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Emails stopped sending

Thread began 6/10/2019 2:34 am by Thomas Hill | Last modified 6/11/2019 2:28 pm by Ray Borduin | 32 views | 5 replies |

Thomas Hill

Emails stopped sending

Hello,

I noticed yesterday (Sunday) that emails from all of my pages have stopped sending (and there are a lot of pages)? i.e. my contact form
https://www.ourbigdayonfilm.com/contact/

When you complete the contact page, the form submits but no emails are sent.

I have logged in via FTP and noticed that each time the form is submitted a new file is created called [page_name}_Progress_xml.php

I have downloaded the page and opened it and it displays the following:
<progress total="1" current="1" remaining="1" />

I recently updated all of the code using DataBridge 2 and the code has been working fine until now, and so I'm confused as to what has happened.

I've attached the contact form and WA Email folder in case you need to take a look.

Many thanks in advance,
Thomas

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Thomas Hill

Update – I have contacted my ISP and they have told me there is a block in place as too many emails were sent per hour. They've told me the limit is 200 per hour and 500 per day. I've explained that I can't understand why the website would have sent as many emails as that in one hour.

I've checked some of my emails server behaviours and they show:
BurstSize = "200";
BurstTime = "1";
WaitTime = "1";

Do you think I need to change these parameters?

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Ray BorduinWebAssist

Ask if you can see the SMTP logs.

Changing those settings wouldn't matter unless you were sending bulk emails to a bunch of recipients at once. It would not prevent a single page that sends an email from being accessed more than 200 times per hour and initiating the block.

My best guess is that a hacker or spammer was trying to send a bunch of emails from your contact page using a bot and that caused the issue. However, I'd see if you can find out the cause definitively before working on a solution.

Try to get the logs to see what emails were being sent at what time intervals and once you know the page and content causing the issue we can work on a solution for you.

Some possible solutions include: Using authenticated emails with a different SMTP server which usually don't have caps, Add IP address check and logs and don't allow more than one email from the same IP address every 5 minutes, Adding CAPTCHA and/or random questions to the contact form to prevent bots from doing multiple submissions. There may be other options too, but these are some that can be considered.

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Thomas Hill

My hosting provider aren't really being that helpful. I have asked for the logs but been told these are for internal use only. Since I am on a shared server, do you think perhaps that this issue may have been caused by another website on the same hosting machine and they are just not telling me? or do shared hosts not work like that?

I already use Captcha on my contact page and so I may investigate some of the other email solutions you've suggested. Are there any companies that you can recommend? A quick search brought up SocketLabs but I need to do my homework.

Thanks ever so much for taking the time to give such a detailed reply, when it clearly isn't a WebAssist issue. Your technical support, is always incredible – Thanks Ray.

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Ray BorduinWebAssist

It is just too hard to tell what is wrong exactly. Maybe add yourself as a BCC to each email so you get a copy and can see if a bunch are going out at any given time to give you something to investigate. Without knowing the page or reason that the emails are being sent it is really difficult to fix.

Shared hosts should track which client sends the email.

I think if you own Data Bridge v2 you might try using the authenticated email option that you can set up to use your regular email account and that might bypass any email limits.

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Thomas Hill

You're absolutely right. It's definitely a tricky one to diagnose.
I actually already have every email trigger set to send a copy to a dedicated archive email address which I monitor but nothing had actually come through which is why I thought it odd that I had supposedly exceeded my send limit.

I'm going to continue to monitor it anyway, and introduce your authenticated email option. I think I may also set up a simple page triggered via cron-job.org which sends an email to me once a day at the same time, and then at least I know if I don't receive an email, then another block is in place.

Thanks again for your support.

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