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Backstory:

I'm currently using WPEngine as my hosting provider, gsuite to host email and aweber for my email lists. Aweber advises me to create an spf record to reduce the potential for being seen as spam.

Steps taken so far:

  1. I used an spf record creation tool
  2. Created a TXT DNS entry v=spf1 mx a a:aweber.com ?all
  3. Validated the format using MX ToolBox

Question:

Are there WordPress specific concerns with SPF/DMARC related DNS entries? I'd like to know best practices for configuring site generated emails from Gravity Forms responses, etc.

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  • SPF / DMARC have to do with your (e-mail)server and not directly with WordPress. It has more to do with securing your e-mail(and therefore also the server as it). It can (is not 100% waterproof) prevent rejections from your e-mail and so on. Long story short, imho is this an off-topic issue which can be better dropped/asked @stackoverflow
    – Charles
    Aug 25, 2017 at 19:00
  • Gotcha, should it be SO or ServerFault you think? It could be that the answer that belongs here is "No, there are no wordpress specific concerns". :)
    – Shane
    Aug 25, 2017 at 19:11
  • 3
    Perhaps you try first ServerFault and then SO? And perhaps a short 'No' would have been easier lol, anyway good luck with finding a helpful answer. Cheers
    – Charles
    Aug 26, 2017 at 4:11
  • You can find a lot of tutorials about how to configure DNS settings on WPEngine support center. DNS: wpengine.com/support/… DMARC and SPF: wpengine.com/support/dmarc-best-practices-get-email-inbox
    – rafawhs
    Nov 1, 2017 at 13:12

1 Answer 1

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Once you know how all your site-generated mail is being sent, you can set up your DNS records to help validate it.

AWeber is not using WordPress or your server. The SPF record you attached to your domain for use with AWeber tells mailservers that email associated with your domain may actually originate from aweber.com.

Transactional emails generated by WordPress and plugins like WooCommerce and Gravity Forms are a different story. By default, those emails are created by PHP mail() through WordPress's wp_mail() wrapper function so they originate from your webserver unless you or your host have set up an SMTP alternative like SendGrid or Mailgun. (Most Managed WordPress hosting works this way.)

Using a third-party mail service is likely to have the best results, but you can send transactional emails from the webserver too with the right configuration and throttling. The biggest and most common barrier to deliverability for emails sent by the webserver may be a mismatch between the return-path and "from" addresses in the WordPress-generated mail headers. These should generally be the same address, and it should really exist.

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