WordPress | Email forwarding + Cloudflare

Have you set up your WordPress.com site with Cloudflare and are now trying to include email forwarding? This only applies to WordPress websites hosted on WordPress.com so if you are using another WordPress hosting service, you may be able to follow some of this tutorial but the MX server will differ. Maybe forwarding is already set up and it’s working but now you are wondering if it’s possible to reply ‘as your domain’. I also have a post called “Email forwarding – replying” which explains more on this.

When I was setting my site up I struggled to get the information need to make the emails appear in my personal email. I then had to spend a long time searching for how to do it and testing. I’m creating this blog post to explain how to get it working to save you time in your setup.

Add a forwarding rule

The first thing that you need to do is add a forwarding rule in your WordPress Dashboard. This part isn’t too hard as it is built in. Just add the domain address that you want it to be forwarded from and add the personal email address that you want it forwarded to. I found this part straightforward and managed to do quickly. It was the next step that I had to research.

Add a forwarding rule in the WordPress dashboard.
Adding an email forwarding rule in WordPress

Add a Cloudflare MX record

Now this is the part that I struggled to find, and spent a while searching the WordPress forums for the answer. Here is the answer thread but I will also explain what you need to do below. Why it’s buried in a forum rather then on the WordPress.com Cloudflare setup page, I’m not entirely sure.

At this point log into your Cloudflare account, and navigate to your DNS (Domain Name System) section. This will allow you to modify some basic settings to do with your domain name. DNS specifies how different parts of a domain works and what servers they connect to (in simple terms). For more detail you can read this post that Cloudflare has written on the topic.

Navigating to the DNS tab in CloudFlare.
Navigating to the DNS section.

Now click the add a record button, and select MX record. The MX record specifies what server handles your emails. In the name part you can use the @ symbol to select the root domain. In the mail server box you need to add ‘smtp-fwd.wordpress.com‘. This is the default WordPress.com mail server for forwarded emails. In the priority box you can just put anything as long as you only have one mail server (which for any basic email set up should be true). Otherwise priority selects which mailing server is prioritized. Now just click save and you should be all good to go.

Add MX record with name '@' and mail server of 'smtp-fwd.wordpress.com'.
Adding the MX record

Let me know if this does/doesn’t work for you either in the comments or at my working forwarded email address [email protected].

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