Email sent by a web server goes increasingly undelivered as internet service provider’s spam filters get ever stronger. For near-100% deliverability for email originating from your website, you’ll need an SMTP server (third party service).
There are four steps in getting it all working:
- Tell us,
- Sign up for SMTP service,
- Verify that you control your website’s domain, and
- Enter configuration information into your website.
1) TELL US
Send an email to Valued Websites to let us know that you are setting this up and remind us to “unblock port 465”, otherwise what you attempt here will not work.
Check with your IT person (if you have one) in case your organization already has an SMTP server that you can use. If not, Valued Websites suggests SendPulse ^, which is free for the first 12,000 emails.
This tutorial uses SendPulse as an example, but the general idea remains the same for all SMTP services.
When you sign up you should use an email that comes from the same domain as the website you’ll be sending from. So if I wanted to send email from ValuedWebsites.com, I’d use an email like myemail@ValuedWebsites.com
3) DOMAIN VERIFICATION
Login then go to the SMTP area of your SMTP provider’s website. Some of them may offer services other than SMTP, so you may not automatically be in the SMTP section when you login.
In SendPulse click the SMTP Settings button once you’re within their SMTP area. An “SPF Record” will be displayed. This will need to be added to your website’s domain name’s “zone file” in order to prove you control that website.
Ask your IT person or Valued Websites for help in putting the SPF record into your domain name’s zone file. Any edits to zone files may take a few hours before they start working, but in many cases it’s instant.
Note that you may have to enclose the SPF record in quotation marks when entering it into the zone file in order to get it to “stick”.
4) ENTER INFORMATION INTO WEBSITE
In that same page in SendPulse where you can see the SMTP settings, you’re going to be copying some of them into your website. You’ll need to be logged in as the master admin of your website, then go to Website Content > Notification Emails / Alerts (the exact menu names may be different if you have an older version of the software).
Once in the email alerts main page of your website, scroll down a little and expand the SMTP Server Settings section. Copy/paste these fields from SendPulse (or other SMTP service) into your website, be sure to enable SMTP sending, and then send a test message to yourself a little lower on the page.
If you don’t get the message, you may need to try fiddling with the SMTP Port and SMTP Security options.
If all else fails, send your SendPulse or other SMTP service login to Valued Websites and we’ll get it running (fees may apply — your website comes with 1/2 hour of included service time, after that it’s $75/hr in one minute increments — this setup usually only takes ten minutes).
In the meantime, be sure to disable SMTP in your website.