Guaranteed Delivery of WordPress Mail isn’t Difficult

Do you have Google Apps Email for your WordPress Site?

Have you started using Google Apps for all your WordPress sites? If so, you are already enjoying the benefits of easy mail access completely separate from your hosting provider. Now, that's a good thing. Because even if your hosting provider is the best in the world, it's unlikely that they're the best at mail delivery. So to that end, the first step in getting email and your WordPress site to play well together is to get Google Apps email for your site. If you don't have that going on yet, or don't know how to do that, you want to follow this tutorial:

http://wp.tutsplus.com/tutorials/hosting/connecting-a-wordpress-domain-to-google-apps/

Now, you might think to yourself, I don't know if I can do that. In that case, you might want to get help from Tweaky – where they can do little things like that on  your own site for a minimal fee.

But that only solves Part of the Problem

The other issue is outbound email. Because you want guaranteed delivery of your WordPress mail. The issue is that when your WordPress site sends out mail, it does so using the wp_mail () function, and that uses the underlying mail() function. Trust me when I tell you it was never designed to ensure that your mail is sent out quickly and without issue.

So even if you have Google Mail for your site, you've just solved your inbox issue. But  you still have an outbox issue. And how do you solve that?

The Answer is SendGrid

So the other day I was chatting with a friend about SendGrid – the folks I use whenever email goes out from this domain, and his impression was that integration was code-based. You can imagine, if you're a regular site owner, or a designer, that the words “code-based integration” can just leave you scared and unwilling to give it a go.

But the truth is that there is no coding involved. So here are the specific steps to get WordPress Mail out the door fast and with assurance of delivery in just minutes.

1. Get yourself a SendGrid Account – for under $10

It's easy and if you click on “Pricing” you'll see they have a light version which could cost you as little as $.30 a month, if you're barely sending anything out. I pay the $9.99 so that I have a pretty big bucket to use every month.

2. Download the WP Mail SMTP Plugin

This is a great plugin (and it is NOT the SendGrid plugin). As it states, it gets wp_mail() to use SMTP – which you can configure. It's a free plugin, focuses on doing one or two things, and does it really well.

3. Configure its Settings

You'll want to put in your outbound email address, your name and set the Mailer to SMTP. But the reason you pulled this down is so that you can configure the outbound SMTP host – which is smtp.sendgrid.net – and port – 587 – as well as your newly created SendGrid account username and password.

4. That's It!

And when all that is done – you're good to go. No coding. No extra work. Just the pure knowledge that every single email that the site and plugins on the site desire to send out is now being sent out using SendGrid – with it's own commitments to guaranteed delivery, speedy delivery, and statistics and metrics for me to review and monitor.

Have questions? Write a comment below…

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Chris Lema
Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.