Posted on 20 Jan 2014
But it’s free! (if you are under the monthly data limits for both services). And free is hard to argue with. Just by adding the Parse JS files to the page, I can now create an object out of the form values and ship them off the Parse with little fuss. Adding Parse’s ‘Cloud Code’ and using the Mailgun module, we can now send an email to any address we want for free! The Cloud Code script gets loaded in the background when a request is sent to Parse, so we don’t have to expose any Mailgun data to the client, and we don’t need a separate hosting platform just to send it off. This is all quite amazing, especially considering the price paid.
One part that Raymond Camden doesn’t cover in his tutorial is the email address that the form is delivered to. Mailgun can be configured to route/forward email to any address that you want, so you could, for instance, forward it to your Gmail account, or any other email address that you have set up. I like that idea as it makes it very easy to have an ‘alias’ email account for a project site which forwards to your main email address. But for a third party project site I think it’s best to set up a ‘real’ email address that could easily expand in the future. Google has its Apps for businesses, but there is no longer any free tier, so you’d either have to forward to a personal account or start paying for services right off. Since we’re already getting our site and contact form/email for free, I decided to look for a free option - at least at a small business/personal site level.
There are a number of free email providers that allow for a custom domain, but I decided to give Zoho Mail a go. They offer a suite of products not entirely dissimilar from Google Apps, but the key here is that their mail service has a free tier - currently 5 email addresses with 5GB storage per user on a single domain. This isn’t an ‘enterprise’ solution, but again, given the price, who can argue? Their web interface offers a very Gmail-like interface and I was able to easily set up Mailgun to forward my emails directly to my Zoho account. A quick review of their settings and now I have my custom domain hosting a Parse form which delivers emails via Mailgun to my Zoho account in my OSX Mail app - all for free. Now if I can figure out how to host a Stripe Checkout widget without a third-party source, there will be no stopping me!
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