WordPress not sending emails is often more than just a mild setback. When your WordPress website’s emails aren’t delivered or don’t reach their intended recipients, it means customers aren’t receiving essential emails from you. This includes information such as account and password reset emails.
Email sending issues with these can lead to a lack of trust among customers towards your brand. All of this is bound to mount up the frustration for both parties.
“Turning it off and back on again” is not the solution to this, unlike other WordPress issues.
How does WordPress send emails?
Before solving any email issue, it’s essential to know precisely how WordPress sends emails. If you’re experiencing WordPress not sending emails, you need to know why they are failing.
Sending with wp_mail
WordPress uses wp_mail to send emails via PHP. If you’re not a developer, there is a good chance you’re not familiar with it. Yet, it’s crucial to the sending flow in WordPress and how WordPress handles all sorts of emails.
The wp_mail function is used by a total of 24 functions within WordPress. This includes sending critical emails like password resets etc.
Practically, wp_mail sends mail in the same way as PHP mail does. It acts as a wrapper of the PHPmailer class and uses your host’s webserver.
What kind of emails does WordPress send?
Before we go into fixing WordPress not sending email issues, you need to understand what kinds of emails WordPress sends. For instance, WooCommerce creates its own transactional emails for orders, new accounts, refunds, and more.
Here are the primary emails that a typical WordPress site may send:
Password reset emails— the email a user receives upon requesting a new password.
New user email— An email which is sent to the site admin notifying them of new user registrations.
Activate account— The email is sent when a user signs up for an account and needs to verify the email they used.
Newsletter emails— If you use a newsletter plugin and send via your host, your newsletters could be affected by email sending issues.
Contact form emails—This could be the entire submission or a notification of a new contact form submission.
Common WordPress not sending email issues
Like most issues with softwares, there are common threads you can start with. For WordPress emails that start with,
Verifying PHP Mail is enabled is the fastest way to rule out any WordPress email sending issues stemming from your server.
Bad server reputation.
This is a less common issue overall but noteworthy if you use shared hosting. Mostly because everyone on the same server will use the same set of mailing IPs to send emails, all it takes is a few bad apples to intentionally send spam emails for the server to end up being blocked, resulting in your WordPress emails not sending.
Resolving WordPress not sending password reset emails
1. Set up SMTP
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is a standardized method to send emails that adhere to the proper authentication protocol to ensure email deliverability.
SMTP plugins help you with resolving WordPress not sending email. Free plugins such as FluentSMTP can help you configure and send all your outgoing WordPress emails via an SMTP server instead of PHP Mail.
So what’s the benefit?
Configurable from name and email address
SMTP lets you be easily recognizable by your customers and users, preventing you from ending up in the spam folder. This part solves the issue of sending any email from a completely different address from the server it belongs to.
Route emails via SMTP, completely bypassing PHP Mail
Apart from being more reliable, SMTP is vastly simpler to set up. Just pick an SMTP provider and then copy and paste the details into your backend. Before you know it, your email delivery rates will skyrocket.
2. Using Amazon to send your WordPress email
Just like its package deliveries, Amazon can take care of your email deliverability as well. Similar services are offered by Google as well.
First, you need an Amazon account if you haven’t got one already, and then you’ll need to install an SES plugin.
With FluentSMTP, you can skip this cause it connects to Amazon SES seamlessly. Just add in your Amazon SES/G-suite info to FluentSMTP, and you’re good to go.
FluentSMTP solves all of the WordPress email delivery issues in one neat solution that is free for life. Connect the most popular email services like Sparkpost, Pepipost, SendinBlue, and more. You can even add third-party email providers not included.
Get detailed email delivery reports so you know exactly how many of your emails are going out correctly.. With FluentSMTP, you won’t have to deal with another failed email ever again. If you do, you can always resend emails using FluentSMTP’s detailed email logs and one click resend option.
WordPress not sending password reset emails is one of the trickiest issues you might come across with your email marketing efforts. Whether you’re a seasoned legend or an email novice, it’s bound to ruin your day.
As alternative email sending solutions, such as FluentSMTP and Amazon SES, become readily available, the annoyance of WordPress emails not sending can be a relic of the past, and your users can stay in the loop uninterrupted.