Every business knows the importance of good communication with their customers. That’s why the WordPress contact form plugin is one of the simplest, yet most valuable enhancements you could make to a company’s website. Having a form that allows you to receive submissions via email allows a business to capture leads, generate revenue, and receive customer feedback. If this form is not configured properly, and you aren’t receiving these emails, your company could be losing out on valuable business and creating a negative customer service experience for visitors to the site. Let’s examine a common problem involving the WordPress contact form, and walk through the steps of the solution.
When form submissions are sent to you through your business’s website, the emails are usually sent through the server on which the website is hosted. If the IP address for this server has been associated with spam-related activity in the past, it might be automatically blacklisted by your email server. Therefore, the form submissions would go straight to your spam folder, and you would never see them.
Fortunately, this situation doesn’t require you to change your hosting provider. Switching to another provider isn’t a guaranteed solution anyway, as a new provider’s IP address could easily be blacklisted in the future, causing the same problems to occur with your form. Instead, WordPress can be configured to send your email out via a different, trusted IP address.
The first step in doing this involves downloading and installing the WP Mail SMTP plugin on your website. This plugin reconfigures WordPress’s mail function to using the SMTP protocol instead of mail(), and provides the website owner with more options for specifying an alternate host for sending mail.
Before selecting an alternate host, you must first confirm that this new IP address is trusted. To accomplish this, you can use a domain’s Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record. The SPF record is a published list of IP addresses for a particular domain that are authorized to send email. A couple of recommendations for trusted hosts include AuthSMTP and Amazon SES.
Once you’ve configured the mail plugin and set up a trusted SMTP host, the final step is to test the form. Send test messages to yourself in the same way that a customer would, and verify that you receive the emails. If the emails arrive successfully, the solution has worked and you should see increased customer communication immediately!