Tag - Logs

How to Setup WordPress Email Logs (and WooCommerce Email Logs)

Do you want to set up email logs on your WordPress or WooCommerce website?

Email logs allow you to monitor the emails sent by your WordPress site to the users. This helps you troubleshoot issues and check the status of email notifications sent by your WordPress website.

In this article, we will show you how to easily set up WordPress email logs and WooCommerce email logs.

After following this tutorial, you’ll be able to view the email logs directly from your WordPress admin area in an easy to understand format.

How to set up email logs in WordPress and WooCommerce

Why Set Up Email Logs in WordPress or WooCommerce?

Whether you are running a small business website using WordPress or a WooCommerce store, WordPress automatically sends certain email notifications to your users.

On a typical WordPress website, these emails include password reset emails, new user notification, password change notification, comments, and WordPress update notifications.

If you are also running an online store, then email becomes even more important. WooCommerce will send out customer receipts, order details, new order notifications, and user account emails on a regular basis.

As you can see, email notifications are crucial for your website to function properly and deliver the best user experience.

You need to make sure that those emails reach users’ inbox and don’t just disappear or end up in spam.

The best way to do this is by using a proper SMTP service provider to ensure email deliverability. For more details, see our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

You would also want to see which emails are sent and to whom. This allows you to keep a record of email activity which comes in handy in several situations.

Following are just a few of those situations when email log comes in handy:

  • Ensure that email notifications are delivered promptly
  • Track your WordPress contact form plugin emails
  • You can see if emails sent by a plugin are working
  • Keep a track of user activity using the email logs
  • Track user activity if you run a membership website or sell online courses
  • Keep email log of your WooCommerce orders, reciepts, and customer notifications

That being said, let’s see how to easily setup email logs on your WordPress or WooCommerce website.

Setting up Email Logs in WordPress & WooCommerce

For this tutorial, we will be using the WP Mail SMTP plugin. It allows you to send WordPress emails using any SMTP service provider including Gmail, Outlook, SendGrid, Amazon SES, etc.

How WP Mail SMTP works

Step 1. Install and Setup WP Mail SMTP

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit WP Mail SMTP » Settings page to configure the plugin settings.

First, you’ll need to enter your license key. You can find this information under your account on WP Mail SMTP website.

WP Mail SMTP license key

Simply, copy and paste your license key and then click on the Verify button.

After that, you need to scroll down to select how you would like to send your WordPress emails under the Mailer section.

WP Mail SMTP works with any SMTP service. It comes with easy configuration options for the most popular SMTP service providers like Gmail, Outlook, Sendinblue, Mailgun, Sendgrid, Amazon SES, or Other SMTP services.

Select mailer

Clicking on the mailer will show you instructions to set it up.

The default option is set to PHP mailer. We don’t recommend using that because it is not reliable. Since most WordPress hosting servers are not properly configured for emails, this option will mean that your WordPress emails may never reach users’ inbox or even spam folder.

We recommend using a provider like SendinBlue or Mailgun that’s optimized for best email deliverability.

If you choose Other SMTP as your mailer option, then you’ll need to provide SMTP settings which you can get from your SMTP service providers website.

  • SMTP Host: You smtp host address which usually looks like this smtp.yoursmtpserver.com
  • Encryption: Usually it is either SSL or TLS
  • SMTP Port: Usually it is 465
  • Authentication: Turn on authentication
  • Username: Username provided by your SMTP service usually it is your email address.
  • Password: Password for your SMTP service

Other SMTP service provider

After you have entered your mailer credentials, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Settings’ button to store your settings.

Bonus: It’s important to use a professional business email address to ensure your emails look trustworthy.

Step 2. Enable Email Log Feature

Now that you have set up mailer settings in the WP Mail SMTP plugin. It is time to turn on the email logging feature.

From the plugin’s settings page, switch to the ‘Email Log’ tab and check the box next to ‘Enable log’ option.

Turn on email logs

The email log option will save general and troubleshooting information about each email message. Including the date and time, subject, email status, email addresses of the sender and recipient, BCC and CC, attachment, etc.

The plugin also allows you to enable complete WordPress email logs. We don’t recommend enabling complete email logs because it would save all contents of the email including private or sensitive information in your WordPress database as plain text.

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save settings’ button to save your changes.

Step 3. Testing WP Mail SMTP Setup

Now that you have set up the WP Mail SMTP plugin, let’s test it to make sure that everything is working as expected.

WP Mail SMTP makes this step easy. Go to the plugins settings page WP Mail SMTP » Settings page and switch to the ‘Email Test’ tab.

Test WordPress SMTP email settings

From here, simply enter your email address and click on the ‘Send Email’ button.

The plugin will now send a test email to the address you provided. It will then show you the status of the email delivery on screen.

Email sent successfully

Step 4. Viewing Your Email Logs in WordPress

You can view your WordPress email logs at any time without leaving the WordPress admin area.

Simply go to WP Mail SMTP » Email Log page. You’ll see the log with a list of entries since you enabled the email log.

Email log entries

To view entry details, take your mouse over it and then click on the ‘View’ link below it. This will open the email log entry with a detailed view.

Email log entry

You can also use the search feature to look for entries by email address, subject & headers, or by content (if you enabled content logging).

You can also delete older entries from your email log. You can use the ‘Delete’ link below any entry to delete a single entry.

You can also select multiple entries and click on the Bulk Actions drop-down menu to select ‘Delete’ and then click on the Apply button.

Delete email log entries in WordPress

We hope this article helped you learn how to set up WordPress email logs and WooCommerce email logs. You may also want to see our guide on how to monitor user activity in WordPress with security audit logs.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Setup WordPress Email Logs (and WooCommerce Email Logs) appeared first on WPBeginner.

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How to Monitor User Activity in WordPress with Security Audit Logs

Do you want to monitor user activity on your WordPress site?

Running a multi-author blog or membership site comes with its own unique challenges such as stopping spam registrations and managing editorial workflow.

One solution that owners and admins of multi-user WordPress sites seek out is the ability to easily monitor user activity on their website.

This allows them to put a check and balance system in place. If things go out of control, then they can easily figure out what went wrong, who did it, and how to fix it.

In this article, we will show you how to monitor user activity and keep a security audit log in WordPress.

Monitor User Activity in WordPress

Why You Should Enable WordPress Activity Monitor and Logs?

A common objection that often comes up is you shouldn’t give WordPress login access to anyone that you don’t trust. If you do that, then you won’t need an activity tracking solution.

That’s a bit extreme because there are several very valid use-cases of activity logs.

Sometimes users can accidentally make an error or mistake that may break your WordPress website. Having an activity tracking log helps you identify and fix those issues faster.

Since the audit logs will show you which user made the mistake, you can also educate them on best practices to prevent the same mistake in the future.

A good example is if a moderator approved a comment that doesn’t fit your comment guidelines, then you can quickly correct their mistake and also notify them about it.

Another very good use-case for security audit logs is when you hire a WordPress developer from third-party contract websites like Codeable, Upwork, etc.

While most developers are trustworthy, sometimes you will run into a dishonest developer who can cause your business to lose significant amount of money.

Recently one of our Facebook group members reported that a developer she hired from Upwork changed the PayPal address in her WooCommerce store.

Upwork Scammer

These kind of subtle changes are extremely hard to detect unless you have a WordPress user audit log that keeps track of all activity.

Several years ago this issue happened to WPBeginner founder, Syed Balkhi, where a freelance developer quietly changed several of his affiliate links. Syed caught and fixed the issue thanks to a security audit log plugin.

With the above benefits in minds, let’s take a look at how to set up and monitor user activities on your WordPress website.

We will share two WordPress audit log plugins.

  1. Simple History (free plugin, but not as robust)
  2. WP Security Audit Log (best-in-class for what it does)

Monitoring User Activity with Simple History

Simple History is a free user activity monitoring plugin for WordPress, but it is not as feature rich. If you run a small website or WordPress blog, then this plugin will work for you.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Simple History plugin. You may follow our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress plugin for detailed instructions.

Upon activation, head over to Settings » Simple History from the left sidebar of your WordPress admin panel.

Simple History plugin settings page

On the settings page, you can choose whether you want the activity log to appear on the dashboard, on a separate page, or both.

You can also decide the number of items that will appear on the Dashboard and the log page.

By default, the Simple History plugin cleans the activity log history that is older than 60 days. You can also delete the history manually by clicking on the Clear log now button on the settings page.

This plugin allows you to monitor the history with the help of a secret RSS feed. However, you need to check the “Enable RSS feed” option to use it.

Viewing User Activities with Simple History

To check the user activity log, you need to visit the Dashboard » Simple History page. You can also view them on the Dashboard, but this will depend on how you have configured the settings of this plugin.

Simple History user activity log

This plugin displays the events of the last 30 days by default. You can change it to a fixed range (up to 60 days) or to a custom range by clicking on the Dates dropdown menu.

To search for specific events on your site, you need to click on the “Show search options” link. This will open up a number of fields. You can either use a single field or a combination of them to find the desired data.

Simple History activity log search options

For example, you can use the Users field to find someone and then, click on the Search events button to see the activities of that person in the last 30 days.

By default, the Simple History plugin allows you to monitor login, logout, wrong password, post/page editing, media upload, plugin install/update, user profile changes, and more.

It also has support for bbPress forums which lets you see the forum and topic activities on your website.

Simple History allows you to add your own custom events as well. If you have development experience and want to add a custom event, then you can check out the details on this page.

Monitor User Activity using the WP Security Audit Log

Although Simple History does a good job of tracking user activities on your website, it is limited in functionality.

If you are looking for a plugin that provides detailed and real-time user activity reports, then you should use the WP Security Audit Log plugin.

It is a feature-rich plugin that allows you to keep track of every change that happens on your website. You can also get email and SMS notifications for important site events.

To get started, you need to install and activate the WP Security Audit Log plugin on your WordPress site.

Upon activation, you will see a new menu item Audit Log in the left sidebar of your admin panel. You need to click on it to configure this plugin.

WP Scurity Activity Log plugin

On the settings page, you will have to enter the license key of this plugin, and then you need to click on the “Agree & Activate License” button to start using this plugin.

Note: To get the license key, you can check the welcome email that you have received after purchasing the plugin.

Once activated, you will see new options under the Audit Log menu in the left sidebar.

To monitor the events on your website, you need to head over to the Audit Log » Audit Log Viewer page.

Audit Log Viewer to monitor events

This plugin displays the latest events at the top bar of your screen. You can also click on those notifications to go to the Audit Log Viewer page.

The log page will allow you to see all events on your website. You will get important details like the date of the event, the user involved, IP address of the user, and the event message.

For example, if someone logged into your site, then you will be able to find out who was that user, when did that person login, and the IP address of the user.

You can also control the events that you want to track by going to the Audit Log » Enable/Disable Events page.

Enable or Disable Events to monitor

Here you can select Basic, Geek, or Custom from the Log Level dropdown menu. Based on your selection, you will see different event names and their description on that page.

You can now enable or disable individual events by checking/unchecking the boxes. You can do the same by going to different tabs like Content & Comments, WordPress Install, Visitor Events, etc.

To track the logged in users on your site, you need to go to the Audit Log » Logged In Users page.

WP Security Audit Log Plugin logged in users

From here you will see all the users who are logged into your site. You can also force someone to log out by clicking on the Terminate Session button.

If you want to download the activity log of your site, then simply go to the Audit Log » Reports page to generate a report based on the criteria that you may have.

That’s all! We hope this article helped you to understand how to monitor user activity in WordPress with the help of Simple History or WP Security Audit Log plugin.

You may also want to check out our ultimate WordPress security guide and our list of the best WordPress firewall plugins.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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