Do I need a mail server?

I have a multi-site installation of WordPress hosted on a cloud server. I currently have not received a single notification or contact form email which I'll need to have working across the network.

I've looked into the possibility of setting up a new Google Apps user account in conjunction with a WordPress SMTP plugin. Would that work across the network or have to be configured on a per-site basis?

Failing that, do I need a full blown mail server installed?

  • Jorgen Juel

    Hi @Spencer

    Google apps will host the email for you, so if you use it, you do not need an email server.

    If it will work with a WordPress SMTP plugin is impossible to say, as there is more than one souch plugin, can you provide a link and I/we can check it for you?

    If you do not use google apps or any other email provider, you need to host your mail accounts yourself. Most hosting companies have this included in their packages, but not all. However, you do need to host it yourself if it is not provided from, for instance google apps (gmail).

    Sending emails does not require a mail server as this can be done server-side through PHP.

    I hope this helps

    --
    Jørgen Juel

  • aecnu

    Greetings Spencer,

    Thank you for the question and being that I am a server tech what is a "cloud server"?

    You are referring to a regular server hooked to the internet perhaps?

    In any event, you gave a great solution (no sarcasm) to your own question:

    I've looked into the possibility of setting up a new Google Apps user account in conjunction with a WordPress SMTP plugin

    I am not joshing you it is truly great out of the box thinking and some rep points sent your way for posting it.

    More then likely you will need to only network activate the plugin and enter your Google Apps information and should be all set especially if you are using something like Configure SMTP plugin.

    That should do the job for you and thank you for being a WPMU DEV Community Member!

    Cheers, Joe

  • Spencer

    Thanks Jørgen and Joe for elaborating further on the SMTP solution.

    I suppose my next question on this topic is:

    Will the SMTP plugin you've suggested work across the entire network or do I need to configure the send email on a per site basis?

    Furthermore, would you recommend I create a new Google Apps user like wordpress@mydomain.com as a generic address for all notifications and contact form emails sent across the entire multisite network?

  • Spencer

    Will the SMTP plugin you've suggested work across the entire network or do I need to configure the send email on a per site basis?

    Having just installed the said plugin the answer is: on a per site basis.

    Furthermore, I did create a new wordpress@mydomain.com email account via Google Apps and now it appears that on a per site basis I would have to enter the email and password into the SMTP settings. Wouldn't this a) be a huge waste of time for something that should be automated, and b) doesn't it create a security risk whereby users may get access to the email account password and login via gmail?

  • aecnu

    Greetings Spencer,

    Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.

    a) be a huge waste of time for something that should be automated

    If I understand you correctly concerning automation/integration of SMTP into WordPress, this would need to be implemented at the core level i.e. WordPress themselves.

    doesn't it create a security risk whereby users may get access to the email account password and login via gmail?

    When it is on a site by site basis they would enter their own SMTP authentication details. Let them be held responsible for spamming instead of possibly you.

    Let us know how it goes.

    Cheers, Joe

  • Spencer

    My known to work "wp-config.php" configuration for WP SMTP Config which works across the entire multisite network and acts totally transparent to the users:

    define('WP_SMTP_HOST',       'smtp.gmail.com');
    define('WP_SMTP_PORT',       587);
    define('WP_SMTP_ENCRYPTION', 'tls');
    define('WP_SMTP_USER',       'username@mydomain.com');
    define('WP_SMTP_PASSWORD',   'password');

    NB: This is my config for a Google Apps account I created to handle outgoing emails.

Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.