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How to Setup SMTP in WordPress: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Setup SMTP in WordPress: A Step-by-Step Guide

Setting up a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) in WordPress is essential for ensuring that your website’s emails are reliably delivered. Using your web host’s default email settings can lead to emails landing in spam folders or not being sent at all. SMTP improves email deliverability by using proper authentication and your email provider's server. Here’s a detailed guide on how to set up SMTP in WordPress.

Why Use SMTP?

SMTP provides several benefits over the default PHP mail function:

  • Improved Deliverability: Emails are less likely to be marked as spam.
  • Reliability: Reduced chances of emails being lost.
  • Authentication: Verifies the sender's identity, which enhances security.


Before you start, ensure you have:

  • Access to your WordPress admin dashboard.
  • SMTP credentials from your email provider (e.g., Gmail, Outlook, your hosting provider).

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up SMTP in WordPress

Step 1: Install an SMTP Plugin

In order to shift the SMTP settings from PHP to WordPress you can simply install the plugin. We have many plugins available on WordPress by which we can set up the SMTP. WP Mail SMTP, SMTP Mailer and WP SMTP are popular plugins. I am going to use the plugin called " WP Email SMTP".

We will use the WP Email SMTP plugin to set up SMTP.

1. Install and Activate the Plugin

Navigate to Plugins > Add New.

Search for "WP Mail SMTP".

Click Install Now, then Activate.


First, install and activate the WP Email SMTP plugin. After activating the plugin there are two ways to setup it.

Step 2: Configure the plugin

There are two options to configure this plugin:

  • Use the Setup Wizard to guide you through each step
  • Configure manually on the settings page



Simply select "Go back to the Dashboard."

Right after that, you will need to do to WP Mail SMTP » Settings page to set up the plugin.


Set Up the Mailer

From Email: Enter the email address you want to send emails from. Ensure it matches the domain name to avoid spam filters.

From Name: Enter the name you want emails to come from (e.g., your site name).


In order to make use of it, you need to fill in your SMTP settings. No matter what hosting company you are using, the first half of this process is unchanged. The following fields are included in it:

From Email: All WordPress emails will be sent from this email address.

From Name: Emails will be sent using this name. We advise utilizing the title of your website.

Return Path: Select this checkbox to get bounced or delivery notifications for messages

Choose Your Mailer

WP Mail SMTP supports multiple mailers: Mailgun, SendGrid, Gmail, SMTP.com, etc. For simplicity, let’s use the ‘Other SMTP’ option.

Select “Other SMTP”.


But if you’d still prefer to use your host (presuming the hosting provider gives you access to the necessary SMTP settings), you can go ahead and choose “Other SMTP,” then enter in the provided SMTP server information.

SMTP Settings

  • SMTP Host: Enter the SMTP server address (e.g., smtp.gmail.com for Gmail).
  • Encryption: Choose SSL or TLS based on your email provider’s recommendation.
  • SMTP Port: Typically, 465 for SSL or 587 for TLS.
  • >
  • Turning on auto TLS is the appropriate configuration.
  • Authentication: It must be enabled.
  • SMTP Username: This is typically the email address that you send emails from.
  • SMTP password: The password for the email account you use to send emails.


After doing all the above configuration, save the settings.


To connect to any SMTP server, these configurations are required. However, their ideals may vary depending on the WordPress hosting provider.

Step 3: Test Your SMTP Configuration

Send a Test Email

  • Go to the Email Test tab in the WP Mail SMTP settings.
  • Enter an email address to send a test email.
  • Click ‘Send Email’

Check for Errors

If the test email is not received, recheck the SMTP settings. Common issues include incorrect port numbers, authentication errors, or an incorrect SMTP host.


Setting up SMTP in WordPress is crucial for ensuring your emails are delivered reliably. By following this guide and configuring the WP Mail SMTP plugin, you can significantly improve your site's email functionality. Regular monitoring and testing will help maintain smooth email operations, keeping your communication channels open and effective.

By properly setting up SMTP, you’ll enhance the reliability and professionalism of your WordPress site, ensuring your messages reach their intended recipients without issue.

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