Problems with WordPress Email?

WordPress is a great tool for showcasing your brand, message, or business. It’s also wonderful for selling products online and is easy to manage. However, we’ve discovered it can be a bit finicky when it comes to sending emails.

Communication with clients or customers is critically important for small businesses. Like us, you depend on your website to send emails to your customers. These can be anything from lost passwords, new purchases, contact form notifications or large scale email marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, WordPress has a critical email flaw. The CMS that we all love sends emails using a PHP script…

you shall not pass, email

Sending via a PHP script means everything must be perfectly in order before your email is going to make it to every inbox. And even then… it may get blocked. Tracking this problem often requires time consuming testing, configuring and editing.

valid email accounts

Be sure your ‘from’ address is a valid email address. Email providers often have limits as to how many emails can be sent, how they can be sent, and what the address can be used for, often excluding script based email sending. Another issue is web hosting companies sometimes only allow emails to be sent with you@yourdomain.com email addresses. So, for example, if you are using a you@gmail.com address your emails may not get sent at all.

valid email headers

This gets a bit into the weeds of email structure. Every email has header information that describes where the email came from, where it’s going and what time it was sent (among other things). Some web hosting companies will only receive emails if they contain valid header information. WordPress sometimes does not include a header at all!

Shared hosting

Shared hosting can be a very cost-effective way of hosting a website online. Basically, you share a server with a whole bunch of other websites. If another one of those sites is using the emailing script, your website just has to wait its turn. This might mean your email is significantly delayed.

spam filters

Spam filters are wonderful. They keep our email accounts clean and clutter-free by filtering out unwanted or harmful emails. But sometimes the emails we want get caught in the web. This can be caused by any number of reasons: bad header information, black listed domains, words that match a specific pattern, etc.

an easy solution

There is an easy solution to solve these problems. Sending through an SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) server will satisfy most host and email server requirements. SMTP services provided by companies like mailgun.com will send emails with correct email headers and offer error logs that make tracking down problems much easier.

If you’re having issues with your WordPress site not sending emails, let us know! We can get you set up to send.

About the Author

James W Johnson

As a southwest native, James has traveled the US working for theaters, nonprofit organizations, small business and as a freelance designer, developer, and photographer. After spending time in New York, Seattle, Colorado and North Carolina, James decided to come back… Read more ›


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