I recently bought a domain. As usual, the domain provider has given email accounts facility. The problem is that, I can access the email accounts only through the webmail address provided by the domain registrar (which has a pathetic interface) or through POP based email clients like outlook.

Is it possible that I can program my own email interface, I have intermediate knowledge of PHP. If yes? What all things I need to be prepared for?


Does your host support IMAP? If so, then you can use any number of web-based email programs & just point them at your server

Check thunderbird or if you are on linux there is also evolution

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Yes, yep can certainly create your own interface, but it will be sloooow. This is because you have to access your mail from a different server. php has a plethora of imap_*() functions. Some work with pop3 too.

You'd be better using a ready made client though. It would probably be more hassle that it's worth.

Hmm...thanks for pointing the things out.

I guess the host does not provide IMAP settings (I have not checked out but quite likely), in that case, it seems, I don't have many other options.

However, I am curious how do dedicated email providers like Gmail, Hotmail etc. work. Any contributions are welcome.


check out roundcube, squirrelmail. these are open source web based email clients. you may install them in your domain itself. a good alternative to write your own code.

I've tried squirrelmail and I don't like the same.

Write your own code...this is where I want the help. I have no idea how to go about it.

why not just use Email client like thunderbird? It will save you a lot of pain.
Writting such complex project isn't easy.

I agree with evstevemd! Email clients are complex!
Speeking out of experience here. I wrote a system where clients email updates to their websites.

Trust me, try something that is already out there!

yea.. thousands of lines of codes you'll have to write from scratch. i suggest roundcube for this matter. it has beautiful ajax interface. and may be you can always rewrite the front interface by your self. its all open source. so there is no much coding work to you.

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Think the opinion is pretty unanimous. Use third party stuff - coding your own solution is a major undertaking. I've used Roundcube webmail and it's OK. You obviously don't need a desktop client from your post, so forget Thunderbird, Outlook etc.

Most hosts that give you a cPanel usually allow you options as to your webmail client. Unfortunately, some do not (like mine!) - I'm stuck with atmail - which I hate.

As ardav sums it up, the opinion is rather unanimous and roundcube seems to be a popular alternative. I will try that and see if I can do something interesting with its code.

Thank You All!