Best way to use SMTP in WordPress in 2024 (Plug-in + Provider Advise)

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Tired of your WordPress emails landing in the spam folder or not delivering at all? For sending out emails in a reliable way for your WordPress website, deliverability is more important than ever. Whether it’s filled in contact form, reservation, user registrations, or anything else, you need a solution that will get your emails safely to your and the user’s mailbox. That’s where SMTP comes in.

In this blog post, we’ll look at why SMTP is so important for your WordPress site, highlight the best free SMTP plugin, FluentSMTP, and discuss why MXroute is the best SMTP provider. By the end, you’ll have everything you need to ensure your WordPress emails are delivered reliably and securely.

What is SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)?

SMTP, which stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, is the standard protocol used for sending emails over the internet. SMTP works by transferring email messages from the sender’s email client to the recipient’s email server.

SMTP is a crucial protocol in email communication as it makes it possible to correctly route and deliver messages. It transmits messages through a series of commands and responses between the email client and server, enabling the sending of plain text emails.

For most advanced email features, like attachments or HTML content, SMTP is normally used in association with MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) in order to extend the functionality.

Why do you need SMTP in WordPress?

Using SMTP in WordPress is essential for ensuring reliable and secure email delivery. The default WordPress email system relies on the PHP mail() function, which often leads to emails being marked as spam or not being delivered at all due to a lack of authentication and security checks on the end of the receiver.

Here are some key reasons why you need SMTP in WordPress:

  • Improved Email Deliverability: SMTP servers are specifically designed for sending emails, ensuring that your messages reach the recipient’s inbox rather than the spam folder. This is crucial for important communications like user registrations, password resets, and transactional emails.
  • Enhanced Security: SMTP provides authentication and encryption, which helps prevent email spoofing and phishing attacks. This is particularly important when dealing with sensitive information or user accounts.
  • Customization and Control: SMTP allows you to customize various settings, such as the sender name and email address, providing a more professional and branded email communication experience.
  • Tracking and Logging: Many SMTP plugins offer features like email tracking and logging, which help you monitor the status of your sent emails and troubleshoot any issues that come up.
  • Scalability: As your website grows, SMTP services can handle increased email volumes more effectively than the PHP mail() function, making them suitable for larger sites with higher email traffic.

By configuring SMTP in WordPress, you can ensure that your emails are delivered reliably and securely, enhancing overall communication with your users.

What is the best (and free) SMTP plugin for WordPress?

When it comes to choosing the best free SMTP plugin for WordPress, FluentSMTP stands out as my top choice. FluentSMTP is a powerful, free, and open-source plugin that ensures your emails are delivered reliably and securely. Here’s why FluentSMTP is the best option:

Why I think FluentSMTP is the best SMTP plugin

  1. Free and Open-Source: FluentSMTP is completely free and open-source, which means you can use it without any cost and benefit from continuous community-driven improvements. This is crucial for maintaining transparency and security in your email communications.
  2. Multiple SMTP Connections: FluentSMTP allows you to connect multiple SMTP providers simultaneously. This feature is particularly useful for routing different types of emails through different providers, ensuring optimal deliverability and performance.
  3. Email Logging and Resend Features: The plugin provides detailed email logs, allowing you to track every email sent from your site. If an email fails to send, you can easily resend it from the log, ensuring no important communication is lost.
  4. Wide Range of Integrations: FluentSMTP supports, besides a custom SMTP server, a variety of email service providers, including Amazon SES, SendGrid, Mailgun, Brevo (formerly Sendinblue), and more. When not using SMTP, it allows you to choose a provider that suites your needs.

Other SMTP Plugin Options

While FluentSMTP is my recommendation, there are other SMTP plugins for WordPress I want to mention:

  • WP Mail SMTP: This plugin is highly popular and offers both free and paid versions. It provides features like email logging, tracking, and multiple mailer support. However, some advanced features require a paid subscription.
  • Easy WP SMTP: A user-friendly option that is great for beginners. It supports various SMTP providers and offers basic email logging and tracking features. The free version is quite capable, but the Pro version unlocks additional functionalities.
  • Post SMTP Mailer: Known for its robust email logging and failure notifications, this plugin is a good choice for users who need detailed email tracking and reporting. It also supports multiple SMTP providers and is free to use.

The best SMTP provider (MXroute)

When it comes to choosing the best SMTP provider for your WordPress site, MXroute is a standout option for me. In the community it’s known for its reliability, affordability, and excellent customer support. Let me list you some of the reasons why I think MXRoute is the best SMTP provider to use with FluentSMTP in WordPress.

Why MXroute Stands Out

  1. Affordable Pricing and Great Deals: MXroute offers competitive pricing with various plans to suit different needs. They frequently run promotions, such as their Black Friday deals, which provide significant discounts. For instance, they have offered plans like 10GB storage with unlimited domains and email accounts for just $15 for three years.

    Additionally, MXRoute currently has a lifetime plan that provides 10GB of storage with no limits on the number of domains or email addresses you can create, making it a cost-effective long-term solution.
  2. Unlimited Domains and Email Accounts: One of the most attractive features of MXroute is the ability to host unlimited domains and email accounts on each subscription. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for businesses, agencies and individuals managing multiple domains, as it allows for centralized email management without additional costs (for example, per domain, mailbox or send email).
  3. Reliable Email Delivery: MXroute places a strong emphasis on email deliverability. The provider uses a premium pool of IPs and services like MailChannels to ensure that every email will be delivered successfully, even to major providers like Gmail and Microsoft 365. This focus on deliverability means you can trust that your emails will reach their intended recipients.
  4. Excellent Customer Support: The owner of MXroute, Jarland Donnell, is known for his dedication to customer satisfaction. Users frequently praise his responsiveness and willingness to go the extra mile to resolve issues on forums like LowEndTalk. This level of support is crucial for maintaining a reliable email service.
  5. Transparency and Community Engagement: MXroute is transparent about its operations and actively engages with its user community. They provide detailed documentation and are open about any issues or outages, which helps build trust with their users.
  6. Lifetime Deals: As mentioned, MXroute currently offers a lifetime plan, which are a rare find in the email hosting industry. This LTD plan provides a sustainable and cost-effective solution for users with low storage needs (for example when your using the service only for SMTP), ensuring that you can enjoy their services without worrying about recurring costs.

In conclusion, ensuring reliable email delivery for your WordPress doesn’t have to be expensive or hard. By leveraging the power of SMTP, together with FluentSMTP and MXroute, you can significantly enhance the deliverability, security, and professionalism of your email communications.