How to configure external SMTP to send WooCommerce emails

external smtp

By default, WordPress does not provide external SMTP settings for sending emails. It is especially troublesome if you frequently send emails to communicate with your customers through the WooCommerce platform.

Often, the built-in email function known as wp_mail() is not enough for users, as emails are either not sent at all or have a high chance of falling into spam filters.

When sending an email, it’s usually a good idea to send a WordPress email with an external SMTP.

There are different types of providers that can provide you with a free SMTP server. You are not paying anything, and yet you are using a service, which sounds great.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about how to use SMTP and how it will help you send your emails and get them delivered.

Why use external SMTP?

Instead of trying to troubleshoot wp_mail() or having your default email server stop working without your knowledge, it’s best to avoid using the wp_mail() function as much as possible. That’s why a free third-party SMTP server (not a standalone SMTP server) is a much better alternative.

It has several advantages.

  • easy to set up and configure.
  • successfully deliver your emails to your subscribers’ inboxes (very important)
  • allow developers to save the cost and time of setting up their servers.
  • no need to configure your email server.
  • you have a secure backup of your emails on SMTP servers.
  • no need to clean your database of customer email addresses.
  • no need to make special adjustments to your application code.
  • can be used for both development and staging purposes.

There are two ways you can send mail from WordPress with an external SMTP server:

Use a WordPress plugin (the easiest way)

Manual settings for WordPress – without using a plugin

Use a plugin to send mail from WordPress with an external SMTP server

To get started, install the WP Mail SMTP plugin. Once the plugin is installed and activated, a new menu named WP Mail SMTP will appear.

Step One – basic information

On this page, you will see several configuration options:

  • From Email – the email address you want to send emails from
  • From Name – the name from which your emails will be sent;
  • Mailer – Choose whether you want to use the default PHP mail() function, a Gmail/Google Workspace account, Mailgun, SendGrid, or other SMTP servers. Selecting the default mode will send messages via the PHP mail() function without SMTP authentication. Gmail/Google Workspace, Mailgun, and SendGrid options require additional information such as Client ID and Client Secret or API Key to be obtained from the respective provider. Select ‘Other’.
  • Return Path – check if you want to map the return path for your emails to the sending email;

Step Two – Configure the mailer

Scroll down to the next section. The free version of WP Mail SMTP has five mailer setup options: built-in PHP function, Gmail, Mailgun, Sendgrid, and other SMTP. Select your SMTP service, then fill in all the required fields, following their instructions.

Step Three – Test your email

Scroll to the top and click on the “Email Test” tab. Click the “Send Email” button to test. If all went well, you should receive an email at the email address you entered.

Now you know why you should use SMTP and how to set it up and configure it. If you have followed all the steps, your emails will be sent more securely using the SMTP protocol and have a lower chance of ending up in the spam or junk folder.

All the steps are easy, and anyone can do it themselves. You have no reason not to take advantage.
If you have further questions, you can contact us or book an appointment for a free consultation. And if you want more interesting content, you can follow us on our Instagram profile. We at Dreamtech are always available.

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