Your WordPress website will be sending some emails. Even if you don’t operate a webstore where order and payment emails are being sent, there will be forgotten passwords, blog subscriptions, and other miscellaneous emails that will go out from time to time. (For example, I use a plugin called WordFence which emails me every time a successful admin login is made.)
Depending on the configuration of your server, those emails may go out automatically. However, some servers don’t use the php(mail) function to send emails and thus, your forgotten password email won’t reach you.
Enter SMTP or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. This is most likely how you receive your emails if you use a program like Microsoft Outlook or even an additional email address through Gmail. It’s simply another mail protocol for sending emails.
Finding the right SMTP plugin, for me, was like Goldilocks and the 3 bears. One plugin wasn’t good enough, the other was too much. I tried several plugins and here are the ones that I recommend:
Mail Bank – A good, robust plugin with a lot of features. It does have a paid option. It seemed that upgrades may make you reenter your credentials, which is a pain, but I got pretty quick support through the WordPress forums.
WP Simple SMTP – Simple. Almost too simple with little logs or troubleshooting. But if you’re looking for simple, this is it.
These two plugins are a good start. I always checking reviews and how many support threads have been solved if you’re installing a plugin from WordPress’ repository. But f you need additional email functionality, one of those should help.