Are you having trouble sending emails from your WordPress site?
One easy way to solve this is by sending WordPress emails using the Gmail SMTP server.
In this article, we will show you how to send emails from your WordPress site using the Gmail SMTP server.
Why and When You Need Gmail SMTP Server for WordPress Emails
By default, WordPress uses the PHP mail function to send out email notifications. However, this function doesn’t work as expected due to a number of reasons.
Most WordPress hosting companies restrict usage of this function to prevent abuse and spam.
Spam filters on popular email service providers check incoming emails to monitor if they are sent from authentic mail servers. Default WordPress emails fail this check and sometimes may not even make it to the spam folder.
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is the industry standard for sending emails. Unlike the PHP mail function, SMTP uses proper authentication, which increases email deliverability.
Gmail provides an SMTP service that you can use to send out emails from your WordPress site. If you just want to send WordPress notification emails to yourself and a few users on your site, then Gmail SMTP servers are the best option.
Free vs Paid Gmail SMTP Service for WordPress
You can use your free Gmail account to send out WordPress emails. However, for better deliverability, we recommend using paid G Suite.
With G Suite, you get your own professional branded email address such as (firstname.lastname@example.org).
G Suite requires you to add MX records to your domain name which means that your emails will appear to be coming from your own domain name boosting authenticity and ensuring better deliverability.
We use G Suite for WPBeginner and can honestly say it’s the best.
How to Send WordPress Emails Using Gmail SMTP Server
The rest of the instructions are the same whether you are using a paid or free Gmail account.
WP Mail SMTP is the best WordPress SMTP plugin on the market. It allows you to easily use any SMTP server to send WordPress emails with higher deliverability.
We recommend buying the paid version called WP Mail SMTP Pro which gives you access to premium support, more mailers, and white-glove set up by one of their experts.
Upon activation, you need to visit the Settings » WP Mail SMTP page to configure the plugin settings. Next, enter your license key and click the ‘Verify Key’ button. You can find the key in your WP Mail SMTP account area.
Under the General settings tab, you need to make sure that you use your Gmail email address in the ‘From Email’ field. Next, you need to provide the sender’s name.
WP Mail SMTP plugin offers two ways to connect your WordPress site to the Gmail servers.
The first method uses OAuth Authentication. This is a more secure method to send emails using Gmail servers.
The second method is by entering Gmail SMTP settings manually. This method is not recommended because it is less secure.
That being said, let’s set up WordPress to use Gmail SMTP for sending emails.
Method 1: Setting up Gmail to Send WordPress Emails using OAuth Protocol
This method is recommended for all users. It is more secure and once you set it up, you’ll never have to do that again.
You need to start by selecting ‘Google/ Gmail’ as your mailer.
Next, you will see the option to enter your Client ID, Client Secret, and a URL in the ‘Authorized redirect URI’ field when you scroll down.
Let’s set up these fields.
Creating an App and Generate API Keys for Gmail
To start, simply visit the Google Cloud Platform website and then click on ‘My First Project’ at the top.
A small popup window will open where you can select your projects. Go ahead and click on the ‘New Project’ option.
On the next screen, you’ll be asked to provide a name for your project. Give it a memorable name, so that you can easily recognize it in the future.
After that, click on the ‘Create’ button to continue.
The developer console will now create your project and take you to its dashboard. Google offers developers access to many of their APIs and services. You need to enable the APIs that you will be needing for this project.
Click on the ‘Enable APIs and Services’ button to continue.
This will bring you to the APIs library page. Next, you need to type Gmail in the search box to quickly find the Gmail API and click to select it.
You will now see an overview of the API and what it can do. Simply click on the ‘Enable’ button to continue.
Now that your API is enabled, the next step is to create credentials that you can use in your WP Mail SMTP plugin settings.
Click on the ‘+ Create Credentials’ button to continue and select the ‘Help me choose’ option from the dropdown menu.
On the next screen, you can select ‘Gmail API’ from the dropdown menu for Which API are you using.
After that, choose ‘User data’ for What data will you be accessing and then click the ‘Next’ button.
Now, you’ll need to enter your App’s information. You can start by giving a name for your app, selecting the email address you provided, and adding an app logo if you want.
Next, you’ll need to scroll down and enter Developer contact information. Once you’ve entered the email address, simply click the ‘Save and Continue’ button.
On the next screen, you can configure the ‘Scopes’ for Gmail API. This is an optional step and you can skip this for now.
Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the ‘Save and Continue’ button.
Next, go ahead and enter details for OAuth Client ID. Start by choosing ‘Web Application’ as the Application Type from the dropdown menu and then enter a name.
Go ahead and click the ‘+ Add URL’ button under Authorized redirect URLs and enter
https://connect.wpmailsmtp.com/google/ under the URLs field.
Once you’ve entered the URL, simply click the ‘Create’ button.
Next, you’ll see your credentials under the Your Credentials area.
Go ahead and click on the Done button at the bottom to move on.
You will now be taken to your project’s credentials page. On this page, you can see your recently created credentials listed here. You need to click on the edit icon next to your credentials to continue.
This will bring you to the edit credentials page where you will be able to see your client secret and client ID. You need to copy and paste the key into your plugin’s settings page.
Return back to the plugin’s settings page in your WordPress admin area. Now that you have both client ID and client secret keys, you need to click on the ‘Save Settings’ button to continue.
The plugin will now store your settings and reload the page. After that, you need to scroll down to the bottom of the settings page and click on the ‘Allow plugin to send emails using your Google account’ button.
This will take you to your account on Google, and you will be asked to give the website permission to send emails on your behalf.
Simply select your Gmail account and give permissions to link your Google API project.
After that, you will be redirected back to your website where you will see a success message.
Method 2: Setting up Gmail SMTP as SMTP Sender
This method allows you to manually connect to Gmail’s SMTP servers to send your WordPress emails.
First, you need to visit the Settings » WP Mail SMTP page to configure the plugin settings.
You need to start by providing the Gmail address you want to use in the ‘From Email’ field and your name in the From ‘Name’ field.
Next, you need to select ‘Other SMTP’ as your mailer and check the box next to the return path.
After that, scroll down to the Other SMTP section to configure more settings.
Here is the exact configuration you need to add to the plugin settings:
- SMTP Host: smtp.gmail.com
- Encryption: Use SSL encryption
- SMTP Port: 465 (this should automatically appear when you select SSL encryption)
- Auto TLS: Turn off TLS
- Authentication: Turn on authentication
- SMTP Username: Your complete Gmail address, e.g. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- SMTP Password: Password of your Gmail account
Once you are done, click on the save changes button to store your settings.
That’s all, you have successfully set up WP Mail SMTP to use Gmail SMTP servers.
Note: If you use method two, please know that it’s less secure because your password is stored in text. You can enhance this by using the constants tip, but we strongly recommend using Method 1.
Testing Your WP Mail SMTP Settings
WP Mail SMTP plugin allows you to test your email settings, so you can make sure that everything is working properly.
You need to visit the Settings » WP Mail SMTP page and click on the ‘Email Test’ tab. Simply provide an email address that you can access in the ‘Send To’ field and click on the Send Email button.
You will see a success message. You can now check your inbox to see a message with the subject line ‘WP Mail SMTP: Test Email to…’.
That’s all, you have successfully setup your WordPress site to send emails using Gmail SMTP servers.
Get More With WP Mail SMTP Pro
If you want even more functionality, you should try WP Mail SMTP Pro.
With the Pro version of the plugin, you can connect with:
- G Suite/Gmail
- Amazon SES
- Office 365 / Outlook.com
- And more
You also get additional features like email logs, the ability to fine-tune/control which notification your WordPress site sends, and more.
Troubleshooting Gmail SMTP Not Working Issues
We have seen users encounter a few issues when using Gmail SMTP with certain shared hosting configurations.
Take the following steps to fix the Gmail SMTP issue:
- Log in to your cPanel account and create an email account that matches your Google apps email address. This might seem strange because you’re not using your server for emails. This step basically tricks your server into believing that you’re sending the email through the server.
- In your cPanel account, go to the MX Records and change the MX routing from automatic to remote. It might be a little tricky to find since each host now has a custom cPanel interface. You need to look for a small link next to MX that says Email Routing: Remote Mail Exchanger.
- After that log back into your WordPress site and send a test email.
We hope this article helped you learn how to send email in WordPress using the Gmail SMTP server. You may also want to see our list of the best contact form plugins for WordPress, and our comparison of the best email marketing services for small businesses.