how-to-get-wordpress-form-notifications-using-the-wp-mail-smtp-plugin_g

How to Get WordPress Form Notifications Using the WP Mail SMTP Plugin

Are you not receiving email notifications from your WordPress contact forms? Unfortunately, the WordPress contact form not sending email issue is very common.

However, you can quickly fix this issue and start receiving those emails by setting up Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) on your website. This tutorial shows you exactly how to fix the WordPress contact form sending sending email issue.

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Why You’re Not Receiving Notifications

Are you frustrated because your forms aren’t sending emails and they keep disappearing? It’s a big issue in the WordPress community, and can really hurt your lead generation efforts.

There can be a lot of reasons behind the lack of email notifications. Here are a couple of the most common:

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  • Your WordPress hosting server is not configured to use the PHP mail function that WordPress uses to send emails that are generated by a contact form plugin like WPForms.
  • Your email server is blocking it as spam. To reduce spam emails, your email provider often checks whether your email is originating from the location it claims to be originating from. For example, if your email server is yahoo.com, chances are your form notification won’t even make into the spam folder since they are sent out from a completely different server.

This is why we recommend using SMTP to send emails from WordPress instead of using the default PHP mail function. SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is an industry standard way to send emails that use proper authentication method to ensure email deliverability.

In this post, we’ll be using the free WP Mail SMTP plugin to send form notifications using a simple setup with any email account.

Note: This tutorial method is less secure because it stores your email login and password in your WordPress dashboard. Other WordPress administrators have access to this. For a more secure option, we recommend using one of WP Mail SMTP’s more secure options.

Be sure to check out our post on how to set up WordPress email logs.

How to Fix The WordPress Contact Form Not Sending Email Issue

Follow these steps to fix the WordPress contact form not sending email issue.

Step 1: Install the WP Mail SMTP Plugin

The first thing you need to do is to install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin. You can see this guide on how to install a WordPress plugin for step-by-step instructions.

Step 2: Configure Your From Email

After installing and activating this plugin, go to WP Mail SMTP » Settings to configure the mail options.

Adjust-From-Email-in-WP-Mail-SMTP-settings

Here, you’ll first be asked to enter your From Email. This is the email address that all of your site’s emails (and form’s email notifications) will be sent from.

Note: Make sure to enter the same email address you will be using to send SMTP emails (your Yahoo, Gmail, or Live email address).

Additionally, in WPForms the same email must be used in the From Email setting for your form notifications.

We recommend that you also check the box labeled Force From Email. Since the From Emails from anything on your site that sends email must match this email address in order for SMTP to work, this will save you the trouble of editing the email settings throughout your site (in all form emails, etc).

Step 3: Configure Your From Name

Next, you can change your From Name. By default, this will be set to the site name. However, you can change this to anything you’d like, like your actual name for personalization.

You can also choose to Force From Name to apply this setting to emails site-wide.

Adjust-From-Name-in-WP-Mail-SMTP-settings

We also recommend checking the optional Return Path checkbox to Set the return-path to match the From Email. With this enabled, you’ll be emailed at that address if any messages bounce as a result of issues with the recipient’s email.

Set-return-path-to-match-From-Email

Step 4: Select Your Mailer

Next, in the Mailer field you’ll need to select the Other SMTP option.

Select-the-Other-SMTP-mailer-in-WP-Mail-SMTP

Step 5: Configure Other SMTP Settings

After selecting Other SMTP as your mailer, a new section will appear called Other SMTP. Here, you’ll need to enter additional details to connect your site to your email provider.

Configure Other SMTP Settings

Each email provider requires slightly different SMTP configurations. In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at how to configure options for Gmail, Yahoo, and Live/Hotmail.

When entering your username and password for any email option, please note that this information is stored in plain text. For a more secure approach, check below the Password field for instructions on adding the password to your site’s wp-config.php file instead.

For more details check out WPBeginner’s tutorial for details on how to edit wp-config.

smtp password

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

Gmail / G Suite SMTP Settings

If you want to send notifications using your Gmail or G Suite accounts, you can use the below SMTP options.

  • 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

Then, enter your Gmail username and password and save these settings.

Note: Please note that we recommend using the built in Gmail integration instead of this less secure Other SMTP mailer. If you use SMTP, though, don’t forget to enable less secure apps in the next step.

Hotmail / Live SMTP Settings

If you want to send notifications using your Hotmail or Live email, you can use the below SMTP options.

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

Then, enter your Live or Hotmail username and password, and click Save Changes.

Yahoo Mail SMTP Settings

If you want to send notifications using your Yahoo email, you can use the below SMTP options.

  • 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

Then, enter your Yahoo username and password and click Save Changes.

Note: Please note you will need to enable less secure apps, found in the next step.

AOL SMTP Settings

If you want to send notifications using your AOL email, you can use the below SMTP options.

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

Once these details are entered, be sure to click the Save Settings button.

Step 6: Enable Less Secure Apps

In order to for SMTP to be used on your WordPress site, you may need to enable less secure apps on your email account. Below, we’ll show you how to do this in:

How to Enable Less Secure Apps in Gmail

To enable less secure apps on Gmail, log in to your Gmail or G Suite account.

Then, go to less secure apps by clicking this link. Next to Access for less secure apps select Turn on. (If you have Two Factor Authentication enabled, you will need to disable it before you can enable this option.)

gmail less secure apps to enable smtp

Sometimes for security reasons Gmail may automatically block the sign-in used by SMTP, even with less secure apps enabled. When this happens, your recovery email address will be sent an email with a sign-in attempt warning like this:

google smtp block

To remove this block, you’ll need to click the Review Your Devices Now button (or visit your account’s Recently Used Devices page) and follow the instructions to let Google know this was a legitimate login attempt.

How to Enable Less Secure Apps in Hotmail/Live

If you’re using Live or Hotmail email, you don’t have to enable less secure apps on your account to configure SMTP on your site.

Is security a priority for you? Be sure to read our post on the best WordPress security plugins.

How to Enable Less Secure Apps in Yahoo

To enable less secure apps on Yahoo, log in to your Yahoo account.

Then, click here to go to account security settings. Now turn on “Allow apps that use less secure sign-in”. After turning it on, the button color will be turned to green.

yahoo enable less secure app

Once this information is complete, go ahead and save your settings.

Step 7: Send a Test Email

Once your SMTP settings have been added to WP Mail SMTP, it’s important to send a test email to ensure that everything is working right.

To send a test email, click on the Email Test tab on WP Mail SMTP’s settings page.

wp mail smtp send test

On this tab, you can enter any email address that you have access to and click the Send Email button.

button to send wp mail smtp test email

After sending the email, you should see a success message.

success message smtp

If you check the inbox for the email address you just entered, you should receive the email for this test. If you’re using Yahoo email it may take about 5 – 10 minutes for it to arrive in your inbox.

wp mail test success message email

Be sure to also test out your form emails by submitting a couple of test submissions after completing this setup. That way, you can check that emails deliver successfully.

And don’t forget to set the From Email in your form’s notification settings to the same email you set up this SMTP with.

Final Thoughts

That’s it! You’ve successfully configured SMTP on your WordPress site. You’ll now start getting notifications from your WordPress forms.

And now that your email notifications are working properly, you might also want to check out our post on how to reduce shopping cart abandonment so you can learn more about sending abandoned cart emails and other tips.

What are you waiting for? Get started with the most powerful WordPress forms plugin today.

If you like this article, then please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more free WordPress tutorials.

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Comments

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  2. I tried to use ‘Other SMTP’ setting but still failed. Could you please help?

    Here is the error message.
    There was a problem while sending a test email. Related debugging output is shown below:
    Versions:
    WordPress: 4.9.1
    WordPress MS: No
    PHP: 7.0.21
    WP Mail SMTP: 1.2.1

    Params:
    Mailer: mail
    Constants: Yes
    ErrorInfo:
    Host: localhost
    Port: 25
    SMTPSecure: string(0) “”
    SMTPAutoTLS: bool(true)
    SMTPAuth: bool(false)
    SMTP Debug:
    [empty]
    Please copy only the content of the error debug message above, identified with an orange left border, into the support forum topic if you experience any issues.

    1. Hi Bin,

      It looks from that debug output like the SMTP Host and Port may still need to be set. When you get a chance, would you please check that the settings match those shown under Step 3 for Gmail?

      If you give that a try and have any questions, please get in touch 🙂

  3. When I use the Jetpack Subscribe to blog I get this email instead of a confirm subscription email.

    This email was sent by Other SMTP mailer, and generated by the WP Mail SMTP WordPress plugin

    Why is this, and where is this coming from and how can I get confirmation emails properly formated to subscribers ?

  4. I went through all steps and tried to send a test email from another browser, got a “Sorry, email message could not be delivered.” message. I think this may be because I was unable to “Enable Less Secure Apps” in Yahoo. When I followed the link above and logged into security settings, there was no field below Two Step Verification for Enable Less Secure Apps for me to toggle the setting as suggested.

    Also, on my plugin settings page, there was no specific field for “Authentication: Yes: Use SMTP authentication”, only a simple on/off toggle for authentication. I left it in the on position

    Can you help?

    Thanks!

    Chris

  5. I followed the instructions per this walkthrough, but am just getting time-outs when I try to send a test email. I’m using the “Other SMTP”. Ideas?

  6. Hi, I was finally able to configure the SMTP to allow notifications to my godaddy email, but the only information that is showing up is the customers name from the contact form.
    The email notification is not including the rest of the fields from the wpform which the customers email information and a text box, both are required fields. How do I get all my contact page form fields to show up in this email?

    What is the point of this notification if it does not provide any info?

  7. I’ve tried using WP Mail SMTP two different ways. The first was by using the Gmail option and creating the web app and letting my Gmail account “allow access” to my website. However, I received the “Not Acceptable!……Mod_Security” message after clicking “allow” from my Gmail account. So, after contacting my web host (BlueHost) and asking them to disable Mod_Security, I spent an entire day going back and forth with them and they can’t figure it out.

    So today, I’ve tried the “Other SMTP” option and configured it for Gmail as instructed above. Then, when I click to send the Test Email, it takes a very long time and then I get a “405 Not Allowed” message with “nginx/1.12.2” underneath it.

    I would really love for this to work as I have already purchased the premium WP Forms plugin. Can anything be done?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Rusty,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble getting this up and running. When you have a chance, could you please get in touch with our support team? Since you have our paid plugin version, you’ll have access to our private email support and we’ll be able to assist further from there (and please feel free to just copy your message above into the contact form if you’d like).

      Thanks! 🙂

  8. Have followed the tutorial for gmail, but it says that this app isn’t
    verified and to return to safe site ?
    With GDPR I need to understand who has access to the data that my clients
    input onto the form ?

    1. Hi Rose,

      I apologize for any confusion on that, and the warning you are seeing is just a security check by Google. When you see this page, you can click on “Advanced” to proceed. As far as GDPR, this setup will not change anything about how your entries are stored. The only thing you’re changing is the method by which emails are sent through your site.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

  9. Hi Jess!
    I’m experiencing that problem of WordPress not sending any email from contact forms, either WP forms or also tried CF7. After reading your post got couple of questions:

    – do you think it would be worth to ask my server provider (who is a small company and quite accessible) to change that PHP configuration on my server, so I don’t have to do all this process?

    …In case it is better to try the plugin option:
    – I’ve heard that it is better to have a sender mail with your domain like “contactblabla@myweb.com” instead of using a gmail account as sender.
    Would this work? If not with this easy option, perhaps with any of what you recommend in here https://wpforms.com/docs/how-to-fix-wordpress-contact-form-not-sending-email-with-smtp/ ??

    Many thanks in advance for your help 😉

    1. Hi Ana,

      Sure, so an SMTP plugin will be the fix you need largely because we have no way of knowing what’s preventing your emails from working (it could be your site’s server configuration, but it could also be filtering in the recipient email provider). Additionally, SMTP is the best way to prevent email delivery issues down the road (sometimes they can begin unexpectedly) — so we recommend a plugin like this even for those who aren’t currently seeing any delivery issues.

      Also, you’re correct — in some cases, setting the From Email to a domain-specific email will help. When an email is sent, the recipient’s email provider will be more likely to flag an email with mismatched domains. For example, let’s say our site is example.com but we’ve set the From Email to test@gmail.com — the recipient’s email provider can see that those domains are different, and may be more likely to flag the email as spam (or block the email altogether). However, if we can set the From Email to test@example.com, now the domains match and the email provider is less likely to flag/block it.

      In some cases, this works — in others, the email delivery issues still persist. This is why we recommend using an SMTP plugin either way. And the tutorial you shared is the best place to start deciding which plugin might be the best fit for your site.

      I hope this helps!

  10. Hello,
    Why are you storing plain text username/password credentials of the currently logged in user in the wp-options table? Seems like a major security issue to me…
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Larry,

      Great question. What you’re seeing is the username and password used to set up SMTP, not the currently logged in user (which we would absolutely not do). For this “Other SMTP” mailer option, both the username and password used to set up SMTP are stored in plain text. This is why we include a note below the Password field explaining how to place the password in a more secure location.

      Additionally, we recommend that users select a more secure mailer option whenever possible. All of the other mailer options within WP Mail SMTP (Google, SendGrid, and Mailgun) use an API — which makes them more secure (all credentials are stored off-site).

      Hope this helps! 🙂

  11. Hello, I would like two separate email notifications after a contact form is completed.
    1. One email to go to my admin email notifying me that I have received a contact form email.
    2. A second email going to the person who filled out the contact form as a thank you message auto responder.
    With the notification settings, it seems like I can do one or the other, but not both. Am I missing something? Thank you

    1. Hi Sean,

      Sure, you can definitely set this up within WPForms. If you’d like to send the same email content to both people, you can open the form builder and go to Settings > Notifications — then, just add both email addresses to the Send To Email Address field. Just be sure to put a comma in between each email you enter.

      Or if you’d like to send different email content to each person, you can also set up separate notification emails. Our notification email tutorial shares all the details on how to do this. The only thing to note is that this option is only possible within our paid plugin version (with any paid license).

      I hope this helps! 🙂

  12. I set up an email form in WPforms, sent a test submission and it worked fine. Then I read further about the plugin and thought best to set this up to ensure I didn’t miss any form submissions. Went through the steps, the plugin’s test email fired off fine, but now when I try and fill in the form myself and submit it, the submission is not being emailed to me! Setting this up seems to have broken WPforms’ functionality. Any help is appreciated

    1. Hi Billy,

      Generally when we see this happen, its because the From Email used in form’s notification emails doesn’t match the email used to set up WP Mail SMTP. The easiest way to avoid this issue is to use the Force From Email option under Settings > WP Mail SMTP (here’s a screenshot of this setting).

      This option is brand new (just went out in our update for WP Mail SMTP yesterday), so if you don’t see it be sure to run the update on your site. It’s easy to forget to change the From Email in all places, so I’d recommend using this option to avoid having to remember to do this on every form.

      If you’d prefer not to use this option, though, you’d just need to open the form builder and go to Settings > Notifications. There, you’d need to make sure the From Email is set to the same email address used to set up WP Mail SMTP.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

  13. Is there anyway to setup this plugin to directly authenticate and send email from an exchange 2010 server? Is there a setup guide for configuring the receive connector to be compatible with this plugin?

    1. Hi Ben,

      Sure, so WP Mail SMTP doesn’t have any functionality specific to exchange servers — however, you should be able to set up traditional SMTP (the mailer option described above) just like you would normally. Just be sure to check into the server settings so that you’re able to configure the plugin to match those (SMTP Host/Port and username/password, as well as encryption type).

      I hope this helps! 🙂

  14. Hey there,

    I am currently using Contact form 7 plugin for my educational website, which has a couple of different admission forms. After receiving tons of feedback from students, I am planning to change the plugin and found wpforms useful. The only issue is that I am not a much technical person, so I am looking for a way to migrate my existing forms to wpform. Is it possible to switch the plugin without changing the front end? For reference, I have set up all my forms by following this guide on contact form 7: [url removed]

    1. Hi Baldwin,

      We’re happy to help you make the switch 🙂 To make this process easier, we’ve created a tool that will help move your forms from CF7 to WPForms (here’s the guide on that).

      That tutorial should include everything you’d need to make the switch as easy as possible. But if you have any additional questions, please drop us a line in support so we can assist.

      If you have a WPForms license, you have access to our email support, so please submit a support ticket.

      Otherwise, we provide limited complimentary support in the WPForms Lite WordPress.org support forum.

      Thanks 🙂

  15. I have gone through this entire process to configure the SMTP, but the forms are still not sending to my email. When I try the “Test Email”, the window just spins, loading for a long period of time. When it finally stops loading, I get a 405 Not Allowed message. Is there a support feature where someone can help me? I’ve been trying to fix this issue for days.

    1. Hi Brittney,

      Based on your description, it sounds like the next best thing to try is contacting your site’s hosting provider. Most SMTP issues are a result of server configuration issues (in this case, it sounds like something going on with permissions on the server), which your host should be able to help resolve.

      If you’d like us to help debug and investigate the issue further, we offer email support for WP Mail SMTP to users with an active WPForms license. Additionally, we’re currently offering 50% off the first year of all new licenses, auto-applied at checkout 🙂

      Thanks!

  16. Hi I have followed the setup methods you provided above but getting some issues.

    First I tried :

    1) Setting up “Other SMTP” with my web host server, but the test email went to spam box at my hotmail account.

    and then I tried :

    2) Setting up “Other SMTP” with Gmail SMTP, the test email successfully went into my hotmail inbox, but the email account sent from shows gmail address rather than the email address I filled out in “From Email” setup.

    Any clue how to resolve these issues?

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Yuchi,

      In some cases, it may take a little time for the email provider to re-develop trust that certain emails aren’t spam. But trying a different mailer option (in this case, SendGrid, Mailgun, or Google mailer options), like it sounds like you did, can be a good thing to try to hopefully get more immediate results.

      For the From Email, though, this must always match the email used to set up SMTP (this is required to make SMTP work).

      Hopefully this helps! If you’d like us to assist further, we offer email support for WP Mail SMTP to users with an active WPForms license. Additionally, we’re currently offering 50% off the first year of all new licenses, auto-applied at checkout 🙂

      Thanks!

  17. Hi, I am using my local host. I have triple checked and followed all the steps and nothing is working, right from “Send Test Email” and even on the contact form.
    Please I need your help.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Muhammad,

      Can you provide more details about the issue or error message you get when trying to send a test email? Or, if you have a paid license, please feel free to reach out to our support team with these details so they can help you out further. If not, please feel free to reach out to the WP Mail SMTP forums for complimentary limited support.

      Thanks!

  18. Hello,

    So I am having an issue wiht WP mail SMTP I have connected it up with SendGrid and then send a test mail which said it was send checked spam and inbox with no results tried different emails same result after some consideration I installed WP Mail loging and it seems the emails get send but never arrive I used yahoo as the receiving end any idea how to solve this?

    Thank you for your time

    Antonis Michail

  19. Hi,

    Still not working for me, it says:

    Could not authenticate your SMTP account.

    Tried pretty much everything but to no avail.

    I hope you can help!

    1. Hi Grisha,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having difficulty with this! Which mailer option are you using when trying to set up SMTP? If you have a paid account, please feel free to contact our support team so they can assist you further.

      Thanks!

  20. Hi, I use Fastmail, here is a link to their server names and ports:
    [URL removed]

    I tried using a combination of ports and encryptions but still got an error with the test email. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

    1. Hi Brian,

      If those recommended SMTP settings aren’t working, then there’s most likely something on your site’s server that’s blocking things. When you get a chance, I’d recommend trying another test email and opening up the full debug details (you should see this option at the bottom of the test email page). Then, reach out to your site’s hosting provider and show them this full log so they can investigate further. For example, we sometimes find that web hosts block certain ports by default and so you may have to specifically request that they open the port up for you.

      I hope this helps!

  21. I have done everything as described in this article, and received a message that both the test email and the form which I submitted were delivered successfully. However, I waited 10 minutes and nothing has arrived in my inbox. Any ideas what could be the matter?

      1. Hi Maya,

        We do offer complimentary limited support in the WP Mail SMTP forum so if you don’t have a paid license, I would recommend posting the details of your issue there and see what they can help you out with. 🙂

  22. Hi,

    This might have been asked already but when I click on settings for WP Mail SMTP, I get this error. Not sure how to resolve it. Fatal error: Call to undefined function WPMailSMTP\Admin\wp_json_encode() in /home/content/12/10640912/html/wp-content/plugins/wp-mail-smtp/src/Admin/Area.php on line 161

    Thanks!

  23. Hi! I have successfully been able to receive notifications for one wp form that I embedded on my website without installing the WP form SMTP plugin. But with the other form, I do not receive notifications. Why does this happen?

    1. Hi Aditi, good question!
      The best is to start by checking and comparing the forms’ Notification Settings. But if the emails are received in SPAM folder or bounced, I think the best option is to use WP Mail SMTP plugin.
      There is actually no cons of this, you can set up and use the free Gmail mailer option and be sure that you always receiving notification emails from your forms.
      Hope this helps! 🙂

  24. I am adding several emails to receive a copy/notification and it is being received at any email that is not the same domain as the website domain. Why would that be a conflict or how can that be fixed.

    1. Hi Cristina! Thanks for contacting us!
      Normally, this shouldn’t be an issue if you have set up SMTP properly on your site.
      You can check the following articles on our site to set it up with a chosen mailer option in a proper way:
      – Google: https://wpforms.com/how-to-securely-send-wordpress-emails-using-gmail-smtp/
      – SendGrid: https://wpforms.com/fix-wordpress-email-notifications-with-sendgrid/
      – Mailgun: https://wpforms.com/how-to-send-wordpress-emails-with-mailgun/
      – Other SMTP: https://wpforms.com/how-to-fix-wordpress-contact-form-not-sending-email-issue/
      If you have a WPForms license, you have access to our email support, so please submit a support ticket.
      Otherwise, we provide limited complimentary support in the WPForms Lite WordPress.org support forum.
      I hope this helps.

      Have a good one 🙂

  25. Hello,

    We are using office365 I checked the box to ‘Force sender name’ but the name is not changing in the emails sent from the site

  26. Good day

    My company has been using WPForms for quite some time now, and the way we have it set-up is that we have 2 forms, each going to its own designated email. Let’s call them Form A and Form B.

    Form A is working as expected. As it’s getting entries, we receive email notifications for those entries.

    Form B, however, is not receiving any email notifications. We’re using Sendgrid for the SMTP client. I tried doing the “Test Email” and our email for Form B has not been receiving ANY emails at all form WPforms, however, when we used other emails for the “Test Email”, we received it just fine. We also tried just sending a normal email to Form B’s designated email, and it also worked fine – showing that the email account is working normally.

    Any help whatsoever would be greatly appreciated, and hopefully at the soonest possible time. Thank you.

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