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E-mail notifcations are not sent, WP PHP mail() function does work properly.

  1. Hi,

    Gravity Form notifications are not being sent anymore since a few days.
    I didn't change any of the settings, and all plugins are up to date.

    Following your troubleshooting suggestions:

    I installed WP Mail SMTP, when I check this option:
    Use the PHP mail() function to send emails.

    And I send a test e-mail to my own adres using this plugin, the e-mail arrives properly in less than 5 seconds. This tells me that the e-mail function of WP is working fine. But your plugin is causing the problems.

    Also, when I try to resend the e-mails to the admin and the user, nothing happens again.

    Please help me out.

    Thanks in advance


    Posted 8 years ago on Monday June 17, 2013 | Permalink
  2. Anyone?

    Posted 8 years ago on Tuesday June 18, 2013 | Permalink
  3. Robert,

    Have you reached out to your host yet to discuss the issue with them? Gravity Forms does NOT send the emails - your web host does.

    You are welcome to try our logging add-on available here:

    Install and activate the logging plugin (ignore the message it gives about your license). Then go to the Settings page of Gravity Forms and at the top you will see a Logging link. Click this link and then enable all messages for Gravity Forms Core. Save. Next time the form gets filled out a log will get created. Go back to the Logging page and there will be a link to view the log. This will show you the result of the notification details in conjunction with the hand off to wp_mail().

    Posted 8 years ago on Tuesday June 18, 2013 | Permalink
  4. Hi Rob, I appreciate your reply, but don't you think it's a little weird I can send emails like the ones you get when you register a new account on WP without any problems?

    Also, like I said in my first post, I can send test emails with the plugin you guys recommend: WP Mail SMTP. Where I can send emails using the PHP mail() function AND the SMTP option as well.

    From this information i can deduct that the e-mail function of WP is working correctly. I can also deduct that the email service of my web host is working correctly. Which leaves only your plugin which is malfunctioning.

    Thanks. Robert

    Posted 8 years ago on Tuesday June 18, 2013 | Permalink
  5. This is the log I get following your instructions:

    2013-06-18 16:48:04 - DEBUG --> Saving entry.
    2013-06-18 16:48:04 - DEBUG --> Entry record created in the database. ID: 62
    2013-06-18 16:48:04 - DEBUG --> Saving entry fields.
    2013-06-18 16:48:04 - DEBUG --> Saving field Naam
    2013-06-18 16:48:04 - DEBUG --> Saving field Geboortedatum
    2013-06-18 16:48:04 - DEBUG --> Saving field Geslacht
    2013-06-18 16:48:04 - DEBUG --> Saving field E-mailadres
    2013-06-18 16:48:04 - DEBUG --> Saving field Telefoonnummer
    2013-06-18 16:48:04 - DEBUG --> Saving field Evenement
    2013-06-18 16:48:04 - DEBUG --> Saving field Betaling
    2013-06-18 16:48:04 - DEBUG --> Saving total field.

    Posted 8 years ago on Tuesday June 18, 2013 | Permalink
  6. I'm still waiting for some help Gravity Forms!

    All information above is still true.
    My automatic notifications are still not working. When I manually resend the e-mail to the admin or the user, the mail does get send. But only when I manually input the e-mail adress.

    You can't tell me this is a hosting problem. Your plugin isn't working correctly.

    Please help me.

    Posted 8 years ago on Wednesday June 19, 2013 | Permalink
  7. Robert,

    That's definitely an incomplete log - that log is showing no notification details as it should be.

    In your first post you said: "Gravity Form notifications are not being sent anymore since a few days."

    Does this mean they were working for you on your site?

    Posted 8 years ago on Wednesday June 19, 2013 | Permalink
  8. Hi Rob, Yes they were working just fine. About 50 people got their notifications without any problems. The notification settings on the corresponding admin page are all still the same as before.

    Posted 8 years ago on Wednesday June 19, 2013 | Permalink
  9. Robert,

    I am the co-founder of Rocketgenius, the creators of Gravity Forms. I just saw you posted on our Gravity Forms Facebook page: "Shitty plugin, shitty support."

    As for calling our product shifty, I'd say over 659,000 sites and the stellar reputation we have in the WordPress community that we've built over 4 years of business says otherwise. But everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    But calling our support shitty means you are calling the work of one of my employees shitty and that I simply wont tolerate. Especially in this situation.

    You are located in Europe. We are located in the United States. You posted multiple requests complaining of a lack of response meanwhile we were sleeping here in the United States. Ever heard of timezones?

    Now, you can either let our support team continue to assist you, and despite what you have claimed Rob has been assisting you, or I can simply refund your money and you can go elsewhere.

    But keep in mind that email notifications are one of the most complex issues to debug. Despite what you assume they are indeed server and DNS related on both your end and the receivers end. Just because they send in one situation and not in another doesn't mean its not server related. So in situations involving email notifications you have to have patience because they are complex issues to debug.

    Either way I won't tolerate you belittling my employees and the support they provide in a situation where it is not warranted at all.

    As Rob mentioned above, the log file you provided was incomplete. Please provide the entire log file if you'd like us to assist you. This may also require you provide our support team access to your site to debug directly.

    So I'll leave it up to you to decide. We can either assist you or we can give you your money back.

    If you decide to stay and allow our team to assist you in resolving the issue then I would expect you to treat our support team with the same respect you'd expect them to treat you with.

    Posted 8 years ago on Wednesday June 19, 2013 | Permalink
  10. That's all great, but the thing is. I don't mind waiting a little while for an answer, I don't mind the fact that have to repeat myself. What I do mind are copy/paste answers like this:

    'Have you reached out to your host yet to discuss the issue with them? Gravity Forms does NOT send the emails - your web host does.'

    All other e-mail functions on my website are working properly, including your manual 'resend notification' (but only when I input the email adres myself). Just not the automatic one. Can you honestly tell me this is a hosting problem?

    Furthermore, my remark wasn't directed at your employee, because I understand he has to work with the means your company provides him. Which are copy/past answers.

    It's just a shame that I only get some real-person answers when I use our social media channel to tell your company what I think.

    One more thing, the log I provided was indeed incomplete. But this was all the log provided me, so how can I give you more information if your plugin doesn't give more information?

    So i'm really not impressed by your story, impress me by spending the same amount of time on fixing my problem.


    Posted 8 years ago on Wednesday June 19, 2013 | Permalink
  11. Robert,

    I didn't copy and paste anything, so you're gravely incorrect there. I typed that answer word for word. The simple fact is - some users have issues with notifications, while others never do. This is because email delivery is an extremely complex topic and the way to resolve it is never straightforward or a single answer for everyone. I'd be more than happy to help you out here. Just send me an email to and reference this post and provide me with a WP Admin login to your site and I'll take a closer look.

    Posted 8 years ago on Wednesday June 19, 2013 | Permalink
  12. @gijsleeksma I know this is a long reply but please read the entire thing. It will help to explain the issue and why email related support requests aren't as simple as users think they are. After doing so see my note at the bottom to follow the instructions provided by Rob above and he will assist you further with the issue.

    Just so you are aware yes, I can honestly tell you that even though email may send fine elsewhere on your site, it could and probably still is going to be a server and/or DNS setup related issue. Sending email using shared hosts via PHP in a reliable manner is more complicated than you could possibly imagine. There are so many quirks involved.

    Email deliverability and reliability is extremely complicated. Far more complicated than users realize. Gravity Forms itself uses the wp_mail() function to send email, it doesn't have it's own email functionality. Which means all the complications occur outside of Gravity Forms itself. There are a wide variety of reasons why you could encounter email notification problems and our support team will work with you to determine the reason.

    In 4 years of supporting Gravity Forms I can tell you that 99% of all email notification related support requests we encounter are related to server issues, DNS related issues, IP blacklist issues, etc. and not an actual issue with Gravity Forms itself.

    The fact that reliably sending email via a web server is so complicated is precisely why there is an entire industry devoted to doing this:

    - SendGrid
    - Postmark
    - Mandrill
    - Mailgun

    I could go on, there are a LOT of services out there that provide email functionality via an API or SMTP precisely because sending email via most web hosts (especially shared hosts) is so complicated and unreliable. If sending email via most web hosts was simple and reliable these businesses would not be able to exist and thrive as they have.

    Because Gravity Forms is a self-hosted plugin, we are at the mercy of your web host when it comes to email notification reliability. And as you know there are thousands of web hosts out there.

    Email notification related support issues is one of our top 3 support requests and it's an issue that is completely out of our control as it is always related to issues outside of Gravity Forms control.

    I hope the above helps to illustrate the scope of just how difficult sending email via an application is AND how difficult it is for us to provide 100% bulletproof email notifications when we sell a self-hosted product.

    This is precisely why we will be building our own SaaS service to handle sending email notifications via our own service rather than relying on a users shared host to send the email. Which means a Gravity Forms site would connect to our API to send an email notification and then we would facilitate sending the email. We will be partnering with one of the major email services (one of the ones I mentioned above) to provide this solution.

    Our support team is more than willing to assist you in debugging the issue. But email issues are some of the most complex issues related to self-hosted applications so I just ask that you be patient and work with our support team who is more than willing to help you resolve the issue... and be cordial while doing so.

    While we strive to provide friendly and reliable support to all of our customers, the customers that treat our support team with respect and are friendly are going to be treated better in return. It's only natural because it's human nature. The old adage to treat people the way you want to be treated most definitely applies to customer service. So keep that in mind.

    Send Rob the information he requested in his response above to the email he provided, and actually if you can include FTP login information for the site along with the WordPress Dashboard admin login that would be very helpful also. Sometimes debugging email sending issues requires code level access.

    Posted 8 years ago on Thursday June 20, 2013 | Permalink