How to Send WordPress Emails with Free Gmail Account

Setting up SMTP in WordPress is easy. We need to add email provider specific SMTP server details, port, and credentials, that’s it. Though it is easier it is not the best way to send emails from WordPress. It is better than using the PHP mail function, which is not reliable and has a high probability of ending up in a spam folder.

Gmail, free or paid (G Suite/Google Workspace) guarantees higher deliverability than other email providers. For a long time, we have used a free Gmail account to send WordPress emails with the same SMTP server based method. The basic flaw with the method is that you need to save your Gmail account credentials in WordPress and that might put your credentials at risk of theft or misuse.

With Gmail’s new API based email integration you can avoid that and enjoy better email deliverability at no cost. Sure there are limitations. With a free Gmail account, you can send only 500 emails a day. Whereas with G Suite (Google Workspace) which is a paid option you can send 2000 emails/day.

Free Gmail SMTP is a good option for a typical business website as it may not cross the email limits. For businesses with active digital marketing campaigns, lead magnets, newsletters, etc a free Gmail is not a suitable option. For a high volume e-commerce website, you need a completely different setup for email delivery. (Check mailgun)

Here we are talking about a typical portfolio or business website which do not have a setup that sends more than 500 emails per day.

How to Set up WordPress Emails with Free Gmail Account

Though setting up SMTP with Google API take longer it compensates that with the security it offers. With this method, you don’t need to save your Gmail credential in WordPress, plus you don’t need to allow less secured apps. On top of that, you don’t need to type in Gmail SMTP server address and port number.

Step 1: Install WP Mail SMTP

Install WP Mail SMTP plugin by WPForms. Activate the plugin, it will open a setup wizard. Click the “Let’s get started” button.

WP SMTP setup screen

Step 2: Choose Your SMTP Mailer

Choose the “Google / Gmail” option and click “Save and Continue”

Choose Your SMTP Mailer

Step 3: Configure Mailer Setting

On the next screen, you need to add Client ID, Client Secret, and Authorized Redirect URI. Then to allow this plugin to send emails using your Google account click the “Connect to Google” button and authorize the plugin.

Follow the next steps to get Client ID, Client Secret, and Authorized Redirect URI from Google API.

Step 4) Web App in Your Google Account

Login to your free Gmail account and go to Google Cloud Console.

4 Terms of Service

If you are using google cloud for the first time, it will ask you to agree to the terms of service

Step 5: Create a Project

To create a new project click on the Projects dropdown in the top toolbar. Then click on the “New Project” button.

Create Project

Add a unique project name and click the “CREATE” button.

Step 6: Enable Gmail API

From your Google Cloud Console sidebar, go to APIs & Services » Library.

Click on “+ ENABLE APIS AND SERVICES”

Enable Gmail API

On the next screen choose the “Email” category or search “Gmail API”

Click on the Gmail API card and Click the “Enable” button

Step 7) Create Application Credentials

You will be redirected to Gmail API’s overview page. Click on the “CREATE CREDENTIALS” button.

On the next screen “Gmail API” select API type and select “User data” as a type of data. Click “Next”.

Create Application Credentials

Step 8: Configure OAuth Consent Screen

Enter app name, user support email, optionally add a logo. Finally, add the developer’s email and click the “SAVE AND CONTINUE” button.

Configure OAuth Consent Screen

Step 9: Configure OAuth Client ID

Select the Web application option from the Application type dropdown and add a relevant name.

Configure OAuth Client ID

Skip the Authorized JavaScript origins section and add https://connect.wpmailsmtp.com/google/ Authorized redirect URIs. Click the “Create” button.

Configure OAuth Client ID

Step 10: Copy Keys

Copy the Client ID and Client Keys from the popup window.

Copy Keys

Step 11: Publish status from testing to production

Go to APIs & Services » OAuth consent screen. Under User Type, click on the Make External button.

Publish status from testing to production

Step 12: Add Keys in Plugin

Go back to plugin setup wizard in WordPress and add Client ID and Client Secret. Now allow the plugin to send emails using your Google Account.

It will open the Gmail authorization screen where you need to allow google to send emails. Nore that none of your users will see this screen, this is a one-time setup from the admin side.

Step 13: Send a Test Email

Return back to WP Mail SMTP settings page and send a test email.

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