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email management

Unannounced IONOS change stops all emails from WordPress sending

  • Steve
  • News

Do you use the default email settings in your WordPress website hosted by IONOS ? If so, check to see if your contact forms are still working. If they don’t you will probably discover that no emails can be sent from WordPress at all. Make sure you tell anyone else you know who has a WordPress website running on IONOS hosting.

This is affecting a number of my clients WordPress websites and potentially many thousands of others and there was no warning given by IONOS about this change.

The problem started on the 29th January when IONOS did some pre-annnounced changes to their email servers:

“Starting on 29 January 2024, emails that you send through your IONOS webspace will require a sender address that belongs to a domain of your IONOS contract. Sending with alternative or empty email senders using IONOS servers will no longer be possible as of this date.”

See the details of the announced change –

No other required changes were mentioned that would affect sending of emails.

The problem was discovered on the 30th January when one of my clients discovered that none of the contact forms on his website were sending. Instead an error message was shown:

Error message - There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.

After a lot of time on the phone to IONOS support that day, their eventual response was that the default email configuration for WordPress should not be used and that I needed to re-configure all of my WordPress websites to use a different SMTP server. This means a lot of work and would take a lot of time to change dozens of websites and none of the sites emails would be sent until the work was completed. I don’t consider this as an acceptable solution for a problem that IONOS have introduced.

A little while later that afternoon, IONOS sent an email advising their customers that there was a problem – “ Incident – Limited functionality of product web hosting – 30 January 2024”. Shortly after that the problem was fixed and everything worked correctly again.

Problem solved I thought and all was working fine until yesterday (14th February) when the same problem reappeared.

More emails back and forth to IONOS support today with screenshots and related debug information but eventually failed to get a fix this time and got the same instruction to re-configure all my sites to use different SMTP servers to resolve the problem.

Very disappointed with the IONOS response ! I’ve been a customer of theirs for 15 years and have not had any real issues until now. Feel very let down.


Steve Wood owns and runs Scalar Enterprises based in Portsmouth in Hampshire. He offers a range of services including Web design and Internet marketing to small businesses and SMEs in Hampshire and the surrounding areas.

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