Sending Emails from WordPress Sites

Sending Emails from WordPress Sites

Sending Emails from WordPress Sites

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

Why doesn’t WordPress send emails without any configuration?

  • The easy answer is, it does… sometimes.
  • Some hosts and website work without any editing to the WordPress install or even the plugins to send emails from forms. It’ uses the PHP Mail function.
  • But some hosts don’t have that running or it is very ineffecting in sending email, so a plugin needs to be installed to send those emails

What is SMTP?

  • The default method of sending any emails is SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol).
  • It’s a way to send email from your website to your visitors through your email provider.
    • If you don’t have a dedicated domain email provider, you an also use Gmail, Outlook and other free email providers with a little configuration.
  • The basic information to send email through SMTP is
    • The server address : will be something like smtp.gmail.com

    • The username. Often it will be the full email address to send FROM : ie – something@gmail.com

    • The password for the account

    • The protocol to use and it’s accompanying port

      • 25 – basic, unencrypted SMTP port. This sends email from the site/app directly to the email server with no protection. It’s often restricted by many email servers and ISPs.
      • 465 : Another port that was used up until recently, but it’s not recommended any longer. It uses SSL ports but is actually now used for other types of internet traffic, and can be blocked or filtered by many ISPs and email providers.
      • 587 : The recommended port to send SMTP traffic. It uses TLS encryption which will ensure the email is submitted security.

      What plugins can be used to send emails from WordPress

      • Easy WP SMTP Plugin – my default SMTP plugin. Easy to confiure, it’s free, and comes with many preconfigured hosts like Gmail, Yahoo! and Outlook. Sends a test email to any email you wish to make sure everything work.
      • Mail SMTP Gateway Plugin – Another great SMTP plugin. This one has many options and can be tough for inexpreienced users to configure the eadvanced options.
      • WP Email SMTP Plugin – Another free plugins that has all the usual options. Some of the most popular included settings are from email, from name, mailer, return path, host, port, authentication, encryption, username and password.

What are your experiences or questions about sending emails from your website? Leave them below, or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!

Sending Emails from WordPress Sites

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

Best Methods for Sharing Files

Best Methods for Sharing Files

How Can I Share Files With Clients and Co-Workers?

Sharing files in an office environment is often easy. There’s often different email rules set up for internal sharing, an easy to use shared server environment, and company-provided usb thumbdrives.

But what if you need to share files with a customer, or now that you’re working from home and not inside that hardened corporate firewall? We’re talking today about some of the things you can use to share files without being on that safe company system (including VPN’s into the system)

Best Methods for Sharing Files

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

Ways to Share Files

There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of ways to share files with co-workers and clients. Remember that you still have to get passwords to the end user, so sending that in the same email could be a security issue. Here’s just a few ways to share files:

  • Thumbdrives – Keep in mind there are some issues regarding thumbdrive safety so make sure the drive is yours and you have formatted it prior to transferring files. Also, some computers are locked down to getting files from thumbdrives.
  • Password Protecting – Microsoft Office and other files allow you to password protect the files prior to saving or sending. In Office click on File – Info – Protect Document –  Encrypt with Password
  • Zip & Protect – Similar to password protecting. Just add to a compression folder and add a password.
  • Google Drive – Save files to your Google Drive, and from there you can share the folder out via email or a shared link.
  • SendSafely – Two-factor authentication, expiration controls, even an Outlook plugin with “dropzones” for teams. Free and various levels of subscriptions.
  • DropBox or Sync -File sharing sending links or allowing a login. I use Sync which allows you to see when the file is downloaded and also to encrypt and password protect them better than Dropbox.

These have different levels of cost and security, but all will work. Some require direct access like a thumbdrive, and some are easier to hack than others. Some are easy to set up, and some might require some working with clients and co-workers setting up and sharing.

The important thing to remember is if you really need something to be secure, make sure you can control the source, encrypt end-to-end, and see who views/edits the file. Budgets, financial data, secure company data and items like that need more security than an birthday announcement. Think in advance and be safe!

What are your favorite ways to share files? Send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!

Best Methods for Sharing Files

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

10 Reasons You Should Be Using GSuite

10 Reasons You Should Be Using GSuite

Why I Don’t Manage Email Accounts

For the first few years of hosting domains at BeBizzy Consulting I issued each customer one email address, with more available for additional cost. 

I quickly realized this was a mistake, as well over 50% of my support issues were getting email to work correctly instead of building and maintaining the websites I currently host.

There is so much to manage when hosting your own email, or email for other companies. Domains zone files, uptime, security, blacklist management, password issues, email setup on a wide variety of applications and platforms, contact lists, webmail… my head hurts just thinking about it.

It didn’t take long for me to figure out there were services that were not only inexpensive, but WAY better at keeping email flowing and basically always working. The first considerations were Office 365 either through a provider, Microsoft itself, or a domain registrar like GoDaddy, Zoho mail or another CRM as a host, or just running your own email server on a spare server or computer lying around.

Or better yet, use Gsuite by Google. Gsuite is just a more full-featured Gmail.

https://gsuite.google.com/

10 REASONS YOU SHOULD BE USING GSUITE

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

The 10 Great Reasons to Use GSuite

  1. You get an email address at your business name
  2. Relatively east to set up.
    • Create the account, verify the domain with a file upload or DNS change, and adjust the MX zones with your registrar or hosting company.
    • You can easily upload a contact list, or even import email from another provider if some pre-work is done correctly.
  3. Total control of the environment through the admin console. Turn on/off apps, access, virtually anything for any users.
  4. You can get your email from virtually anywhere, just get an internet connection. I get my email from my desktop, a Surface laptop I carry to meetings, Chromebook, smartphone, browser, it doesn’t matter. In regards to apps and programs, there are tons of great smartphone and Windows/Mac apps that will get email, especially if you use Gmail/Gsuite. I happen to use Outlook because I needed other Office products for a couple other clients who needed pivot tables and more.
  5. 24/7 world class support via chat, email or phone. If you are a paid Gsuite user you can get help any time, and pretty much anywhere.
  6. 2FA – Two Factor Authentication to protect your accounts and admin info. Have a code saved on a single mobile device or acknowledge a login. Enter a code from Google Authenticator or a text message. It’s all there automatically to protect your personal data.
  7. The Google Docs office suite works well with Microsoft Office products like Word, Excel and Outlook. Not for advanced stuff like pivot tables and special formatting, but basic spreadsheets and documents are easily read, created and shared in Google Docs.
  8. Access to a wide selection of apps to use across your environment including calendars, project management, CRM,  Google Hangout communication and more!
  9. The Google Drive file sharing, collaboration and other benefits – Need to collaborate on a spreadsheet or presentation? Or need access to a directory with all the same images? Google Drive makes this easy, and cheap compared to Dropbox and other services.
  10. It always works. I’ve had my Gsuite accounts for well over five years, and I can think of maybe twice where the mail was down for minutes, not hours or days. It just works.

A few things to be aware of when using a service like Gsuite

  1. As with any email server (or any other server for that matter), security is always an issue. Since Gsuite is accessible virtually everywhere, be cautious about using good passwords, two-factor authentication (2FA), recovery email address and other measures to make sure no-one is getting in or administering your email.
  2. Speaking of being available everywhere… you and your employees will be getting at email from pretty much anywhere you can think of. Their phones, their laptops, their tablets, friend’s computers, public devices and unprotected networks. Browsers will ask to save passwords and inevitably will be saved on unintended devices. Have some policies and measures set up to handle these instances to change passwords, delete “approved” devices and more to keep everything safe.
  3. If you don’t want everyone to have access to all tools and apps in the Gsuite system it will take a bit to set up and manage. It’s still easier than the old days of managing an Enterprise server.

Are you using, or thinking of using GSuite? Send your comments to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!

10 Reasons You Should Be Using Gsuite

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast