How to Configure Your WordPress Email Settings

wordpress-email-settings

Managing your email conversations through a Gmail or Yahoo address can really detract from your beautiful WordPress site. Well, I'm here to help you fix your WordPress email settings so that readers will be able to contact you at an address that's clearly connected to your site's domain.

To do that, I'll walk you through the steps needed to add a WordPress SMTP plugin and configure it to send email from WordPress:

  • Step 1: Find your web host's SMTP settings
  • Step 2: Log in to your server's control panel
  • Step 3: Create a new email address
  • Step 4: Install the WP Mail SMTP plugin
  • Step 5: Enter your email address and SMTP settings
  • Step 6: Test your WordPress SMTP email
  • Step 7: Encrypt your SMTP email password

Step 1: Find Your Web Host's SMTP Settings

Before configuring your WordPress email settings, we first need to find out what your web host's STMP settings are.

For this, you need three key bits of information:

  • The SMTP host address: Normally in the format of mail.exampledomain.com
  • The SMTP port: Usually 465 or 587
  • The host's encryption method: Most web hosts use both SSL and TLS

If you use a major hosting provider, you can probably just search '[host name] SMTP settings' to find the relevant info. For example, to find Bluehost SMTP information, I searched 'Bluehost SMTP settings':

WordPress Email Settings Bluehost Google Search

And I immediately found a page with the required details:

WordPress Email Settings Bluehost Google

Step 2: Log In to Your Server's Control Panel

Next, you need to log into your server's control panel. To do that, you'll need the credentials you set when you signed up to your hosting package. Your control panel will probably resemble the screenshot below. Scroll down to the 'EMAIL' section and click on 'Email Accounts'.

WordPress Email Settings cPanel

Step 3: Create a New Email Address

You'll be taken to a screen where you can decide what your new WordPress email address(es) will be.

In the first section, you only need to input the name that will appear in the email, not the full domain. So, if you want your email to be '[email protected]', you just need to type 'yourname'.

WordPress Email Settings cPanel Email

Next, set a strong email password full of random alphanumeric characters. Remember, anyone who gains access to this email will be able to send emails that look like they've come directly from your WordPress site!

In the 'Mailbox Quota' section, you can decide how much server space your email account will take up. If you have unlimited server storage, you might want to increase this number.

However, if you only have a few gigabytes to spare, you can reduce it too. You can always allocate more space later if you run out.

Step 4: Install the WP Mail SMTP Plugin

Now that your shiny new email address has been created, we need to install a WordPress SMTP plugin to let WordPress access it. In the 'Plugins' section of the sidebar, click 'Add New' and then search for 'WP Mail SMTP'.

WordPress Email Settings Add Plugin

The plugin we're using for this example is listed as 'WP Mail SMTP by WPForms', and you'll be able to recognize it by its pigeon mascot logo. Click 'Install Now' and then 'Activate' it to add the plugin to your site and get it up and running.

Step 5: Enter your Email Address and SMTP Settings

Now that the WordPress SMTP plugin has been activated, it's time to add the details of your server's SMTP protocols to your WordPress. Make sure you have your web host's SMTP settings to hand for this step.

WordPress Email Settings Plugin SettingsThe WP Mail SMTP plugin will have been added to your list of installed plugins.

Access it through the 'Installed Plugins' part of the 'Plugins' section of the sidebar, and click 'Settings' below 'WP Mail SMTP'. 

This will take you to a giant, intimidating list of configuration settings. Don't panic, we're going to break them down piece-by-piece.

At the top of the page, you'll need to fill in your 'From Email', which is the address that your contacts will see emailing them.

In this field, type out the complete email address (including your domain name) that you added to your cPanel email accounts list. You can then add a 'From Name' which is the display name your contacts will be shown. You can pick whatever you like, but I recommend you simply use your full name.

WordPress Email Settings Email Name

The next step is super simple: in the 'Mailer' section of the form, select 'Other SMTP'.

WordPress Email Settings Mailer

Here's where those host SMTP settings you found earlier come in to play. In the 'SMTP Host' field, add in the SMTP host address which, again, will probably be in the form of mail.exampledomain.com.

Then select the highest level of encryption that your host is compatible with (probably TLS) and the SMPT port it uses. Then toggle 'Authentication' to 'ON'. 

WordPress Email Settings SMTP Host Name

Now enter your login details. Your SMTP username will be identical to your 'From Email'. In the 'SMTP Password' field, add the password you set in your cPanel's email accounts section.

WordPress Email Settings SMTP User Name

And, finally, don't forget to click 'Save Settings'!

Step 6: Test Your WordPress SMTP Email

Theoretically, your new WordPress email settings are now ready to go. But it's always worth double checking before you share your new email address with your buddies, right?

WordPress Email Settings Email TestHead back to the top of the page and enter the 'Email Test' section. 

Fill in your personal or previous email address (any that you have immediate access to) and hit 'Send Email'. 

Open the inbox of your old email and boom!

You should have just received the first email sent from your new WordPress email address.

Step 7: Encrypt Your SMTP Email Password

The last thing to sort out is your email's security. Unless you tell it not to, WordPress will store the email password you provided in step five as plain text. That means anyone with access to your WordPress file system will also be able to figure out how to log in to your email.

To address that, you'll need to edit WordPress's wp-config.php file. It's located in your WordPress installation folder (which is normally called public_html). You can access it by opening the 'File Manager' from your control panel.

WordPress Email Settings cPanel File Manager

When you find the wp-config.php file, right-click on it and select 'Edit':

WordPress Email Settings wp config

Now, at the bottom of your file paste this code:

define( 'WPMS_ON', true ); 
define( 'WPMS_SMTP_PASS', 'your_password' );

Which should look something like the screen below. If it does, click 'SAVE & CLOSE'.

WordPress Email Settings edit wp config

That's it! Fin! Congratulations, you have successfully configured your WordPress email.

A Final Note on WordPress Email Settings

If you don't receive the test email after requesting one, it likely means you entered the wrong information at some point during the setup process.

Go back and, one by one, verify the right addresses and passwords were filled in. A common mistake is missing out the domain name in the SMTP username field. But, hopefully, this all works for you the first time!

Was this guide helpful? Have you made a switch to SMTP plugin from your email provider? Or maybe something's been missing? Leave a comment down below!

An experienced content professional with a creative mind. If I'm not writing, you can probably find me in the backyard playing with dogs or at some weird art show.

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