Why is email delayed for a period of time?

Posted by on Jan 21, 2011 in Tips, Troubleshooting

Question:
Why is email delayed for a period of time? At first, I thought I was not getting any email, then 2 hours later all the messages came in. What causes that?

Answer:
Your web site may be hosted on a shared server with many other web sites. The email server could be overloaded. An email server has to make an outgoing connection to send each email message. When an email server has many requests for sending email, the emails are held in a Mail queue and sent out a one at a time. An overloaded server with many mail requests will cause a delay in sending mail. Sometimes a spammer will find an exploit in one of the web sites on the server and start sending massive amounts of spam. This will overload the mail server. If your mail is being delayed, you should make a trouble ticket with your host so that they can check the server logs and Mail queue. A good server administrator can tell if the Mail queue is overloaded and what is causing it.

Are you a GoDaddy user? GoDaddy email from web forms can take up to 30 minutes to receive. The average time in my many tests was 10-20 minutes!

There are other possible causes like DNS or connection outages that may only be temporary. In some cases of a server that is exploited and sending out spam, the server IP address may be temporarily banned by other mail servers. Sometimes your mail server IP address ends up on a SORBS or RBL spammer black list and gets blocked by various mail systems. This may not be your fault because many sites on a web hosting server share the same IP. Maybe a spammer has an account there, or a spammer has exploited a script on the server and is sending spam from it.

Check if your mail server IP is blacklisted by SORBS or RBL:
You can find your email server IP in the header of a received email sent from your site. SORBS and RBL are common methods mail servers use to block spam. If your mail server is on one of these spam lists, your outgoing email can be blacklisted and will not send because it gets rejected at the recipient SMTP mail server during the connect HELO command.

Here are sites to check if your mail server IP address is on a blacklist:

If you find your mail server is on a SORBS or RBL spam list, contact your web host tech support, they may need to investigate their Mail queue to see if there is an exploited script on the server sending spam. (or a spammer with a hosting account there that they need to terminate).

Consider HostGator Linux Web Hosting
I use HostGator and do not have these email sending problems. I also do not have to use the WP MAIL SMTP plugin on HostGator. Fast Secure Contact Form works great on my HostGator Linux account.
If you have a web site, you will want it to be fast and reliable. I have researched many web hosting providers to find for you which one is the best. I recommend HostGator Web Hosting. This site and all my other sites are hosted there. Not only are the prices great, they also offer the most features. I have had dedicated servers for many years in the same data center and they were very reliable.

Be sure to select “Linux Web Hosting” when you start your hosting account. If your web site requires any interactive scripts like contact forms, blogs, forums, e-commerce, etc. then I very highly recommend “Linux Web Hosting” rather than “Windows Web Hosting” because I have fewer problems with it.
To start your web hosting account today, click here: HostGator Web Hosting … Mike

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