Powering WordPress with Gmail

Improving email deliverability from WordPress is best handled with a 3rd party service like Mailgun. That said, setting up Mailgun requires technical knowledge. You need to add new DNS verification records, verify the DNS records and then configure Mailgun’s WordPress plugin. That’s alot of work and for really basic WordPress websites. Is there an easier option? With Gmail, yes. Let’s take a look.

Connect your existing Gmail or G Suite account with WordPress

Most likely you already have a free Gmail or paid G Suite email account. That email account comes with some pretty fantastic email capabilities. Connecting your WordPress site to your own Gmail account will immediately improve email deliverability, make your emails look like real emails and give better insight to email issues. If Gmail fails to send an email, you’ll see the error in your inbox. If you want to check if someone was sent an email, simply look at your sent items. This can be setup by doing the following:

  • Signin to https://gmail.com and make sure IMAP is turned on
  • Install WP Mail SMTP on your WordPress site with the following settings.

    Mailer: Other SMTP
    SMTP Host: smtp.gmail.com
    Encryption: SSL
    SMTP Port: 465
    Auto TLS: On
    Authentication: On
    SMTP Username: Your Gmail Address
    SMTP Password: Your Gmail Password

Now try and send an email from the “Email Test” tab. If you receive an email then it’s working!

Gmail has it’s limitations and security considerations.

A Gmail account can only send up to 500 email per day or 2,000 for business customers. If your WordPress site sends lots of emails then you’ll quickly outgrow Gmail. The other thing to consider is security. The above method, while it’s the easiest way to get up and running with Gmail, is not the most secure way to do it. It works by storing your Gmail credentials within WordPress. If ever your website security was comprised then your Gmail account would also be comprised. There is a way to make setting up Gmail more secure however that’s quite complicated. Instead of attempting to do that I would just recommend using Mailgun if security is a concern.