Current time: 03-24-2017, 01:01 PM Hello There, Guest! (LoginRegister)

Post Reply 
WordPress, Contact Forms, the new Anti Spam Policy and why it sucks
09-08-2012, 07:55 AM (This post was last modified: 09-08-2012 08:02 AM by Mike Panic.)
Post: #1
WordPress, Contact Forms, the new Anti Spam Policy and why it sucks
I've been hosting with DreamHost for about a decade, I've referred countless people here and overall my experiences have been pretty good. I've dealt with server crashes, unexpected downtime, slow loading and a ton of other problems and support has always been pretty good about fixing things in a timely manner.

The new anti-spam policy though, specifically in regards to the spoofing, is terrible, across the board. So much so that not only are the forums here starting to load up with "why isn't my form working" but so are the WordPress forums, and most people are assuming it's the plugin (typically Contact Form 7) or the newest version of WordPress that's breaking things. What's more confusing is that the form actually does what it's supposed to, but the email gets bounced by DreamHost servers. The form filler-outter has NO idea that it was never actually received by the recipient.

The fix for this is somewhat simple. Set the FROM address to be an email address on a domain hosted with DreamHost, i.e. contact@hosted-example.com whereas the Contact Form 7 plugin defaults the From address to be:

[your-name] <[your-email]>

This is fine and dandy, the form will work if you change the From address - which can even be a forwarded address to a Gmail / Yahoo account. What sucks, majorly, is that every form filled out on a website will now show up in your inbox as coming from contact@hosted-example.com, NOT the person who is sending it.

When I want to hit the REPLY button in my email, I'm now forced to copy the email address that was filled out in the contact form and paste it in the TO address, then send the mail. Not only does this suck, it sucks even more to filter in-bound emails by user, search for usernames / emails and actually have some kind of organization.

I'm tech savvy, I can do this. Most of my clients, who I either host on my account or have had sign up for their own hosting accounts can't be bothered with this, and they shouldn't have to. It sucks.

What is a real solution to this? WordPress and the plugin coders are not to blame, everything they've done works fine.

I'm currently looking for new web hosts that do not implement a similar policy because it negatively affects my business.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
09-09-2012, 05:34 PM
Post: #2
RE: WordPress, Contact Forms, the new Anti Spam Policy and why it sucks
Is there no way to make Contact Form 7 set a Reply-To header on the email? As the name suggests, that'll make your email client reply to the address specified in that header, rather than to the sender listed in the From header.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
09-09-2012, 10:35 PM
Post: #3
RE: WordPress, Contact Forms, the new Anti Spam Policy and why it sucks
Andrew - that's exactly what the form is designed to do, BUT, DH's anti-spam policy prohibits the "spoofing" of emails. Since the email isn't originating from the senders email, rather it's being generated by the server, the From address must be from a domain hosted with DH, otherwise they are nailing it as spam on their side and nothing ends up in my inbox.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
09-10-2012, 12:05 AM
Post: #4
RE: WordPress, Contact Forms, the new Anti Spam Policy and why it sucks
Right, I understand that. What I'm suggesting is that you use a DreamHost From address as required, but set the Reply-To header to indicate what email the user submitting the form entered. For instance:

Code:
From: contactform@your-dreamhost-example.com
Reply-To: what_the_user_put_in@gmail.com
Subject: Contact Form message

Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
09-14-2012, 02:01 AM
Post: #5
RE: WordPress, Contact Forms, the new Anti Spam Policy and why it sucks
I'm 100% with Mike Panic! What makes it even more annoying is I have no idea when this change was implemented. I set up a small jeweller website with this contact form and it worked fine a couple months ago. She could have lost a bunch of work because of this and have no idea.

(09-10-2012 12:05 AM)Andrew F Wrote:  Right, I understand that. What I'm suggesting is that you use a DreamHost From address as required, but set the Reply-To header to indicate what email the user submitting the form entered. For instance:

Code:
From: contactform@your-dreamhost-example.com
Reply-To: what_the_user_put_in@gmail.com
Subject: Contact Form message


No, this doesn't work, same problem
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
09-14-2012, 09:12 AM
Post: #6
RE: WordPress, Contact Forms, the new Anti Spam Policy and why it sucks
You can get this to work if you install a second plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/configure-smtp/

You don't even need to change any settings! Just install, activate, and magically it'll work again Smile
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
09-19-2012, 10:44 PM
Post: #7
RE: WordPress, Contact Forms, the new Anti Spam Policy and why it sucks
Thanks for posting this info and the smtp solution, but why would Dreamhost allow this plug-in installation or SMTP solution if they are trying to prevent the masked mail it would create anyway. Just saying ...couldn't they turn this off too? Seems like the Reply-to solution might be a bit safer in the long run.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
09-20-2012, 03:37 PM
Post: #8
RE: WordPress, Contact Forms, the new Anti Spam Policy and why it sucks
That plugin actually we talked about today!

It doesn't pose a problem because all it does is let a blog on your domain use SMTP. Basically you can't use it to spam, you can only use it to -be- spammed. Which we'd assume you wouldn't want to do. I can't put it on my site and then pass emails through yours, so the worst that would happen is your email is flooded by a spammer, which ... well you'd have that possibility anyway, simply by having the contact form in the first place.

Also Contact Form 7 allows you to filter with Akismet - http://contactform7.com/spam-filtering-with-akismet/ - so I think you'd be more concerned about that. Wink

If anything, the 'flaw' (and I use that term loosely) is in Contact Form 7. Jetpack's contact form works fine, unless you change the 'reply-to' email to something off your domain. Realistically, most people use their own domain name for all this.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-03-2012, 10:16 AM
Post: #9
RE: WordPress, Contact Forms, the new Anti Spam Policy and why it sucks
I have tried both methods above
and get nothing Sad
still says message sent ok, but never arrives in my inbox


here is what our current settings page looks like http://ybex.com/d/1ybu9bjcf71il6wa0kp0pb...nxa65.html
any help would be super appreciated

Thanks

~Henry
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-03-2012, 11:30 AM
Post: #10
RE: WordPress, Contact Forms, the new Anti Spam Policy and why it sucks
configure-smtp is inactive.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Forum Jump: