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[resolved] Daily Email Digest stopped working (27 posts)

  1. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi Matt,

    I'm using Subscribe2 ver. 8.9, but the problem started 10 days ago, when I was still using ver. 8.8

    The plugin is set to send a daily digest when posts are added. It's a GREAT plugin -- has been working flawlessly for 3+ years! But it just stopped. Based on comments you made to others, I added the email-log plugin... Here's where things are at:

    1. I'm well under the Host's number of allowed number of emails to be sent at one time, and the Host's support sees no problems on their end.

    2. The Restrict number of recipients is set to 0 (unrestricted).

    3. The Email-log shows each attempted sending, both automated and manual, as if there were sent.

    4. Email is set to be sent from a special user, not the website, and the user role is Administrator.

    5. When using the Send Mail feature, a message is actually sent to, and received by, all subscribers.

    6. When attempting to Send the Last Digest, nothing happens...

    7. When adding new posts, the digest fails to be sent.

    So, while the email-log shows all emails (as if sent), the plugin works with the special email messages, but not with the 'normal,' programmed messages.

    Very frustrating. I've updated a few plugins in the past few days, but have made no major changes of any kind.

    Would greatly appreciate your advice.

    Thank you,
    JF

    http://www.israeli-occupation.org/

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/subscribe2/

  2. mattyrob
    Member
    Plugin Contributor

    Posted 1 year ago #

    @Josefus,

    Occasionally the database values associated with post collection for the digest emails get corrupted. It may be that is has happened here.

    Ty changing your settings to per-post emails and apply the change and then change back to your chosen digest. Frequency again and see if that helps. Unfortunately you will not be able to resend any failed emails.

  3. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Matt,

    Thanks very much!

    No problem with the inability to resend failed emails.

    Question: Once I go through the process you're suggesting, will the next regularly scheduled daily dispatch pick up the unsent posts? Or, do I have to post fresh content, *after* I do what you're suggesting, before the plugin will recognize new content since the last successful dispatch? (Right now, there are 6-8 posts that have not been dispatched.)

    Thank you again!
    JF

    P.S. It seems that in the past a the user account associated with the sending of the dispatch could have the Editor role; now it's Administrator. For security reasons, might it not be better to lower the role, just in case someone succeeds in breaking into that account? Thanks!

  4. mattyrob
    Member
    Plugin Contributor

    Posted 1 year ago #

    @Josefus,

    Doing what I suggested above does reset things to now so any posts made in the past will be missed from a future digest.

    You could overcome this by editing the date of publication such that they are included.

    As far as I know the sending account has always needed to be an administrator level account (mind you, if you set that up and then demote the account to Editor level it should still work but the settings page might look a bit funny).

  5. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Thanks for clarifying! Maybe my mistake on the User role...

    I added a post to see whether it works.

    Thanks again!
    JF

  6. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Matt,

    I followed your instructions, and also added a new post. While the Email log showed the daily digest as sent, it was not received.

    Not sure what to try next, and would greatly appreciate your help.

    Thank you,
    JF

  7. mattyrob
    Member
    Plugin Contributor

    Posted 1 year ago #

    @JF,

    Two things are worth trying now then, since the emails are apparently being generated.

    First, try adding this line to the wp-config.php file:
    define('ALTERNATE_WP_CRON', true);

    The other thing to do is to speak to your hosting provider again, make sure they are looking at the server logs, not the email log though as these emails are passed via the PHP mail() function.

  8. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Matty,

    I added the code to wp-config. Will post something and wait to see it it works. Will let you know in about 15 hours.

    The hosting provider support team is saying *their* server logs indicate the emails are being sent; this is separate, and in addition to, the Email-log plugin installed in WP, which also says emails are sent. Yet, they're not received. I have an escalated support ticket that's open and presumably being investigated.

    Thank you again,
    JF

  9. mattyrob
    Member
    Plugin Contributor

    Posted 1 year ago #

    @JF,

    Hmm, if the log you see and the hosting provider log indicate emails are being generated and sent the only thing I can think of is spam. Perhaps your emails are being marked as spam and in the spam folders.

  10. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Matty,

    Thank you for your reply. I can't imagine it's a spam issue. The distribution list is 350+ and it has been in operation for over 3 years. The recipients aren't getting the notifications - it's clear from both tests on several individual addresses in the US and Europe, and from the decline in site readership -- the segment of readers who come to the site based on the notifications. (And when they were notified of the email service interruption via special "Send Email" they came to the homepage to read the posts...)

    The several addresses tested had nothing in the spam directory... And, the sending user/email address have been known to the recipients since they joined the list.

    If you think that complete removal and re-installation of the plugin would fix the problem, I'd be happy to do it. I just need to be sure I don't lose the subscribers list - so if you'd instruct me how to do it without losing it, that would be great.

    I'm truly puzzled by this! I mean, it's been working flawlessly for over 3 years and stopped, and the only website changes were minor plugin update.

    Which brings me to this question: I'm using Hyper-Cache, very successfully. Would my fixing attempts be counteracted by the cache?
    Should I empty the cache for any of the fixes you suggested -- mail frequency setting change and the code in wp-config -- to take effect?

    Finally, if you think it would help if you reviewed the Subscribe2 settings, I'd be happy to sent you images of the settings -- please tell me where to send them. I've already spent many hours on this because email service is so important for this non-profit website.

    Many Thanks,
    JF

  11. mattyrob
    Member
    Plugin Contributor

    Posted 1 year ago #

    @JF,

    I use Hyper-Cache and it works very well alongside Subscribe2 so no issues there.

    Re-installing isn't going to help really, a corrupt file would stop the plugin working at all.

    I think we should wait to hear back from your hosting provider, in the meantime try subscribing 'check@isnotspam.com' as a public subscriber and if an email gets to that address it will email you back and provide a spam report too.

  12. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Matt,

    Thanks again! I added the check@isnotspam.com

    Waiting for the Host support might prove like waiting for Godot... It's been a couple of days already. I will follow up Monday.

    I'm puzzled: if you know which file is corrupt, why not replace it? Or is it that you cannot tell which file is corrupt? It's not going to be the subscriber's list, and I can carefully replicate the settings by cut-and-paste... Of course, the subscribers list must be secured -- exported and then imported back? (I'm not aware of an export/import feature...)

    So, what am I missing?

    Thank you again!
    JF

  13. mattyrob
    Member
    Plugin Contributor

    Posted 1 year ago #

    @JF,

    The plugin is written in PHP, that's a scripting language that's compiled at the time of running. If the file is corrupt is fails to compile and does not work at all either throwing an error message or giving you a white screen - so I doubt your files are corrupt.

    If you really want to replace them that's fine with me, it's your time after all :) To do that download a fresh copy of the plugin from WordPress.org, unzip it on your local machine and then upload it to your server using FTP software.

    It's also worth erasing the files already on the server first. You won't lose any subscribers or settings as these are all held in the database.

    If you wish you could also reset the settings and then re-apply your current preferences to ensure that the database values are not corrupted.

  14. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Thanks again! But...

    I'm not looking for things to do... though I will try replacing the plugin, erasing the existing plugin first.

    Rather, I was trying to understand *which* file might be corrupt - as you said "a corrupt file would stop the plugin working..."

    If we knew what file might be corrupt, would we then be able to replace it and fix the problem?

    Thank you,
    JF

  15. mattyrob
    Member
    Plugin Contributor

    Posted 1 year ago #

    @JF,

    I understand where you are coming from now but what I actually said was that a corrupt file would stop the plugin working at all. A corrupt file would throw syntax errors resulting on screen error messages or white screens. Also, files don't tend to be fine for 3 years and then corrupt.

    By all means upload a frag copy of the plugin but I doubt it will help.

  16. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    *** HELP PLEASE... ***

    Dear Matt,

    Following our earlier discussion, I deleted the Subscribe2 plugin and installed a new one, then replicated all the old settings.

    But, I now have 0 Public Subscribers!

    Maybe I should have deleted the files without Deleting the plugin?

    No matter, I do have an older copy of the entire setup and could replicate it, if necessary. Is there a way to just restore the Subscribers?

    Thank you,
    JF

  17. mattyrob
    Member
    Plugin Contributor

    Posted 1 year ago #

    @JF,

    You'll need to restore from a backup. I did advised above that you use FTP software to replace the files on the server, if you delete the plugin from the WordPress plugins menu you also lose all of your data - subscribers and settings.

  18. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Restored. Thanks!

    Still unclear whether it will now run... I guess, time will tell.

    JF

  19. mattyrob
    Member
    Plugin Contributor

    Posted 1 year ago #

    @JF,

    Glad you are back to normal, let's hope these changes make a difference. Anything from your hosting provider yet?

  20. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Not quite normal, I'm afraid... So, it's a completely fresh install of Subscribe2, with the same settings as before, and the subscribers restored (from csv file).

    No, nothing from the Host, but I'm going to call shortly.

    However, when trying to send a special message, via Send Mail, it now fails -- in the previous setup (until this morning) this used to work, even when the automated subscriptions were failing.

    The Subscribe2 error message:

    Message failed! Check your settings and check with your hosting provider Could not instantiate mail function.

    I believe it means to say could not initiate mail function.

    But Why???

    Again (as before), the Email-log plugin shows the message as sent! No idea what it means, especially that now Subscribe2 says it wasn't able to send it...

    I reviewed the Subscribe2 settings and they are the same as the previous setup. No other changes in WP or other plugins since we've been communicating on this.

    One point: My Subscribe2 settings include the following
    Restrict the number of recipients per email to (0 for unlimited): 0

    The default is 1. I've always used 0, for unlimited. Should it be anything else? (I'm well within the Host's limit of outgoing emails.)

    Any other ideas why the Send Mail isn't working? I will be calling the Host next, but thought I'd get your reaction before I do it.

    Thank you again!
    JF

  21. mattyrob
    Member
    Plugin Contributor

    Posted 1 year ago #

    @JF,

    I'd recommend setting the number of recipients per email to 1. 0 was the default in the past but hosting provider policy changes over the years mean that 1 is a more sensible default now.

    Also, check the sender details and make sure you have select to send from an administrator account with an email address that shares the same domain name as your blog.

  22. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Thank you. I changed the setting to 1; the email has been sent from an email address, @ the domain, of a user with Admin role.

    Re-tried to send the special message via Send Mail and the error again is:

    Message failed! Check your settings and check with your hosting provider Could not instantiate mail function.

    Separately, a preview message was successfully sent to the logged user. I don't understand why one would go but not the other; it seems the Host's email sending capability is there and it's the plugin that's not sending the mass emailing. Or am I wrong?

    Would greatly appreciate your insights and suggestions.
    JF

  23. mattyrob
    Member
    Plugin Contributor

    Posted 1 year ago #

    @JF,

    This is starting to sound like a hosting provider email limitation or restriction.

    The Preview email is sent to and from the same email address with no other recipients - spammers tend not to do that so those emails are sent without restriction. As soon as you add other recipients the sending fails though so it's looking like it's involving a policy from your hosting provider.

  24. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Dear Matt,

    Suscribe2 service is now restored and I wanted to share with my findings. (It's a bit long, but I tried to give you every detail that might shed light on the nature of the problem.)

    Earlier on, the daily digest didn't go out (for 2 weeks), and last time even the Send Mail feature failed to go out and generated the following error message:

    Message failed! Check your settings and check with your hosting provider Could not instantiate mail function.

    OK. I spent lots of time on this: Re-setting up WP, fixing the database, talking with Level 2 hosting support... Still, no change...

    THEN, I called the host support again and went over their main error log for the website (not site-generated php error log, but the errors their various system record). The guy noticed an error stating that an email address (to which the dispatch was being sent) of one of the WP *users* (whose email account hosting is provided by the hosting company) was rejected as non-existing.

    That address was about 10th on the list of nearly 400 addresses (which is well under the limit of total addresses sent at once). I deleted that address from the Subscribers list and tried re-sending the special mail message ("Send Mail") to the list, and it went out perfectly.

    Which, I think, means the following: In version 8.8 and 8.9, when an address is rejected by the server, the plugin is stopped -- at least that's what happens when the rejected address is of a WP User who's on the distribution list and the host system generates an error. (I'm not sure the host's system would generate an error if an address is rejected by another mail system...)

    (I'm saying version 8.8 and 8.9 because we had the invalid email address for many months, and the problems I report here started recently. Now, at the top of this problem report I said that I had the problem under version 8.8 as well... but, honestly, I don't remember just when I upgraded to 8.8... So, I might be off on the version numbers, but it surely includes both 8.8 and 8.9.)

    My guess is that when an email address is rejected by the host, all the names *following* the rejected address don't get serviced.

    I'm sure you'd know whether this is something that you can fix or change in future versions, but something should be done -- email addresses get rejected all the time and I think this is bound to happen again, and to many others, no?

    ***

    Lastly, another matter, not related to this problem:

    Since the service was restored, the digest email FROM field is not the WP user whose email address was selected (as was always the case before), but the the hosting master account (of which this web project is just one sub account). Do you have any idea why this is happening? Could it be an empty field or entry that I left out when configuring the current installation of Subscribe2 ??? If so, where do I look for it?

    I hope the detailed report helps you figure out why we had this problem, and improve the plugin.

    Thank you again for all your help!
    JF

  25. mattyrob
    Member
    Plugin Contributor

    Posted 1 year ago #

    @JF,

    Your first issue is not due to Subscribe2 or WordPress. These two applications are written in PHP and use the mail() function of that code. That in turn uses the sendmail binary code on the server which can be any number of versions or applications depending on the server. It is most likely it is on of those areas where a failed emails results in total failure but that shouldn't really happen like that, instead you should get a failure or bounce email to the sender email address.

    As for the sender issue, make sure you aren't using an SMTP plugin and have failed to enter this information. Otherwise speak to your host and ask why the emails headers are being re-written.

  26. Josefus Flavius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Dear Matt,

    Thank you again for your great support!

    Service is now fully restored, and the sender (email headers) are correct -- this problem was a result of mismatching upper/lower cases of the email address between the WP user info and the hosting server's email address info.

    On the bigger issue -- the daily dispatch failing to go out due to a single invalid email address -- the host (BlueHost) is not taking responsibility. Instead, Level2 support says that "If" it was a result of a server side error, they recommend using an SMTP plugin.

    For now, I'm trying to avoid adding yet another plugin. But, if I were to do so, and given that our highest mail priority is Subscribe2 mail service, is there a particular SMTP plugin that you recommend?

    Many Thanks!
    JF

  27. mattyrob
    Member
    Plugin Contributor

    Posted 1 year ago #

    @JF,

    In my experience hosting providers never admit to there being anything wrong on their servers.

    I use Configure SMTP on my sites with great success if you need an SMTP plugin.

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