Relying on WordPress, really the server your WordPress site is hosted on is generally an inferior choice, compared to using a 3rd-party email service.
- Many hosts have an improperly configured mail server.
- On a high-traffic site offloading processing to a specialized service improves site performance.
- The default WordPress email system does not have click tracking or open rate analytics, which is vitally important data for your business.
Caldera Forms Pro Makes This Easy!!
Real talk: I wrote the first version of this doc awhile ago because it was the best I could do to solve email problems. But I wasn’t happy, as this is a pain. I wasn’t happy, about it, so we built Caldera Forms Pro. – Josh
Caldera Forms Pro is a simple to setup service that makes sure your Caldera Forms emails are delivered and don’t go to spam. Not only that, you get fancy email layouts, form to PDF, email stats and more!
Options For Sending Caldera Forms Emails
Overriding All WordPress Emails
By default Caldera Forms will send emails through WordPress’ default email system, making use of wp_mail(). Many plugins exist to connect to third-party email systems by ovveriding wp_mail(). Two plugins we like to use are WP SES to use the Amazon Simple Email System by Amazon Web Services and WPMandrill for using the Mandrill API by MailChimp.
WordImpress has an excellent article on using the WP SES plugin. MailChimp has written a quality article on using Mandrill with WordPress.
Both of these options and similar options will be used for all WordPress emails. This is often beneficial as doing so will improve the reliability of all emails sent through WordPress.
Caldera Forms Emails Only
If you wish to only affect how Caldera Forms emails are sent you can configure Caldera Forms to interact directly with a 3rd party API and bypass WordPress’ default email system. As of version 1.4, Caldera Forms’ email system supports WordPress default and SendGrid only. SendGrid was chosen as our first integration
as it is free for up to 12,000 emails a month, has a great API and great dashboard. * SendGrid is now $9.99 a month or more. Caldera Forms Pro is a way better value.
To learn how to configure Caldera Forms to use SendGrid, see this document.
Note: to send all WordPress emails, including Caldera Forms emails through SendGrid, it is recommended that you use SendGrid’s official WordPress plugin.