When PHP’s mail function doesn’t work

mail-07[1]A lot of VPS’s do not have mail functionality right out of  the box, so if you install a stack like LAMP or maybe a WordPress install script (like you find on Linode or Digital Ocean) , and then try to send mail via your website, you will most likely get an error.

For example if your using Contact Form 7 in WordPress you will get “Failed to send your message”, not a very meaningful error.  So the first step is to troubleshoot the problem, login via SSH and type:

netstat -tulpn

This should show your servers open ports, there should be a mail program in there with a mail port open to 25 and/or port 465 (or 587) for SSL. If not then you will not be able to send any mail via PHP, unless you have configured a different port or remote service, all of which can be verified.

You can further test PHP’s mail by sending a test email using  PHP’s command line or putting the following into a PHP file.

mail ( 'your@email.com', "Test mail", "Test mail from your server name" );

Continue reading


Moving WordPress to Digital Ocean





I originally wrote this article in a positive light but after a year plus  I have an update..

Avoid Digital Ocean at all costs, they are shit.

Digital Ocean Problems:

  1. Horrible, horrible customer service. Look elsewhere if you want rock solid support. DO just copy pastes boilerplate responses and are generally incapable of doing anything.
  2. Get ready for lots of downtime. Unless you can fine tune a DB get ready for constant downtime and reboots with little to no reason.
  3. Late payment on your account? They email you and after 3 weeks delete everything including your backups and images.

Digital ocean is a garbage service, you know what they say you get what you pay for. Aviod them at all costs you will thank me later.


********** Original article below **********


So I recently went through shared hosting hell with a host that start with a color and ends in “host”, it’s not redhost or yellowhost, can you guess which crappy host it is?

I’m big fan of Linode but did I really need an unmanaged VPS for a few small scale sites at that price? These sites are tiny, netting under 5k a month (traffic) and not doing much under the hood.

Enter Digital Ocean , yes that is a referral link that nets me a whopping 10 bucks, anyhow this is why I choose them.

Continue reading