SMTP, or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, is an essential component of any modern website. It allows you to send emails from your website or web application to your users, whether it’s to confirm an account registration, send a password reset link, or just send a notification.
In this article, we will be covering how to set up SMTP in WordPress, a popular content management system (CMS) used by millions of websites around the world. By the end of this article, you will have a good understanding of how SMTP works, why it’s important, and how to set it up on your WordPress website.
What is SMTP and how does it work?
SMTP is a protocol used to send email messages from one computer to another. It’s a set of rules that define how email is transmitted and received over the internet. When you send an email using your email client (e.g. Outlook, Gmail), the email is first sent to an SMTP server, which then sends it to the recipient’s email server. The recipient’s email server then downloads the email and stores it in the recipient’s inbox.
SMTP uses port 25 to communicate with the email server. It can also use port 587 or 465 for secure connections using SSL/TLS encryption.
Why is SMTP important for WordPress?
WordPress uses PHP to send emails, which is not always reliable. PHP uses the mail() function to send emails, but this function depends on the server’s mail server and configuration. If the server is not properly configured, the emails may not be delivered, or they may end up in the recipient’s spam folder.
Using SMTP to send emails from WordPress ensures that the emails are delivered reliably and avoids the risk of ending up in the spam folder. It also allows you to use your own email server or an external email service provider like Google Workspace or Microsoft 365, which can provide additional features like email tracking, scheduling, and templates.
How to set up SMTP in WordPress
Setting up SMTP in WordPress is a straightforward process that involves installing and activating a plugin, configuring the plugin with your SMTP details, and testing the connection.
- Go to your WordPress dashboard and click on the “Settings” tab.
- Click on the “Email” submenu under the “Settings” tab.
- Under the “Email Settings” section, enter your SMTP server details in the “SMTP Host” field.
- Enter your SMTP username in the “SMTP Username” field.
- Enter your SMTP password in the “SMTP Password” field.
- Enter the SMTP port number in the “SMTP Port” field.
- Select the “Use SSL” checkbox if your SMTP server requires SSL authentication.
- Select the “Use TLS” checkbox if your SMTP server requires TLS authentication.
- Click the “Save Changes” button to apply the changes.
- Test your SMTP setup by sending a test email through the “Send Test Email” button. If the test email is successfully sent, your SMTP setup is complete.