How to Improve WordPress Email Deliverability with SendGrid

Do you want to improve email deliverability from your WordPress site? Often web hosting providers don’t have properly configured mail settings, which blocks WordPress from sending emails. In this article, we will show you how to improve WordPress email deliverability with SendGrid. The Problem with… Read More »

The post How to Improve WordPress Email Deliverability with SendGrid appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to improve email deliverability from your WordPress site? Often web hosting providers don’t have properly configured mail settings, which blocks WordPress from sending emails. In this article, we will show you how to improve WordPress email deliverability with SendGrid.

Improve WordPress Email Deliverability with SendGrid

The Problem with Emails in WordPress

By default, WordPress uses the PHP mail function to send out emails. Many WordPress hosting providers do not have this function configured properly. Some even block it to make sure that their servers aren’t used to send spam.

This becomes problematic for site owners because their WordPress site fails to send some or all emails.

WordPress emails are crucial for resetting passwords, sending notification emails, running an online store, getting contact form notifications, and more. If WordPress can’t send emails, you could get locked out of your site or lose customers by missing out on important notifications.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how to improve WordPress email deliverability with SendGrid (for free).

What is SendGrid?

SendGrid is an email service provider. They offer highly optimized email servers that you can use to send out your emails.

They offer both transactional email service (one-to-one emails like WordPress notices, order receipts, password resets, etc.) and email marketing services.

Like all good email service providers, SendGrid spends significant resources to improve deliverability. This ensures that your WordPress emails land in your users’ inboxes, instead of being marked as spam. This is why companies like Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, Yelp, and thousands of others use SendGrid.

Sending WordPress Emails Using SendGrid

To set up SendGrid to work with your WordPress site, first you’ll need to visit the SendGrid website and sign up for an account.

SendGrid is a paid service, but they also offer a free plan which allows you to send up to 12,000 emails each month. That’s plenty for most small to medium-sized websites.

As your site grows, you can upgrade to their paid plan. It starts at $9.90 per month for up to 40,000 emails. You can scale your pricing based on how many emails you need to send every month, but in our experience the free plan is sufficient for most folks.

Next, you need to install and activate the SendGrid WordPress plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, visit Settings » SendGrid to configure the plugin.

sendgrid-plugin

The plugin allows you to connect your WordPress site to SendGrid. You can do that by adding an API key or by using your SendGrid username or password.

We recommend using the API key method because it’s more secure. We will only cover the API method in this tutorial.

Start by visiting your SendGrid account dashboard and then click on Settings » API Keys.

Get API Key for SendGrid

Next, you need to choose how to send mail. You can send it using the SendGrid API, or with SMTP.

The SMTP method requires Swift Mailer support. You can add it by installing and activating the Swift Mailer plugin on your WordPress site.

But you don’t need that. We recommend using the API method, since it’s easier to set up and more secure.

Go back to the Settings » SendGrid page in your WordPress dashboard. Under the Mail Settings heading, you’ll need to provide the sender name, email address, and reply-to address.

Edit mail settings in the SendGrid plugin settings in WordPress

The name can be your website name, and the sending address can be your professional email address.

In other optional settings, you can choose to use email templates from SendGrid website and add their template ID in plugin settings. You can also create and use categories for emails you send through WordPress.

Don’t forget to click on the Save Changes button to store your settings.

That’s all! SendGrid will now replace the default WordPress mail function with SendGrid API, providing more reliable email service.

You can test it by performing any action that generates an email notification from WordPress. For example, you could reset your password, add a new user, or fill out your contact form.

We hope this article helped you improve your WordPress email deliverability with SendGrid. You may also want to see our article on customizing email notifications from WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Improve WordPress Email Deliverability with SendGrid appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Fix WordPress Not Sending Email Issue

One of the most commonly asked questions on WPBeginner is how to fix WordPress not sending email problem. Many of our beginner level users ask us why their contact form plugin is not sending emails, or why they are not seeing any WordPress notifications. In… Read More »

The post How to Fix WordPress Not Sending Email Issue appeared first on WPBeginner.

One of the most commonly asked questions on WPBeginner is how to fix WordPress not sending email problem. Many of our beginner level users ask us why their contact form plugin is not sending emails, or why they are not seeing any WordPress notifications. In this article, we will show you how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

Why You Are Not Getting Emails from Your WordPress Site

The most common reason for this is that your WordPress hosting server is not configured to use PHP mail() function.

Even if they would allow it to work, many email service providers use a variety of tools to reduce email spam. These tools often try to detect that an email is originating from the location it claims to be originating from, and often emails sent by WordPress websites fail this test.

In such cases, when an email is sent out from your WordPress site, it never even makes into spam folder of the destination. This is why we recommend not using WordPress to send your email newsletter.

This is also the reason why that we recommend using SMTP to send emails in WordPress. SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is the industry standard for sending emails. Unlike PHP mail function, SMTP uses proper authentication which increases email deliverability.

There are many different SMTP services available, but in this article we will show only two that we recommend: MailGun and Gmail.

Sending Your WordPress Emails Using Mailgun

Mailgun is a popular email service provider. They allow website owners to send large amounts of emails with high deliverability.

As a dedicated email service provider, they spend a lot of money and time on making sure that your email reaches its destination.

While Mailgun is a paid service, it offers first 10,000 emails for free every month. That’s more than enough for most folks who just started their blog or website.

Here is how to setup your WordPress site to use Mailgun for sending emails.

First you need to signup on the Mailgun website. After signing up, you need to click on the “Add your domain� button.

Add your domain to Mailgun

You will now see an add domain page. Here you need to add a subdomain on your WordPress website’s domain name. For example, mail1.yourdomain.com.

You can create a new subdomain on your existing domain name by following the instructions below.

First, you need to visit the cPanel dashboard of your hosting account. Next, click on the subdomains icon under the domains section.

cPanel subdomains

On the next page, you need to enter your subdomain and then select your root domain from the drop down menu.

Enter your subdomain

After that click on the create button, and you will see a success message that your subdomain has been created.

You can now add this subdomain on Mailgun’s add domain page. After you add the domain, Mailgun will show you a few DNS records.

Mailgun DNS records

Switch back to your cPanel dashboard and then click on ‘Advanced DNS Zone Editor’.

DNS zone editor

You will be asked to select the domain for which you want to change the DNS records. Once you select your root domain name, you will see options to add new DNS records.

The first TXT entry will be your subdomain. You need to start by entering the subdomain in the Name field and then select TXT as record type. After that you need to add 14400 in TTL field and copy the value shown on Mailgun domain verification settings page into TXT Data field.

Adding DNS TXT record

Repeat the process to add the other TXT record.

Once you are done, switch back to the cPanel dashboard and click on the MX Entry icon.

MX Entry icon in cPanel

You will be asked to select your root domain, then scroll down to the bottom of the page. There you will see the option to add a new MX Entry.

Enter the priority and destination values and click on create new record button.

You have successfully added your domain to Mailgun. It will need to verify that your domain has proper DNS records. This may take a while because DNS records may take sometime to update.

You can check the status of your domain verification by visiting the Domains page in your Mailgun account.

Mailgun will show active status next to your domain name once it can verify the DNS changes you made.

Mailgun active domains

Once your domain is active, you can setup your WordPress site to start using Mailgun for sending emails.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » WP Mail SMTP to configure plugin settings. First you need to provide your sender email address and the name you want to use for the sender.

WP Mail SMTP settings

Next, you need to select Mailgun as your mailer and check the box next to set the return path to match the from email address.

Select Mailgun as your mailer

Lastly, you need to provide your Mailgun private API key and the mailgun sub-domain. Click on the links below each field to get this information from your Mailgun account.

API key and domain name

Don’t forget to click on save settings button to store your changes.

That’s all, you have successfully setup your WordPress site to send emails using Mailgun.

You can now click on the ‘Email Test’ tab on plugin’s settings page to send a test email and see if everything is working fine.

Email test

Sending WordPress Emails Using Gmail SMTP Servers

Another alternative is to send your WordPress emails is using Gmail SMTP servers. You can use any regular Gmail account with this method to send out your emails. However, your email deliverability will be much better if you are using Google Apps for Work with your custom email address. See our guide on how to setup a professional email address with Google Apps and Gmail.

Whether you use paid or free Gmail address, rest of the instructions are the same.

First, you will need to install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » WP Mail SMTP page to configure plugin settings. First you need to provide your gmail address in the ‘From Email’ field and the name you want to display as sender.

WP Mail SMTP settings for Gmail

Next, you need to scroll down to the mailer option. There are two ways you can use Gmail servers to send WordPress emails.

First, method is to use Gmail APIs to send emails. This method is recommended because it is more secure and reliable. Second method is to use your Gmail account’s SMTP server manually.

We will show you both methods, however we recommend that you use the first method.

Method 1: Setting up Gmail to Send WordPress Emails Using OAuth Protocol

First, you need to select Gmail as your mailer under WP Mail SMTP settings page. Check the box next to set the return path to be the same as sender, not checking this box will make bounced and failed messages to be lost forever.

Select Gmail as Mailer

Next, you will see the option to enter your Client ID, Client Secret, and a URL in ‘Authorized redirect URI’ field.

Creating an App and Generate API Keys for Gmail

To use Gmail’s APIs for sending WordPress emails, you need to create an app and generate an API key. To do that, visit the Google Developers Console website and create a new project.

Create Google Developer Console project

If you don’t see the blue button to create a project, then you can also click on ‘Select a project’ drop down and create a new project.

You’ll be asked to provide a name for your project. Give it a meaningful name so that next time you are here, you can easily recognize it.

Name your project

Click on the create button to continue.

Developer console will now create your project and take you to its dashboard. Google allow developers to access many of their APIs and services. Now that your project is setup, you need to enable the APIs that you will be needing.

Enable APIs

Click on Enable APIs and services button to continue.

This will bring you to the APIs library page. Type Gmail in the search box to quickly find Gmail API and click to select it.

Select Gmail API

You will now see an overview of the API and what it can do. Simply click on the ‘Enable’ button to continue.

Enable Gmail API

Now that your API is enabled, the next step is to create credentials that you can use in your WP Mail SMTP plugin settings.

Click on the create credentials button to continue.

Create credentials

On the next screen, you will need to select ‘Web browser JavaScript’ in ‘Where you’ll be calling the API from’ field. After that click on the ‘User Data’ option.

To continue, click on the ‘What credentials do I need?’ button.

You will now be asked to provide a name for your OAuth client name. You can enter ‘WP Mail SMTP’ here.

Step 2 of API credentials

Under JavaScript origins field, add your website’s domain name. Next, you need to copy and paste the authorized redirect URL from WP Mail SMTP plugin settings.

Click on ‘Create client ID’ button to continue.

Next, you need to enter a name for OAuth consent screen. You can put the plugin’s name here.

API credentials step 3

Click on the continue button and developer console will show your client ID. You can copy it and paste it in WP Mail SMTP plugin’s settings page. However, you will still need client secret key.

Getting client ID

Click on the Done button to move on.

You will now be taken to your project’s credentials page. You will see your recently created credentials listed there. Click on the edit button next to your credentials.

Edit credentials

This will bring you to edit credentials page where you will be able to see your client secret key. You need to copy and paste the key in your plugin’s settings page.

Client secret key

Return back to plugin’s settings page in your WordPress admin area. Now that you have both client ID and client secret keys, you need to click on the save settings button to continue.

Save Api keys

The plugin will now store your settings and reload the page. After that you need to scroll down to the bottom of the settings page and click on the ‘Allow plugin to send emails using your Google account’ button.

Allow plugin to connect

This will take you to your account on Google and you will be asked to give the website permission to send emails on your behalf.

Allow WP Mail SMTP to send emails

After that you will be redirected back to your website where you will see a success message.

You have successfully set up WordPress to use Gmail SMTP servers for sending emails using the OAuth protocol. You can now click on the ‘Email Test’ tab on plugin’s settings page to send a test email and see if everything is working fine.

Email test

Method 2: Setting Gmail to Send WordPress Emails Using SMTP

This method allows WP Mail SMTP to manually connect to Gmail’s SMTP servers for sending WordPress emails.

First, you need to visit Settings &raquo WP Mail SMTP page to configure the plugin settings.

Provide the Gmail address you want to use as From email field and your name as from name field.

Gmail SMTP

Select ‘Other SMTP’ as your mailer and check the box next to return path.

Scroll down to Other SMTP section to configure more settings.

Gmail SMTP settings for WP Mail SMTP

Here is how to fill out the plugin settings:

  • SMTP Host: smtp.gmail.com
  • SMTP Port: 465
  • Encryption: Use SSL encryption
  • Authentication: Turn on authentication
  • Username: Your complete Gmail address, e.g. [email protected] or [email protected]
  • Password: Password of your Gmail account

Click on the save changes button to store your settings.

That’s all, you have successfully setup WP Mail SMTP to use Gmail SMTP servers.

You can now click on the ‘Email Test’ tab on plugin’s settings page to send a test email and see if everything is working fine.

Email test

We hope this article helped you learn how to fix WordPress not sending email issue, You may also want to see our list of the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Fix WordPress Not Sending Email Issue appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Use SMTP Server to Send WordPress Emails

Are you having trouble receiving or sending emails from your WordPress site? One solution for that is to use third party email services such as Mailgun. However, these services will cost you extra money. In this article, we will show you how to use a… Read More »

The post How to Use SMTP Server to Send WordPress Emails appeared first on WPBeginner.

Are you having trouble receiving or sending emails from your WordPress site? One solution for that is to use third party email services such as Mailgun. However, these services will cost you extra money. In this article, we will show you how to use a SMTP server to send WordPress emails.

Using SMTP Server to Send WordPress Emails

The Problem with WordPress Emails

WordPress uses mail function in PHP to send emails. Many shared hosting providers do not have this function configured properly, or they have disabled it entirely to avoid abuse. In either case, this causes your WordPress emails to not be delivered.

The alternative solution is to use a third party email service to send out your emails. You can use services like Mailgun, Google Apps for work, or Sendgrid.

You will have to pay for your account, and the cost will vary depending on how many users/accounts you add or the number of emails you send. See our tutorial on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

What if we told you that there is another option, and most likely you are already paying for it?

Using Email Accounts by Your Host

Most WordPress hosting providers offer email services for each domain you host with them. This means you can create email accounts with your own domain name like [email protected].

First you will need to create an email account. For the sake of this example, we will show you how to create an email account in cPanel. Your hosting service provider may use some other account management system, but the basic process is the same on most hosting services.

Log into your hosting account, and click on email accounts under the mail section.

Email accounts

This will show you a simple form where you need to fill out information required to create your email account.

Since we will be using this account to send WordPress emails, we recommend that you create an email account like [email protected]. Make sure to replace example.com with your own domain name.

Creating email account in cPanel

After creating your email account, you are now ready to use it in WordPress. But before you do that, you will need the following information from your hosting service provider.

  1. SMTP Host for your email address.
  2. SMTP Port for secure login.

You can check the support section on your host’s website for this information. Most likely there will be an article providing this information. If you don’t find it, then you should contact the hosting support to request this information.

Using Your Branded Email Address in WordPress

You will now need to install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Email to configure the plugin settings.

WP-Mail-SMTP Settings

First you need to enter the email address you just created. After that you can add a from name, this will be used as the sender name.

If you do not add a from name, then the plugin will use the default WordPress.

Next, you need to choose the mailer. Go ahead and click on the ‘Other SMTP’ option to select it.

Choose Mailer

After that, you need to check the box next to ‘Return Path’ option. This option sets the return path to match the sender email address. If you leave it unchecked, bounced messages and non-delivery receipts will be lost.

Next, you need to set up SMTP options.

SMTP settings

First you need to enter your SMTP host and port. You can obtain this information from your hosting provider. Typically, SMTP host is mail.yourdomain.com (replace yourdomain.com with your own domain name). For SMTP Port 465 is commonly used.

Next, you need to choose encryption. Most WordPress hosting companies support SSL and TLS. We recommend using TLS option when available.

After that turn on the authentication toggle and provide your SMTP username and password. Normally, your email address is also your SMTP username.

Your password is stored as plain text, which is not safe. Don’t worry, we will show you how to make more secure later in this article.

Don’t forget to click on the save settings button to store your changes.

Testing Your SMTP Settings

Now that you have set up WP Mail SMTP to send emails, let’s test if everything is working fine. On the plugin’s settings page, click on the ‘Email Test’ tab.

Send test email

You need to provide an email address where you would like to receive test email. This could be any valid email address that you can access. After that click on the Send Email button to continue.

WP Mail SMTP will now send an email message using the SMTP settings you entered earlier. You will see a success message when email is sent successfully.

Securing Your Email Password

You may need to enter your email account password in WP MAIL SMTP settings. This password is normally stored as plain text which is unsafe.

However, the plugin also provides you an option to make it more secure. To do that, you will need to add some code to your wp-config.php file. If you haven’t done this before, then please see our guide on how to edit wp-config.php file in WordPress.

First you will need to connect to your website using a FTP client or File Manager app in cPanel. Once connected, you will find your wp-config.php file in the root folder of your website.

You can edit this file using any plain text editor like Notepad or TextEdit.

Locate the line that says ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging’ and add the following code just before it.

define( 'WPMS_ON', true );
define( 'WPMS_SMTP_PASS', 'your_password' );

Don’t forget to replace ‘your_password’ with your actual SMTP password. After that, save and upload your wp-config.php file back to server.

You can now visit your WordPress admin area and go to Settings » WP Mail SMTP page. Scroll down to the SMTP options section and you will see password field is now disabled.

SMTP password disabled

Troubleshooting WordPress Email Issues

The most common reason for errors in sending emails using SMTP is incorrect SMTP host or port. Make sure that you are entering the correct host and port settings provided by your hosting provider.

Make sure that you select the correct encryption method. Usually SSL works on most environments, but we recommend that you check with your web host if your emails are not getting delivered.

Pros and Cons of Using Your Web Host’s Mail Servers for WordPress Emails

First and the most obvious advantage is that you can use your own branded email address for outgoing emails in WordPress.

Another advantage is that you have already paid for this service when signing up for your hosting account. You will not need to pay any extra money for sending and recieving emails.

However, some WordPress hosting providers enforce limitations on outgoing emails. This is why we don’t recommend using WordPress to send newsletter emails.

Another common problem with shared hosting providers is that their mail servers can be quite unreliable at times. If you notice delays in email delivery, then you should consider using third party email services like Google Apps for Work, Mailgun, or SendGrid.

We hope this article helped you learn how to use SMTP server to send WordPress emails. You may also want to see our list of the must have WordPress plugins for businesses.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Use SMTP Server to Send WordPress Emails appeared first on WPBeginner.