Using Gmail SMTP on GoDaddy’s Virtual Private Servers

Light at the end of the GoDaddy SMTP tunnel

Photo by http://www.taylorleopoldphoto.com/

Blog Post Update: SMTP connect() failed

Update made on August 29, 2014

After several months of this working, the contact form I was using on my client’s GoDaddy installation stopped working. I would see that the contact form submitted as the information was logged within the backend of WordPress. However, the client would never receive the email. When I ran some debugging tests I received the error of
SMTP connect() failed.

If you receive this error, you have to call in again and they add in a script to the server. Again, this takes an hour to start working. They weren’t clear as to why this stopped working, but I thought I should update this post in case anyone else is having issues.

Original Article

After a lot of research, trial, and error I learned that GoDaddy blocks all outgoing SMTP connections except for their own. So, if your using their Dedicated or Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting and have a contact form which you want to send you email notifications you have the following options:

1) Use GoDaddy’s email service and pay for SMTP relays
2) Call GoDaddy and ask them to add smtp.gmail.com as an SMTP relay on your server.

Using GoDaddy internal SMTP relay service on a Dedicated or Virtual Private Server

GoDaddy does provide internal SMTP relay service, however I wouldn’t recommend using it because in their documentation, they provide the following as SMTP limitations:

  • 1,000 outbound emails per day
  • Attachments cannot exceed 30MB with no individual file exceeding 20MB

Also, this isn’t ideal because as they state on their website

“By default, dedicated and Virtual Private Servers (VPS) have a limit of 1,000 SMTP relays per day. However, if you can provide a legitimate justification, we can increase the limit.

Depending on why you need to increase your relays, provide information from one of the following sections in a support request.”

Add a SMTP Relay Service to Your GoDaddy Server

Even though I spent 35 minutes on the phone with GoDaddy today (most of it being on hold) I would recommend this route. All you have to do is grab some coffee, call in, have your 4 digit customer account PIN ready, and explain that you’re using VPS hosting on a website that you’d like the forms to submit emails via Google’s SMTP. They’ll also ask you what email address you want to use for this and update the server settings. You wait up to an hour more and your forms should start working.

You can easily set this up on a WordPress website using a plugin, like Easy SMTP Mail or WP Mail SMTP.

Google’s SMTP Settings for Contact Forms

Google’s SMTP settings are:

Host: smtp.gmail.com
Port: 465
Use SSL Encryption
Use SMTP Authentication
Use your Gmail username and password for the SMTP Authentication

Hopefully this information saves others from spending time on this issue.
I swear, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

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