Awesome Support Documentation


Connecting WordPress to your email server can sometimes be a frustrating experience because of the different moving parts involved.  Between WordPress, Ports, Protocols, Spam Checkers, Cron processing and the various security measure put in place by certain email providers, getting everything synced up properly can sometimes be difficult.  If you are having a difficult time getting things working, here are some tips:

Verify your WordPress server is running the right things

  • Your WordPress server must be running the following:
  • PHP 5.6.30 or later (7.2 recommended)
  • WordPress 4.6 or later (4.9.8 or later recommended)
  • A dedicated e-mail inbox using the IMAP/POP3 protocol
  • A WordPress server that has IMAP/POP3 ports open
  • The library enabled in PHP  (if not enabled, your host can usually do this very quickly)
  • The mbstring library enabled in PHP  (if not enabled, your host can usually do this very quickly)

Check, double-check and triple-check your email inbox credentials

In particular make sure you have the PORTs, EMAIL TYPE (POP3 or IMAP) and PROTOCOL (ssl for example) correct.  You should use these credentials on an email client like OUTLOOK to make sure that they are working.

Check, double-check and triple-check that the proper ports are opened on your WordPress server

Just because a connection can be made from your email client does not mean that the ports are open on your WordPress server.  They are two different machines – your email client runs on your personal computer but WordPress (and the email plugin) runs on the WordPress server which is a different machine.

Many hosts BLOCK the standard POP3 and IMAP ports (995 and 993) by default.  But they can also open them upon request.  A lot of times your basic support representative will tell you that the ports are open but they’re not – the rep is simply trying to close out the support request as fast as possible.  So make sure you call back two or three times to speak to different people to get confirmation that your IMAP or POP3 ports are indeed open!

Error: Cannot Connect to host

If you see this error when using the TEST button, it generally means that the IMAP/POP3 ports are not open on your WordPress server!

Set the CRON interval to 5 mins or greater

(“CRON” refers to the WORDPRESS scheduler.)

We provide an option to check emails ever 1 minute – but that is only for development.  A lot of times 1 minute is not enough to get to the mailbox and clear it before the next interval starts.  This can mean that the prior running process is terminated prematurely – resulting in duplicate emails!

Verify that your site gets traffic on a regular basis

The WordPress CRON process depends on traffic to your site.  If you want to retrieve emails every 15 minutes you need to make sure that your site gets at least one visitor every 15 minutes.

There are ways around this but it involves getting your host to set up a special LINUX cron-process that does not depend on site traffic.  If they’re not familiar with how WordPress works they’re not going to be able to set this up properly.

Turn off any SPAM filters or Virus Filters on your mailbox

SPAM filters can sometimes add additional headers to your emails in a way that violates the RFC standards.  SPAM ASSASSIN is one of the major culprits we see.  You should be able to turn this off on just your support mailbox.   See here for more information about this issue:

Make sure the mailbox is only being used for one thing – incoming emails

If you assign the support mailbox address to anyone else you will likely end up in a vicious loop with thousands of emails.  Do not set up any user or agent with this email address nor should you assign it as the email address in your WordPress SETTINGS screens!  The support inbox email address should only appear in two places – your TICKETS->SETTINGS->EMAIL PIPING screen and your TICKETS->SETTINGS->EMAILS screen!

If you would like to keep a copy of your incoming emails you should set up a second mailbox.  Then, set up an automatic forward of all emails from the support mailbox to the second mailbox.

Emails are DELETED from the support mailbox after processing!

Using GMAIL or Microsoft Outlook?

Gmail and Outlook (and a number of other providers) have additional security on their mailboxes that are not part of the POP3 and IMAP standards.  This means that you need to turn them all off – including 2 factor authentication.

You also need to explicitly turn on the POP3 or IMAP protocols in your account.

See more information about GMAIL here:

Things still not working?

Open a ticket with us. But before you do that, please collect some debugging information so you can attach it to the support ticket for us.

  • First, please turn on the debug.log flags for WordPress.
  • Second, please go to TICKETS->SETTINGS->EMAIL PIPING and scroll down to the EXCEPTION HANDLING section.  Set the LOG LEVEL to the second radio button and then click save.
  • Then, after attempting to retrieve emails you should see the WP debug log file in your wp-content folder on your server.  Please zip it up and attach it to the ticket.
  • Then, go back to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->EMAIL PIPING and set the LOG LEVEL option to the first radio button (otherwise your log files will grow really large really rapidly!)

We really want to help you get this working so giving us this information upfront will help us resolve your issue much faster.  Otherwise the first message we send you will be to ask for this – which will delay us being able to help of course!

Other Common Questions

Here are the answers to some other common questions we receive.

How can I show the contents of the message in my outgoing emails?

If the emails being sent to your user does not include the text of the reply or the text of the original ticket it means that the {message} tag is not in your email templates. Just go to TICKETS->SETTINGS->EMAILS and add the {message} tag anywhere in the email template.