Monday, August 11, 2008

Wordpress contact forms and mailing made less complicated

After setting up some Wordpress blogs on my own server, I ran into the problem of wanting a basic contact form that would email myself and users. I in no way wanted to bother setting up my own mail server. I also would prefer not buying SMTP mail service. After a wretched chain of annoying plugins, I came across a salutary trio that met my needs: Cimy Swift SMTP, Contact Form 7, and a Gmail surprise.

Cimy Swift SMTP allows you to setup SMTP settings, which is perfect if you want to use an external service and not use PHP mail() function. Apparently, Google will let you send mail to any address from any domain using SMTP. Handy! So you just install Cimy, go to its Settings page, put in "" as SMTP server, port 465 (it tells you this is for Gmail), your Gmail user and pass, and that you want TLS (it also notes this is for Gmail. Save, put in a test address, and it should just work. At least it did for me, where others failed.

Now you are all dressed up with SMTP, but where to go? I tried a number of contact form plugins that looked great, had lots of features, etc. And none of them bothered using the SMTP settings I put in. Contact Form 7 did, however. It's simple, and takes a little customization to make it look decent. But still, it is a basic contact form that works, and that is all I needed.


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