Advanced Email Troubleshooting | Knowledge Base | 1-grid

​Having issues sending and receiving business emails? It could be an advanced problem. Read on for possible causes and how to address them.

 

Is it a new domain? 

The DNS records for new domains can take 12 and 72 hours to propagate across all networks. Please be patient and keep trying. 

 

Is your domain being transferred between different hosting providers? 

You will probably want to set up your existing email accounts on the new server as well. Doing things this way will make it less likely that you will have new/incoming emails going missing during the transfer process. 

 

Basic Sanity Checks 

  1. Have you checked your Spam/Deleted folders? Overzealous email client spam filters could be deleting your mail or marking it as spam. (See below for more information on how to use your DNS records to authenticate your organisation’s email to avoid erroneously being marked as Spam.) 

  2. Are you copying & pasting your login credentials? Have you checked for typos or other errors in your username & password text entries? It is sometimes possible e.g., an invisible character, formatting cruft, or erroneous line break to be copied along with the rest of the text. You can sanitise your text with a text editor such as Notepad++ if you are uncertain. 

  3. Have you tried to log in…  
    1. with a different email client? 
    2. using the webmail service? 
    3. from a different internet connection? 
    4. using another device? 
    5. to a different email account? 

 

Can you receive emails but not send them?

  1. Check that your SMTP settings are correct as per https://1-grid.com/knowledge/email-login-troubleshooting-guide/:
    1. Ensure you are using the correct port and confirm whether or not you are using TLS/SSL encryption on your domain. If you would like to enable secure encryption for your account(s), please click here to see our encryption certificate options.  

    2. The correct ports are: 
      1. 25 or 587 — unencrypted/insecure 
      2. 465 (SSL) or 587 (TLS) — encrypted & secure

  2. It is important to note that sending email via SMTP requires that you authenticate with your SMTP server. This means entering the full username@domain.co.za email address as well as the relevant email account’s password. 

 

Can you send emails but not receive them?  

  1. Check that your POP or IMAP settings are correct as per https://1-grid.com/knowledge/email-login-troubleshooting-guide/
    1. Ensure you are using the correct port and confirm whether or not you are using TLS/SSL encryption on your domain. If you would like to enable secure encryption for your account(s), please click here to see our encryption certificate options.  

    2. The correct ports are:  
      1. POP3: 110 (Insecure) or 995 (SSL secured) 
      2. IMAP: 143 (insecure) or 993 (SSL secured)

  2. It is important to note that receiving email via POP or IMAP requires that you authenticate with your mail server. This means entering the full username@domain.co.za email address as well as the relevant email account’s password.

 

My WordPress/Drupal/other CMS emails are not going through, what can I do? 

  1. If you are using a CMS such as WordPress, this could indicate a problem with the plugins you are using. 
    1. Here is a guide + flowchart to troubleshooting your plugins 
    2. You can also try addons such as the WordPress plugin “Check & Log Email” which can greatly help debug what your CMS is actually doing with the mail.

  2. Some things you can also check: 
    1. ALL of your plugins’ settings. Not only the plugin you suspect might be the issue; other seemingly-related plugins and addons could be causing interference with e.g., mail spooling, caching, or security.
    2. Your site’s error/debug logs. Depending on your hosting package, you might need to ask your web host for access or to turn on debug-level entries in your site configuration files. 
    3. Plugin permissions. This is a known “gotcha” with e.g., Drupal, where the permissions can be more granular than you’re used to if you’re coming from another CMS with lesser security

  3. Other known possible factors include: 
    1. Your server’s settings (firewall rules, email settings, etc.) 
    2. The server mail queue might be quite full/busy, which can delay your mail delivery.
    3. You might have reached some capped limits in your hosting package, such as disk space usage or mailbox size limits. A full mailbox will prevent new incoming emails from being delivered. 
    4. The server’s DNS zone records, especially whether your MX rules are correct for your domain. Optionally, it is highly recommended to use the DNS SPF and DKIM TXT type records in your DNS zone in order to authenticate your email and make it less likely that your mail ends up in the recipient’s Spam folder. (More on this below.) 

 

Spam issues – incoming and outgoing 

  1. Your mail might be getting black-holed due to erroneously being marked as spam. 
  2. Most web hosting companies rely on external services to provide specialised spam filtering. Your mail might be incorrectly getting flagged as spam by one of these systems; your support agent should be able to check on these for you.
  3. Some of the tools listed below might help troubleshoot your mail delivery issues and identify spam blacklisting status across various networks. 
  4. If you suspect that this might be the case, please contact our Support department about checking on the spam status of your mail deliveries.  

 

How can I stop my mail from being marked as Spam? 

  1. The use of certain special DNS records can help recipient email applications to authenticate your sent mails, i.e., this kind of record allows your recipients to let a trusted third party verify that your mail did, in fact, provably originate from your network. 
  2. These are not special DNS record types; they are simply TXT type records that contain (amongst others) some cryptographic information that allows other mail applications to verify mail signed with these keys. 
  3. The current “best practice” record types are SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail). You can find an in-depth explanation of these systems here. 
  4. You can generate SPF keys here and generate DKIM keys here. 
  5. You can also use cPanel to automatically generate and add these records if your cPanel server is the authoritative (SOA) server for your domain, or you can manually add these keys to your DNS records if you control the DNS for your domain. Your domain’s authoritative server may also be under the control of your hosting provider or ISP; if this is the case, please contact your support department for assistance. 

 

Some useful diagnostic tools 

  1. MX Toolbox can help to diagnose some common email delivery problems such as incorrect MX DNS records, or your domain/IP address(es) being blacklisted. 
  2. Here is a list of SMTP testing tools — mostly for Windows — to help you diagnose SMTP delivery and security issues. 
  3. Linux users can try using Telnet to troubleshoot your mail system or explore a list of Linux-related email problems. 
  4. This Mail Server Testing Tool can be handy for diagnosing not only connections to your SMTP server but can test against individual email accounts on the SMTP server(s) involved. 
  5. If you are still in doubt as to your domain’s spam status, the DNSBL spam database lookup should be able to find networks that may still have blacklisted mail from your server. 

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