Configuring the 'WP Mail SMTP' plugin

Overview

WordPress has several SMTP plugins you can use to force any FROM address you like. This is important for two major reasons:

  • It allows you to send email directly through your mail server as opposed to the web server. This helps to prevent issues with Sender Domain Policy and Spoofing.
  • It allows you to send email FROM another email host. For example, you can use your GMAIL address as the FROM email instead of your DreamHost address

One popular plugin option is WP Mail SMTP. This article walks you through how to configure this plugin.

DreamHost email

This article explains how to configure this plugin using a DreamHost email address created in the panel using the following article:

View the following article if you need to reset the email password.

Google email

If you want to use a Gmail address to send from your WordPress site, view the following article instead.

3 different ways to configure the plugin

There are three different ways to configure this plugin.

The 3rd option requires you to manually edit the main configuration file in your WordPress installation. This is more advanced, but also more secure. If your admin dashboard is shared with other admins, this will prevent them from accessing any fields.

Installing the WP Mail SMTP plugin

If you installed WordPress using the One-Click Installer in the panel

The WP Mail SMTP plugin is installed automatically if you installed WordPress using the One-Click Installer in the panel as of June 2021.

You must now activate it in your dashboard.

WordPress plugins menu
  1. Navigate to the Plugins > Installed Plugins page.
    WordPress plugins menu
  2. Under WP Mail SMTP, click the Activate link.

You are then taken to the Setup Wizard to complete the configuration.

If you have an older One-Click or 3rd party installation

  1. In the WordPress dashboard, click Plugins > Add New in the left pane.
  2. Search for wp-mail-smtp. It can also be found here.
    wp mail smtp plugin
  3. Click the Install button, then Activate. 
  4. After it's installed and activated, navigate to the Plugins page in your WordPress dashboard.
    wp mail smtp plugin
  5. Click the Settings link under the plugin.

Option 1 — Using the Setup Wizard

The first item on the Settings page is for the Setup Wizard. This is a quick way to configure your settings.

  1. Navigate to the WP MAIL SMTP > Settings page.
    wp mail smtp plugin
  2. Click the Launch Setup Wizard button.
    wp mail smtp plugin
  3. Click the Let's Get Started button.
    wp mail smtp plugin
  4. Select Other SMTP. Click Save and Continue.
  5. The next page lists all of your configuration options in different sections.
    wp mail smtp plugin
  6. SMTP settings.
    • SMTP Host - Enter smtp.dreamhost.com
    • Encryption - TLS
    • SMTP Port - 587
    wp mail smtp plugin
  7. Enable Authentication - toggle this option
  8. SMTP Username - add your DreamHost email address
  9. SMTP Password - enter the password for your DreamHost email address. You can also reset it if necessary.
    wp mail smtp plugin
  10. From Name - Enter a name you'd like to appear as being sent FROM
  11. From Email - Enter the email you wish to send FROM
  12. Click Save and Continue.
  13. The next page lists some additional features you could enable with the Pro version. Click Save and Continue.
  14. The next page allows you to add your email address to receive recommendations on how to optimize your email delivery. Click Skip this Step or Save and Continue.
  15. The next page asks you to enter your license key if you purchased the Pro version.
  16. The final page checks your configuration.
    wp mail smtp plugin
  17. When the check completes, a success message displays to confirm your email is configured.

Option 2 — Configure on the settings page

  1. Navigate to the WP MAIL SMTP > Settings page.
    wp mail smtp plugin
  2. Fill in the following fields:
    • From Email - Enter the email you wish to send FROM
    • Force From Email - Check this box
    • From Name - Enter a name you'd like to appear as being sent FROM
    • Force From Name - Check this if you wish to force the FROM name
    • Return Path - Check this box
    wp mail smtp plugin
  3. Under the Mailer section, choose Other SMTP.
    wp mail smtp plugin
  4. Under the Other SMTP section. Make sure to toggle the Authentication button.
    • SMTP Host - smtp.dreamhost.com
    • Encryption - Use TLS encryption
    • SMTP Port - 587

      In this example, port 587 with TLS is used. If you would rather use port 465, make sure to use the SSL option instead.

      wp mail smtp plugin
    • Username - Enter your DreamHost email address
    • Password - Enter your email address password
    wp mail smtp plugin
  5. Click the Save Settings button.

Your form will now send FROM the email you entered above, but you should add the code below to further secure your credentials.

Option 3 - Adding code to your wp-config.php file

The instructions above add your password to the WordPress dashboard. To further secure your credentials, the plugin recommends you add code to your wp-config.php file instead. View the following page for further details.

If you choose this option, you do not need to enter any credentials into your WordPress dashboard. They will update automatically when you add them to your wp-config.php file.

Adding the constants to your wp-config.php file

  1. Log into your server via FTP or SSH.
  2. Use one of the following articles to edit your wp-config.php file.
  3. Scroll down in this file to the following line:

    /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

  4. Add the following lines just above this line.
    // turn constants on        
    define( 'WPMS_ON', true );
    
    // general configuration settings define( 'WPMS_MAIL_FROM', 'email@example.com' ); define( 'WPMS_MAIL_FROM_FORCE', true ); // True turns it on, false turns it off. define( 'WPMS_MAIL_FROM_NAME', 'Example Name' ); define( 'WPMS_MAIL_FROM_NAME_FORCE', true ); // True turns it on, false turns it off. define( 'WPMS_SET_RETURN_PATH', true ); // Sets $phpmailer->Sender if true.
    // specific configuration settings define( 'WPMS_SMTP_HOST', 'smtp.dreamhost.com' ); define( 'WPMS_SMTP_PORT', 587 ); define( 'WPMS_SSL', 'tls' ); define( 'WPMS_SMTP_AUTH', true ); define( 'WPMS_SMTP_USER', 'email@example.com' ); define( 'WPMS_SMTP_PASS', '********' ); define( 'WPMS_SMTP_AUTOTLS', true ); define( 'WPMS_MAILER', 'smtp' );
  5. The only parts you need to change are WPMS_MAIL_FROM, WPMS_MAIL_FROM_NAME, WPMS_SMTP_USER and WPMS_SMTP_PASS.
  6. Save the file.
    wp mail smtp plugin
  7. If you view the plugin page now, you'll see your credentials are not accessible.

Testing the plugin

wp mail smtp plugin

Scroll to the top and click the Email Test tab. Click the Send Email button to test. You should see it was sent successfully.

Alternative plugins

There are several other SMTP plugins you can use to send email. After logging into your WordPress site, select Plugins > Add New in the left pane. You can then search for the term SMTP to view other options.

See also

Did this article answer your questions?

Article last updated PST.

Still not finding what you're looking for?