How to Improve Email Deliverability on WordPress: A Complete Guide

email deliverability

The first email was sent back in 1971. In 2021, we send 306 billion emails every day.

Among those emails are important messages relating to businesses, security, and website registrations. WordPress websites send these emails directly to the right users.

At least, that’s the idea. A range of factors can affect whether your website can send emails in the first place.

Keen to improve email deliverability from your WordPress site? Read on to learn how to fix common issues.

Why Is Email Deliverability Important?

WordPress and its plugins need to use email for a range of reasons. That includes:

  • Registering new users
  • Sending password resets
  • Contact form emails
  • Notifications within membership sites
  • Orders from e-commerce stores
  • Two-Factor Authentication codes (2FA)
  • Newsletter emails

Emails from your website might go straight to spam. That’s if they’re even sent at all. If these important emails don’t go through, it can cause serious problems.

Web Hosts Can Limit Email Sending Functions

Some web hosts disable the ability to send emails or limit how many their websites can send. This is to prevent their IP addresses from being marked as creating spam.

If this happens to you, then you’d need to enable your sending functionality in the WP email settings. You can normally find this option inside the control panel or dashboard for your web hosting.

Shared hosting can pose another problem. If your host has several websites on your server, it might limit the emails you can send. The sender reputation of these other sites can also impact your site’s reputation.

If this is the case, consider moving to managed WordPress hosting. This can improve email deliverability.

Troubleshooting Technical Problems

So what if you’ve enabled sending functionality and emails still aren’t sent? You might have a technical issue instead.

Use the same process you’d use to troubleshoot anything on WordPress. Disable your plugins and change to the default theme. This removes any of the factors that may be causing a problem.

Check email deliverability. Once you know the website is sending emails, switch your theme back to your chosen theme. Test deliverability again.

If it still works, enable the plugins one by one. Test the deliverability after you enable each plugin. When it stops sending emails, you’ll know which plugin is causing the problem.

Misconfigured PHP Can Cause Issues

You may also have an issue with misconfigured PHP. The process for configuring PHP email settings depends on your web host or the webserver.

You should be able to configure the settings using the php.ini file. Look for the [mail function] line, and you should be able to change the Email settings.

Making changes to PHP settings can break your website if you get the settings or syntax wrong. It’s best to test anything you do in a staging area, rather than doing it on your live website.

Fix Problems with Missing DKIM or SPF Keys

DKIM refers to DomainKeys Identified Mail while SPF refers to Sender Policy Framework. These tools give emails a cryptographic signature and validate them.

SPF creates a DNS record. This contains information about the mail servers that work on your domain’s behalf. That stops spammers from forging a ‘from’ address for your domain.

This means emails you send are treated as legitimate emails, not spam. So they’re more likely to land in the inbox, not the junk folder.

Setting up SPF and DKIM can solve your email deliverability problems. Check the documentation for your SMTP server for details on setting them up.

How to Check Email Deliverability

One way to check that your website is delivering emails is to create a new user. Use an email address that you have access to.

Check if you get the new user registration email. Try resetting the new user’s password. If these emails get through, then that’s a good start.

If you use a mail plugin, check your email logs. These will show you which emails were delivered.

Check Your Email Content for Problems

You’ve worked through all the above, and your website is sending emails. You have SPF and DKIM, yet emails are still going to spam. Why?

This may be because you’re not sending emails from your domain. Do you need recipients to send replies to a different email address? Use ‘Reply To’ rather than ‘From’.

Look at your subject field. All capitals, exclamation points, and question marks can get your email flagged as spam.

Certain phrases can also get legitimate emails flagged as spam. Double-check your email content to be sure it doesn’t sound spammy.

Finally, check your domain hasn’t been blacklisted. If it has, speak to your hosting provider.

Improve WP Email Delivery With a Mail Plugin

An SMTP plugin will solve many of your problems. It’s a more reliable way to send emails than PHP.

WP Mail Pro lets you send 1,000 emails per month for free. The plugin handles sending emails from your website, email logs, and email analytics all from your WordPress admin panel.

It’s also simple to use. Install and activate the plugin. Then configure the sending domain.

Fill in your email address and sender name, which recipients will see in their inbox. You can also add a reply-to email if you’d rather replies went to a different address.

You can also test it’s working by simply adding a recipient’s email address and hitting ‘send’.

WP Mail Pro uses its own mail servers dedicated to WordPress emails. That means your emails have the best chance of avoiding spam folders and landing in the inbox.

Other email plugins simply form a bridge between your website and your third-party email provider.  WP Mail Pro works as an email delivery service and the plugin so you can handle all your sites emails from inside your WordPress admin panel.

Fix Your Email Deliverability in Minutes

Using a WordPress SMTP plugin is the best way to improve your email deliverability. Not only that, but it also provides transparent information on your email health from within your website dashboard.

This speeds up your workflow, giving you reliable service and saving you time. You’ll have the peace of mind that your website is sending all the emails it needs to.

Check out WP Mail Pro’s great features and get started for free today.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore