In a separate tutorial we explain how to create a new post by logging into your WordPress administration area and adding content to your new post.

There are additional ways to post content to your WordPress site that do not require you to open up a browser on your computer or laptop and log into your WordPress admin area.

Technology makes posting to your blog via remote methods like email extremely convenient, especially if you have a smartphone.

With a smartphone (e.g. iPhone), there are apps you can download for WordPress, and in a separate tutorial, we’ll show you how to post to WordPress using mobile devices.

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to add posts to your WordPress site using email. First, we’ll show you the manual method for setting up posting via email, then we’ll explain some of the limitations of using the manual method to post via email. We’ll also talk about using plugins to overcome these limitations.

Once you have completed this tutorial and set up your site for posting via email, you will then be able to go to any computer, or use your smartphone (with or without a WordPress app installed), and simply email an address. Your post will then be added to your WordPress site without requiring you to first log into your WordPress admin area.

Watch the videos below, and complete the step-by-step tutorial to learn how to post to WordPress via email …

Part 1 – How To Set Up WordPress For Posting Via Email – Manual Method

 

Part 2 – How To Set Up Cron Jobs To Automate Posting Via Email – Manual Method

 

How To Post To WordPress Via Email – Manual Method: Step-By-Step Tutorial

1 – How To Set Up WordPress For Posting Via Email

The first step in setting up your WordPress site so you can post using email is to set up an email address and connect it to WordPress.

To set up your WordPress site so you can post using email, go to Settings > Writing

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Scroll down the Writing Settings page to the section that says Post via e-mail

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Important

Important: For this step you will need to create an email account specifically for sending posts to WordPress. Do not use a regular email address that you normally use, or every email sent to that email address is going to become a new post on your site …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Note: You can create an email address with Gmail, cPanel, or anything else, as long as it provides you with ‘POP3’ access.

What is POP3?

POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) refers to a communication protocol that is used to retrieve emails from a mail server to the email client’s machine. Just like a post office, POP3 receives and holds your email until you pick it up.

When you check your e-mail, your e-mail client (e.g. Microsoft Outlook) connects to the POP3 server using your account name and password. Once you’ve logged in, the POP3 server allows you to access all of your e-mail messages.

POP3 makes it easy to check your email from any computer in the world, provided you have configured your email program to work properly with the protocol.

If your email provider or application doesn’t provide ‘POP3’ access, then choose another email provider.

Gmail provides ‘POP3’ access …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

If your webhosting provides cPanel then you can use cPanel to create an email address.

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Warning

Do not share this email address with anyone. Anyone with access to the email address you created specifically to post content to WordPress can post content to your WordPress site.

For this reason, we recommend creating a “secret” email address that is very difficult to guess and that is known only to you. You can use random characters, such as those suggested by WordPress, or create your own. Be aware, however, that some e-mail servers do not allow numbers-only e-mail accounts or accounts starting with a number. Please check with your web host if you have any doubts, or experience any problems.

Remember: Any e-mail sent to this address will automatically be posted to your blog, so be careful.

Useful Tip

You can use any one of the random strings suggested by WordPress itself in the Settings > Writing > Post via e-mail section, or create your own random string of characters …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

In this example, we’ll use cPanel.

Log into your cPanel account, and create a new email account using either a random string of characters, or a combination of characters that no one will be able to guess …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Once your email account has been created, scroll down to the email accounts list, and click on More > Configure Email Client (drop down menu)…

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

A new screen will open up giving you more information on how to configure your email client for ‘POP3’ access …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Scroll down the page until you see the Manual Settings section. This section contains the information that you’re going to need for the next step.

Note: typically, your incoming mail server address is ‘mail.yourdomain.com’ …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Leave your cPanel browser open or copy the above details down into a text file and go back to WordPress.

In the Settings > Writing > Post via e-mail section, enter the following details:

  1. Mail Server: Enter “mail.yourdomain.com” (use your domain name). In Port, enter the port number as per your settings. Typically this is ‘110’ – if this doesn’t work, you will need to contact your webhosting company to find out which port number you should use.
  2. Log in name: This is the new email address you have just created.
  3. Password: Enter the password associated with your new email account into this field. Note: the password is displayed in plain text, so make sure that you know which users have access to the Settings > Writing page because they will be able to login to your “secret” email address.
  4. Default Mail Category: Whatever category you select here is where all of your posts sent via email will be posted under. Tip: You can set up a category specifically for posts that you send via email.

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Remember to click on Save Changes to save your settings …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Useful Tip

Posting via E-Mail – General Tips

  • Every email message you send will create a new post on your site. The subject line of your email will be the Post Title and the body of your email will be the content of your post.
  • Only plain text messages are received by WordPress. If your email is not sent in plain text, WordPress will ignore the entire email body content (you will have a post with a title but no content). If you normally use HTML in your emails, remember to switch your email program to “plain text” before sending out your email.
  • Do not attach files when sending emails. If you do, WordPress will most likely ignore the email body.
  • If “Re:” or “Fwd:” are present in the subject line of your email, these will be added to your Post title.
  • If the email message is sent from an email address that matches a user account with posting permissions on your site, the email will be Published with that account as the author.
  • If the email message comes from an email address that does not match an existing account or an existing account with posting permissions on your site, the post will be saved with a “Pending”status, not “Published”.

Gmail Settings

Use the settings below to set up WordPress Posting via e-mail settings for Gmail:

  1. Mail Server: Enter “ssl://pop.gmail.com“. In Port, enter ‘995’.
  2. Log in name: This is the new email address you have just created.
  3. Password: Enter the password associated with your new email account into this field. Note: the password is displayed in plain text, so make sure that you know which users have access to the Settings > Writing page because they will be able to login to your “secret” email address.
  4. Default Mail Category: Whatever category you select here is where all of your posts sent via email will be posted under. Tip: You can set up a category specifically for posts that you send via email.

Gmail Tips

  • When you send emails directly from your Gmail account, select ìPlain Textî before sending, otherwise the body of your post will not appear in yout postís content area.

Once you have completed the above, the next step is to send a test email to your new address.

Open up your email client (e.g. Gmail, Outlook, etc… ) and note the following when composing your post:

  1. Enter the email address you have created specifically for posting content to WordPress.
  2. The subject line is the ‘Title’ of your post.
  3. When creating the body of your post, begin by adding a “#” symbol. Type in your content. You can add ordered lists if you want to.
  4. Add two stars ** before ** and two stars after any text or content you want to bold. (Note: This does not always work for everyone)

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Information

Note: Using this method to post content to WordPress has certain limitations. You can only use standard characters and plain text. In the following section, we’ll show you how to get more out of the “post via email” feature of WordPress using plugins.

After creating your post content in your email client, click ‘Send’ …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Here’s the same step as shown above using an email composed using Gmail …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

You are not done yet.

To ensure that you post is added to WordPress, you will need to type in a specific URL into your internet browser after sending your email that will then trigger a WordPress command to import your post from your POP3 email account.

If you have installed WordPress in your main domain, then use the URL shown below to trigger the mail import command in your WordPress site:

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

If you have installed your WordPress site in a directory (e.g. “blog”), then use the URL shown below to trigger the mail import command in your WordPress site (replace “blog” with the actual name of your sub-directory):

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

The screenshot below shows you an example of what happens when you trigger the wp-mail.php file …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

When you trigger the specific URL address shown in the examples above, WordPress imports your post and places it into a ‘Pending’ status …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Now that you know how to post to your WordPress site via email, then next step is to automate the process of triggering the wp-mail.php URL.

To do this, you are going to need to set up an action called a Cron Job on your server that will automatically trigger the URL every hour of every day to ensure that any posts sent to your site via email get added to your site.

2 – How To Automate The Process Of Posting To WordPress Via Email

The next step after setting up your WordPress site to post using email is to set up a Cron Job so you can automate the process.

A Cron Job is a time-based job scheduler that resides on your server. Cron jobs allow you to automate certain commands or scripts on your site. You can set a command or script to run at a specific time (e.g. every 5 minutes, every hour, twice a day, once a week, etc…).

Unless you set up a Cron Job to automate this task, you will have to manually trigger the wp-mail.php URL every time you email a post to your site.

Setting up a Cron Job is a relatively easy thing to do.

For this example we’ll set up a Cron Job using cPanel.

First, log into your web hosting panel …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Inside your cPanel admin area, scroll down the page and click on Advanced > Cron jobs

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Scroll down to the Add New Cron Job section and select a time period to trigger the Cron Job from the Common Settings: dropdown menu …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Note: The time period you select for running your Cron Job depends on how frequently you plan to post to your WordPress site via email.

Although you can set up a Cron Job to run every minute of every hour of every day, we suggest not doing this for this particular job, because every time you run a Cron Job, it uses up server resources.

The best way to calculate the time interval for your Cron Job is to be realistic about how often you intend to post content to your WordPress site via email, and how urgently the content needs to be added to your site.

Do you plan to post every few hours? Every day? Every week? Twice a week?

If, for example, you plan to post once or twice a week via email, then you should set up a Cron Job to run either every day or once a week (you can edit the Cron Job time interval anytime).

In the example below, we have set up as Cron Job to run once a day …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Once you specify the time interval, the next step is to enter the command that will trigger the Cron Job into the Command: line …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

For this particular task, the command you need to enter is shown below. Please note that you must enter it exactly as shown – spaces and case sensitive characters included.

Use this command if your WordPress site is located in the main directory (i.e the root directory) …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Use this command if your WordPress site is located in a sub-directory (e.g. a directory called “blog”) …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Enter the command line and click the Add New Cron Job button.

Your Cron Job will be saved …

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

Now, the Cron Job is going to run every day, and every time you send an email to your WordPress blog or site via the specific email address you have created in this tutorial, your post will be automatically added to your WordPress site. You no longer have to manually activate the link containing the wp-mail.php file.

Important

Note: If you experience any issues with the Cron Job (e.g. not posting), contact your webhosting provider – they will be able to advise you on how to fix the issue, or let you know if an alternative command is required to make the Cron Job work on your server.

Set Up WordPress Posting Via Email Using Plugins

As you can see, posting to WordPress manually via email has some limitations. Having to open up an internet browser to trigger a command to post your content to WordPress after creating and sending an email seems to defeat the purpose of using email to avoid opening a browser to post content. Not only that, but you are then limited to posting simple content in plain text only and having to create a cron job on your server to run the task.

Fortunately, you can use a plugin like Postie to help make sending posts to your WordPress site via email a lot easier:

How To Add Posts To WordPress Via Email

We have created a separate tutorial for this plugin here: Postie