Email

Build Laravel 9.x email authentication with Mailgun and Digital Ocean

Integrate Laravel version 9.x with Mailgun to add the capacity to verify user’s emails. Read on for our step-by-step guide.

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When it was first released, Laravel version 5.7 added a new capability to verify user’s emails. If you’ve ever run php artisan make:auth within a Laravel app you’ll know the feeling of pleasure and excitement when you see all of your register and login pages, complete with password hashing and a users table already built out.

This excitement will soon subside after deploying to production only to find that anyone can register with garbage@notrealemail.com or whatever they feel like typing in. This thin session authentication layer doesn’t help much in a live application. The introduction of Laravel 5.7’s MustVerifyEmailinterface added to the authentication scaffold so that in order for users to log in, they must use a real, valid email address.

There haven’t been significant changes to the Email Authentication feature within Laravel – now on version 9.x – but we recommend updating to the latest version if you haven’t already.

Create a new Laravel application

The first step is to create a new application with some setup:

This will create the default Laravel 9.x app with the authentication scaffold and a file for an SQLite database. Update your .env file to point to the full path of the SQLite file:

Email verification in Laravel

Let’s inspect the default auth scaffold and see what changes need to be made to add email verification.

You can view the Laravel Email Verification docs here.

The first step is to implement the MustVerifyEmail interface. An interface in PHP specifies the methods a class must implement. You will need to verify your App\ModeIs\User implements the Illuminate\Contracts\Auth\MustVerifyEmail contract:

That interface enforces that we have three new methods on our User model:

  • hasVerifiedEmail()

  • markEmailAsVerified()

  • sendEmailVerificationNotification()

The implementation for these methods can be found in: vendor/laravel/framework/src/Illuminate/Auth/MustVerifyEmail.php. To mark a user as verified, we need to have an email_verified_at column on our users table, which is already provided in our default create users table migration:

Run the migrations to create the table: php artisan migrate.

In the routes/web.php file update the authentication routes to include email verification:

To view all the routes available to your application you can run php artisan route:list. That’s pretty much all we need to do from the Laravel side to verify emails. If you try it now though, it won’t work.

Laravel code

Before we can send emails from our PHP server we need to configure a mail driver within Laravel. You can check though using tinker to see that a user was created with an email_verified_at of null.

Enter Mailgun

Mailgun offers the ability to send emails via SMTP server or over their API. In this tutorial, we’re going to send emails via the Mailgun API. It’s faster, scales better, and takes less work to set up than configuring SMTP.

Mailgun API call

We’re going to be sending API calls. For that we need Guzzle:

$ composer require guzzlehttp/guzzle

In order for our application to send emails: we need a hosted domain name. I have a domain name that I bought through Google Domains for about $12/year. The site (https://employbl.com/) is hosted on Laravel Forge for a monthly fee. To get it deployed I followed the Laracasts course, Learn Laravel Forge.

In that course, I set up my Laravel application to run off Digital Ocean droplets. In that process I configured my Google Domain name to point to Digital Ocean.

Once you’ve created a Mailgun account, you’ll need to verify your domain, which takes about 24 hours. To do that, we need to add TXT, CNAME and MX records.  If the MX records are already pointed to a mailbox provider, you can configure a subdomain instead. To find these records go to the domain in your Mailgun account and check Domain Verification & DNS. Once you have a working Mailgun domain, head to the dashboard to find your API key and update the .env file accordingly.

MAIL_DRIVER=mailgun MAILGUN_DOMAIN=mg.YOUR_DOMAIN.com MAILGUN_SECRET=YOUR_KEY_HERE

Verify that it works

Once email sending is configured, after a user registers they will see a landing page asking them to check their email. This page can be modified in resources/views/auth/verify.blade.php.

Verify your email Laravel

That will send a real email to the address you provided. The template for this email exists in Illuminate\Auth\Notifications\VerifyEmail.php.

Laravel verify email address link

If we don’t want our verification emails to say “Regards” or the above text then we need to customize them. You can publish the default templates using the below publish commands:

Then write the new defaults in resources/views/vendor/notifications/email.blade.php. If you have more to change you could re-implement the notification by adding a new sendEmailVerificationNotification method to your User model that returns a custom notification that you make.

Once the user clicks the Verify Email Address link they’ll be redirected to their dashboard able to login without issue.

Laravel login

That should have you going! The most difficult part for me was getting the mail server and Mailgun configured. After your domain is verified and Mailgun is all set up the Laravel part ends up being straightforward.

Have you been able to get up and running? Is anyone using this functionality in production yet? Hit me up on Twitter or leave comments below.

Resources

I found these tutorials, in addition to the links above to be very helpful.

Want more posts like this from Mailgun?

Connor Leech, our guest author, is a Software Engineer over at Stitch Labs. You can contact him through his email. For more problem solving posts and guides, subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss out on any insights from our expert guests and resident email geeks.

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