Email toolkit for CodeIgniter 4

v2.1.0 2022-01-08 16:49 UTC


Email toolkit for CodeIgniter 4

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Quick Start

  1. Install with Composer: > composer require tatter/outbox
  2. Prepare the database: > php spark migrate -all && php spark db:seed "Tatter\Outbox\Database\Seeds\TemplateSeeder"
  3. Send beautiful, dynamic email:
		'item' => 'Fancy Purse',
		'cost' => '10 dollars',
		'url'  => site_url('items/show/' . $itemId),


Outbox supplies useful tools to supplement the framework's native Email class: logging, style inlining, and templating.


Install easily via Composer to take advantage of CodeIgniter 4's autoloading capabilities and always be up-to-date:

composer require tatter/outbox

Or, install manually by downloading the source files and adding the directory to app/Config/Autoload.php.

Configuration (optional)

The library's default behavior can be altered by extending its config file. Copy examples/Outbox.php to app/Config/ and follow the instructions in the comments. If no config file is found in app/Config then the library will use its own.

If you plan to use the Template Routes (see below) you should also want to configure Tatter\Layouts to ensure the views are displayed properly for your app.



By default Outbox will log any successfully sent emails in the database. This provides a handy paper-trail for applications that send a variety of status and communication messages to users. Use the Tatter\Outbox\Models\EmailModel and its corresponding entity to view email logs.


Sending HTML email can be tricky, as support for HTML and CSS vary across displays and devices. Outbox includes CssToInlineStyles, a module by tijsverkoyen to take any CSS and inject it inline into an email template for maximum compatibility. This allows you to reuse site stylesheets or write your own from scratch and use them across any of your templates. Use the default styles from Responsive HTML Email Template, supply your own as string parameters, or create a View file and add it to the configuration.


Outbox comes with a default template, a modified-for-CodeIgniter version of the Responsive HTML Email Template. This provides a solid basis for your emails so you can be sure they will display nicely on any device. Run the Template Seeder to begin using this as the default:

php spark db:seed "Tatter\Outbox\Database\Seeds\TemplateSeeder"

You may also write your own templates and seed them or use the provided MVC bundle for managing email templates in your database. To enable the Controller you will need to toggle $routeTemplates in the configuration, or add the following routes to app/Config/Routes.php:

// Routes to Email Templates
$routes->group('emails', ['namespace' => '\Tatter\Outbox\Controllers'], function ($routes)
	$routes->get('templates/new/(:segment)', 'Templates::new/$1');
	$routes->get('templates/send/(:segment)', 'Templates::send/$1');
	$routes->post('templates/send/(:segment)', 'Templates::send_commit/$1');
	$routes->presenter('templates', ['controller' => 'Templates']);

Be sure to secure appropriate access to these routes (e.g. with a Filter).


Templates use View Parser "tokens" that will be passed through to add your data. The Template Entity can do this for you by passing in your data parameters:

$template = model(TemplateModel::class)->findByName('Item Purchase');

$subject = $template->renderSubject(['item' => 'Fancy Purse']);
$body    = $template->renderBody(['cost' => '10 dollars']);

renderBody() will take care of inlining any CSS you have provided and including your template in its parent (if defined).

If you do not need any other configuration you can get a fully prepared version of the Email class with rendered and inlined content from the library:

$email = $template->email($data);

Cascading Templates

Each Template may also be created with a "Parent Template". Parent templates need to have a {body} token which will receive the parsed content from its child. Additional tokens in the parent template can be entered by defining them in the child.

Cascading templates makes it easy to have a few "layouts" with many different variable messages for each layout. For example, your app may send both newsletters and receipts with their own layout (Parent Template) and then a myriad of different customizable messages for different occasions.