A Complete Guide to Setup Contact Form and SMTP on WordPress for FREE

After struggling for four hours, installing a couple of plugins and watching 10+ different youtube videos, I finally set up the contact form on my website for FREE.

As I was going through all these steps, I realize there has to be a simpler way and hence I decided to write this blog.
Most of the blogs and tutorials online only mentioned steps of installing a contact form plugin and integrate it to a page. But I had some issue with the SMTP server which means I had to do much more than just installing one plugin. If you don’t have any issue with the SMTP server of your hosting company, then it’s just 10-minute job for setting up a contact form. But if you installed a plugin (any plugin) and it didn’t work the first time, then most probably it’s an issue with the SMTP server and you will have to use some service to fix SMTP. If you don’t know what SMTP is, don’t worry just keep reading.

I am explaining step by step process to set up your contact form. I am using two scenarios for this.

Method 1: Install a ‘Contact Form 7‘ Plugin
This method is good if your SMTP is working if this method doesn’t work then use method 2.

Method 2: Use a 3rd party service for the email server and then setup contact form.

Method 1: Install a ‘Contact Form 7‘ Plugin

Step 1: Install a Free plugin for contact form.

I am using Contact Form 7, a simple and free plugin. I like this plugin because it is very simple to use and get the job done. I also used WP Forms, but their free version doesn’t include a captcha feature, which is an essential feature for any contact form.

Go to Plugins-> Add Plugins

how to add new plugin in wordpress
Recommanded Read: Digital Marketing Basics

Search for “Contact Form 7”, install and activate the plugin

contact form 7 plugin

Step 2: Create your first contact form.

Go to Contact -> Add New

add new form in the plugin

Here you will create the layout of your form and what details you need. All the basic details of a contact form might already be there.

edit details in contact form 7

Once you complete the above form. Go to the next section “mail” and fill out all the necessary details. The first column is where you will put email ID, on which you want to receive emails.

Step 3: Setup Captcha

Go to contact-> Integration to put details of your reCaptcha by google.
If you don’t have the details, then go to “Google reCAPTCHA” and create your Google reCaptcha. Once completed you will get details of ‘Site Key’ and ‘Secret Key’. Update those details in Integration.

setup reCaptcha in contact form 7

Step 4: Integrate the contact form to a page or post

Once you create the form, you will get a shortcode of your contact form. Copy that shortcode and paste it in the page/post where you want to display your contact form.

Shortcode

Step 5: Test

Now test your contact form. Fill in dummy details and see if you received an email on the email ID that you mentioned in Contact-> Contact Forms-> mail -> To.
If you got the email on the mentioned email ID, then Hurray – your job is done. You just created a functioning contact form for your WordPress website.

If you didn’t get the email after trying 2 to 3 times, then welcome to the club. You will have to go for Method 2.

Method 2: Set up the contact form and SMTP server

If method 1 didn’t work for you that is because your email server is not set up properly at your hosting service. Now what you can do is use a 3rd party as your email server and use their SMTP server to send emails. You have two option to do that.

Option 1: Use Google or Zoho or some other service where you host your business email (email with your domain name). In my case I had already exhausted my limit for Zoho and Google cost money after the trial period. So to get absolutely Free service, you will have to use

Option 2: Use a third party transactional email service. There are a few options in this category:

Maigun (Free up to 10k emails per month). Although it was free, it asked for my card details in order to add a domain (a necessary step, I will explain later).

SendGrid (Free up to 40k emails for 30 days and then 100 emails/day)

MailJet (Free up to 6k emails per month): I decided to go with this as it had a better deal if you consider per day limit.

Now you will have to complete 3 major tasks to set up a functioning contact form.

1. Signup to MailJet (or any other similar service) and get SMTP details (username, password, host, and port)

2. Install “Easy WP SMTP” plugin and update SMTP details.

3. Setup and install contact form (all the steps listed in Method 1)

Let’s start with the first task

Task 1: Signup to MailJet and get SMTP details.

mailjet signup page

Once you signup and login to Mailjet,
Go to Transactional -> Overview -> “Manage sender domains and addresses

add domain in mailjet

Here comes the tricky part, adding a domain name. Now I am going to use some technical terms that you need to be familiar with if you own a domain name.
To add a domain name to Mailjet (verify the domain), you will have to add a TXT record in your DNS. You can do this via your domain name provider (the website where you bought the domain name).
I am using an example of domain “test.com” in Mailjet. once you click on “Manage sender domain and addresses” you will be directed to this page to verify your domain.

You can get more details here to know How to add TXT record DNS?

verify domain with TXT record

Once the domain has been added,
Go to Mailjet-> Transactional-> SMTP
Here you will get details of your SMTP server. Username, Password, Host, and Port.

SMTP Server details Mailjet

Task 2: Install and Setup “Easy WP SMTP” Plugin

Use the same steps as we used in method 1 to install the plugin.
Once installed, Go to
Settings-> Easy WP SMTP

Easy WP SMTP settings

Here you will have to update the details of SMTP server which you got from Mailjet

SMTP Server details in WordPress

Click on Save Changes and you are set.
Now go to Test Email section and put dummy details to see if you can connect to SMTP server. If you get some error, then you might have made some mistake in the process.
If you have done everything as mentioned, you might have received a test email.

Task 3: Setup contact form.

Follow all the steps in method 1 if not done already.

Congratulations!! You did it. You have setup contact form for WodPress. Reach out to me if on here or leave a comment if you faced any issue and need further assistence.

Happy to Help 🙂

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