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how can i send a daily email notification to users in php


how can i send a daily email notification to users in php  using -'php,email,codeigniter,notifications'

I have a simple user signup form with a checkbox that lets users get a daily email notification if there was activity on any of their projects...much like Stack Overflow has a "Notify xxx@xxx.com daily of any new answers".

My current thinking to implement this in a LAMP environment is as follows:


In the user database, set a boolean value if the user wishes to receive a daily email.
If there is any project activity, the project gets updated with the current timestamp.
Each night (midnight), a PHP file is executed (likely through a cron job) that scans through the project database to identify which projects had activity that day. For projects with activity, the project owner name is selected and the user table is scanned to check if the user wishes to receive a daily email notification. If yes, add to a recipient list; else, ignore.


Questions / concerns I have that would appreciate some guidance on before I start to implement:


I'm in a shared hosting environment. What precautions do I need to take from being misidentified as spam either by the hosting company or the receiving mail servers?
Do I need to "chunk" out the recipient list (50 emails at a time) and email each group? Is this as simple as putting a sleep(30); between each call to mail()?
I'm using the CodeIgniter framework and will have the cron job call the appropriate function in a controller to run this at midnight. How do I limit calls from only the cron job to prevent some unauthorized user from calling this function from the browser?


Thanks.
    
asked Sep 15, 2015 by JWYGraceiwqh
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