I spent way too long this morning trying to figure out how to syndicate a Google news alert to our new site at www.flyfishingfundi.com using a Gmail account. The general instructions on how to do this are published all over the web – but the specific Gmail account settings which are required are not.
Initially, I didn’t want to use a Google account to achieve this at all.
The idea is that Google sends out a news alert “as it happens”. WordPress is then supposed to fetch the news alert from the email server like a standard email client. WordPress can then be set up to autopost or send the post to draft so that is can be quickly published. It seems like a handy way to boost the content on a news based site and acts as a kind of news aggregator.
However, when testing the Google news alert with a standard server email address, one main problem arose – Google sends out news alerts in html format. The WordPress wp-mail.php system seems to strip these html emails so that nothing appears in the post.
Google can send news alerts in plain text (although, apparently not video alerts) if the account is registered. Registering an account seems to always mean setting up a Gmail account.
From there it’s easy to set Gmail up to forward the plain text version of the Google news or video alert to a standard mail account. However, my experience to date indicates that convoluted systems like this may technically work, but they tend to get messy or become unreliable over time.
So, the logical solution is to simply use the Gmail account to fetch syndicated content for the WordPress site. The problem is, none of the logical or published settings seem to work!
I finally got the blasted thing to work though, with largely unpublished instructions found on some obscure forum post!
In WordPress > Settings > Writing see the Post via Email section.
The account settings need to be set up like the example below. Note the ssl prefix to the server address. Also not the googlemail.com address, not gmail.com address.
Mail Server: ssl://pop.googlemail.com
Login Name: firstname.lastname@example.org
Password: Your Gmail password