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How To Configure Zoho Mail SMTP Connection With WordPress

Category: WordPress

There are many plugins that send email notifications on a WordPress website. In my experience, using an SMTP plugin is better than using your server and PHP to send mail. In this blog post, I will show you how to configure Zoho Mail SMTP connection with WordPress. For this example, I use Fluent SMTP to handle outgoing mail from my website.

Step 1: Install Fluent SMTP

I believe Fluent SMTP is one of the easiest plugins to configure, and I use it on all my websites and client websites.

  • Go to the Plugins tab in the WordPress admin dashboard.
  • Search for “Fluent SMTP.”
  • Install and activate the plugin.

Step 2: Create an Application Password in the Zoho Accounts Area

It is best practice to use a Zoho application password when configuring the authentication. Follow these steps to generate a new password:

  1. Login to your Zoho accounts dashboard at Zoho Accounts.
  2. Find the Security tab on the left-hand side of the screen and select “App Passwords.”
  3. Name your new application password.
  4. Copy the password and save it someplace safe. Remember, the application password is only viewable once.
Image 1

Step 3: Configure Fluent SMTP with Zoho Mail

  1. In the WordPress admin dashboard, navigate to the Fluent SMTP settings page under the Settings tab.
  2. Add a new connection and select the “Other SMTP” option.
Fluent SMTP settings and connection provider

Refer to the table below for the necessary details to configure SMTP settings for both personal and organizational users of Zoho Mail. If you have a branded domain for your Zoho Mail, use the Organizational Users row. If you have a free account, use the Personal Users row.

Type of UserOutgoing Server NamePortSecurity TypeRequire AuthenticationNotes
Personal Userssmtp.zoho.com465SSLYesEmail address should match the email account
Organization Userssmtppro.zoho.com465SSLYesEmail address should match the email account
Organization Userssmtppro.zoho.com587TLSYesEmail address should match the email account

I think the hardest part of the setup is figureing out your Zoho login email and then entering the new application password. So make sure to use the email address you use to login to Zoho mail for the SMTP user name below.

Follow the screen shot below to setup your SMTP settings based on the data from the table above. The screen shot covers emails that have a branded domain.

Sender settings interface for setting up SMTP with Fluent SMTP

Important Notes About The SMTP Configuration With Zoho

  • Use the email address you use to login to Zoho Mail for the SMTP username.
  • Enter the new application password generated in Step 2.

To see all the settings to configure SMTP, check out this post by Zoho. I have covered the basic settings above already.

For more information on why you need to set up an application password, review this post by Zoho. The simple answer is that it relates to two-factor authentication on your Zoho Mail account. I highly recommend setting up two-factor authentication for your Zoho Mail login. However, this means the SMTP plugin won’t be able to authenticate, so you have to set up an application password.

FAQs About Using A SMTP Plugin

Why is using an SMTP plug-in more reliable than the PHP mail function?

Using an SMTP plug-in is more reliable because these plug-ins use dedicated SMTP servers optimized for reliable email delivery. In contrast, the PHP mail() function relies on the server’s mail configuration, which can lead to issues such as emails being marked as spam or not being delivered at all.

How does an SMTP plug-in improve email deliverability?

SMTP servers are often configured with proper authentication, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records, which enhance email deliverability and reduce the chances of emails being marked as spam. The PHP mail() function may lack these configurations, leading to higher spam folder rates.

What security advantages do SMTP plug-ins offer?

SMTP plug-ins can use secure protocols like TLS/SSL to ensure emails are transmitted securely. In contrast, emails sent through the PHP mail() function are often sent in plain text, making them vulnerable to interception and unauthorized access.

How does the ease of configuration compare between SMTP plug-ins and the PHP mail function?

SMTP plug-ins typically provide user-friendly interfaces within WordPress to configure email settings without needing to modify server configurations. Configuring the PHP mail() function may require changes to the server’s PHP settings or mail configuration, which can be complex and error-prone.

Can SMTP plug-ins handle high volumes of email better than the PHP mail function?

Yes, SMTP plug-ins can handle a high volume of emails by leveraging powerful third-party SMTP services like SendGrid, Mailgun, or Amazon SES. The PHP mail() function is not designed for high email volumes, which can lead to performance issues and server overloads.

What are the benefits of monitoring and logging with SMTP plug-ins?

Most SMTP plug-ins include logging features, allowing you to monitor email delivery, track email status, and debug issues. The PHP mail() function lacks built-in logging and monitoring capabilities, making it harder to troubleshoot email delivery problems.

Conclusion

Configuring Zoho Mail SMTP with WordPress using Fluent SMTP ensures reliable and secure email delivery for your website. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily set up the SMTP connection and take advantage of Zoho’s robust email infrastructure. Using an application password for authentication enhances security, especially if you have two-factor authentication enabled on your Zoho account. With Fluent SMTP, you can manage email notifications efficiently, improving the overall functionality and user experience of your WordPress site. Whether you have a personal or organizational Zoho Mail account, these settings will help you achieve seamless email integration.