How to Use the Gmail SMTP Server to Send E-mails for Free?

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Use the Gmail SMTP Server to Send E-mails for Free

You probably have used Gmail hundreds of times before but did you know that Gmail has a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server which lets you send mail for free directly from your Gmail account while using other mail clients? Yes, besides using the internal SMTP server of your hosting to send an email, you can try the reliability and benefits of Google’s SMTP server. It leverages you to send mail from other clients like Thunderbird, or Outlook. You can even send mails from your WordPress site’s email address which will increase the authenticity of your website. In this article, we will discuss how to send emails using Google SMTP and set up the server for it.

What is SMTP?

The general server address of SMTP is smtp.gmail.com. It is a set of commands that direct the transfer of emails. When you send an email, your email client is transmitted to the SMTP server (e.g. Gmail, Mozilla Thunderbird, or Microsoft Outlook). It transfers your mail to the email server of the recipient. When downloaded from the email server via “POP3” or “IMAP”, the recipient will receive the email.

Advantages of Using Google SMTP Email Server

There are two types of SMTP servers, namely internal and external. Although most web-hosting providers, such as Hostinger, offer an internal SMTP server. You can try out an external SMTP server like Google-SMTP server, which is used by many people. This server offers several benefits with some of them discussed as follows:

  • Reliable – Port 25 is not used by the Google SMTP server to prevent spam flagging. Therefore, better users can expect better email delivery.
  • Practical – The Google SMTP server is very practical to use and employ.
  • Secure – Two-factor authentication and server backup ensures improved security of user accounts and data.

While using the Google SMTP server, you should keep in mind that the outgoing emails are limited to one hundred per day. However, having 3000 free emails per month is enough if your site has low traffic.

How can I Use Google SMTP Server?

In this part, we’ll show you how to use email services via a custom domain in Gmail or a WordPress Plugin through Google’s SMTP server.

Google SMTP Server Details

  • Server for SMTP: smtp.gmail.com
  • Username for SMTP: Your complete Gmail address, like [email protected]
  • Password for SMTP: Your password for Gmail.
  • Port SMTP: 465-SSL/587-TLS

With a Personalized Domain

The way you log into Google’s SMTP server is simple if you have a customized email address. But first of all, make sure you have a customized domain email address and a Gmail address.

You need to create an application password, which will allow you to access the Google account via your custom email address. Make sure you’ve previously activated two-factor authentication on your Gmail account.

Step by Step Process

After creating the password, log in to your Gmail account and follow the steps below:

  • Click on the “Gear-icon”, which is at the top-right of the screen to navigate to the “Settings”.
  • Click on the option “add other email” on the “Accounts Tab”.
  • Add another Gmail email address.
  • There will be a pop-up window. Now fill in the information in the required fields and click on the “Next-Step” option.
  • Fill in the name and custom address.
  • Enter the SMTP server of Google, your Gmail address, and the password in the respective fields.
  • Enter the information of the Google SMTP server.
  • At your email address (custom), you will be sent an email for verification. Click on the confirmation link and open it.

That’s it. Now you have connected your custom email address to Google’s SMTP server. You can start sending emails via Gmail from a personalized address.

With a WordPress Plugin

You can also send emails via a WordPress plugin on Google’s SMTP server. There are many SMTP plugins, but we’ll show you how to use WP Mail SMTP in this write-up:

Step by Step Process

Installing the Plugin

  • Go to your Dashboard in the WordPress admin and go to Plugins -> Add New. Find the plugin “WP Mail SMTP through WPForms,” then install it.
  • Navigate to the WP Mail SMTP plugin from your WordPress dashboard. Open its settings and add details in the field “Name” and select “Gmail”.

Modifying the settings of WP Mail SMTP

  • Check the “Set the return-path to match the from email” check box to receive notifications whenever there’s a delivery problem.
  • Scroll down, and you’re going to see the fields of Client ID and Client Secret-field. To add a web application to your Google account, you have to create it.
  • To log in to your Google account, open a new tab and go to the Google API Console.
  • Click Project creation, name the project, and hit the Create button.
  • On the left side of the Dashboard, select the API Library. Make a “Gmail API” search.
  • Activate the API, then click on “Create Credentials”.
  • Answer the following question: Gmail API -> Web browser (Javascript) -> User data. Click on the next step by clicking on “What Credentials do I need? “

Add Gmail API credentials

  • Then, a window will appear “Set up the OAuth Screen of Consent.” Click on ‘Set the screen for consent.’
  • Choose your type of user. Enter the title of your website along with the application name.
  • Fill out the authorized domains, the homepage application link, the privacy policy application, and the application service terms link along with the address of your site. Fill out the authorized domains. Make the changes if you want to change other settings and then click “Save”.
  • Type the name and authorized source of JavaScript on the Credentials page. Please fill this with the address of your website. The authorized redirect URIs that you can find in your WP Mail SMTP settings must then be entered.

Create the Customer ID

  • Go back to WP Mail SMTP -> WordPress dashboard settings, and copy the Redirect URI.
  • Return to the APIs & Services page and paste the URI in the Credentials section of the Authorized Redirect URI field. Click Create.
  • The Client ID and Client Secret pop-up window will be shown. Copy and paste them into the Gmail section of the WP Mail SMTP Setting page. Do not forget to click on the “Save Settings” buttons.
  • Click on “Allow the plugin” in the Authorization section to send emails from your Google account.
  • Sign in and let your website manage your Gmail account.
  • To ensure everything works properly, send a test email. The WP Mail SMTP -> Email allows you to quickly test your SMTP server.
  • If the email is delivered successfully, you can use the setup to send real emails.

Final Words

An SMTP server is essential for the email delivery process in which emails from an email client are transferred. This is why it is an excellent option to use an external SMTP server such as Google SMTP. It is a free and reliable solution for websites that require a fewer number of mail transfers. In this article, we have discussed how to use Google SMTP in two ways, i.e. via a custom domain and via a WordPress plugin. You can follow the steps mentioned in the aforementioned sections to set up an SMTP email server easily.

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