How to Use Google SMTP Server

How to Use Google SMTP Server

If you have a Gmail account, you might want to use its free SMTP service. Aside from using your hosting’s portable SMTP server or other third-party email clients, you can send emails with Google’s SMTP server as it’s reliable, secure, and fast. 

However, not a lot of people are familiar with Gmail’s SMTP server and how to use it. 

In this tutorial, we will show you how to activate Google’s SMTP server from your Gmail account and WordPress site. We will also walk you through Gmail SMTP settings. 

What is SMTP?

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)  is a set of commands that directs the transfer of emails. When you send an email, it will be forwarded from your email client (such as Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, or Mozilla Thunderbird) to the SMTP server. The server will then relay the mail to the recipient’s email server.

The recipient will receive the mail once it’s downloaded from the email server via POP3 or IMAP. There are two types of SMTP servers — internal and external.

Most hosting providers, such as Hostinger, offer an internal SMTP server. However, you should consider using an external SMTP server, such as Google’s SMTP server. It provides several benefits that you might want to consider:

  • Reliable. Google SMTP server doesn’t use port 25 to avoid spam flagging. Hence, it gives better email deliverability.
  • Convenient. No need to set up your own outgoing mail server (if you use VPS).
  • Secure. It requires two-factor authentication, and emails will be backed up in Google’s servers. In addition, Google requires you to have a secure connection for sending mails. 

Keep in mind that Google limits outgoing emails to 500/day for trial accounts and 2,000/day for  GMail and GSuite. Still, it’s a great deal for sites with low email volumes.   

How to Use Google SMTP Server?

In this section, we will show you how to send emails using Google’s SMTP server through a custom domain via your Gmail account or with a plugin in WordPress.

Before we continue, keep in mind the following details to configure your Google SMTP server settings:

  • Gmail SMTP server: smtp.gmail.com
  • Gmail SMTP username: Your full Gmail address, such as youremail@gmail.com
  • Gmail SMTP password: Your Gmail password.
  • Gmail SMTP port: 465 (SSL)/587 (TLS)
  • TLS/SSL: Required.

Using a Custom Domain

If you have a custom email address, the process to connect to Google’s SMTP server is simple. But first, make sure that you have an email address with a custom domain and a Gmail address.

Before proceeding, you need to prepare a Google password – which will give your custom email address permission to access a Google account. Make sure to activate the two-factor authentication on the Gmail address beforehand.

Once you have the Google password, log in to your Gmail or Google workspace account and follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Gmail Settings by clicking the “gear icon” in the top right.
  2. Hit the Accounts tab and click on Add another email address.Accounts tab under Gmail settings
  3. A pop-up window will appear. Fill the required information and press the Next Step button.Google SMTP's email registration pop-up
  4. Enter Google’s SMTP server, your Gmail address, and the app password you’ve created earlier in the respective fields.Configuring Gmail SMTP server
  5. A verification email will be sent to your custom email address. Open it and click the confirmation link.

That’s it! Now your custom email address has been linked with Google’s SMTP server. You can also start sending emails from the custom address through your Gmail account.

Using a WordPress Plugin

WP Mail SMTP plugin logo

For WordPress sites, you can use a plugin to send emails using Google’s SMTP server. There are plenty of SMTP plugins, but in this tutorial, we will show you how to use WP Mail SMTP:

  1. To install the plugin, access your WordPress admin dashboard and go to Plugins -> Add New. Search for the “WP Mail SMTP by WPForms” plugin, then Install Now -> Activate.
  2. Navigate to WP Mail SMTP from your WordPress dashboard. Click on Settings. Fill in the From Name field and choose Gmail in the Mailer section.WP Mail SMTP mailer configuration
  3. Don’t forget to check the “Set the return-path to match the From Email” checkbox to get notifications each time there’s a delivery issue.
  4. Scroll down, and you’ll see the Client ID and Client Secret fields. To fill them, you have to create a web application in your Google account.
  5. Open a new tab, go to Google API Console, and log in with your Google account.
  6. Click Create Project, create a Project Name, and hit Create.GMail API on Google APIs dashboard
  7. Then, select the API Library on the left side of the dashboard. Search for “Gmail API”.
  8. Enable Gmail API and click Create Credentials.
  9. Answer the questions with the following: Gmail API -> Web browser (Javascript) -> User data. Proceed by clicking What credentials do I need?Adding credentials on Google API
  10. A “Set up OAuth consent screen” window will appear. Click “Set up consent screen”.
  11. Pick your User Type. Fill the Application name with your website’s title.
  12. Then, fill the Authorized domains, Application Homepage link, Application Privacy Policy link, and Application Terms of Service link with your site’s address. Tweak any other settings if you prefer and then click Save.
  13. On the Credentials page, type in the Name and Authorized JavaScript origins. Fill this one with your site’s address as well. You will then need to enter the Authorized redirect URIs, which you can find in your WP Mail SMTP settings.Authorizing redirect URIs on Google API
  14. Go back to the WP Mail SMTP -> Settings on your WordPress dashboard and copy the Authorized redirect URI.Authorizing redirect URI on WP Mail SMTP settings
  15. Go back to APIs & Services page, paste the URL to the Authorized redirect URIs field in the Credentials section. Click Create.
  16. You will see a pop-up window containing the Client ID and Client Secret. Copy both and paste them to the WP Mail SMTP Settings page under the Gmail section. Don’t forget to press the Save Settings button.Configuring Gmail on WP SMTP Mail settings
  17. Press the “Allow plugin to send emails using your Google account” button next to the Authorization section.
  18. Connect your Gmail account and allow your website to manage it.
  19. Send a test email to make sure that everything works properly. This can be done in the WP Mail SMTP -> Email Test tab.Email test tab on WP Mail SMTP settings

If the email is successfully delivered, it will look like this:

Test email sent successfully message from WP Mail SMTP

Conclusion

An SMTP server is essential in the mail delivery process — it’s responsible for transferring emails from an email client. 

That’s why using an outgoing SMTP server like Google SMTP is an excellent choice since it provides a free and reliable solution, especially for sites with low mail volumes.

In this article, you’ve learned how to use the Google SMTP server in two ways — through a custom domain and using a WordPress plugin.

Do you have any questions regarding this topic? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Author
The author

Richard Boyett

Richard is a WordPress software developer and an expert of content management systems. When he is not playing around with code, Richard enjoys good cinema and craft beer.