The Reason Why WordPress Emails Go To Junk Folders

The Reason Why WordPress Emails Go To Junk Folders

If you are a WordPress user you may find yourself scratching your head when emails end up in spam/junk folders or worse, go undelivered. One culprit for this dilemma is the PHP mailer envelope parameter, a less-known factor that can significantly impact the fate of your emails.

There are many other factors that can cause emails to go into Spam folders, but this one may trip you up even if you think you have all the bases covered.

Understanding the PHP Email Envelope Parameter

Out of the box, when WordPress sends emails, it relies on the PHP mail function to dispatch them. The PHP email envelope parameter is a part of this process, acting as a crucial piece of information attached to the email headers. Think of it as a virtual envelope that contains important details about the sender and recipient.

The Problem in WordPress

Surprisingly, in a standard installation of WordPress, the PHP mailer envelope parameter is not configured optimally. This can lead to perfectly configured PHP mail servers struggling to reliably deliver emails. The consequences may range from emails being marked as spam to complete delivery failure.

Why Does WordPress Not Set This Parameter Correctly?

This is a good question and one which many developers have asked. From what we can gather, the core maintainers of WordPress belive that setting this parameter breaks the sending of emails for more users than not setting it does, which suggests to us that the majority of WordPress websites are on hosting servers which are not configured optimally. Basically if your web host has their mail server configured properly in the way that the developers of PHP mailer intended, then ironically, out of the box WordPress emailing does not always work properly!

Why Configuration Matters

Correctly configuring the PHP email envelope parameter is essential because it helps email servers verify the authenticity of the sender. When misconfigured, spam filters may flag your emails as suspicious, and reputable email services might reject them altogether. This is where the irony lies – even with a well-set-up mail server, WordPress might still stumble when it comes to ensuring the safe passage of your emails.

Enter the "Stop WP Emails Going to Spam" Plugin

To rescue WordPress users from the clutches of spam folders and undelivered emails, the suitably titled "Stop WP Emails Going to Spam" plugin comes to the rescue. This handy tool addresses the PHP email envelope parameter issue by optimising its configuration within the WordPress ecosystem. It also provides a handy check to determine if your SPF record is set correctly

You can find the plugin here:

How the Plugin Works

The plugin ensures that the PHP mailer envelope parameter is set correctly, aligning with industry best practices. By doing so, it minimises the chances of your emails being flagged as spam and increases the likelihood of successful delivery. It's a straightforward solution to a complex problem, providing peace of mind for WordPress users who want their emails to reach their intended destinations reliably.


Email delivery may seem like a black box, but understanding the nuances of the PHP mailer envelope parameter can make a significant difference. In the world of WordPress, the "Stop WP Emails Going to Spam" plugin can help to ensure that your messages find their way to the inbox, rather than being lost in the vast sea of spam folders.

If you need help with email deliverability problems on WordPress or Drupal, get in touch.

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