Discover the importance of SMTP servers for Gmail. Learn how SMTP enables seamless email communication. Get insights into configuring and using Gmail's SMTP settings.
Table of Contents
- What is SMTP?
- In this tutorial, we will discuss everything about Google's SMTP server.
- How to use Google's SMTP server for free
- Requirements for Google SMTP
- What can Google's SMTP server do?
- Adding Gmail SMTP Details to the Applications
- Setting up Google SMTP on Microsoft Outlook Desktop Application
- Authentication Settings
- Add Custom Domain Email Address to Google Account
- WordPress PHP Mailings and Challenges
- Step 1:Install the Gmail SMTP Plugin
- Step 2:Configure Gmail SMTP Settings After installing the plugin
- Step 3:Create a Google SMTP Project
- Step 4:Enable the API
- Step 5:Create Credentials
- Step 6 :Configure the Approval Screen
- Step 7:Configure the Gmail SMTP
What is SMTP?
Essentially, SMTP stands for "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol." It is a set of commands that redirect or act to transport email messages. An email client like Gmail, Outlook, or Thunderbird redirects email messages to an SMTP server, which then sends the email messages.
In general, recipients receive email messages when the SMTP server completes the download using POP3 or IMAP. It's worth noting that we see two types of SMTP servers, internal and external.
It is important to note that most popular hosting providers, including Bluehost, IONOS, Hostinger and HostGator, offer internal email servers. However, for a more reliable option, you can use an external email server, such as Google's SMTP server.
In this tutorial, we will discuss everything about Google's SMTP server.
How to use Google's SMTP server for free
When it comes to email messages, we know that Google's Gmail service is the best option due to its simple user interface and unique features.
If you had the opportunity to use Google's SMTP server for your company's email activities (domain-associated email), here's what it would look like:
Often, small businesses, individuals, and companies that need to send limited amounts of email find themselves in a predicament. Most paid SMTP services are geared towards large companies - enterprises that send thousands or hundreds of thousands of emails monthly. Subscribing to these services means an unnecessary additional cost, especially if you only need to send a few dozen emails daily.
Google's SMTP server, which is associated with Gmail, is fast, reliable, and provides delivery of up to 100 emails every 24 hours, all for free. This means up to 3,000 monthly email messages, which is more than sufficient for most small businesses and individuals with basic communication and email marketing needs.
Requirements for Google SMTP
This is the easy part. All you need to take advantage of Google's free SMTP server is a Gmail account (which is also free). If your business doesn't already have an email address, simply create one to get started. The address doesn't matter, as you can always change the settings to send outgoing communications using your custom business domain. We will explain the details below.
What can Google's SMTP server do?
To be honest, it can do a little bit of everything. SMTP service is designed as an entry-level option for anyone needing SMTP access but unable to afford a dedicated company service. You can send personal emails, set up the server for use with contact forms, send aggregated newsletters or marketing messages, and even quick notifications to your customers. As long as you don't reach the daily limit, you have a free SMTP service ready to work at all times.
Another overlooked advantage of Google's SMTP server is that it doesn't use port 25, which is often monitored by many internet service providers who report it as spam. This provides an additional layer of security to your automated and bulk communications.
SMTP Server Information
Before you can get started, Google's free SMTP server requires authentication, a procedure that prevents the service from being used as a center for unwanted messages. This simply means that you will need to provide login information and ports before you can start sending via Google SMTP.
It doesn't matter which service you use with Google SMTP, whether it's WordPress, Outlook, Thunderbird, or others, the basic server details remain the same. If you only need the basic details, we have provided all the information below. In the following paragraphs, we will also cover some more advanced uses for the SMTP service, along with quick guides on how to set things up yourself.
· Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server: smtp.gmail.com
· Authentication: Yes
· Secure Connection: Yes (TLS or SSL depending on your client)
· Username: Full Gmail address (email@example.com)
· Password: Your Gmail password Port: 465 or 587
Setting up Gmail SMTP server in email applications
Adding Gmail SMTP Details to the Applications
In general, the method of adding SMTP details will vary depending on the application.
However, both desktop and web applications will require the following details:
SMTP Server for outgoing mail: smtp.gmail.com
Authentication: Either Yes or No. It is always recommended to use authentication, so choose Yes.
Encryption: For security reasons, enable secure connection by selecting either SSL or TLS port.
Outgoing Server Port: This depends on the type of encryption. SSL uses port 465, while TLS uses port 587.
SMTP Username: Full Gmail email address.
SMTP Password: Password for your Gmail or Google account.
Setting up Google SMTP on Microsoft Outlook Desktop Application
From the Control Panel, open Mail and use Manual Configuration.
Add a new account details in Email Account settings as follows:
1. Your Name: The name that recipients will see.
2. Email Address – Custom
3. Incoming Mail Server (Custom). You can leave the incoming server type as pop.
4. Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP) – Use smtp.gmail.com
5. Enter the username for the custom domain email address and the password in the Login Information section.
Click on More Settings to configure authentication, encryption, and ports.
Go to the Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP) tab.
1. Enable Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP) requires authentication.
2. Add your Gmail address and password in the available fields.
Click on the Advanced Options tab.
Leave the Incoming Server as POP unless you specifically set it as IMAP in the Email Account settings.
Choose either TLS or SSL in the Use the following type of encrypted connection. If you choose TLS, the outgoing port will be 465. If you choose SSL, the outgoing port will be 587.
Now, your Microsoft Outlook desktop client is configured to send email messages via Gmail SMTP servers.
Add Custom Domain Email Address to Google Account
When using this SMTP feature, Google rewrites the email address so that recipients see the message as if it came from a Gmail address.
To display the custom domain email, add it to your Google account as follows:
1. Log in to Gmail, go to Settings, then the Accounts and Import tab.
2. Click on Add another email address.
3. Enter the display name and the custom email address, then proceed to the next step.
4. In the SMTP server, use smtp.gmail.com and also use 587 as the port for TLS or 465 if using SSL.
5. Enter your Gmail address and password.
Once the account is successfully added, Google will send a confirmation code to the domain account (not Gmail). Click on the link or enter the code in the designated field to verify the account.
You can add multiple email addresses to your Gmail account. This allows you to send email messages from different accounts and domains within one Gmail account. When composing an email, Gmail will display a dropdown list and an option to choose the sender's email address.
Setting up WordPress to send email messages through the Gmail SMTP server
allows users to send emails from desktop clients, as well as other platforms or messaging applications unrelated to Google, such as WordPress.
WordPress PHP Mailings and Challenges
WordPress uses the built-in PHP mail function to send notifications, newsletters, subscriptions, password reset emails, and other email messages. However, there are cases where these email messages are not delivered successfully. This can be due to restrictions imposed by some hosting providers to prevent misuse, spam, incorrect configurations, or blacklisted shared IP addresses.
Additionally, some email providers use tools to detect and block email messages that appear to be from suspicious sources. To overcome these challenges, website owners can use an external SMTP server like Gmail to send all outgoing email messages.
Step 1:Install the Gmail SMTP Plugin
There are several WordPress plugins available that allow you to configure WordPress to send email using Gmail's SMTP server. Some popular options include Gmail SMTP, WP Mail SMTP, and Easy WP SMTP. For the purpose of this article, we'll focus on the Gmail SMTP plugin because it provides a secure configuration. The plugin uses OAuth 2.0 to access the Gmail API, doesn't store passwords, and doesn't require access from less secure apps.
To install the plugin:
- Login to your WordPress admin dashboard.
- Navigate to the "Plugins" menu and click on "Add New".
- In the search bar, type "Gmail SMTP" and press Enter.
- Look for the "Gmail SMTP" plugin in the search results and click on "Install Now".
- After installation, click on the "Activate" button to activate the plugin.
Step 2:Configure Gmail SMTP Settings After installing the plugin
you'll need to configure the Gmail SMTP settings and obtain a Redirect URI, which you'll need for your Google Developers Console project.
Note: The SMTP server status will initially show as "Disconnected."
To proceed from here, you'll first need to create a web application that allows you to access your Google account. During the application registration process, Google will also generate API keys for Gmail.
Step 3:Create a Google SMTP Project
To create a Google SMTP project and obtain the necessary credentials for the Gmail SMTP plugin, follow these steps:
- Go to the Google Cloud Platform Console at https://console.cloud.google.com/ and sign in with your Google account.
- Use the "Create Project" button to start a new project. If it's not available, click on the dropdown menu to select the project. This will open another page.
- Click on the plus sign to create a new project.
- Name the project with your preferred name.
Step 4:Enable the API
Enable the Gmail API for your project by following these steps:
- Click on the "Navigation menu" (?) in the upper-left corner of the console.
In the search bar, type "Gmail API" and select the "Gmail API" result.
- Click on the "Enable" button to enable the Gmail API for your project.
Step 5:Create Credentials
Set up the OAuth consent screen by following these steps:
1. Click on the "OAuth consent screen" tab in the left sidebar.
2. Select "External" user type and click on the "Create" button.
3. Enter a name for your application, such as "WordPress SMTP Plugin".
4. Under "Scopes for Google APIs", no additional scopes are required for the Gmail SMTP plugin, so you can skip this section.
5. Fill in the "Authorized domains" field with your website domain (e.g., example.com).
6. Add your email address to the "Test users" section if you want to limit access to specific accounts (optional).
7. Click on the "Save" button.
Step 6 :Configure the Approval Screen
Configure the approval screen using a product name like Gmail SMTP. Save the settings and proceed to create an OAuth client ID.
1. Select the web application and name it (e.g., Web Client 1).
2. Enter the custom domain for your WordPress installation.
3. Copy the authorized redirect URI created by the Gmail SMTP plugin and paste it in the provided field.
4. Click on Create.
Once you click Create, it will generate an OAuth client ID and secret code that you need to add to the Gmail SMTP settings in WordPress.
Step 7:Configure the Gmail SMTP
plugin Enter the following details in the Gmail SMTP plugin settings (Step 1):
1. OAuth client ID details.
2. The Gmail account used to create the project.
3. Email address and name that will be used to send WordPress email messages.
4. Choose encryption (TLS or SSL).
5. Add port: 587 if you choose TLS and 465, if you choose SSL.
6. Save the changes and click on Grant Permission.
Google will send a notification with a warning about a suspicious attempt to log into your account. It will also give you the option to allow or deny full access to the Gmail SMTP plugin for your email account.
Allowing it will activate the plugin and change the Gmail STP status to Connected using a green-colored button.
Save the changes.
You have now successfully configured WordPress to send all email messages and notifications through the Gmail SMTP server. You can confirm this by sending a test email.
Google's free SMTP server is a feature that organizations and individuals with low email volumes can use to improve their email deliverability.
As Google follows best security practices, its servers are clean and always listed in the whitelist. Therefore, emails sent from here are rarely blocked or delivered to spam folders. Additionally, Google has a large infrastructure distributed worldwide, resulting in lower email queues and delays.
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