WordPress email: a comprehensive test suite
Ensuring seamless communication between your WordPress site, its users, and administrators is crucial for providing a smooth user experience. This comprehensive guide will walk you through a test suite designed to verify the proper functioning of your WordPress email setup.
Unless you’re a QA person, you shouldn’t need to run ALL these tests to feel confident that WordPress is sending its emails. Instead, use this guide as a comprehensive reminder of what types of emails WordPress sends, but test only those that are most important to your application.
Testing WordPress core emails
Testing WordPress email if you have no mailer plugin installed or if your mailer plugin doesn’t offer a tester
If you don’t have a mailer plugin installed or if your mailer plugin doesn’t offer a built-in tester function, you can still test your WordPress email functionality using the following methods:
Send a password reset email
To test email delivery without a mailer plugin or tester function, you can initiate a password reset request for an existing user account. Follow these steps:
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- Log out of your WordPress account or open a new browser window in incognito or private mode.
- Navigate to your WordPress login page (usually found at
- Click on the “Lost your password?” link.
- Enter the email address associated with the user account you want to test and click the “Get New Password” button.
If the email setup is functioning correctly, you should receive a password reset email at the specified address. This indicates that your WordPress site is capable of sending emails even without a mailer plugin or tester function.
Install a lightweight email testing plugin
If you prefer to use a dedicated plugin for testing email functionality, you can temporarily install a lightweight email testing plugin like WP Test Email. This plugin allows you to send test emails from your WordPress dashboard easily. Follow these steps to use it:
- Once installed and activated, navigate to “Tools” > “Test Email” in your WordPress dashboard.
- Enter a valid email address in the “To” field, enter a subject in the “Subject” field, then click the “Save changes” button.
If the test email is successfully delivered to the specified address, it confirms that your WordPress site’s email setup is functioning correctly.
Sending a test email from your mailer plugin
Many SMTP plugins offer built-in functionality to send test emails directly from the plugin’s settings page. This feature allows you to verify that the email service integration is working properly. To send a test email, simply enter a valid email address, compose a sample message, and hit “Send Test Email” or a similar button provided by the plugin.
Account registration emails
To test account registration emails, you can create a new user account with a different email address than the one used for the site’s administrator account.
Creating a new user account in WordPress
To create a new user account with a different email address than the one used for the site’s administrator account, follow these steps:
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
- Navigate to “Users” > “Add New” in the left sidebar menu.
- Fill out the required fields in the “Add New User” section:
- Username: Choose a unique username for the new user account.
- Email: Enter a different email address than the one used for the site’s administrator account. This is the email address where you will receive notifications related to this new user account during testing.
- First Name and Last Name (optional): Enter the user’s first and last names if desired.
- Website (optional): Enter the user’s website URL if applicable.
- Under the “Password” section, you can either use the auto-generated password or click on “Show password” to create a custom password for the new user account. Make sure to note down the password, as you will need it to log in to the new account for testing purposes.
- Select a role for the new user from the “Role” dropdown menu. For testing purposes, you can choose a role like “Subscriber” or “Contributor” to ensure the new user has limited access to your site.
- Click the “Add New User” button to create the new user account.
Upon successful registration, you should receive an account activation or welcome email at the specified address.
Similarly, you can also initiate a password reset request for the newly created user account to ensure that password reset emails are being sent correctly. For a reminder on how to do this see Send a password reset email above.
To test comment notifications, log out of your site’s administrator account and post a comment on any published post or page as a guest user. You should receive an email notification at the email address associated with your site’s administrator account, informing you of the new comment.
WooCommerce generates various email notifications related to orders, customer accounts, and more. To ensure all WooCommerce email notifications are functioning correctly, consider testing the following email types:
New order and processing order emails
To test new order and processing order emails, place a test order on your website. The store administrator should receive a new order email, and the customer should receive a processing order email.
Completed order emails
To test completed order emails, manually change the status of a test order to “Completed” in your WooCommerce dashboard. The customer should receive an email notification informing them that their order is complete.
Customer invoice emails
To test customer invoice emails, navigate to the “Orders” section in your WooCommerce dashboard and select a test order. Click on “Customer Invoice” under the “Order Actions” menu and then click the “Update” button. The customer should receive an invoice email for the selected order.
Customer note emails
To test customer note emails, add a customer note to a test order in your WooCommerce dashboard. Make sure to check the “Notify customer” option before saving the note. The customer should receive an email notification containing the note.
Reset password and new account emails
To test reset password and new account emails in WooCommerce, create a new customer account on your website, and initiate a password reset request for that account. The customer should receive both new account and password reset emails.
Testing other plugins
Testing form submissions
If you have set up a contact form on your WordPress site, submit a test entry to verify that form submissions are being sent to the designated email address. You should receive an email notification containing the form submission details.
Subscription updates and e-commerce notifications
If your site has a subscription feature or an e-commerce component, test these aspects by subscribing to your site’s content or placing a test order. Ensure that the corresponding emails, such as subscription updates or order confirmations, are sent to the appropriate email addresses.
Additionally, your WordPress site may have other plugins installed that send email notifications, such as security plugins, event management plugins, or membership plugins. To ensure all email notifications generated by these plugins function correctly, refer to the respective plugin’s documentation or settings page to find instructions on sending test emails or triggering specific email notifications.