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How to Add Better Custom Notifications in WordPress

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Are you receiving too many WordPress notification emails?

WordPress sends email notifications to administrators, but they can become annoying if you are busy or find some of them unnecessary. Luckily, you can choose which notifications you receive and even add your own custom notifications.

In this article, we will show you how to add better custom notifications in WordPress.

How to Add Better Custom Notifications in WordPress

Why Improve WordPress Notifications?

WordPress sends email notifications to help you continue running your WordPress website smoothly.

Some examples of important WordPress notification emails include when a new user registers on your site, when someone fills in your contact form, and when a customer purchases a product from your online store.

However, WordPress, by default, also sends notifications for less important events, such as when a user resets a password and when someone leaves a comment.

As your site grows and you publish more content, you will receive more and more of these emails. This can become annoying, and you may find it difficult to find important notifications among the less important emails.

The good news is that you can stop the WordPress notifications you don’t need from filling up your inbox, such as comment notifications. You can also create new custom notifications to keep track of issues that require your immediate attention, such as when an author submits a post for you to review.

With that being said, let’s take a look at how to add better custom notifications in WordPress. Here’s what we will cover in this article:

Making Sure Your WordPress Notifications Get Delivered

First, let’s make sure that you will actually receive the notifications that WordPress sends. Here are a few ways you can do that.

Making WordPress Email Reliable

All too often, we hear that users have trouble with WordPress not sending emails. That’s a problem because it means you might be missing important notifications from your site.

That’s where WP Mail SMTP can help. It’s a WordPress plugin that makes sure your emails are delivered reliably. We show you how to set it up step by step in our guide on how to fix WordPress emails not sending.

Once you have successfully configured WP Mail SMTP, make sure you send a test email from WordPress to confirm that email is now working reliably.

Navigate to WP Mail SMTP » Tools

Sending WordPress Notifications by a Second Method

If you don’t check your business email inbox regularly, then important WordPress notifications may go unnoticed. You can send your most important notifications by a second method.

For example, some of the notification plugins we cover below let you send custom messages to mobile phones using SMS.

Another option is to integrate your WordPress site with Slack, a powerful team communication suite that lets you collaborate with your team and optimize your workflow.

We use it for our own team as a centralized communication hub and to receive automatic notifications. For example, you can have WordPress send a notification to you on Slack when:

  • A writer updates a blog post on your site.
  • A new lead form is submitted so your sales team can act on it.
  • A new customer purchases something from your online store.
  • A student signs up for a new course on your membership website.
  • A visitor registers for your online webinar.

To learn more, see our beginner’s guide on how to integrate Slack with WordPress.

WooCommerce Slack Notification

Customizing Notifications About Posts in WordPress

When you are the only one working on your own WordPress website, you’ll naturally be aware of all the posts that have been published and those you are still working on.

However, if you have other authors writing blog posts or SEO specialists optimizing blog posts for SEO, then you can start to lose track of all the changes on your website.

The easiest way to stay up to date is to set up custom notifications that are sent directly to your inbox whenever a post has been updated.

Adding Email Notifications for Post Changes

By default, WordPress does not send any notifications when posts are changed by any user. If you run a multi-author WordPress site, then you may want to stay informed about post changes on your website.

For example, you may wish to be notified every time the content of a post is changed or when it is added to a different category. Or you might prefer to be notified only after a post has been published or scheduled.

You can do this by installing and activating the Better Notifications for WP plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once activated, you need to navigate to Notifications » Add New to create a new notification. Once you give the notification a title, you choose what to be notified for.

For example, you can select ‘New Post Published’ from the ‘Notification For’ dropdown menu.

Creating a Notification For New Posts Published

You can learn more in our guide on how to get email notifications for post changes in WordPress. In that tutorial, we cover two different plugins and one of them allows you to send notifications by SMS.

Adding Email Notifications for Posts Pending Review

If you or an editor on your website reviews each post before it is published, then you normally need to visit your blog’s dashboard to check up on the progress of each post. It’s helpful to receive an email every time that a post is pending review and waiting for your attention.

Luckily, there is an excellent plugin that makes setting up more specific notifications easy.

PublishPress is the best plugin for multi-author WordPress blogs. It sends email notifications when a post’s status is changed in WordPress, along with adding tons of other features.

Creating a Notification for Posts Pending Review

You can learn how to use it by following our detailed guide on how to get email notifications for posts pending review in WordPress.

Notifying Authors When Their Posts Are Published

It can also be a good idea to notify your authors when their blog posts are published. This will allow them to help promote their posts and also participate in the discussions.

There are several plugins that you can use to set up these custom notifications, and you can learn more about them in our guide on how to email authors when their articles are published in WordPress.

Customizing Notifications About Comments in WordPress

Comments drive discussion and user engagement on many blogs. However, WordPress doesn’t do such a great job when it comes to notifying users about comment activity.

Here are a few ways you can better manage WordPress comment notification emails and boost user activity on your website. For more details, you should see our guide on how to manage WordPress comment notification emails.

Turning Off Admin Notifications About Comments in WordPress

By default, WordPress notifies the site administrators about new comments. This allows you to respond promptly to comments and increase user engagement.

You can see these default settings by going to the Settings » Discussion page in your WordPress admin area. There are separate options to send email notifications to you when a new comment is published and when a comment is held for moderation.

Default WordPress Comment Notification Settings

Both of these notifications are sent to the site administrators. WordPress also sends an email notification to the post author about new comments.

If you get a lot of comments on your website, then you may want to turn off one or both of these notifications. You should simply uncheck the appropriate box here.

For more details, see our guide on how to turn off comments notifications in WordPress.

Notifying Users When Their Comments Are Approved

When a user leaves a comment on your website, they can see that their comment is awaiting moderation. But they will never find out whether you approved it. Many of these users never return to your website and will never know whether you approved or replied to their comments.

By default, WordPress only sends comment notifications to site administrators and the article’s author. You can make sure your users are also notified by using the Comment Approved Notifier Extended plugin.

Once you install and activate the plugin, it will automatically let your users know when you approve their comments. You can customize the email notification they receive by visiting the Comment Approved page in your WordPress admin area.

Custom Notification for Comments Approved

Notifying Users When There Are Replies to Their Comments

You can increase user engagement on your WordPress site by notifying your users when someone replies to their comments. You can do this by installing and activating the Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit the STCR » Comment Form page to configure plugin settings.

On this page, you need to change the subscription type to ‘Replies to this comment’ and then toggle the ‘Advanced subscription’ setting to the on position.

Adding Notification When There Are Replies to Comments

This will allow the user to subscribe to any replies they receive.

For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to notify users only on replies to their WordPress comments.

Customizing Notifications About WordPress Updates

Keeping WordPress up to date is important for your website’s security. It’s also important to make sure that you properly update your plugins and themes.

Disabling Email Notifications When Automatic Updates Are Performed

Because it’s important to always run the latest version of WordPress, every new WordPress site now has WordPress updates enabled by default.

Whenever this happens, you will receive an email notification stating that WordPress has been automatically updated and that no further action is required. There are additional notifications if you have enabled automatic updates for WordPress plugins and themes.

Since there is no action for you to perform, this can get annoying, especially if you are running multiple WordPress websites. Luckily, you can control and turn off these email notifications using the Manage Notification E-mails plugin or by adding code to your website.

To learn how to configure and use the plugin, follow the step-by-step instructions in our guide on how to disable automatic update email notifications in WordPress.

Adding Email Notifications When Updates Are Available

However, if you are not installing the WordPress core, plugins, and themes automatically, then you will not receive email notifications when updates are available. You’ll only see them when you log in to your WordPress admin area.

If you don’t log in regularly, then you may not realize that your website is out of date. Luckily, you can have WordPress send custom email notifications when there are updates available.

To do this, you will need to install and activate the WP Updates Notifier plugin. Upon activation, the plugin will check for core, plugin, and theme updates every hour and send an email to the default admin email address whenever one is available.

If you like, you can visit the Settings » Updates Notifier page to change these settings.

Adding Notifications for Available Updates

You can learn more in our guide on how to set up email notifications for WordPress updates.

Disabling New User Notifications in WordPress

If you have enabled user registration on your site, then WordPress sends a notification email to the admin email address every time a new user registers. On sites where many users join every day, these emails can become annoying.

Luckily, you can disable new user notifications using WP Mail SMTP. The Pro plan and above include email control options, including whether to send an email when a new user is added to your website.

After you have set up WP Mail SMTP to send emails on your site, you need to go to WP Mail SMTP » Settings and then click on the ‘Email Controls’ tab.

Disabling New User Notifications in WordPress

After that, simply scroll down to the New User section and click on the toggle to disable the ‘Created (Admin)’ option. Once this setting is turned off, you, as the admin, won’t receive an email. However, the new user who registered will still get an email confirmation.

For more information, see our guide on how to disable new user notifications in WordPress.

We hope this tutorial helped you learn how to add better custom notifications in WordPress. You may also want to learn how to create a free business email address or check out our list of the must-have plugins to grow your site.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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