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3 Reasons Contact Forms Stop Working

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Last updated Apr 25, 2021

Website Contact Forms – Have Yours Randomly Stopped Working?

One of the most common questions we get asked about contact forms is why were they working last week or last month, but not now?

1. Spam Detection

Different email systems, for example;

  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Outlook
  • Gmail

have different spam detection algorithms.

As spammers come up with new tactics to send emails, the different email systems respond by continuously updating their spam detection. The emails coming from your website may get caught up in these new algorithms. What was permitted before is no longer permitted. Your email system has decided that genuine email inquiries coming from potential clients who are filling in the online form are spam. This is one reason why contact forms will randomly stop working.

2. Shared Hosting

Your website is most likely under a shared hosting plan (the cost for stand alone hosting starts at $1,000). If one of the websites that is on the same server as yours gets hacked, or for some other reason is starting to send lots of emails, then Google, gmail, Office 365, Outlook and other email systems don’t trust that IP address. Therefore that website, and those that are sharing the same hosting environment are blacklisted. This is one reason why forms will randomly stop working.

To check if your domain is blacklisted go to https://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx

3. Software Updates

Website software (eg. WordPress) and software that is part of the site environment needs to be updated. These updates are done to:

  • roll out new features
  • fix bugs in the system
  • keep compatible with the other software it sits on or partners with (eg. browsers)
  • keep abreast with website security (updates often fix potential windows that hackers have found to get into the software)

But sometimes updates have unintended consequences. The previous version of the software was working with the contact form, but the new version has had some unintended consequence and is no longer playing nicely. This is one reason why website contact forms will randomly stop working.

Maybe It’s Working

It could be that technically that the contact form is working, but you’re not seeing the emails.

Read more about this in article on emails not working.

 

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