After successfully setting up your new WordPress website, you might wonder, what’s next? Well, there are a number of essential steps recommended by the pros, and configuring and setting up Emails is among the top few of them.
WordPress comes with PHP mail() as the default email handler. While it works out of the box, it’s not recommended to use it on a production/live website. It’s blocked by many hosting service providers to avoid abusive use and various security, deliverability, and compatibility issues.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) services were introduced a while back, and they are used to overcome the issues of the default WordPress Email handler. As the name suggests, it’s simple, efficient, and comes with lots of features that PHP mail() doesn’t offer, along with other benefits such as reliability, scalability, and security.
Integrating SMTP with WordPress is a super easy task. It doesn’t require any advanced or coding knowledge of the system and can be achieved by simply using an SMTP WordPress plugin.
In this article, we will discuss such a popular plugin called FluentSMTP and how to integrate an SMTP service into your website using it.
Features of FluentSMTP
- Provides an elegant way for delivering emails via a wide array of SMTP service providers. Offers built-in support for popular services such as Gmail, Amazon SES, Mailgun, Sendgrid, Sendinblue, Sparkpost and Pepipost. It also works with any other SMTP services to send emails.
- Reliable Email delivery guaranteed using SMTP and bypassing the restrictions, limitations, and weaknesses of the hosting server and hosting service provider.
- Ensure secure Email delivery by utilizing SSL and TLS encryptions.
- Extensive logging. Ability to keep track of every email you send, view sent emails if needed, and generate comprehensive reports.
- Optimized API connection with email service providers.
- Dedicated Amazon SES support for your Emails.
- Real-time email delivery. Fluent SMTP will handle real-time email delivery while maintaining optimal performance.
- Conditional email routing. Fluent SMTP provides the ability to route emails through different email sending services simultaneously based on provided conditions.
- Ability to resend Emails. In some rare cases, Emails might not get through due to SMTP issues or any connectivity problems. With FluentSMTP, you can resend the emails anytime. It’s also possible to resend successfully delivered emails if needed.
- Background processing for bulk email sending and thus providing optimized resource usage for the smooth operation of the rest of the functionality of the website.
- Ability to add multiple connections with different Email service providers.
- Recurring notifications. The site administrator will get daily or weekly notifications on email delivery stats, deliverability, sending issues, and the ability to see which emails are getting broadcasted.
Features of FluentSMTP Pro
FluentSMTP does not offer a pro(paid) version. The free version has no limitations and offers all the features of FluentSMTP.
Installing and Setting up FluentSMTP
You can download the plugin at WordPress plugins repository (https://wordpress.org/plugins/fluent-smtp/) and transfer the files using FTP into the /wp-content/plugins directory.
However, the easiest way to do this will be via the WordPress admin dashboard.
In the admin dashboard, navigate to Plugins->Add New and search for FluentSMTP.
Click on “Install now” and activate the plugin once the installation process is complete.
Configuring the plugin
After activating the plugin, a new menu item will be added to the Settings menu. Navigate to Settings->Fluent SMTP in the WordPress dashboard.
You’ll be greeted with the FluentSMTP Welcome screen.
Click on Other SMTP
You’ll see an options section that will appear on the same screen.
Let’s go through these options one by one.
From Email : The value of the field ‘From Email’, will be used in all the Emails sent by your website. This value will appear as the sender Email address on the recipient’s email client.
From Name: The value you use in this field will be shown to the recipient as a part of the identity of the Email sender. Here, you can use any text value you’d like. Often it’s your name or your business name, while some use a personal name combined with a business name (Ex: Joe Blake at the NanoPost).
Force from Email : If this option is enabled, all the emails sent by your website will be forced to be sent using the From Email value you provided right above.
Set the return-path to match the From Email : If this option is checked, the return path will be the same as the “from email.” The return path indicates where to put the non-deliverable emails, bounces. On the other hand, non-deliverable emails will be lost if this option is unchecked.
Force Sender Name : Similar to force from email, this option will force all the emails sent by your website to be sent using the From Name value you provided right above.
SMTP Host: Use the SMTP host address provided by your service provider. In this article, we are using “smtp.nanopo.st”
- SMTP Port : Input the designated port used by the server, which will usually be 587 or 465.
- Encryption : Choose the matching value according to the provided credentials and the SMTP port used. Standard values will be SSL for port 465, TLS for port 587, and no encryption for port 25.
- Use Auto TLS : By default, the TLS encryption will be used if the server supports it. Disable this feature if the hosting provider recommends not to use it, since some servers might be troublesome when it is enabled. It’s better to contact the relevant support department or refer to help articles on their website regarding this option.
- Authentication: In most cases, an SMTP service will require authentication credentials for proper email delivery. Simply use the credentials (username and password) provided by your service provider.
Access Keys Storage
FluentSMTP offers two methods to store your authentication credentials as the following.
- Store access keys in DB : Your credentials will be stored on the WordPress database in this method.
- Access Keys in Config File: Here, your credentials will be stored in the wp-config.php file located in the root directory. This method might be a bit advanced for some users since it requires access to files via FTP.
Click on Save connection settings once all the required data has been added.
After saving, it will show your connection information, and you can modify or add another connection if needed.
Sending A Test Email
Navigate to the Email Test tab and fill out the required fields to check whether everything is properly configured and working as expected.
Reasons to choose FluentSMTP over other plugins
- Convenient and simple interface.
- Provides the ability to integrate multiple SMTP services for a single website.
- All the features are available in the free plugin. No limitations and no need to pay for a pro version.
- Supports any SMTP service.
- Offers built-in support for popular services.
- Dedicated support for Amazon SES.