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Some BP HTML email possibly being rejected by Mail Servers (?)

  • wpmirwin


    Hi all (hoping that @djpaul notices this),

    Email trouble in BP is apperantly very hard to solve (I’ve been sifting through email related posts in the forums for hours!), so I’m going to include as many clues here as possible. Hopefully someone has the patience to read all this and make sense of it, and hopefully this problem is not specific to my installation. Yes, I have a lot of plugins. But, I have disabled all of them at times to test this, and I’m fairly confident that it is not a plugin conflict.

    Problem Summary:

    It seems like some of the messages generated by BP are formed in such a way that they are being rejected (silently?) by external mail servers (i.e. google, yahoo, hotmail) while other email messages are fine. I think this may be giving the impression that BP is not sending the email, but the email messages are in fact being sent (in my case anyway). They just don’t seem to be handled properly on the recieving end. Why?… I have no idea. Hoping for some tips to continue troubleshooting here.

    Product Versions

    WP: v4.4.2
    BP: v2.5.2

    Relevant Plugins in use:

    wp-mail-smtp: In case the email problems were PHP mail() related
    bp-email-to-wp-mail-from-bridge: To fix BP ignoring existing mapping for the From email
    buddypress-group-email-subscription: To add group email functionality (mentioning only because email sent from this plugin works fine – plain text)

    Relevant Config Info:

    At first I wasn’t using an SMTP plugin, but my current config is using WP-Mail-SMTP.
    It is configured with the localhost as the SMTP Server (HostGator shared host).
    Outoing email seems to work fine (with or without the plugin). It’s only outgoing BP mail that isn’t working properly.

    High Level Details:

    Some BuddyPress generated email works and some doesn’t. There are 3 specific examples that I’ve been testing:

    * The “Friend Request” email works great! It’s a really nice HTML formatted email that informs the target of the request that the request has been made.
    * A PM to a member doesn’t work. No email notification is sent to the target of the PM (Notification settings are correct)
    * A Mention doesn’t work. No email is sent to the BP user targeted by the mention (Notification settings are correct).

    The email messages that don’t appear to be working (i.e. not reaching it’s destination) are actually being sent. However, it seems like they are completely ignored by the receiving mail server.

    * This has been confirmed with the debug plugin (bp-email-debug-2.php). In all cases it reports that the email was sent.
    * This has been confirmed by my ISP. I had them watch the email get sent out from the localhost (the smtp server) to a google mail server (for example) but the message was not received.

    I know that my mail server/domain is not blacklisted because as mentioned above, the “Friend Request” email is sucesfully sent and delivered to the same recipeint. Also, the buddypress-group-email-subscription plugin works well and sends email succesfully to the same recipients.

    NOTE:The same email (eg. PM and Metion related email) that is not delivered successfuly to external mail servers (google, yahoo, hotmail) IS sucessfully delivered to email addresses hosted on my local mail server (i.e. the mail server running on the same WP/BP host – Hostgator).

    Some steps I’ve taken to test/resolve

    I’ve ensured that the “From” email address is correct (i.e. not being rejected because it is “”). BTW, this led me to the bp-email-to-wp-mail-from-bridge Plugin which bridges wp_mail_from settings that I had in WP functions.php (child theme) to BP Email fuction(s). Everything is fine here.

    I’ve installed and tested WP-Mail-SMTP plugin in every way I can imagine. No change in email behaviour

    I made sure all available options in the notification settings (i.e. to receive all types of notifications) are enabled and have tested the various email scenarios on many different users.

    Other important notes

    I’m using the plugin buddypress-group-email-subscription to send email to group members when things happen in the forums. As mentioned above, this plugin successfully sends email to the same recipeints that are not recieving the PM and Metnion emails. Worth noting is the email messages sent by this plugin are plain text.


    Thanks for getting this far… that’s a lot of reading. Sorry. I’m not expecting a simple answer to this. I’m just hoping for someone to point me in the right troubleshooting direction.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)

  • wpmirwin


    Well, somehow I missed the “READ THIS FIRST โ€“ BuddyPress 2.5 Master List” sticky topic! CRAP! I guess I was too busy searching the forums to browse the first page. ๐Ÿ™

    On some sites, emails arenโ€™t sent, or not delivered.
    This issue is under investigation. Some fixes have been made for v2.5.1. โ€” 6947

    So, maybe it’s not such a mystery that BP emails are not being delivered and my long winded “story” really wasn’t necessary.

    The quick summary of the above is:

    For any recipient on a remote mail server (google, yahoo, hotmail):

    1. Friend request email is being sent and delivered (html)
    2. PM email is being sent, but not delivered (html)
    3. Mention email is being sent, but not delivered (html)
    4. Other email sent by BP Plugins and by WP is being sent and delivered (plain text)

    For local recipients (Email addresses with site domain – co-located Mail server):

    1. All mail is delivered

    Is there anything different about the 4 email scenarios above?
    Any reason why #1 (html) and #4 (plain text) would work while #2 (html) and #3 (html) don’t?
    Any reason why my co-located mail server would accept all the mail without issue?

    This would be easier to understand if all html email was not being delivered, but this isn’t the case. The Friend Request html email is consistently working fine.

    Any troubleshooting ideas are most welcome.

    If one type of email is getting sent and the others aren’t, it might be some part of the content triggering some kind of spam filter on the remote server. It could be some kind of throttling issue, and it’s only by coincidence one type of email is being sent. I don’t know. There’s all sorts of weird possibilities.

    We have 2 further email delivery fixes that have been identified, which I imagine we will implement and release within the next 2 weeks. I don’t see how either would directly affect your site since you have SOME BP HTML emails being delivered, but not all — but maybe they will. This is certainly pretty weird.



    Thanks @djpaul for taking a look at this. I appreciate it. If I learn anything new I’ll post an update.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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