Note: This article is related to how your WordPress site sends out email, not your main/personal email service.
Email has been around since the dawn of the internet, however, it is also really hard to do well. Spam is so prevalent that it is in everyone's best interest to use a dedicated email provider to ensure optimal deliverability.
By default, WordPress relies on a low-level function on a server called mail() to send out notices to site admins such as pending comments, password resets, and the like.
Our policy is to restrict the volume and velocity of outbound email from our servers. A typical WordPress site should not be sending a high volume of email, Especially when better solutions like the Third Party Services described below exist.
Please consider the following:
To increase the performance of email service we recommend you utilize a third party and NOT rely on the server's mail() function to deliver email. Furthermore, it is our policy to not allow any bulk sending of any kind, such as for email marketing, newsletters, etc.
If your site relies on email deliverability, such as for purchase receipts, digital download links, or something else, we STRONGLY advise you to utilize a third-party service as described below.
Improve Email Deliverability in WordPress
The first thing you will want to do is utilize a WordPress plugin that will direct WordPress to use a different method for sending email. This can be generic SMTP (use's your email service) or use a dedicated email company.
Email Delivery Options
PHPMailer with SPF DNS Records (Good)
This allows our relay service to send messages on your domain's behalf so that firstname.lastname@example.org will work as a from address.
- If a SPF Record is already created: Contact your DNS provider and have them append include:relay.mailchannels.net to your current SPF record.
- If no SPF Record is present: Contact your DNS provider and have them add a TXT record for: v=spf1 a mx include:relay.mailchannels.net ?all
This option will send mail via your gmail, yahoo, or domain registrar email system.
- Download and install the Easy WP SMTP plugin on your WordPress site.
- On the options screen, enable the SMTP option and enter in the details for your mail server.
3rd-party email services we recommend for SMTP are:
- Send a test email from your WordPress site to ensure everything is working properly.
3rd-Party Email Services (Best)
The best option is to use a dedicated 3rd-party email service such as Mailjet.
- Mailjet: Download and install the Mailjet plugin, then configure it by following their instructions. Free accounts will allow up to 200 emails per day.
- If you wish to use a different plugin such as YaySMTP, then you will need to configure the API keys provided by Mailjet.
Options We DO NOT Recommend
- Mandrill: Mandrill is a three year old plugin that is NOT PHP7 ready. We once recommended this plugin, but can no longer do so.
In a nutshell, the default email system in WordPress is not optimal as it is designed to work on the widest variations of platforms and servers. If email is important to you or your business you should strongly consider using a service to handle it that is dedicated to the task