Have you got a WordPress website with a contact form on it that’s suddenly stopped working? Are you confused because you haven’t changed anything on your website but suddenly you’ve stopped receiving enquiries? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. There are a couple of common reasons your contact form is not working on your WordPress website.
Your hosting company doesn’t use the PHP mail function
WordPress is built on something called PHP and therefore uses the PHP mail() function to send emails from your form to your email address. Many email hosts do not support the PHP mail function these days and so even though you have a successful message seen on screen, your WordPress site isn’t sending emails to you.
Your emails are seen as “spoof” emails
Even if your hosting company is set up to use the PHP mail() function, your WordPress contact forms still may not work. This is because a lot of email service providers like Gmail use a lot of tools to help prevent spam. Since a lot of the time, people used the default settings WordPress contact form plugins, emails sent by WordPress sites fail the spam test.
So, the email may not even make it into the spam folder, let alone the inbox! This is because the real sender of the email is being masked.
How to fix the contact forms on WordPress
So, if your contact forms on WordPress are not working, we recommend that you send emails via SMTP and not directly through WordPress.
What is SMTP?
SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and you may recognise it from the settings whenever you’ve tried to set up emails on your phone or on Outlook etc. It is the industry standard for sending emails and uses proper authentication, so therefore, is much more reliable when sending emails.
Installing the SMTP plugin
You can use any WordPress SMTP plugin, but we recommend using the WP Mail SMTP plugin, as it is completely free, although it also does have a premium version. Within this plan, there is a “White Glove Setup” option where they can set up all the technical bits for you.
Go to Plugins > Add New and search for SMTP if you’re looking for various options. You will see our recommended plugin will be the top of the search results with over 2 million active installations.
Once you activate the plugin, you will be directed to the setup wizard. If you accidentally click off this screen and come back to the plugin later, don’t worry as you can still access these section from WP Mail SMTP > Settings in the dashboard. You can access the wizard there later.
At this point, it would be advisable to know who currently hosts your emails. If you host your emails with us, then you will need to click “Other SMTP”. Whichever one you choose, you will need to be prepared to enter information regarding your email address. This information will include your SMTP host, port and password. If you’re using Gmail, it will ask for your Client ID and Client Secret.
This plugin will also allow you to setup what email address you want the emails to come from on your website. This will definitely also help with the spoofing issue.