Fixing Contact Form Not Sending Email

Are you unable to send and receive email notifications from your WordPress forms? Using an SMTP plugin improves email deliverability and ensures your emails deliver successfully.

In this guide, we’ll explain how WordPress sends emails and how an SMTP plugin like WP Mail SMTP helps to fix email deliverability issues.


How Does WordPress Send Emails?

WordPress uses the built-in wp_mail() function, a wrapper for the PHP mail() function to send emails. Typically, WordPress triggers the appropriate action hook when an event occurs, such as form submission or user registration. The hook, in turn, calls the wp_mail() function to send the email.

Before sending emails, WordPress needs to retrieve the necessary email configuration settings from your database. These settings include your site name and admin email address.

Once all the required information is retrieved, the wp_mail() function will use the mail configuration of your server to send the email to the recipient’s email address.

Why Isn’t My WordPress Contact Form Notification Email Sending?

When an email is received by an email provider (like Google, Outlook, etc.), the provider will verify that it seems legitimate before allowing it into a user’s inbox.

One of the biggest factors in this process is whether or not the email is authenticated. An email is authenticated if its origin is the same website that it says it’s been sent from.

Email Server Details

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, it may be marked as spam or blocked entirely from delivery.

The problem with using the built-in WordPress mailing function is that it is less reliable and doesn’t always pass security checks from email providers. This results in your notification emails ending up in the spam folder or not getting sent altogether.

Note: For more details, please see our guide to learn why notification emails aren’t delivering and how to resolve it.

How Does WP Mail SMTP Fix Email Sending Issues?

WP Mail SMTP uses SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) to improve email deliverability by routing your emails through a secure SMTP server.

To configure the SMTP server, you’ll need to connect the plugin with one of several available “mailers”. These platforms add the authentication needed to pass email providers’ tests to each outgoing email from your WordPress site.

WP Mail SMTP Mailers

Selecting and configuring a mailer will also help in cases where server configuration issues prevent deliverability. For example, some hosts’ servers aren’t configured to use WordPress’ built-in mailing function. Since WP Mail SMTP’s mailers replace the default WordPress mailing function, they allow your site to get around any issues like this.

The way that WP Mail SMTP authenticates your emails varies based on which mailer you configure, but the end result is the same: your emails arrive in your users’ inboxes every time.

For a complete list of available mailers and their license requirements, check out WP Mail SMTP’s mailers guide. The guide also details the setup process for each mailer option.

That’s it! Now you know why form notification emails aren’t sending and how to fix it using an SMTP plugin like WP Mail SMTP.

Next, would you like to customize how your notification email looks? Be sure to check out our tutorial to learn how to customize form notification emails.