Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Publish WordPress Posts via Email

updated on Sep 22, 2016
How to Publish WordPress Posts via Email The WordPress core is built with a "post via email" feature which allows you to write and publish posts directly from an email client. By making use of this feature, you don't have to log into your website every time you want to add a new post, which means that you can post to your WordPress site anywhere.

The "post via email" feature is not necessary for everyone, but some people will certainly benefit from it. For example, this feature enables you to publish posts from your smartphone on which the WordPress app is not installed. If you run a travel blog and want to post to your site at a region where your blog is blocked due to the government's policies or the network condition is poor, you will find the posts by email feature very helpful.

In the case that you'd like to try the feature, we'd recommend you to use a dedicated plugin instead of the default WordPress "post via email" settings. In below, we are going to explain the why and how.

WordPress Post via Email Settings

If you visit Settings > Writing in the WordPress admin area, you will find a section of "Post via email". In this section, you can enter an email address, its password and the mail server. The email address here will be used for the "post via email" feature. Any email sent to this address is going to be published on your WordPress site as a new post. For those new posts, you can select a default category for them.

WordPress Post via Email

The setup is easy. However, we don't suggest you rely on these built-in settings solely because:
  • This feature is planned to be removed from the WordPress core in a future release.
  • The built-in feature is too simple and lacks some important things that you need to format posts and manage media files via email.
Therefore, we highly suggest you turn to a plugin if you want to gain a good experience when publishing WordPress posts via email.

Post to Your WordPress Site via Email by Using Postie

Postie is a great plugin which allows you to create and publish posts via email, and it comes with many advanced features that are not included in the default WordPress "post via email" feature. These useful features include the support for POP3 and IMAP, user control, the management of image and video attachments, comment control, post excerpts, etc.

To set up and use the plugin, follow the steps below.

Post to WordPress Site via Email by Using Postie

Create a secret email address

A necessity for using the plugin is an email address that is connected to your WordPress site. This can be a free email account created on Google or Yahoo, or any business email account ended with your domain name. The latter is more recommended, though.

Since all emails received in the account will be drafted or published on your site automatically, you have to pay attention to the following things.
  • When creating the account, be sure to make it unpredictable. Using random strings like "Uo4BwhiP" should be much better than an admin's name like "Smith".
  • Keep the account as a secret and expose it to no one but those who should have the capability to publish posts via email.

Set up the mail server

After getting the email account ready, you should now install the Postie plugin, activate it, and then click on the new Postie menu item in the admin area. On the plugin's settings page, you first have to complete the email settings which are placed under the "Mailserver" tab.

Depending on the real condition of your new email account, you need to select the mail protocol, and enter the mail server, port and password.

Set up Mail Server

There are some other options on the same page. Most of the default settings are great-to-use, but you can still change the frequency of the automatic mail check.

Check Mail Automatically

Deal with the user settings

Postie offers many options for you to configure the users of the "post via email" feature. So under the "User" tab, you are able to choose which user roles have the capability to publish posts on your site via email, and authorize certain email addresses for post publishing. These settings are helpful if you want other users on your site to write posts from their email clients.

Select Users

Improve the post content

When you open the "Message" tab, you will be faced with many settings with which you are able to:
  • Select plain text or HTML as the preferred content type.
  • Define the default category for those posts added via email.
  • Specify the default tag or tags for the new posts.
  • Select the default post format, post type and post status.
For testing purpose, you can set the default post status as "draft", and then change it to "publish" after making sure everything works well.

Improve Post Content

Test the plugin by writing posts from your email client

After setting up the plugin, you can now send an email from any account to the secret email address. To test the functionality, remember to add links and images to the email. When the email is sent, go back to your WordPress site to wait for a new post to appear.

Depending on the frequency of the post check you have selected, you may need to wait minutes or hours. But to improve the efficiency, you can temporarily change the frequency to "check manually", and then run a post check by yourself. Postie will log into the secret email address automatically and fetch the new message. Any new message found there will be posted to your WordPress site automatically.

Run Postie Check Manually