Email Sent but Not Received When Emailing Articles on a Joomla Website

Note: The solution presented in this post consists of a core modification. Core modifications may be wiped out with future Joomla updates. Please keep that in mind should you decide to implement it.

Last Thursday, a regular reader of a client’s website emailed our client and told them that whenever he likes an article on their website, he tries to email its link to himself for future re-reading, and he does that using the “Send this article to a friend” functionality. The problem is, he rarely, if ever, receives the email containing the link to the article (despite the site telling him that the “Email was sent successfully”), so he ends up doing the whole process manually (he copies and pastes the link, and then uses his own email tool to send the link to himself). The reader explained in his email that he was using Comcast.

Now we did have a problem before with this particular functionality (sending articles to a friend), but that problem was addressed on this particular website, and, in addition, the Joomla application clearly stated that the email was successfully sent when the current problem happened, which wasn’t the case for the older problem (which, again, was resolved on this particular website)…

So, we tested this feature by trying to email an article to our email, and, although we received the email, we noticed one thing: the “from” email address was the “Email” field in the popup form, which meant that technically, the Joomla website was trying to send emails on behalf of other domains when using that functionality. We immediately knew that the problem was related to SPF (see this post on why SPF can cause problems when sending emails).

In order to fix the problem we had to make sure that Joomla sends emails on behalf of a domain that is authorized to send emails from the website’s (the Joomla website) IP. Typically, that domain is the actual domain of the Joomla website. We did it this way:

  • We opened the file “controller.php” located under the /home/hospital/public_html/components/com_mailto folder.
  • We changed the following line:

    if (JFactory::getMailer()->sendMail($from, $sender, $email, $subject, $body) !== true)


    $siteName = JFactory::getConfig()->get( 'sitename' );
    $siteFrom = $config->get( 'mailfrom' );
    $siteSender= $siteName.' on Behalf of '.$sender;
    if (JFactory::getMailer()->sendMail($siteFrom, $siteSender, $email, $subject, $body) !== true)

  • We emailed the user and asked him to try to send an article to himself. He responded immediately with a very sweet “Thank you! It’s working!”.

But what if after applying the fix above the problem still occurred?

In that case, then most likely the website’s IP is not allowed to send emails on behalf of the website’s domain. To fix this problem, you will need to make sure that you add the website’s IP to the domains’s SPF setting (we explained how to do that in the second link above).

But, how come we didn’t have this problem when we tested it?

Some domains, including the domain that we use for testing, are hosted on servers that are lax in enforcing spam rules, and that will allow almost all emails to go through, including emails that are sent from IPs that are not authorized to send them.

Now, if you hare having problems emailing articles on your Joomla website, try applying the above fix. If it doesn’t work, then please contact us. We will fix the problem for you as quickly as humanly possible, we will then ensure that it’s working all the time, and finally, we will send a very reasonable invoice that will incite you to work with us again!

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