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The Contact Form 7 (CF7) plugin successfully sends millions of emails every day. Still, many do not send or arrive. Using SMTP is one way to help overcome some of these issues.
Using SMTP to send emails, can help you overcome some issues with sending and receiving emails from Contact Form 7 forms.
Sending Contact Form 7 emails using SMTP
If your hosting provider does not support wp_mail() and the standard PHP mail() function, you will need to use SMTP to send emails using WordPress.
WordPress supports SMTP email sending and configuring this is done in the WordPress admin area. The easiest way set this up properly is with a plugin. Two plugins that we recommend are:
- Post SMTP Mailer/Email Log – A next-generation SMTP mailer with excellent email debugging. It supports both traditional username/password authentication and OAuth 2.0 – Yahoo Mail, Hotmail and Gmail’s preferred mechanism.
- WP Mail SMTP – Reconfigures the wp_mail() function to use SMTP instead of PHP mail(). It creates an options page that allows you to specify various options. You may need to contact your hosting provider to get detailed information for the options setting.
Set up SMTP to send emails via an external email provider
You can use an email address that is different than your domain provider, such as Gmail, Zoho Mail, Outlook, and others. This sets outgoing email from the third party SMTP server, rather than the email service on your WP hosting.
Note: When using SMTP, you will need to authenticate. This is to ensure any emails sent via the CF7 plugin are coming from a real email address.
Follow along with the article Install WP Mail SMTP to send all emails through an external SMTP server for detailed instructions on using SMTP via an external email provider.
A few SMTP mail Problems with Gmail and Hotmail
Some CF7 users have reported having issues signing in (authenticating) or that their mail is accepted but never arrives to its destination.
This is often due to steadily increasing security checks, implemented by Yahoo, Gmail, and others, to combat spam and account hacking.
A good solution to this problem is to use the modern security standards that Google and others want. The plugin Post SMTP Mailer/Email Log offers OAuth 2.0 SMTP for Gmail and Hotmail users. Once the plugin is configured, it obtains permission to send your mail directly from Google or Microsoft.
Most people who have quality WordPress hosting will not need to use SMTP. If you do not need it, don’t use it, since using SMTP can cause authentication issues.