Emails Delivery Abruptly Stops for a few mins


I have been contacting customer support about this problem but they are taking way too long to respond back so I thought about asking it here.

I have a script that sends out various emails when a customer successfully places an order. In the past all the emails were sent out fine, but since the last two weeks the emails stop going for a short period and then resume like nothing has happened.
I know that its not the script or the email addresses because when I resend the same emails, it goes out fine.

The only change in the recent past is the huge volume of orders which might have resulted in more than 300 emails going out per hour during peak time. Is this is a problem ?

Does DreamHost have a relay limit ? If yes, what is it ? and can this be increased ?

I would really appreciate a response because the missing customer/order emails are causing a huge problem.



DreamHost imposes a limit on the number of outbound emails. The limit was applied in response to blacklisting issues caused by spammers and poor scripting. You can read more about the limit on the DreamHost Wiki: SMTP quota

Max discount on any plan with promocode SCJESSEYTOTAL

Thanks for you reply.

I just read that and I am sure the SMTP limit is the issue.

BTW shouldnt the emails that were blocked in the previous hour sent out in the next hour?

Do all the emails that exceed the limit in a given hour never get sent ? My previous experiences with other hosting companies have been that they simply queue your emails. The emails that exceed the limit in a given hour get sent out in the next hour. The emails only get delayed and not lost.

Any information would be appreciated.


As I understand it, the way the limit works is that send fails. It’s not cached or stored, it just fails.

I’d be interested in knowing if you can tell from the submit script that it’s failing and maybe storing the message for your own forwarding. (Instead of sending, store it in the db and every 5 minutes in a cron send out say 10% shy of the quota from the DB.)

Just an idea - it won’t speed up, but it shouldn’t fail and will hopefully catch up.

I don’t want to give spammers ideas, but I do believe that the quota is user based.

Wholly - Use promo code WhollyMindless for discount.

Its too bad that the email is not cached or stored.

I cant tell from the script if the email delivery has failed. The script runs successfully with the mail() command in place. The server bails out on it.

Yes, I have considered queueing up the emails on my end and running a cron job every hour. But this is something I have to avoid at the moment. I have done that on previous projects but cant on this one.

Do you think DH will increase the quota on a case by case basis? I have sent an email to support staff for an increase but they seem so slow in their response. I didnt receive any reponses since yesterday afternoon.

Anyways, I hope the agree to increase the quota.

Thanks for all your respones.

DH has stated publicly that they will consider increasing the outgoing email quota on a case-by-case basis.

Anecdotal evidence from others’ posts in these forums indicated that they may go as high as 500 per hour, but no higher (this is not official from DreamHost, just reported here).