If your WordPress causes trouble sending and receiving email, read on. We have a solution for you. Of course, you can use special third party services like Mandrill for this job, however, in contrast to the following solution, they aren’t free. In this article, we’ll show you an option that doesn’t cost any (additional) money at all while still being very effective. You just use one of your email addresses that come with your hosting package or your server. We’ll show you how to set up an SMTP server for the delivery of your WordPress email.
The Problem With WordPress Email
WordPress uses the mail function of PHP to send its internal email. But often, this is the reason for the problem. As many shared hosting providers don’t have this feature configured correctly, and some don’t have it activated at all. This poses the issue that your WordPress is not able to send email properly. New users, for example, don’t receive passwords, and you aren’t informed about comments on your blog. Of course, you can use a third-party service like Mandrill or Sendgrid. However, these services aren’t free and can get rather expensive with many users or user accounts.
But don’t be afraid, there is a solution to the problem. You can use a service for that you already pay either way.
Using One of Your Email Addresses for WordPress
With every shared hosting package or server, you receive a domain alongside the package, and this allows you to create own email addresses. This is rather easy and will solve the WordPress issue. An email address looks like this:
The creation of an email address works differently for every provider, which is why I’ll show you how it works using my provider hostNET.de in the easyTECC4 administration panel as an example. We strongly recommend using an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creating an Email Address
In the lower screenshot, I enter the email address I want to use, decide on a password and the mail quota (storage size of the mailbox), and click save. Now, I’ll receive the access information and can set up my email address in WordPress. The SMTP port is necessary here for a safe login. Typically, the Port 587 is used. For you, this can be a different one, which you should look up in your system’s support area. If in doubt, ask your hosting provider.
Important: Write down the access information and the server address, to not forget them.
How to Use Your Email Address for WordPress
We will be using the free plugin WP Mail SMTP to ease the process. Unfortunately, there are two plugins identically named WP Mail SMTP. Make sure you download the correct one (view screenshot).
Now download WP Mail SMTP (easy SMTP), install, and activate it. Subsequently, navigate to the plugin settings under »Settings => Email« and apply our parameters according to the following pattern:
First, you need to enter your email address. Then, enter the sender name in the field “From Name“. The option “Send all WordPress email from SMTP” has to be active. Enter the SMTP host in the “SMTP Options” area. This is the server address from which the email is sent. The field “Use SSL encryption” needs to be ticked for access information and transfer to be encrypted. For “Authentification“, you need to click “Yes: Use SMTP authentication“. Below that, you have to enter your username, and your email address’ password. Then click the button »apply changes«.
Checking the Settings With a Test Email
Now enter an email address, a subject, and the message in the field “Send a Test Email“. Click »Send Test«. This generates a test email. If you receive the email, you’ve accomplished that mission and the delivery of email through your server works. If not, you’ll receive an error message.
Troubleshooting Email Problems With WordPress
The most common reason the plugin is unable to send email is an incorrectly entered SMTP host (server address for delivery), or a wrong port. Make sure you’re using the correct port. When in doubt, ask the support of your hosting provider. SSL works for most providers, but unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t. Then switch from “Type of Encryption” to “None” and try again.
With a bit of thought and without any additional costs, we’ve solved the problem, and our WordPress now sends important email reliably. The poor delivery via PHP’s mail function has been avoided, and email is now sent directly via your hosting provider.