XF 1.5 Registration mails not arriving

Hi, I have started a xenforo community www.wetshaversworkshop.com which is currently being hosted by TMDHosting.
The version we use is 1.5.12
No addons have been installed, and the only modification to the styles is the addition of a link button in the navbar.

The problem we are experiencing is that many users (I'd say roughly half, give or take) stay in the 'awaiting email confirmation' state because they never get the registration confirmation mail. I asked, and it's also not getting stuck in a spam or junk folder.

In the email options, everything is left default: default email transport, and set returm path with -f parameter. I don't know what this parameter does, but the description says it's recommended. And I presume that if it wouldn't work, it would never work instead of only sometimes.

I have created a ticket with TMD to see if there is a network misconfiguration. Which could be, though I think it's strange that only half or so of the users experience this problem. I decided to post here as well to check if there is anything on the xenforo side that needs looking at and to find out:
  • if I need to do anything special to configure emails
  • if it is better to configure SMTP manually than to use the default transport.
  • if this problem has known causes that I might check


XenForo moderator
Staff member
I decided to post here as well to check if there is anything on the xenforo side that needs looking at and to find out
In general, if there are no errors in the XF ACP, then the issue is external to XF, after the emails have been handed off to the server.

As some emails are being received, that confirms everything works, so it's likely going to be some sort of spam trap/blacklisting for the affected members.

This guide covers that: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/dealing-with-spam-filters.366/
TMD says they double checked and it seems the setup is correct and the mail went out. So if it disappears, it's probably marked as spam.
Yet the users didn't get it in their spam folder so a server in between must have munched it. They told me to contact xenForo :)

The strange thing is that I have a personal gmail address, and my registration mail came through. One of our users also uses gmail, and he didn't get it. I tried it with an email address of my own domain that is hosted at TMD and it appeared instantly.

Now, I checked the link you provided, and it says to check RDNS However, the header does not seem to include an IP address:

Return-Path: <admin@wetshaversworkshop.com>
Delivered-To: myusername@wetshaversworkshop.com
Received: from s984.tmd.cloud
by s984.tmd.cloud (Dovecot) with LMTP id sQ/eJYCDwVhhHgUArYIMRA
for <myusername@wetshaversworkshop.com>; Thu, 09 Mar 2017 11:32:00 -0500
Return-path: <admin@wetshaversworkshop.com>
Envelope-to: myusername@wetshaversworkshop.com
Delivery-date: Thu, 09 Mar 2017 11:32:00 -0500
Received: from wetshave by s984.tmd.cloud with local (Exim 4.88)
(envelope-from <admin@wetshaversworkshop.com>)
id 1cm0yu-001PKe-GV
for myusername@wetshaversworkshop.com; Thu, 09 Mar 2017 11:32:00 -0500

Does that indicate a problem?


Well-known member

There's a whole lot of stuff behind email and it takes work to get it right.

Rdns is up to tmd. Ie:

Mailserver smtp45.myemailprovider.com sends email for mydomain.com

The IP of the server should resolve back to smtp45.... Not your domain.

Sendgrid is free for 100 emails a day. Why not try it?

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
When this happened to me (due to switching to shared hosting where it islijlely to happen) it was similar and appears random, though the biggest culprits were aol, btinternet and I think gmail or hotmail

I tried various smtp alternatives and ended up with Amazon SES, although I have to say pepipost looks good

Mandrill used to be a good bet until they started being very expensive

There is a thread on here where people discuss this, search for something like alternative to mandrill
Thx. Yes it's one of the umpteen things I need to get around to. This email thing is more important.
Ive changed it to the SMTP of my hosting. That seems to be more reliable atm but we'll see. If not, then I'll need to switch to google or amazon.

Btw I understand that this is not xenForo's fault. However if this sort of thing is to be expected with shared hosting, then some more information on the email config page would be nice. Something like: 'if you use shared hosting, be advised that such and such is likely to occur. If that happens, do X'.

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Yet the users didn't get it in their spam folder so a server in between must have munched it. They told me to contact xenForo
Incorrect... MS (HotMail/Live/Outlook), Yahoo and even Google will NOT deliver some emails that do not pass their heuristic challenges. You pretty much have to have a clean IP, DKIM, SPF, and RDNS at the least to get through - and even then with a low "reputation" it may not get delivered.

It's one of the reasons (especially with shared hosting) that some competitor scripts recommends that you use SMTP for your email rather than default PHP - but even with that it still requires certain aspects of RDNS, DKIM and SPF to be in effect.
Interesting. I've configured the SMTP and for now it 'seems' to work, though I'll only know for sure once I'll see more members sign up without issues.
Even though I have been a developer and recently a sysadmin for 20 years, I never really got involved with internet things. I always assumed that after so long, email was one of the most clear and understood transport mechanisms in terms of troubleshooting.