Lakekit Memo #9 – New Members and Email Reliability

First of all, welcome Pike Lakes Chain Lakes Association (Price County) and Deer Lake District (on 30-day trial membership, Lincoln County).

Secondly, if your site has experienced some failures to receive emails for a submitted form or when adding a new user, please read the explanations and solution options below.

Since starting up lakekit.net in January, some lakekit.net members have experienced failures to receive emails that were sent out from WordPress. This has occurred with the contact form and when adding a new user to a site. This failure to receive can have multiple causes but often happens because emails are filtered for possible spam as they travel through the internet. As spam has become increasingly prevalent, these filters are becoming more demanding in meeting certain complicated requirements, sometimes trapping legitimate emails. Because the ISP (internet service provider) for users have different protocols to trap spam, whose email gets trapped may vary.

Testing your Contact form
Lakekit.net currently provides two options for creating forms, the Jetpack Contact Form and the Contact Form 7. In the case of a submitted form, someone’s email address is assigned to receive the form results. The only way for you to know if your contact form is actually received is to fill out the form as a test and submit it. Please do this test occasionally because ISPs and WordPress change their software systems to keep up with the continued evolution of the internet.

Jetpack Contact Form setup process and options if test fails
Most of the lakekit.net sites to date started up with the template-a basic site which uses the Jetpack Contact Form module in the Mail List menu tab. This module was chosen for its simplicity to operate and was activated at Dashboard –> Jetpack –> Settings –> Writing –> Contact Form. Activating this module puts an “Add Contact Form” button above the editing area of a page. Clicking this button puts the code (called a shortcode) to create a basic form into the editing area where the cursor is located. The email address for the author of the site page containing the form shortcode is sent the submitted form results. If in testing the Jetpack Contact Us form, the form results are not received, try switching to using the Contact Form 7 plugin for a contact us form as described next. Using the Postman SMTP plugin, described below, is a good ultimate solution if the Contact Form 7 form also fails to be received.

Contact Form 7 setup process and option if test fails
The Contact Form 7 plugin may improve the email receiving problem if encountered with the Jetpack Contact Form. If the Jetpack Contact Form is activated, deactivate it at Dashboard –> Jetpack –> Settings –> Writing. Hover over the “Contact Form” and click “Deactivate”. Navigate (Dashboard –> Plugins –> Contact Form 7) to the Contact Form plugin and activate it. The Dashboard sidebar will now show a “Contact” menu item. Hover over “Contact” and click “Contact Forms”. The default form “Contact form 1” should be listed in the next screen. Copy the shortcode and paste it in the editing area of the page to create the contact form. Update the page. When someone “Sends” a filled in form using this default Contact Form 7 form, the email address at Dashboard –> Settings –> General will receive the submitted form results. The default email address that receives the form results can be changed at Dashboard –> Contact –> Contact Forms –> Contact Form 1 –> Mail tab –> Change the “To” box to a new email address –> Save. Use the Help tab at the top right of the “Contact Forms” page to learn how to modify the default form. Finally, test your new form to make sure an email of the form results is received. If not, continue below with installing the Postman SMTP plugin.

Add New users do not always get an activation email
Site administrators can add new users who can then access the Dashboard at different roles or levels of capability (administrator, editor, author, contributor, and subscriber). New users are added at Dashboard –> Users –> Add new. Before the new user gets access to the Dashboard, they need to click a confirmation link in an automated email WordPress sends to them. As with the contact forms mentioned above, if the new user does not get the confirmation email, the Postman SMPT plugin should be considered as described below.

How to fix the email reliability issue with the Postman SMPT plugin
The plugin Postman SMTP can usually fix email receiving problems and is already installed for use with all the lakekit.net sites. This plugin enhances the reliability of receiving emails from a WordPress function such as sending a form or adding a new user. If the contact form results are not received with ether contact form plugin reliably or if a new user confirmation email is not received, you should activate the Postman SMTP plugin to fix this problem. Setting this plugin up is somewhat complicated if you have never done that before. So if you think you may need it, contact me, and I will either provide instructions to set it up or set it up for you.

Summary of the above

  • If you rely on receiving form submittals from your site, consider completing the form as a test. If the form submittal results are not received in an email, consider switching to the other form plugin, Jetpack or Contact Form 7, as described above. If neither of the two contact forms are received, please contact me and I will provide instructions to install the Postman SMTP plugin or I will install it for you.
  • If you need to add a new user, and the new user does not receive the confirmation email, contact me to set up the Postman SMTP plugin described above. If necessary, I can also create the user without installing Postman SMTP.

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