Is Your Joomla Domain Blacklisted?

This post discusses the issue of domain blacklisting when it comes to email.

We’ve all been there: we send an email to one of our clients, we don’t get a response. We re-send the email, and we still don’t get a response. The same happens when sending an email to another client. At one point, we start thinking that our whole business is in peril, and nobody is interested in our products and/or services anymore.

But, all of a sudden, we receive a bounced email containing the following message:

Your access to this mail system has been rejected due to the sending MTA’s poor reputation

At first, we don’t pay attention, but soon we start receiving several of these emails, and then it strikes us: “Our clients were not receiving our emails because our domain was blacklisted”.

Now, before discussing how that happened and how to fix the problem, let’s dissect the above message:

  • Your access to this mail system is rejected: Your mail server (for example was not able to “shake hands” with the mail server you’re trying to send the email to. It’s the same as meeting someone, and trying to shake hands with him, but instead of him shaking hands with you, he looks at your hand and shrugs.
  • …due to the MTA’s poor reputation: Now, why did the other server refuse to shake hands with your mail server? It’s because your Mail Transfer Agent (MTA – same as Mail Server), has a poor reputation.

Now that we dissected the message, why does your MTA have a poor reputation?

It could be a number of reasons:

  • You are using your mail server to send unsolicited mass emails: Even if you have good intentions, mass emails are considered spam by most servers. If a mail server notices that you are sending separate emails to many of its users at the same time, it’ll flag your mail server and the administrator of that mail server will report your mail server to be included on a blacklist. Advanced mail servers will do the reporting automatically, without the interference of a mail server administrator.
  • Your website security is compromised and a hacker is sending spam emails from your mail server: This happens quite often for Joomla websites – someone hacks into your Joomla website (if it’s not secure enough) and starts sending spam emails from a script installed on your website. Your server will be usually blacklisted in no time.

  • You website is on a shared hosting: Let’s consider the below scenario…

    • Your website is hosted along with 50 other websites on the same server (sometimes, the number of websites hosted on the same server can be in the hundreds).
    • All these websites use the same mail server. Although your website might be using (which is unique to you) for outgoing SMTP, your mail server is technically the same as that of all the other websites hosted with you on the same server, as it has the same IP. (Quick and important note here: Mail servers are blacklisted by IP)

    • Another user on the same server is abusing the mail server either willingly or unwillingly, by sending spam emails or by hosting an insecure website allowing spammers to exploit vulnerabilities on his website in order to use it to spam people.

    • The above user’s mail server is blacklisted, which means that your mail server is blacklisted as well, as they are the same. (Again, mail server blacklisting is by IP)

How to make sure that your Joomla domain is blacklisted?

First, you need to know what is the IP address of your mail server. You can know it usually by pinging Once you have that IP, you then go to this website:, and you enter your IP under Server IP, and then click Blacklist Check. If you see a message (in red) that says We notice you are on a blacklist., then you are definitely on a blacklist.

What to do when your Joomla domain is blacklisted?

The first and only thing that you need to do is to contact your hosting company and tell them about the issue. Ensuring that your mail server is not on a blacklist is their responsibility – not yours! What they will do is that they’ll cleanup the server and then contact the different blacklisting services and ask them to remove the IP of your mail server off their list. If the blacklisting happened because of your website (either because you’re sending unsolicited emails or your website is hacked by a spammer), then your hosting company might warn you about this and might ask you to 1) stop sending unsolicited mass emails and 2) ensure that your Joomla website is secure enough (unlike popular belief, the security of your own website is rarely your hosting company’s responsibility). (If your website is on shared hosting, then we recommend you check this post on Joomla’s ideal hosting environment)

If your Joomla website is blacklisted and you need help to remove it from the blacklist and to secure it then look no further – we are here to help! Just contact us and rest assured that we will fix the problem and make your website ultra secure in no time. By the way, you don’t need to worry about our fees – they are very reasonable. Oh, and we are extremely friendly!

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