WordPress Not Sending Emails, WP-SMTP Can Help If You Know The Right Configuration

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wordpress-logo-fan-artFor as much as I work with WordPress and think it is an excellent platform, one of the things about it that still gets me riled up about it is the way it handles email. It’s absolutely amazing how fast it can go down hill too. When you first set up your WordPress site, it sends you an email with your admin username and password. Most people don’t pay this email any attention since they actually set it up and already know the username and password. At this point, WordPress is behaving just fine and you figure that everything is great. And then one day it’s not. All of the sudden you might happen to notice that you aren’t getting emails when people comment even though you have the site set up to send them. Then you start to get reports of people registering for your site (if you allow that) and they never receive their registration emails with their passwords. If you run the kind of site that relies heavily on people signing up either as part of a community or for subscription reasons then this is a major problem. Honestly, I don’t know why they don’t fix this in the WP core but I am sure they have more important things to put in. If you are having this problem it can be one of the most frustrating issues you will ever experience with WordPress. Then along comes a plugin called WP-SMTP and if you know what to do then it will solve all your problems.

WP-SMTP basically corrects the issue with WordPress not sending emails but even it has a caveat. To get it to work you need to know the right combination of settings. My goal with this post is to share with you one of the configurations that I have found that works and hopefully have other people share configurations that work for them and maybe, just maybe we can create some kind of authoritative WP-SMTP configuration list so folks can avoid banging their heads against the desk because they can’t get this to work (there may be more than one configuration that works per host).

While we don’t host our site with them, we do have our email setup with GoDaddy. Some people get confused here, the instructions below have to be done where your email resides not simply where your site is. Therefore, my site is hosted on its own server at host X and that server has its own email capability but making these changes there won’t do me any good. I need to make the changes over at GoDaddy because in this scenario that is where my email is and I need to use their settings (most users won’t have this issue though as their email will be where their domain is hosted). In any case if your email is hosted with GoDaddy and you are experiencing issues with not receiving emails when people comment or you have users that aren’t getting registration emails then this should be the fix.

Just to show the screen, dummy settings

As of 28 May 2011, Known Good WP-SMTP Configuration For WordPress:

– From Email:
Your GoDaddy hosting email address (this doesn’t have to be YOUR email address, just an address on your domain (wordpress@yourdomain.com)
– From Name:
The name you want people to see in their email inbox. (can be anything you want)
– Mailer:
Select: “Send all WordPress emails via SMTP.”
– SMTP Host:
smtpout.secureserver.net (lots of places mention using “relay-hosting.secureserver.net” but that didn’t work for me)
– SMTP Port:
80 ( this was a huge surprise, up until now all I had seen was instructions to use port 25 or 26)
– Encryption:
Select: “No encryption.”
– Authentication:
Select: “Yes: Use SMTP authentication.”
Your GoDaddy hosting email address (you must use the full email address here, not just the username)
– Password:
The password for the Email account above.

That’s it folks, that’s what I am running on this site and it works perfectly. If you have got it right then when you send a test email you will get:

The result was:


Moving forward my goal is to use this post as an authoritative source for known working configurations for WP-SMTP across multiple host. At this point, if you have it working for a particular host, put the config in the comments or shoot me an email at renzo[at]zoknowsgaming.com and I will update the post. Alright everyone I am out, but I hope this manages to help a few people and please share those configurations so others can benefit.

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Lorenzo Winfrey

Lorenzo Winfrey

Editor-In-Chief at ZoKnowsGaming
I am the Co-Ceo of DLT Digital Media. We are a company that is focused on developing new and innovative web properties in addition to developing WordPress based web sites for others. But before I was all that, I was a gamer.
Lorenzo Winfrey