What to Do When Contact Form 7 Isn’t Sending Emails

Contact Form 7 is one of the most popular contact form plugins for WordPress. It’s also one of the oldest that’s also easy to use. In fact, many WordPress themes come with pre-made styles for Contact Form 7.

As popular as Contact Form 7 is, it’s not uncommon for users to encounter a problem with their contact form not sending email. As a result, they can miss many important messages, from potential customers looking to get in touch with them or other business owners looking to collaborate with them. 

In this post, we’ll explain why it may be that Contact Form 7 is not sending email and how you can fix this problem. 

📚 Table of Contents

Do you wish to save time from debugging Contact Form 7?

⏰ TL;DR:

In this guide, we have covered a lot of reasons why, even though it provides great functionality, Contact Form 7 might prove to be a burdensome plugin for many, that requires a lot of manual debugging.

We built Kali Forms from the ground up to be extremely easy-to-use, with a lot of features that work out-of-the-box, without requiring you to have any technical knowledge or debugging skills. Unlike Contact Form 7, Kali Forms also provides you with integrated templates, which you can use as starting points for forms. The plugin is also mobile-friendly and features Google reCaptcha integration which reduces the chances of spam submissions. Give Kali Forms a try now!

Why Contact Form 7 Is Not Sending Email

If you have Contact Form 7 on your website and it’s not sending email, there could be two reasons for this. 

1. Your host doesn’t use the PHP mail function

In some cases, Contact Form 7 might not be sending email because your hosting company doesn’t support the PHP mail function which is used by WordPress to send emails from your site that are generated by contact form plugins. 

2. Your email notifications are seen as spoofing

Another culprit for this common problem is the plugin configuration settings. Most people use Contact Form 7 with the default form and default settings. 

The problem with this is that Contact Form 7 makes it so the email that’s generated by the form that notifies you of new form submissions appear as though it was sent by the person that submitted the form. In other words, Contact Form 7 uses the email address of the person contacting you as the “From” address. 

However, this is recognized as spoofing because the generated email is in fact coming from your WordPress website. While this setting makes it easy to reply to the person contacting you via the contact form, it’s also masking the true sender of the email. 

Now that you know why Contact Form 7 might not be sending email, let’s talk about how to fix this problem. 

How To Fix Contact Form 7 is Not Sending Email

There are two ways to fix this situation.

Change The From Address

The first solution for this problem is to make the email generated by Contact Form 7 appear to come from your website. For this, you’ll need to create another email address with your domain name. 

To do this, log into your cPanel and navigate to the Email tab. Click on email accounts and then click the Create button. Make sure your domain name is selected and enter the username and password for the new email account. For example, you can make your username be ‘forms’ or ‘email’ or simply ‘wordpress’. When you’re happy, click the Create button. 

Creating an email account in cPanel
Creating an email account in cPanel

Then, go back to your WordPress dashboard and enter this email in the From field, between the angle brackets. Click Save and then send a test email to make sure everything works properly.

Contact Form 7 Settings
Contact Form 7 Settings

Use a Different Contact Form Plugin

The above method works but it can be confusing for non-technical users. Luckily, with WordPress, there are always several ways to achieve the same thing. 

Another way to fix the issue of Contact Form 7 not sending email is to use a contact form plugin that makes it easy to use the standard SMTP protocol to send emails. 

Kali Forms gives you that extra control, thanks to its new email notification settings. Here’s how to setup email SMTP settings in Kali Forms.

Start by going to your WordPress dashboard and going to Plugins > Add new. Search for Kali Forms and install and activate the plugin. 

Then, head on over to Kali Forms > Email Settings. Here, you’ll need to configure the plugin to send form email notifications using either Google, Mandrill, Mailgun or Sendgrid. Keep in mind that you will need to create an account with these services if you don’t already have one.

Setting up SMTP in Kali Forms
Setting up SMTP in Kali Forms

The settings are rather straightforward and all you need to do is select the provider and then enter your email account details. In this example, we’re using Gmail. If you tick the Custom settings box, you’ll see that the SMTP settings are already pre-filled for you so there is nothing confusing to enter there. 

In the next section, make sure that the Require Authentication box is checked. Then, enter your gmail username and password. You’ll also want to tick the box next to the debug log. This will allow you to see if there are any issues with the email configuration so you can troubleshoot if needed. Then, click Save

The final step is to test your contact form. Kali Forms will already have a simple contact form pre-configured for you so you can modify that form or create a new one. 

Customizing a contact form with Kali Forms
Customizing a contact form with Kali Forms

For simplicity’s sake, I will edit the pre-configured contact form. As you can see, you can customize the form by adding or removing fields.

When you’re happy, click the Save button. Then, click the X button to go back to the dashboard. Copy the shortcode for your Kali Forms contact form. 

Next, go to your contact page and paste the form shortcode you just copied. Then, test your contact form. If everything is configured properly, you’ll see the information about the submitted form in the debug log. 

Switch To Kali Forms To Avoid Problems With Contact Form 7 Not Sending Emails

Kali Forms is a modern and easy to use plugin that makes it simple to create contact forms (and other forms) for your site. You can easily create simple contact forms as well as payment forms, file upload forms, and more. 

Kali Forms
Kali Forms

You can easily create notification and email confirmation emails as well as setup up more advanced configurations with SMTP to ensure the emails from your site are getting delivered. 

Kali Forms also comes with built-in form templates that you can use instead of building forms from scratch. The plugin is also mobile-responsive and comes with the ability to enable Google reCaptcha to minimize the chances of spam submissions. 

You can download Kali Forms for free from the official repository and create a great-looking contact form for your website. Once you’re ready to create more advanced forms or if you want to be able to collect payment with your forms, you can upgrade to Kali Forms Pro

Final Thoughts

If you run into an issue where Contact Form 7 is not sending email, chances are something is wrong with the plugin’s configuration. You fix this by changing the email address from which the email notifications are coming from with the help of shortcodes and creating another email address in your cPanel. 

While the above method works, it can also be time-consuming and confusing if you’re not used to working with the cPanel interface. So, you can save yourself a lot of hassle and switch to a contact form plugin like Kali Forms that makes it easy to configure the email notification settings. Either way, best of luck!

Brenda Barron
Brenda Barron

Brenda Barron – originally from Southern California – is an experienced writer and editor that focuses on providing top-notch content to businesses