4 Steps Configure WP Mail SMTP To Send Emails Boost Deliverability: Best Guide

Last Updated on December 28, 2022 by Steve

This article is the second in a two part series tutorial on how to set up WP Mail SMTP Plugin and send emails from WordPress. Be sure to check out the first article, How To Send Email From WordPress Using WP Mail SMTP Plugin, if you need introduction to SMTP and why its needed. The WP Mail SMTP plugin is one of the most popular available for the use of sending emails from WordPress. In this second part of this two part series we will discuss the configuration of this plugin to send emails from WordPress via SMTP.

Install WP Mail SMTP

Step 1:  Scroll down to Plugins and select Add New

WordPress Plugins Add New Tab
WordPress Plugins Add New Tab


Step 2: Type WP Mail SMTP in search box, select plugin and activate

Plugin Install WP Mail SMTP
Plugin Install WP Mail SMTP


Step 3:  Once the plugin is installed and activated, a new menu will show up WP Mail SMTP. Navigate to it and select Settings tab

WP Mail SMTP Settings Tab
WP Mail SMTP Settings Tab


Step 4:  Select Other SMTP , fill out all the fields and click save. The information needed to fill out these settings can be provided by whoever hosts your SMTP email server.

WP Mail SMTP Other SMTP Selected
WP Mail SMTP Other SMTP Option Selected

SMTP Settings Overview

Unlike our other options which use APIs to allow this setup information to be stored with Google, SendGrid, or Mailgun, the Other SMTP option in WP Mail SMTP requires this setup information to be stored directly on your site.

Below, we’ll go into more detail on each of the fields required to set up an “Other SMTP” option in WP Mail SMTP.

Other SMTP Settings
Other SMTP Settings


This is the the address to the host’s SMTP server.

The most common ports are 587 and 465, however hosts can and do change these. It’s not uncommon for web hosts to block these ports, so before you begin it’s always good to verify with your web host that the required port is open. If closed, most of the time your hosting provider can open it for you.

SSL and TLS are the most widely used encryptions. If your email provider offers both, we recommend TLS. It is worth noting that usually TLS encryption is used with port 587, while SSL is used with port 465.

Modern email providers require authentication. Disabling it may be needed for local development or other edge case scenarios, however most providers need this turned on.

SMTP Username
Your username is typically your email address for the email provider; e.g. john@gmail.com or john@hotmail.com. Some providers such as AOL require the non-email format; e.g. if your email is john_doe@aol.com your username would be john_doe.

SMTP Password
This is your email account password. Please note although the password is not viewable in the settings, it is still stored in the database as plain text. This is required since establishing the SMTP connection requires sending the password in plaintext.

With this in mind, we highly recommend you set up your password in your WordPress configuration file, wp-config.php for improved security. You can easily add this code using SFTP or file manager if using cPanel.

Here’s the code you’ll need to add:

define( 'WPMS_ON', true );
define( 'WPMS_SMTP_PASS', 'your_password' );

Then, you’ll just need to replace your_password with your actual password. When you save the file and refresh your SMTP settings page, you should see the Password field is now slightly greyed out and disabled since it’s no longer being used.

WP Mail SMTP Authentication Dialogue Box
WP Mail SMTP Authentication Dialogue Box

SMTP Settings for Popular Providers

When filling out the fields mentioned above, the settings you’ll need will depend on your email provider.

Here are the SMTP settings you’ll need for the most popular email providers:

cPanel Settings

Host: mail.yourdomain.com
Port: IMAP Port: 993 if using POP3 Port: 995
Username: Your cPanel email address (e.g. user@yourdomain.com)
Password: Your cPanel email password
Encryption: TLS

IMAP, POP3, and SMTP require authentication

Gmail / G Suite SMTP Settings

Host: smtp.gmail.com
Port: 587 (or 465 using SSL encryption)
Username: Your Gmail account email address (e.g. john@gmail.com)
Password: Your Gmail account password
Encryption: TLS

Please note we recommend using the built in Gmail integration instead of the SMTP method. If you use SMTP, don’t forget to enable less secure apps.

Outlook.com SMTP Settings

Host: smtp-mail.outlook.com
Port: 587
Username: Your Outlook.com account email (e.g. john@outlook.com)
Password: Your Outlook.com account password
Encryption: TLS

Office 365 SMTP Settings

Host: smtp.office365.com
Port: 587
Username: Your Office 365 account email
Password: Your Office 365 account password
Encryption: TLS

Hotmail SMTP Settings

Host: smtp.live.com
Port: 587
Username: Your Hotmail account email (e.g. john@hotmail.com)
Password: Your Hotmail account password
Encryption: TLS

Yahoo Mail SMTP Settings

Host: smtp.mail.yahoo.com
Port: 465
Username: Your Yahoo Mail account email (e.g. john@yahoo.com)
Password: Your Yahoo Mail account password
Encryption: SSL

Please note you will need to to enable less secure apps.

AOL SMTP Settings

Host: smtp.aol.com
Port: 587
Username: Your AOL screen name (e.g. john)
Password: Your AOL account password
Encryption: TLS

That’s how easy it is to set up this plugin. Hope you found this article helpful.


  • Steve

    I have been in the information technology field since I left the United States Army over twenty years ago. Skills and experience include a Bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems with a Specialization in Databases and a Master's in Computer Information Systems Management.

    I fell in love with WordPress over 10 years ago and spend most of my time designing, building and administering WordPress based sites. I am fluent in multiple programming languages including Python, PHP, SQL, Java and C#.

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