WordPress by default includes a mailing function into its core. This email function is build with the PHP mailer functions. WordPress does not need any other external mail server by default, but you can use an external email server for wordpress if you want to configure custom email settings.

For the purpose of this tutorial we have added a WP_MAIL_SMTP plugin to enhance the built in mailing functionality of wordpress. With this mailing plugin an administrator can setup advanced mailing options.

After installing and activating this plugin – look for the Email link in the settings section of the admin panel of your blog – and when found click it. Below is a screen shot of this plugin settings.

Lets see the mailing options in detail:-

  1. From Email:- This must be the email address from which you will be sending emails.
  2. From Name:- The name that appears in the “FROM” header of an email.
  3. Mailer:- This option allows you to select the mailing utility that you want to use when sending emails – you have 2 options – PHP mail() function and External SMTP Server – it is recommended to use the external SMTP server.
  4. SMTP Host:- This is the FQDN name of your email server like smtp.gmail.com
  5. SMTP Port:- The networking port number used to communicate with the SMTP server defined above – mostly SMTP port number 25 is used for this purpose
  6. Encryption:- If your SMTP mail server uses TLS or SSL or digital certificates to encrypt the connection for email server security, don’t forget to select the appropriate option from here. Please note that if you use any type of encryption at server end, then the SMTP Port number will also need to be changed accordingly.
  7. Authentication:- Almost all SMTP email servers use authentication when mailing. If your SMTP server does not require you to authenticate when mailing, then you should configure that server immediately for authentication. Because in absence of authentication – your email server may be used as open proxy relay server.
  8. Username and Password:- Almost every time this would be the same as your own email address and password that you use to authenticate yourself when logging into the email client.
  9. Send a test email:- This option allows you to send a test email to the email address that you define below.

With the above defined tutorial you can use any email server to serve the mailing purpose of your wordpress blog, you can also use external mail servers like yahoo mail, gmail, aol mail, hotmail or others.

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