Can’t we just get the form to send a notification, please?

You got your PHP in my SMTP, you big SES!

You got your PHP in my SMTP, you big SES!

We’re using Gravity Forms and we just have a simple request: please send an email when there is a new form submission. Easy, right? Yes … and no.

The trouble was/is/might be that the site is hosted on the domain that has the same name as the email address–normal, right? Yep. But because the email is actually hosted by another service, the email doesn’t go out from the server, it thinks, “Oh, it’s this domain? That’s right here!” So it would be stuck in a loop. It’s a bit like you wanted to send a letter (remember those?) to yourself but when the postman came to your mailbox to get the outgoing mail, he saw that it was going to come back to the same place, so he just dropped it right back into the mailbox–without ever going to the post office. Efficient! Effective! Yes … and no.

[box type=”alert”]BTW, this is what we *think* the problem is … [/box]

So the mail never got stamped. It never left the house, there’s no record of it. Yes, it kind of got to its destination, but actually we wanted it to go somewhere else. Yeah, that makes sense and it doesn’t, I realize that.

In this example, we’re trying to (now) use Amazon’s SES service as an SMTP server, but it’s not working. It might be that it’s somehow not authenticating even though we’ve authenticated enough times to certainly be authentic. The email practically has a gold seal embossed on it we’ve authenticated so many times. But it’s just not going out now–at all. Hmm.

Forums, searches, tips and tricks we’ve tried, but no love. “Please just work, dear form.” Prayer didn’t work either.

[quote]Not-so-side note: this is often what happens to add many hours to a project for what seems like a simple request. Jus’ sayin’.[/quote]

What if we took a look at it from another angle? What if we made the outgoing notifications go to another domain (e.g. and set up a forwarder to his main domain? Sounds good, right? Why not? Could work.

You’d think building a website was just choosing colors and maybe a pretty image for the home page, but when your SES starts eating SMTP and burping out PHP, it’s time to call in the gastroenterologist.

Oh, you were hoping for a happy ending? Not yet.