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Activation Emails Seen As Spam

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Problems' started by ddmmh, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. ddmmh

    ddmmh Well-Known Member

    Hi guys,

    Ive had a few friends sign up to help me test out the forums and for all of them the activation email was in the junk/spam folder. Kind of worrys me because a lot of people still dont know to check spam email if the activation isnt in their inbox. Is there I way i can find out whats triggering my email as spam and how I can change it so its at least accepted by the mainstream email provides like hotmail, gmail, yahoo etc..

    Cheers guys
  2. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    Yep this seems to be happening to quite a few people.
    So far there's been so real solution.
  3. ddmmh

    ddmmh Well-Known Member

    Im just speculating here but I would imagine the big boys like hotmail and gmail are aware of VB and IPB and maybe have added something to their servers to be more 'activation email' friendly??. Ive played with both and never really had issues with email activations. Does anybody have any ideas???
  4. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    One possibility is a RDNS problem as described in this thread. You need to make sure your Default Email Address uses the same host as the mail server:

    Admin CP -> Home -> Options -> Email Options -> Default Email Address

    Usually webmaster@yoursite.com works fine with the default mail server:

    Admin CP -> Home -> Options -> Email Options -> Email Transport Method
  5. ddmmh

    ddmmh Well-Known Member

    Thanks Jake.

    Email is coming from admin@mmazone.com.au which is my domain the XF is installed on.

    Reading that other post i will try setting up smtp server to send mail from, i was always under the impression php mail is better!!
  6. mjp

    mjp Well-Known Member

    The php mail() function uses sendmail on the web server, and email from a web server is something that many spam filters look for.

    You can use mail() to send through an SMTP server, but it's a workaround that's only available if you are running php on Windows. And you're not doing that, right? Of course not.
  7. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    I use my ISP email which is smtp. Have to hunt for the activation email in the junk folder every time.
  8. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member

    If any of your users are yahoo users, not much you can do...not when they stick their OWN email into your spam folder.
  9. ddmmh

    ddmmh Well-Known Member

    Hi guys just an update.

    I am now using mail.mydomain.com.au port 25 and i created a test account for hotmail and gmail... both worked perfectly. Activation email went straight to inbox :D thanks guys!
  10. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Interestingly enough I had a chat with Mike and Kier about this some time ago.

    It was suggested that the cost of connecting to the SMTP server probably isn't worth it, particularly as it's done synchronously ie: has to wait for the server to do its stuff before it moves on.

    If the email transport is set to default, PHP's internal mail handling function is used, which various from OS to OS and if mail works using the default transport method then that is usually all that is required.

    There can though be benefits with regards to spam handling when using SMTP.

    If mail works with the -f parameter set on then that is better. By default, sendmail won't let you change the "envelope address" of the email, that is the return address, so you often end up with nobody@your.server.name instead of a useful mail address.

    This can harm you in the eyes of spam checks, though the -f param doesn't always work (it definitely doesn't work with safe_mode). With -f, you can set that to an arbitrary email, which is better for spam and lets you actually control where bounce/delivery errors go.
  11. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    All of that was completely over my head.
    Bram and Brandon Sheley like this.
  12. Ranger375

    Ranger375 Well-Known Member

    I had the same issue, but my host fixed whatever the problem was.
  13. mjp

    mjp Well-Known Member

    The bottom line is you can do a lot to reduce the chance of your activation emails being flagged as spam, but you can't prevent it. There is not one set of rules you can go by; every ISP, host, server and user that accepts mail has different criteria for what is spam. Your best bet is to ask your end users to whitelist your domain. But then you have to teach most of them how to do that, so it's kind of an uphill battle. Most people know to look in their spam folders if they don't receive an an email they are expecting.
  14. Ranger375

    Ranger375 Well-Known Member

    If the majority of your emails are being entered into the spam folder something is definitely wrong.
  15. Netsultants

    Netsultants Active Member

    I was having issues and I switched to SMTP.

    I think if your hosting account has multiple domains it makes sense to use smtp. That way you can "match" the server name to the domain name and will likely help make sure your mail isn't flagged as spam.
  16. Michael J

    Michael J Member

    Hi guys,

    Sorry to resurrect this thread. But i have some serious problems with confirmation emails being marked as spam (tested on gmail and hotmail accounts).

    My site is iPhone 5 Forums and i have tried every possible way there is to send outgoing emails:

    - Default setting (with and without the -f option)
    - using SMTP of my VPS hosting account
    - using gmail SMTP (tested using 2 different accounts)

    I have a sneaky suspicion that it may be to do with the fact that i have the word "iPhone" in my domain name?? That is the only thing i can think of right now. Can you guys think of anything else?

    Another unrelated question (thought it would be better if i just ask away instead of creating another thread), whenever new members register the Forums Stats block doesn't seem to be updating. Even after waiting the specified time for the cron job to run. I have to manually run it myself for it to update. Can anyone shed any light on this. I have xenforo 1.0.2 installed and xenporta.


  17. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Regarding spam filters, I compiled all suggestions into this thread:


    Those counts are cached and are updated every 10 minutes by this cron:

    Admin CP -> Tools -> Cron Entries -> Rebuild Board Totals Counter

    The cron tasks are driven by page loads, so they will be delayed if your forum is inactive or not public.

    If you are referring to the stats block on your portal then it may be some problem relating to the portal.
  18. Michael J

    Michael J Member

    Ok i'll have a look at that thread Jake.

    With regards to the counts, when you say cached, does that mean that even if the cron runs you wont see the new value? Do i need to clear the cache or something?

    My forum is public. What do u mean by inactive? I have been working on it and i have seen guests viewing specific threads every now and then. It's still new so traffic is very scarce. Why would tasks be driven by page loads when they are scheduled. I honestly dont follow that. Thanks.
  19. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    When the cron runs it should update the forum stats that you see on the front end. Manually running the cron should immediately update the stats, regardless of traffic.
  20. Michael J

    Michael J Member

    Ok well i've noticed that the cron doesn't update anything if left to run automatically. Even the thread view count (which only gets updated when playing around with the cron scheduling and running it manually afterwards). I know this because i have seen people view threads quite a few times.

    Either there's a bug or i just dont understand what triggers an increment in the counters.

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