WordPress Tutorial

How to Configure WordPress To Send Emails Using SMTP

Introduction

As you may know, WordPress can send emails to inform about new comments, registrations, updates, contact form entries. By default PHP Mail function is used to send out emails. However, it is not the best approach and may decrease email deliverability. Due to the nature of PHP Mail function emails often arrive in spam / junk folder. There is also a good chance that emails sent to popular email providers (gmail.com, hotmail.com, etc.) will be blocked before even reaching the recipient. Furthermore, in order to avoid abuse, some hosting companies apply strict limitations or even completely disable PHP Mail function. As an alternative, you can use SMTP protocol to send emails with these advantages:

  • Emails sent using SMTP will match rDNS records.
  • SMTP requires authentication.

If SMTP server is configured correctly by your hosting provider, there is a smaller chance email will end up in spam / junk folder. Therefore, it helps to improve email deliverability. In this tutorial you will learn how to configure WordPress to send emails using your hosting provider’s SMTP server.

IMPORTANT! Before proceeding, make sure SMTP is supported by your hosting provider.

What you’ll need

Before you begin this guide you’ll need the following:

Step 1 – Collecting Required Details

As mentioned above, valid login details are required to send emails using SMTP. Therefore, you need to gather the following information to set up SMTP on WordPress:

  • SMTP Host. Name of the outgoing mail server.
  • Type of Encryption. None / SSL / TSL.
  • SMTP Port. Port used to transmit outbound mail to mail server.
  • SMTP Authentication. Yes / No. In most cases this option should be enabled.
  • SMTP Username. Username used to login to mail server.
  • SMTP Password. Password used to login to mail server.

If you already know these details, proceed to Step 2. Alternatively, follow the steps below:

  1. Create a new email account which will be used on WordPress. An easy to follow guide how to set up a new email account on cPanel can be found here. The process will be similar on different hosting control panels.
  2. At your hosting control panel access Email Accounts section and press Set Up Mail Client button. Names of these sections can be different as it depends on hosting provider.
    WordPress SMTP Set Up Mail Client
  3. In this example, SMTP details are provided at the bottom of the page. You can also see that SMTP authentication is required to connect.
    WordPress SMTP Hostname
  4. Write down outgoing server name and port number as you will need them in Step 2

You should now have all the details required to successfully set up SMTP on WordPress. If you are not sure where and how to find these details, contact your hosting support staff. They will surely be able to help you in this situation.

Step 2 – Installing and Configuring WordPress SMTP Plugin

Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t have an inbuilt tool to send emails via SMTP. Therefore, you will have to use a plugin for this. We recommend using Easy WP SMTP plugin as it’s free and easy to use. Follow these steps in order to install and configure Easy WP SMTP plugin.

  1. First of all, you need to install the plugin. Step by step guide how to install WordPress plugins can be found here.
  2. Navigate to Easy WP SMTP Settings page which is located under Settings section.
    WordPress Easy WP SMTP Settings
  3. In General Settings page you need to enter general information and SMTP details from Step 1.
    WordPress Easy WP SMTP Settings Details

    • From Email Address. The email address used in the From field. Some hosting providers may not allow using external email address there. Therefore, it’s recommended to use the same email address as for SMTP username.
    • From Name. Text used in the From field. You can keep it simple, for example, Administrator.
    • SMTP Host. Name of the outgoing mail server.
    • Type of Encryption. Usually it’s SSL.
    • SMTP Port. Port used to transmit outbound mail to mail server. In most cases it’s 465 or 587.
    • SMTP Authentication. This option should be enabled.
    • SMTP Username. The username you use to login to email account / mail server.
    • SMTP Password. Password you use to login to email account / mail server.
      Press Save Changes button once you are ready.
  4. Easy WP SMTP has Testing And Debugging Settings section. It can be used to check SMTP details and send a test email. Fill To, Subject, Message fields and press Send Test Email button.
    WordPress Easy WP SMTP Testing and Debugging
  5. If everything is configured correctly, you will see a green success message at the top of the page.
    WordPress Easy WP SMTP Success Message

That’s it, you have successfully installed and configured SMTP plugin. Now all email notifications will be sent using SMTP instead of PHP Mail. If you run into any kind of trouble or get errors, contact your hosting support team.

Conclusion

Although SMTP is a better option to send emails, WordPress doesn’t have an inbuilt SMTP feature. By finishing this tutorial you have learned how to install and set up WordPress SMTP plugin. Now all WordPress emails are sent using SMTP protocol and there is less chance for emails to end up in the spam / junk folder.

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