Amazon SES is a world class email infrastructure that Amazon.com built to serve its own customers. I’m going to show you how to use it on a WordPress website.

Website hosting services typically require using a 3rd party email sending service to send emails from a WordPress website. Amazon SES, Mandrill, and SendGrid are a few of the top email sending service options. WordPress websites must be able to send emails to site administrators and users. These emails include new user account alerts, change password confirmation emails, system status alerts, and transaction emails like purchase receipts, etc.

Why Amazon SES? Because it’s cost-effective, reliable, and highly scalable. You pay only for what you use. It has clear and simple pricing, just $0.10 cents per thousand emails. That’s right, you pay just $0.10 cents for every one thousand (1,000) emails your site sends. This is affordable pricing for startups, small businesses, and personal websites. A price comparison chart appears below for your reference.

Email Services Pricing Comparison

You need these three things to setup a WordPress website to send email using Amazon SES:

  1. A WordPress Website
  2. An Amazon SES Account
  3. The WP Mail SMTP Lite Plugin

Let’s do it.

  1. Go to console.aws.amazon.com.
    • To create an Amazon SES account follow this link: http://aws.amazon.com/ses/
    • For step-by-step direction on create an Amazon SES account: https://www.formget.com/setup-amazon-ses-account/
  2. Login to your AWS account
  3. Click the Simple Email Service link under the Customer Engagement section.
  4. Click SMTP Settings in the left-sidebar, under the Email Sending section.
  5. Copy the Server Name and save it. You will need it later.
  6. In the content pane, click the Create My SMTP Credentials button.
  7. For Create User for SMTP, type a name for your SMTP user. (Alternatively, you can use the default value that is provided in this field.) When you finish, click the Create button.
  8. Click Show User SMTP Credentials. Your SMTP username and password credentials appear on the screen. Copy these credentials and store them in a safe place. YOU CANNOT ACCESS THESE CREDENTIALS AGAIN, so be sure to save them.
  9. Go to WP Mail SMTP / Settings
  10. Enter a “From Email” Use an email address that is different from your direct personal email. Example: support@yourdomain.com
  11. Do not check the Force From Email checkbox.
  12. Enter a From Name. Use the name of your business or your own name (if you are the seller and the brand).
  13. Do not check the Force From Name checkbox.
  14. Select the “Set the return-path to match the From Email” checkbox.
  15. Select “Other SMTP” under the Mailer section.
  16. Copy + Paste/Enter the SES Server Name into the SMTP Host field. (See step 5 above.)
  17. Select “TLS” Encryption.
  18. Verify the SMTP Port is set to 587.
  19. Verify Authentication is set to “On”
  20. Copy + Paste/Enter the SES SMTP Username. (See step 8 above.)
  21. DO NOT Copy + Paste/Enter the SES SMTP Password. Instead, add these two lines to the wp-config.php file. (See step 8 above.)
    1. define( ‘WPMS_ON’, true );
    2. define( ‘WPMS_SMTP_PASS’, ‘Your SES SMTP Password’ );
  22. Click the Save Settings button.
  23. Click the Email Test link. (Top)
  24. Enter your email address into the Send To field.
  25. Click the Send Email button.
  26. Check your email and verify you received the test email.