Contact form problem - won't work

I see in the forums that several people have had the same problem, that if you try to send a message via the standard Contact Form you get a message: I’m sorry, there seems to have been an error trying to send your email. Please try again.
The settings I am able to make (RW 7.1.5) are correct, although there isn’t much to set anyway. I went to my web hoster, and they wrote: request you to please check with your email script and update this with SMTP authentication code / use your domain email address and password as SMTP user / password.
I haven’t a clue what to do with their instruction, as I use RW for its alleged ease of use! Any suggestions please?

The standard form doesn’t support SMTP as far as I know. You need one which does, such as FormLoom or FormSnap (the latter requires Stacks).

If this is true, this is the first that I have been aware of it and a bit of a problem. I have the form on several sites and I wonder if I have been unintentionally annoying people trying to contact the site owner?

I look forward to hearing that this isn’t the issue that it appears to be.

Surely you test your forms?

Yes, but I have learned a lesson here. Just because works for me using different browsers, doesn’t mean to say that it will work for others. I am too trusting by half.

Anyway, whatever my issues, it doesn’t alter the fact that having a contact form which doesn’t function for a sizeable number of people is not very clever.

Has nothing to do with browser, has to do with server configuration

I think I am missing the point here, but it still doesn’t seem to address the main point of Tony’s post “I use RW for its alleged ease of use!”

So, maybe someone can explain to me in simple terms (as I am simple) why the contact form might not work?

The top reasons it wouldn’t work is if the host isn’t running php or if you are trying to send from an address that is not in the same domain which most hosts require now.

If you test and it sends to you it will send to anyone, has nothing to do with users browser.

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There are a few hosting companies which don’t allow you to use PHP Mail. I don’t know why – I’d have thought the security risks of that were less than those of using SMTP. There are always going to be some functions of RW and its plug-ins which aren’t compatible with some hosting set-ups, just as you can’t run WordPress without PHP 5.6 or higher and MySQL 5.6 or higher. This really isn’t RealMac’s fault.

My web hosting site certainly does support php. When swilliam writes “or if you are trying to send from an address that is not in the same domain”, I assume he means that the address TO WHICH a would-be contacter writes must be in the same domain. Well I have done that too (of course).
But the RW standard contact form will still not work, and as I said in my original post, my web site hoster said I have to mess round with the email script - whatever and wherever that may be, in RapidWeaver terms.
Right now I am going to try the DOObox HTML Contact Form Stack and see if that works.
Every time there is a hitch, I have to buy something else, which rather undermines RW’s credibility, even if it boosts the 3rd party market!

No, I think he means FROM WHICH. In the field ‘From Email’ you should give an email address in the same domain as the website. If you don’t there is a good chance that it won’t be sent. I don’t think any HTML form is as secure as a PHP one but there should be no problem running it.

I have found the DooBox and PulseCMS email contact forms to be reliable and tolerant of hosts. I seem to recall there is a free version of YabDabs older email contact form called something like FormSnap Junior (I recall). You could see if that works.

The problems are often at the host end where the host is tightening up on security and this can be worse if you are using a shared server which is what most people are using. Some hosts are reluctant to allow any changes to shared hosting. The good ones will allow it and also help you to diagnose a contact form issue. It is very frustrating when contact forms don’t work but I think the blame often lies with the host.

Note to email contact form developers. It would be extremely useful to have an error log to present to hosts to convince them that things aren’t working and to detail what is or is not happening.