How to debug Contact Form

Sometimes the contact form isn’t working and that’s likely to various reasons. We’re using WordPress’s built-in wp_mail() function which is the WordPress standard and issues with the Contact Form Element itself should be very rare, and instead caused by the hosting’s limitations or configuration.


Here’s a few tips how to try to debug or fix contact form issues:

1) Enable Debug mode in Contact form element#

You will need to open the contact form’s option and locate the Debug toggle eg: . This will help out to show the internal mail errors and will provide a better idea of what’s actually the problem.

It sometimes help to disable other plugins as they might cause conflicts.


2) As Email Sender, use “No reply” or “Custom sender”#

Some hostings are not compatible with the “Dynamic sender” option. Basically “Dynamic” means that the form will use the form’s (visitor’s) submitted email address as sender. If the visitor has submitted the form with his email address on – say – Yahoo or Gmail address, most likely it won’t work.

In order for the Dynamic as Reply Address to work, you will need to also set the email field from the contact form Fields list as “value is email”: Screenshot


The php mail() function however is problematic and doesn’t always work with this “Dynamic” method. As an alternative, you could use SMTP mail sending method. More on SMTP on the next point .3 .


3) Use SMTP:#

Because mail() is either restricted, not enabled or improperly configured, a solution is to use SMTP instead of mail(). The best plugins for this job are WP Mail SMTP  or Easy WP SMTP .


4) Common error: “Could not instantiate mail function.”#

Usually caused by the Dynamic Sender option. Please see pt. 2 .

Alternatively, the option might not simply work because mail() is either restricted, not enabled or improperly configured. You can try following point 6 or point 3 .


5) Common error: “There was a problem submitting your message. Please try again.”#

First, try to see what error is actually behind this one. Please enable debug ( see pt 1 ).


6) Tips:#

You can also confirm mail problem issues by installing a separate contact form plugin such as Contact Form 7 and test sending mails with it.


7) Contact form not sending emails (issue that happens only in version 4.11.0)#

Please read this article .


8) Make sure you run the latest theme version.#

We’re fast on solving issues and bugs! Try staying up to date with the latest theme version. Not sure if you’re running the latest version? Check the changelog here. Compare it with your version eg: .

Here’s more on updating a theme or watch a video explainer.


Alternative searches: contact form doesn’t work, contact form not sending emails, contact form error.