Having hard time with Lightsail email concepts


Hi, I am struggling with this guys and wonder if anyone can point me in the right direction please? I am struggling with some of the concepts.

I run three websites and want to enable email on them so I have found the guide above and I am setting up SES.

Am I correct saying that SES does not act as an inbox? It is just an email forwarder? So I join my domain to SES via a plugin and set up the DNS records (Route53) with the correct authentications and then if an email is sent out from my Lightsail server - steve@example.com say - it connects to SES and then SES then forwards the email to the send-to address? Is that how it works? Assuming yes then this accounts for outbound email from my domain. I can then use this for stuff like Woocommerce that sends emails in the outbound direction I assume?

What I am more confused about is incoming email to my website. What if someone wanted to email steve@example.com from the outside world? Where is the inbox for that account? Thinking this through.... The person's server who sent the email would look up example.com and would find it via the records I set up in DNS. OK. But where would that email be stored? What would initiate download of the email? Would I have to set up my email client to point to something so as to retrieve email sent to sales@example.com?

Thank-you in advance!


asked 3 years ago766 views
2 Answers

Hi KaiserSnowball,

You are correct that Amazon SES does not act as an inbox, and is an email routing service.

Lightsail instances are not configured to send email by default. For example, if you create a WordPress instance, you might want to configure it to send email notifications when website visitors comment on your blog posts. Another use-case is to configure it to send emails when one of your registered administrators requests a password reset (which requires an email to be sent). The tutorial you linked shows how to configure your isntance to send email using Amazon SES. The tutorial assumes that you're already using a managed email service, such as Amazon WorkMail, Gmail, Outlook, etc. The purpose of the tutorial is not to show how to configure an emai server, but instead how to configure your instance to send email notifications to your existing email address/service.

If you want to use an email address with your custom domain, such as KaiserSnowball@example.com, in which example.com is your custom registered domain name, then I suggest using a service like Amazon WorkMail to use as your email inbox/outbox. For more information, see the Amazon Workmail Administrator Guide here: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/workmail/latest/adminguide/what_is.html

The following articles provide guidance to use your registered domain with Amazon WorkMail:


Please let me know if you have further questions by posting a reply.

answered 3 years ago

Many thanks!

I have now got it working outbound via SES and Route 53 and I am out of the Sandbox now too :)

answered 3 years ago

You are not logged in. Log in to post an answer.

A good answer clearly answers the question and provides constructive feedback and encourages professional growth in the question asker.

Guidelines for Answering Questions