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How to Fix WordPress Contact Form Not Sending Email With SMTP

How to Fix WordPress Contact Form Not Sending Email With SMTP

Are you looking to improve email deliverability for your WordPress forms? WP Mail SMTP provides you with several options (called “mailers”) to choose from to help your emails deliver successfully.

In this guide, we’ll share a quick overview of each mailer in WP Mail SMTP so that you can more easily decide which is the best fit for your site.

Fixing Email Delivery Issues With SMTP Mailers

SMTP mailers play an important role in email delivery: authentication. However, the way that each mailer accomplishes this can look slightly different, depending on the provider you choose.

When an email is received by an email provider (like Google, Outlook, etc.), the provider will verify that things seem legitimate. One of the biggest factors in this process is whether or not the email is authenticated. An email is authenticated if the email’s origin is the same website that it says it’s been sent from.

This information is visible in the emails that are sent to our inboxes, and email providers are always closely monitoring these details. As spam becomes more common (and smarter), email providers are tightening restrictions around which emails make it to your inbox. If an email fails these checks, then it can wind up getting marked as spam — or may be blocked from delivery.

By setting up a mailer through WP Mail SMTP, the authentication needed to pass providers’ tests will be added to each of your outgoing emails. The way that WP Mail SMTP does this will vary based on which mailer you configure, but the end result is the same: your emails arrive in your users’ inboxes every time.

Selecting and configuring a mailer will also help in cases where server configuration issues are preventing deliverability (some hosts’ servers aren’t configured to use WordPress’ built-in mailing function). Since these mailers will replace the default WordPress mailing function, they allow your site to get around any issues like this.

We’ve detailed each mailer option available with WP Mail SMTP, as well as each mailer’s requirements, below.

SMTP.com (Recommended)

SMTP.com is an industry leader in email delivery services and has been trusted by more than 100,000 businesses worldwide. Setup and integration is straightforward and easy, and they offer in-depth reporting, a high standard of placing emails in subscriber inboxes, and direct phone support on all plans.

  • Cost: Free for 30 days (up to 50,000 emails). However, after your trial period ends, they do require a paid account (you can check out SMTP.com’s pricing page for all plan options.
  • From Email Requirements: You’ll need a domain-specific From Email (i.e. pattie@example.com) to ensure reliable delivery.
  • Bottom Line: SMTP.com is a recommended mailer because they lead the industry for email delivery. While many similar mailers require an in-depth setup process, SMTP.com has kept things as simple as possible.

For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Pepipost (Recommended)

Requirements: You’ll need a paid license for WP Mail SMTP to access the Pepipost mailer.

Pepipost’s sole mission is delivering your emails successfully. You don’t need to give them any credit card information to sign up, and you always have the option of their free plan if you’d like. (However, if you need to send a greater amount of emails than they allow on their free plan, they do offer competitively priced paid plans.)

  • Cost: Free for 30 days (up to 30,000 emails). After your first month, the free plan’s limit allows for 100 emails to be sent per day. If you need to send more, Pepipost’s paid plans offer different email limit tiers (please check out Pepipost’s site for details).
  • From Email Requirements: Works with any From Email. However, we strongly recommend using a domain-specific email for maximum reliability.
  • Bottom Line: Pepipost is a recommended mailer because of their commitment to delivering emails successfully. It’s super simple to get started (no credit card required), and they use reliable methods to ensure your emails get delivered.

For more details on how to configure Pepipost, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Mailgun

Requirements: You’ll need a paid license for WP Mail SMTP to access the Mailgun mailer. A credit card is also required in order to create a Mailgun account.

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Mailgun is a widely used and well-known solution for email delivery issues. They use a secure API, and offer a 3 month free trial. After that, a (super competitively priced) paid plan is necessary — they offer options as low as .80 USD/ 1,000 emails.

  • Cost: Free for 3 months (up to 5,000 emails/month). After that, pricing starts at .80 USD per 1,000 emails sent.
  • From Email Requirements: Works with any From Email. However, we definitely recommend using a domain-specific email for maximum reliability.
  • Bottom Line: Mailgun is one of the most reliable mailers around, and has very competitive pricing. However, it does require DNS access to get set up.

For more details on how to set up Mailgun, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

SendGrid

Requirements: You’ll need a paid license for WP Mail SMTP to access the SendGrid mailer.

SendGrid is a great option that is widely used to dependably send emails. Similar to Mailgun, SendGrid uses a secure API and has a free option for its users. However, unlike Mailgun, you don’t need a credit card to sign up for a free account.

  • Cost: Free for 30 days (up to 40,000 emails). After that, the free plan allows you to send up to 100 emails each day.
  • From Email Requirements: Works with any From Email. However, we recommend using a domain-specific email for maximum reliability.
  • Bottom Line: SendGrid is a super dependable option, and its free plan is a great option for smaller businesses. However, it does require DNS access to properly complete setup.

For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Sendinblue

Sendinblue provides super reliable delivery of your emails and a robust free option for its users. Similar to SendGrid, Sendinblue uses a secure API, and doesn’t require a credit card to setup (unless you’d like one of their paid plans). As a bonus, if you already use Sendinblue for email marketing, you can also use your same account for this mailer.

  • Cost: Free (up to 300 emails/day). Sendinblue also offers a wide array of paid plans with higher limits per month (please check out Sendinblue’s site for more details).
  • From Email Requirements: Works with any From Email. However, we strongly recommend using a domain-specific email for maximum reliability.
  • Bottom Line: Sendinblue is super easy to get started, offers free account options without the need for a credit card), and, most importantly, offers super reliable service.

For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Gmail

Requirements: You’ll need a paid license for WP Mail SMTP to access the Gmail mailer.

The Gmail mailer leverages Google’s own API to add a layer of security while improving your email deliverability. This mailer will automatically work with your existing Gmail or G Suite account, and is completely free. However, it’s important to note that Google’s API has a lot more intense restrictions than other mailers we’ve outlined. For instance, it has stricter server requirements that need to be met on your site. If these requirements aren’t met, you’d then need to get in touch with your site’s hosting provider to get those fixed.

  • Cost: Free. However, Google won’t allow large quantities of emails to be sent through their API (you can find more details at Google’s email limit page).
  • From Email Requirements: Will only work with a Gmail or G Suite email account. Additionally, only a single From Email can be used per site.
  • Bottom Line: Gmail’s API offers you free service, so you’ll never need to worry about getting charged. However, if you do hit the limit for their API, your emails will simply not be sent. Users also tend to run into more issues with Google’s API than with other API-based mailer options, which can make delivery much less reliable.

For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Outlook

Requirements: You’ll need a paid license for WP Mail SMTP to access the Outlook mailer. You’ll also need a credit card in order to set up an account through Microsoft.

Similar to Google, the Outlook mailer operates with Microsoft’s own Graph API, adding a layer of security while improving your site’s email deliverability. Outlook does require you to enter a credit card to complete your account setup through Microsoft, but your account is completely free to use beyond that.

  • Cost: Free.
  • From Email Requirements: A Microsoft-based email address (e.g., example@outlook.com, example@live.com, or an Office 365 email address)
  • Bottom Line: Microsoft’s API is a super secure (and free) option to resolve email delivery issues. However, the set up process is fairly complicated, and this API can cause minor delays (a few minutes at most, usually) in email deliveries.

For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Amazon SES

Requirements: You’ll need a paid license for WP Mail SMTP to access the Amazon SES mailer. You’ll also need a credit card in order to complete your account setup with Amazon.

Amazon’s SES mailer in WP Mail SMTP uses Amazon’s API to successfully deliver emails sent out from your site. This service can be used free for one year, and after that pricing is based on your usage. You will need a credit card to complete your setup with Amazon, and this mailer requires you to have SSL certification on your site.

  • Cost: Free for your first year, then usage-based pricing applies.
  • From Email Requirements: Any domain-specific email address (ie example@yourdomain.com)
  • Bottom Line: Amazon SES is a secure and free to get started option (though you’ll need a credit card). However, the setup is fairly complex: at one stage, you’ll need approval from Amazon’s team. Due to this, we only recommend this mailer for more technically advanced users.
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For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Other SMTP

The Other SMTP option is the only mailer that doesn’t use any sort of API. In place of an API, it uses a classic SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). Since this setup process is less lengthy than other mailers, this can make things easier for you short-term.

However, the Other SMTP option usually isn’t as convenient in the long-term. For instance, if you reset your email’s password at any time, you’d then need to edit this password setting in WP Mail SMTP. This mailer is also much more likely to have configuration issues with your server (which would need to be fixed by your webhost).

  • Cost: Free.
  • From Email Requirements: Works with any email address, but you’ll need to use the same address site-wide.
  • Bottom Line: This option is not as secure or reliable compared to other options, and shouldn’t be the first choice for any site. However, for sites where this option is needed, the setup is often pretty simple (as long as the site doesn’t show any server-related problems).

For more information on how to set up this mailer, check out our step-by-step setup guide.

Default (Not recommended)

The Default (PHP) option does not use SMTP and will not improve email delivery on your site. This is the same configuration as if you hadn’t installed any SMTP on your site at all.

If you notice this option is the active selection in your WP Mail SMTP settings, please set up one of the mailer options above, as we do not recommend using this option.

That’s it! We hope this helped familiarize you with the SMTP mailer options available with WP Mail SMTP.

Next, would you like to automatically grow your mailing list anytime your forms are submitted? Be sure to check out our ActiveCampaign tutorial.

Why should I apply for a Post Office Credit Card?

We know that everyone’s needs are different, but we also know that too much choice can be confusing. So we’ve got two credit cards to give you flexibility: the Classic Credit Card and the Travel Credit Card. You can compare them below:

Classic Credit Card

  • 19.9% to 34.9% (variable) range of APR depending on individual circumstances
  • £200 — £8,000 credit limit
  • You may be eligible for 0% on purchases for up to 12 months**
  • You may be eligible for 0% on balance transfers for up to 18 months (2.9% transfer fee)**
  • 34.9% APR representative variable

Travel Credit Card

  • 19.9% to 24.9% (variable) range of APR depending on individual circumstances
  • £500 — £6,000 credit limit
  • Globally accepted in over 70 million Mastercard® locations, online and offline
  • No foreign exchange fees when you spend abroad*
  • 24.9% APR representative variable

First steps

The latest build of OpenVPN Connect is always available at the official website. Go to the VPN Server Resources page, click ‘Connecting’, and you’ll find links explaining how to get connected on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux.

The Windows page has links for OpenVPN Connect, the older OpenVPN GUI and a handful of other alternative clients.

At the time of writing, the page includes links for the current version of OpenVPN Connect 2.7, and the beta of OpenVPN Connect 3. We’re covering the beta here, so grab either the 32-bit or 64-bit version, depending on your Windows build. If you’re unsure of what version you need, try 64-bit first. If you’re wrong, you won’t harm your system, the installer just won’t run.

Although we’re going to discuss Windows, the app works much the same with other operating systems. Check out the Android build and the iOS version for more.

Launching the installer displays a very standard setup wizard. Agree to the license, accept the default settings unless you need to do otherwise, and click ‘Install’ to complete the process.

Image credit: OpenVPN (Image credit: OpenVPN)

Logging in¶

You can log into the shell of the operating system of the appliance with the user ubuntu and the password ubuntu. You should of course change those credentials.

The web interface is reachable on port 80 at the IP address of your virtual machine. The login prompt of the shell is showing you this IP address, too. (See screenshot above).

The standard user for the web interface is admin, the password is shown in the console of the virtual server on the first boot.

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​ Requirements

Open external link which you can enable in the Cloudflare dashboard in the Traffic tab

​ Step 1: Enable Argo

Argo Tunnel uses Argo Smart Routing technology to route traffic over the fastest path within the Cloudflare network between the user and the data centers closest to your origin.

Open external link , click the ‘Enable’ button, and follow the steps on the screen for setting up usage-based billing.

Enterprise customers who have enabled Argo will need to contact their Cloudflare representative to have Argo Smart Routing enabled for their account.

​ Step 2: Install cloudflared

cloudflared is the software that runs Argo Tunnel. cloudflared is available for amd64, x86, and ARMv6 machines in Binary, .deb, and .rpm types. The code for the cloudflared client is available on GitHub here External link icon

Once installed, verify cloudflared has installed properly by checking the version.

Not working? If you installed a .deb or .rpm package (Linux) or used Homebrew (macOS) it should be in your PATH ; otherwise, change to the directory where you extracted cloudflared .

​ Step 3: Login to your Cloudflare account

Next, login to your Cloudflare account from cloudflared . You will use the same username and password that you use to login to the Cloudflare dashboard.

Run the following command and a login page should open in your browser:

If the browser fails to open automatically, copy and paste the URL into your browser’s address bar and press enter.

Once you login, you will see a list of domains associated with your account. Argo Tunnel connects your machine to the Cloudflare network by associating it with a hostname in your Cloudflare account. Locate the domain you wish to use to represent your server and select its name in the table. Once you select the domain, cloudflared will automatically install a certificate to authenticate your machine to the Cloudflare network for the specific hostname. Once cloudflared installs the certificate, you’ll see a «Success» message in your browser, and you can start using cloudflared and Argo Tunnel.

The certificate consists of three components bundled into a single PEM file. One of those components consists of the API key from the user who authenticated. If this user leaves the Cloudflare account or their permissions change, that API key will be invalidated and the tunnel will fail to authenticate. A new certificate will need to be generated.

Sometimes firewalls or unusual network configuration can prevent cloudflared from automatically installing the certificate. If this occurs, your browser will download the certificate as a file named cert.pem . You should see it in your browser’s standard list of downloaded files. You’ll need to move that cert.pem file from your browser’s downloads folder into the

/.cloudflared folder. Copy and paste the following command to move the certificate to the .cloudflared directory on your system.

​ Step 4: (Optional) Hello Tunnel

Argo Tunnel runs a virtual, encrypted tunnel from a local web server to the Cloudflare network. If you do not have a web server running locally and want to test Tunnel, you can try a hello world installation with the built-in web server.

To do so, pass the flag —hello-world and replace [hostname] with a hostname in your Cloudflare account. Because Tunnel automatically creates DNS records for you, you can choose a subdomain that is not otherwise in use.

Above, you can see Tunnel establishes four long-lived connections between the two closest data centers. You know the tunnel is ready when you see the message Connected to … .

When the messages above conclude, Argo Tunnel has succesfully created a connection out from your machine to the Cloudflare network.

If you go visit the domain name at which you created the tunnel (e.g. tunnel.example.com) you will see the request logs directly in the cloudflared output with debug level enabled. We call this Tunnel Vision.

​ Step 5: Establishing the tunnel

With your credentials saved to disk, you can now start Argo Tunnel for your production service. Replace [hostname] with the hostname you want associated with your server; this must be the domain or subdomain of a zone added to your Cloudflare account.

The localhost address should point to a locally running web server.

A successful connection gives you the last line Connected to…

If you get the error: ‘Server error: Fail to update CNAME’ it is because there is already a DNS A/AAAA record existing at that hostname. You should either first delete the existing A/AAAA records or create a tunnel on a brand new hostname.

​ Step 6: Test the configuration

Open a web browser and type in the selected hostname. Access to the Tunnel is permitted over both HTTP and HTTPS, though you can easily redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS with Cloudflare.

If the connection succeeds, you should see content served from your local webserver. If you used the built-in Hello World server, you will see a message like this:

​ Next steps

The steps above can be sufficient for local dev environments. For a production environment, we recommend a few additional settings be configured:

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