E-mail confirmation messages not being delivered to hotmail accounts with PHP-Nuke

Posted on 2007-10-05
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
My website requires e-mail validation for users to create accounts. This works fine except when the receiving mail server refuses to accept the e-mail. Originally I had the site set up with my personal e-mail being used as the sender, however, I finally noticed what the problem was when send me a message not delivered e-mail(apparently hotmail doesn't send them). The validation e-mails aren't going into the users spam folder they simply aren't being delivered.I then created an e-mail address on my web server and had the messages shown as sent from them. This apparently did not fix the problem and I'm not sure where to go from here. Thanks.
Question by:dead1ne
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    by:Neadom Tucker
    Well it sounds like you may be sending spam.  At least that is what Hotmail sees.  Have you checked your SPF records?  I am seeing the following records for your domain:
    "v=spf1 a mx ip4: ?all" [TTL=14400]

    What this tells other mail servers is the ONLY authorized server that can send mail for YOUR domain is:  If your using a different outgoing mail server then Hotmail will see you as spam and not deliver your messages and just delete them.

    If your using a different outgoing server have your DNS provider to add the additional domain or ip to your SPF record.
    LVL 36

    Expert Comment

    You could send me an email at and I could check to see if it has any problems.

    However hotmail use their own and very unreliable spam filter. You could contact them and pay to use a whitelist that they support but even then your mails may still be blocked.

    Author Comment

    PHP-Nuke is configured to send the e-mail through the mail server with the account via SMTP and the mail server and web server share the same IP so that shouldn't cause the issue in the first place. I can't manually send an e-mail via the website so you will need to create an account to see what is being sent.
    LVL 36

    Accepted Solution

    You got a spam score of 1.78 which is fine. If you can alter the email so it sends plain text and html parts then your score will come down to 0.32.

    -0.10      BAYES_05      Bayesian spam probability is 1 to 5%
    -0.01      BOTNET_SOHO      Relay might be a SOHO mail server
    0.00      HTML_MESSAGE      HTML included in message
    0.10      HTML_MIME_NO_HTML_TAG      HTML-only message, but there is no HTML tag
    0.33      IP_NOT_FRIENDLY       
    1.46      MIME_HTML_ONLY      Message only has text/html MIME parts
    -0.00      SPF_HELO_PASS      SPF: HELO matches SPF record
    -0.00      SPF_PASS      SPF: sender matches SPF record

    Received:  from ( [])
    Your HELO/EHLO name and the DNS and reverse DNS all looks fine.

    Checking RBLs your IP address is in the china antispam alliance RBL. See and put in your IP address for a report and removal instructions.
    Is the mail server only ever used by your website or it it one that other people at the hosting company can use?
    If it is shared I would advise using your own server for sending the mail. If it is your own server I would investigate why it was sending spam. The evidence on the site looks like it was sent in chinese so I cannot say whether it really was spam.

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