WordPress site admins who use Contact Form 7 may have noticed configuration errors in Version 4.4.
You’re not mistaken when you’re wondering if these errors weren’t there before.
The most common misconfiguration error warning triggers if you are using a To or From email in your contact form with a domain name than your website. (For example: A Gmail or Yahoo email).
The other configuration error that I’ve trigger is if the Subject line on the contact form doesn’t require the user to input anything, or if the Subject mail header may be empty on submission.
The reason a Gmail or other email address may get flagged is the From email address is coming from Gmail, but the email systems may see it coming from your server with your domain name. Because these two email addresses don’t line up, some email clients see it as a phishing attempt, and send it to the Spam folder.
Here’s what you may have seen after updating Contact Form 7 to the latest version, and how to fix these configuration errors.
Fixing The Configuration Errors
After you updated Contact Form 7, you may have seen a message at the top of your admin pages that said:
Misconfiguration leads to mail delivery failure or other troubles. Validate your contact forms now. » Validate Contact Form 7 Configuration.
If you follow the link to configure your contact forms, you’ll see a button to configure your forms. Then you’ll go to the regular screen that shows all your forms.
The forms that have configuration errors will have a message below them in red, showing how many potential errors there are.
The most common error I’m seeing is where people are using the
[your-email] variable in the From line in the Mail tab.
In the past, many people have used the
[your-email] shortcode to quickly reply to an incoming email from the contact form on their site.
Like we mentioned earlier, this can get filtered to the Spam folder by certain email systems, and you don’t want that.
The solution is twofold.
First, add an email address from your website in the From field.
If your website is mywebsite.com, then the From field could look like this:
[your-name] <[email protected]> .
It’s important to leave the angle brackets around the designated From email address.
Next, add the
[your-email] shortcode to the Additional Headers box on the Mail tab. This should look like this:
Reply-To: [your-email] .
This way, when you hit Reply on the incoming email, it will still go to the email address of the person who filled out the form.
I’ve seen a couple of configuration warnings on the Subject line of the form. There are usually two reasons for this.
- The Subject line isn’t a required field, and so the Subject line may be sent empty.
- There isn’t anything entered when editing the Subject field, so the Subject line will be empty when the email is sent.
Remember, the goal of this new contact form validation is to make sure you receive emails from prospective customers,and those emails don’t end up in a Junk folder.
Here’s what you should have in each field when you edit forms in the newest version of Contact Form 7 in the Mail tab.
To: The email address you want to receive contact form submissions at.
From: An email address that comes from the domain name of the website (no Gmail or other non-branded email address). You can also add the
[your-name] if you’d like.
Subject: This can’t be empty. Either put the
[your-subject] shortcode, or manually put something here.
Message Body: Use the shortcodes from your form to build the email response you want to receive.
As always, whenever you change your contact form, send yourself some test emails to make sure everything is working properly.