Top 10 Webmail Clients in 2024

Despite the rapid technological advancements of recent years, one thing remains clear: email is here to stay. Amidst the proliferation of new communication channels and the disruption of the AI revolution, email continues to stand tall as the backbone of professional communication.

With the rise of remote work and the need for seamless email management across multiple devices, choosing the right email client becomes paramount. That’s why webmail clients are so attractive: they make sending and receiving emails through remote and local mail servers easier than ever. And they provide this convenience through IMAP, SMTP, and POP3 protocols. 

Amidst the myriad of options available, for this article, we’ve chosen to spotlight PHP and AJAX-based webmail clients. While email client giants like Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, and Apple Mail dominate the market, delving into the unique features and functionalities of these alternative webmail clients will provide insights into tailored email experiences that can cater to your unique user needs and preferences.

Key takeaways

  • The difference between a webmail client and an email client lies primarily in how they are accessed and where emails are stored. Webmail clients are accessed via web browsers and store emails remotely on servers, while email clients are standalone applications that store emails locally on the user’s device.
  • PHP and AJAX-based webmail clients provide unique advantages, especially when integrated with hosting platforms like Plesk.
  • The top 10 webmail clients for 2024 options range from enterprise-focused solutions like Horde to lightweight clients like RoundCube and AtMail.

Below, we’ll explore the ten most popular PHP and AJAX webmail clients available. They look and seem like any other computer application when you use them daily, and work as well too. While open-source coding allows you to tailor some of them to suit your requirements, that’s not the case with all of them. That’s why it’s crucial to check their licenses in full and find out what’s allowed.

Email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail, are standalone applications installed on devices that retrieve emails from remote servers and store them locally. On the other hand, webmail clients are accessed through web browsers and store emails on remote servers, offering accessibility from any internet-enabled device. While email clients provide offline access and advanced features, webmail clients offer convenience and accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection. By understanding the differences and use cases of each, individuals and businesses can choose the communication tool that best aligns with their needs and preferences.

PHP and AJAX webmail clients

With a focus on customization, flexibility, scalability, and the ability to maintain control over security and privacy, PHP and AJAX-based webmail clients cater to users seeking tailored solutions and specialized features not readily available in mainstream email services. 

Overall, PHP and AJAX-based webmail providers offer a compelling alternative to mainstream email services, providing users with greater control, customization, and flexibility over their email experience. Whether you’re a personal user or a business seeking specialized features, these providers cater to a diverse range of needs and preferences.

Top 10 PHP and AJAX Webmail Clients


RoundCube Webmail is a PHP webmail client that will work with a MySQL or Postgres database. One appealing feature it brings is the ability to skin the application-style user interface using XHTML and CSS 2. The app is a multi-language IMAP client whose features include MIME support, address book, editable folder search and spelling check, and it works in your web browser too.

  • Supports multiple email accounts
  • Compatible with mobile and desktop devices
  • Offers advanced features like message translation and follow-up reminders
  • Integrates with third-party apps for enhanced productivity

RoundCube is best suited for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses looking for a user-friendly and customizable email solution. 


Horde is more just a mail client, it is an enterprise-focused groupware. Horde is capable to read, send and organize mail correspondence, fully manage contacts, calendars, tasks and various notes. Horde is using its own PHP framework with libraries to insure possibility of building custom solutions.

  • A unified inbox for managing multiple email accounts
  • End-to-end encryption for secure communication
  • Built-in calendar and to-do list for enhanced productivity
  • Seamless integration with Google Workspace and Microsoft Outlook

Horde is best suited for businesses requiring advanced email management tools and collaboration features. It is ideal for power users who need a unified platform for email, calendar, and task management, as well as for enterprises seeking scalable and customizable email solutions.


Zimbra also works in web browsers. But it isn’t like PHP web clients as it uses the AJAX set of web technologies instead. It offers email and calendar functionality and you can view messages and conversation formats. Its approach to visual search is particularly effective in making short work of managing the largest inboxes. Zimbra is one of the open-source webmail clients and it will accept third-party add-on apps so you can view things like maps (for example) without having to navigate away from the message you’re currently looking at.

  • Integrated apps like Google Docs and Microsoft Apps for enhanced collaboration
  • Support for video calling and chat within the email client
  • Built-in address book with cloud storage for easy access to contacts
  • End-to-end encryption for secure email communication
  • Supports unlimited email accounts, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes.

Zimbra is best suited for personal users and businesses of all sizes seeking a feature-rich and customizable email solution. It is particularly beneficial for organizations requiring support for unlimited email accounts and integration with third-party applications.


Xuheki makes use of a fast browser-based AJAX client and the IMAP protocol for go-anywhere message access. It’s a well-featured solution and it’s also worth mentioning that Buheki is released under the GNU General Public License.

  • Browser-based AJAX client for fast message access
  • Utilizes the IMAP protocol for email retrieval
  • Released under the GNU General Public License
  • Well-featured solution for go-anywhere message access
  • Minimal setup requirements for easy implementation and use

Xuheki is best suited for individuals and businesses looking for a lightweight and open-source email client. It´s ideal for those who prefer the flexibility provided by open-source software. Xuheki is suitable for users with basic to moderate email communication needs.


AtMail is a free Ajax Webmail client that allows users to access their messages via web browsers and WAP devices. You can install it on Windows and Linux systems and it supports IMAP/POP3 mailboxes. It’s got an optional email-server mode that uses Exim as the MTA.

  • Supports multiple email addresses and accounts for personalized communication
  • Offers offline support and message translation for enhanced productivity
  • Integrated setup wizard for seamless configuration of email accounts

AtMail is best suited for personal users and small businesses looking for a lightweight and easy-to-use webmail client. It is ideal for individuals prioritizing accessibility across different devices and preferring a simple yet functional email solution.


AfterLogic WebMail Lite PHP works with PHP 4.1 and above. It’s a webmail script with a very contemporary look that works with AJAX and supports skins. It works with POP3 and SMTP, so it can integrate with web browsers, and it comes with all the usual functionality you would expect, such as the ability to add lots of attachments, multiple mail accounts, and domains. It has a preview panel, and administration is via the web. It’s easy to get up and running, and it’s also open source. Perhaps the best aspect of all is that it’s free. You’ll only need to pay if you want to take advantage of any of the features that come with the better-specced professional version.

  • Supports multiple email accounts with a unified inbox for efficient email management
  • Offers a free version with advanced features like offline support and message threading
  • Integrated with productivity tools like to-do lists and follow-up reminders
  • Customizable compose window and email templates for personalized communication

AfterLogic is best suited for personal users and small to medium-sized businesses seeking a modern and affordable webmail solution. It is particularly beneficial for those who require customization options, support for multiple mail accounts, and easy administration via the web.


Another one of the PHP webmail clients in our list is Hastymail, a fully-featured IMAP/SMTP solution that works with tablets, phones, text browsers, and run-of-the-mill web browsers. Hastymail’s architecture lets PHP developers adapt its functionality with plugins, and these add-on apps let you add extra pages (along with any required CSS files), insert XHTML to make changes to pages, alter internal data structures inside Hastymail, make AJAX callbacks with its AJAX system, and have it converse happily with a configured SQL server.

  • Fully-featured IMAP/SMTP solution
  • Compatible with tablets, phones, text browsers, and web browsers
  • Highly customizable with a plugin architecture
  • Supports multiple email accounts
  • Enables integration with other applications or services

Hastymail is best suited for developers and tech-savvy users who prefer a highly customizable webmail client. It is ideal for those seeking a solution that can be tailored to specific requirements and integrated with other applications or services.


Mailr is not one of the PHP webmail clients on our list, running instead on Ruby, which sits on top of the Ruby on Rails web app framework. It’s been tested on Courier-IMAP but should also be perfectly au fait with other IMAP servers too.

  • Simple and easy-to-use Ruby-based email client
  • Tested on Courier-IMAP for reliability
  • Supports SMTP authentication
  • Manages both POP3 and IMAP protocols
  • Compatible with various email servers and operating systems

Mailr is best suited for individuals and businesses seeking a straightforward and reliable email client. It is ideal for those looking for a lightweight solution that can handle multiple email accounts and platforms without sacrificing performance.

Claros inTouch

This app is based on Ajax and it features webmail, address book, and note-taking functionality. The calendar and web disk features have yet to be finalized but the instant messenger and RSS reader are up and running at the time of writing. Protection comes as standard and it’s the first open-source web app to feature it. It also offers Web 2.0 technologies and was created using Java. It makes use of JSP/Servlets and J2EE technologies and requires MySQL database to do its thing.

  • Ajax-based webmail client with a modern interface
  • Features email, address book, note-taking, instant messenger, and RSS reader
  • Utilizes Web 2.0 technologies for enhanced user experience
  • Requires MySQL database for operation
  • Integrates seamlessly with other communication tools like instant messaging and RSS feeds

Claros inTouch is best suited for personal users and businesses looking for a comprehensive and modern webmail solution. It is ideal for those who prioritize usability and integration with other communication tools like instant messaging and RSS feeds.


Postaci is built with PHP and is a POP3/IMAP email client that was designed to be a cinch to use. It supports SMTP authentication and can manage both protocols. If you want to change the default program, you can do that using just one configuration file. Postaci works with any platform and with any operating system that can handle PHP. It does not depend on one particular database, so it can be used with MySQL, mSQL, Microsoft SQL, Sybase, and PostgreSQL.

  • PHP-based POP3/IMAP email client
  • Supports SMTP authentication for secure communication
  • Manages multiple email accounts with ease
  • Highly customizable through configuration files
  • Platform-independent and compatible with various operating systems and email servers

Postaci is best suited for personal users and small businesses seeking a straightforward and lightweight email client. It is ideal for those who prioritize simplicity and compatibility across different platforms, making it suitable for individuals and organizations with basic email communication needs.


The top PHP and AJAX webmail clients presented in this article offer a diverse range of features and functionalities to suit various user needs and preferences. They include robust enterprise solutions like Horde and lightweight options like RoundCube and AtMail. While mainstream services like Gmail, Apple Mail, and Outlook remain popular, PHP and AJAX-based webmail clients provide unique advantages, especially when integrated with hosting platforms like Plesk. Understanding the differences and use cases of each webmail client will help you make an informed decision and pick the one that best suits your needs.


What is the difference between a webmail client and an email client?

Webmail clients are accessed through a web browser, while email clients are standalone software applications installed on devices.

Can I use both a webmail client and an email client for the same email account?

Yes, many email providers allow users to access their accounts through both webmail and email client applications.

Are webmail clients secure for handling sensitive information?

Yes, webmail clients employ encryption and authentication protocols to protect user data.

Are webmail and email clients compatible with all email providers?

Most webmail and email clients support popular email providers like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and others. However, compatibility may vary depending on the client and the email provider’s settings.

Can Horde be integrated with Google Workspace and Microsoft Outlook?

Yes, Horde offers seamless integration with Google Workspace and Microsoft Outlook, allowing users to access their email accounts and calendar from within the Horde interface

How do PHP and AJAX work together?

PHP and AJAX work together in web development to create dynamic and interactive web applications. PHP, a server-side scripting language, handles tasks on the server such as data processing and database operations. AJAX, a client-side scripting technique, enables asynchronous communication between the client and server, allowing for seamless updates to web pages without full page reloads. This facilitates the development of responsive and user-friendly web applications.

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