace addon.

Elastic Email is a great and cheap option for those who need to send lots of transactional emails.

I’ll be creating tutorials for each of these options on my YouTube channel in the coming weeks so be sure to subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss out.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below.

Was this helpful?

7 thoughts on “Cloudways Email: Everything You Need to Know”

  1. Excellent post Steve. Much appreciated. I have set up Rackspace with Cloudways but then got an automated email saying I didn’t enable my SMTP addon. My Rackspace email is working fine. Do I also need to enable the SMTP? Do I need Elastic Email along with the Rackspace email? Thanks for any help.

  2. Hi Steve,
    I just got FluentCRM and FluentSMTP WordPress plugin. Also using Cloudways. Do you think there are any limitations or pitfalls to using the php option in FluentSMTP with the ElasticEmail/Cloudways addon? I’d like to use this for both my transactional and marketing emails. This will all be used on a one or more subdomains of my main domain.
    Any insight appreciated.

    • Hey Anton, there shouldn’t be any limitation with ElasticEmail in Cloudways, as long as you increase the subscription when you need to.

      However, I use a similar setup with FluentCRM and ElasticEmail. Instead of using FluentSMTP, I use the ElasticEmail sender plugin. You can add the API from Cloudways to the plugin and then it syncs the number of emails you send inside your WP dashboard and displays a pie chart report.

      Good luck!

  3. Thanks for this helpful post, I was going back and forth over which email solution would be best for me now that I’m switching to Cloudways hosting from Siteground. After reading it i’ve decided to go with Mailboxes with Rackspace via Cloudways add-on. I’ve done alot of research on this and yours was the only article that helped me make a decision. Thanks alot, it was a great post.


Leave a Comment