SMTP, or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, is the standard protocol for sending email messages over the internet. When it comes to sending emails from a WordPress site, the default method is the PHP mail function. However, this method is not always reliable and can lead to issues with email deliverability. This is where an SMTP plugin comes in handy. SMTP plugins, like "WP Mail SMTP by WPForms", can help improve email deliverability by using a more reliable and secure method of sending emails. Additionally, using an SMTP plugin allows you to use your own email service provider, such as Google Workspace, rather than relying on the web host's email server.
Once you've installed the plugin (we'll use WP Mail SMTP in this example), you can proceed to configure the plugin settings which can be found by navigating to WP Mail SMTP in your WordPress dashboard, then selecting "Settings" and looking under the "General" tab.
Fill in the following fields:
- From Email: this is the email address that emails will be sent from
- From Name: the name that will be displayed as the sender
- Mailer: select SMTP (in this example we'll use Google Workspace, you need to have a paid account with them to proceed, but there are no completely free SMTP solutions so Google sounds as a good choice for this)
- Save settings
Then you need to create a Google Workspace API app to use their mailing system for SMTP:
- Go to the Google API Console
- Sign in with your Gmail account
- Create a new project by clicking on the "Select a project" dropdown and then "New Project" button
- Give your project a name and click on the "Create" button
- Once the project is created, click on the "Enable APIs and Services" button
- Search for "Gmail API" and click on the result
- Click on the "Enable" button
- Click on the "Create Credentials" button
- Select "OAuth client ID" as the type of credentials
- Select "Web application" as the application type
- Click on the "Create" button
- A client ID and client secret will be generated. Make a note of these
- Go to plugin settings on WordPress and enter the client ID and client secret
After saving your settings you can go to the "Email Test" tab and try to send an email to your personal address to make sure that you set up everything correctly.
If you have any issues with any of these steps, please follow the more detailed article from plugin developers that can be found HERE.