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Contact Forms Failing

Posted 04th октомври, 2018

Wordpress sends emails for numerous reasons: for instance, when a message is sent to a user, on a password reset, or when a contact form is filled out. Emails either erroring, or not being delivered, can therefore be extremely frustrating.

A mail delivery successful message means that the mail was sent and in theory should be delivered. Any other message, or a timeout, means that the message sending failed.

Mail Methods

Wordpress offers two options for sending emails: PHP Mail and SMTP Mail.

  • PHP Mail uses the server to send mail through sendmail as a script. There is no authentication, which means that the sender is not verified. The recipient or the server may therefore reject your messages as there is a higher liklihood of them being spam than with authenticated messages.
  • SMTP Mail uses a username and password to send, just like a mail client. Senders must be verified.

SMTP Mail in most cases is therefore superior to using PHP mail.

Improving Mail Delivery

The following can be done to improve mail delivery:

  • Switching from PHP to SMTP Mail delivery
  • Setting up an SPF record.
  • Checking email blacklists for your domain.

Email logs will give a more detailed breakdown of any issues.

Fixing Errors

Should the mail sending not work at all, the error received is often Failed to send your message. If this happens only with one plugin or script, try changing that individual script.

If the problem is global, the following can be done:

  • Confirm SMTP settings under Settings > Writing.
  • Install a third party SMTP plugin.
  • Enable Debug mode to identify any plugin issues.