Part of the Series:
Common WordPress Errors
This tutorial series explains how to troubleshoot and fix common errors that you may encounter when deploying, maintaining, and updating your WordPress installation.
Each tutorial in this series includes descriptions of common deployment, maintenance, or update errors, and explores ways to fix and optimize your installation to scale.
Sending emails and notifications including form submission verifications and password resets from your WordPress site is an essential function. The process of sending automated emails is typically handled by an SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol) server, but because SMTP servers are often complex to set up and require constant maintenance and monitoring against spam practices, using an external mail service is often a viable solution to attend to your WordPress site needs.
In this tutorial, learn how to install and configure the Easy WP SMTP plugin to send emails from your WordPress site using an external mail service such as Gmail.
Step 1 — Installing the Easy WP SMTP Plugin
There are a number of ways to set up your WordPress site to send email notifications, and choosing the right one for your WordPress depends on your server configuration and preference. While you could choose to send emails directly from your server, the safest and most secure way to send emails from your WordPress site is through use of an external Email Service Provider (ESP) or SMTP server. Using an ESP or SMTP server ensures compatibility with popular email servers, and keeps emails from your server or Droplet out of spam and junk folders.
For this tutorial, we’ll use the Easy WP SMTP plugin. You can install this plugin by visiting your WordPress dashboard, then accessing the Plugins item from the left menu. Click the Add New Plugin button, then search for Easy WP SMTP within the Search Plugins… search box.
After installing the plugin, click on the Activate button to enable it. Then, move on to the next step to configure the Easy WP SMTP plugin to work with your SMTP server for outgoing emails.
Step 2 — Configuring WordPress Email Settings
To configure your WordPress SMTP plugin, visit Settings on your dashboard’s left menu, select the Easy WP SMTP menu option, then visit the General Settings tab within to set your preferences for Sender Name, SMTP Port, credentials, and more.
For detailed information about the various Easy WP SMTP plugin settings available, visit the main plugin page.
Step 3 — Testing Email Settings
To test your settings, navigate to the Easy WP SMTP settings page, towards the bottom of the page to Testing and Debugging Settings. You can send test emails and work to debug errors with your email server by augmenting the fields in this section.
For more details about testing, visit the plugin download page.
In this tutorial, you used the Easy WP SMTP plugin to set up outgoing emails from your WordPress site. To learn about alternative ways to use SMTP servers with DigitalOcean Droplets, visit this tutorial, Using Gmail SMTP Servers to Send Email From WordPress on DigitalOcean.