Troubleshooting Notifications

How email notifications are sent

Check your SPAM/JUNK folder

Is everything up to date?

Check your settings

Use a valid From Address
Check your settings
Did your client selected you as a user to notify while creating the task?
Enable notifications from plugin settings


Enable Logging
Result from wp_mail():1
Error message: Could not instantiate mail function
SMTP Error: connect() failed
SMTP Error: Could not authenticate
SMTP Error: Data not accepted
WordPress unable to send

– Check for plugin or theme conflicts

– Contact your web host


Notifications not sending can really be a pain, trust us we’ve been there too. If you would like to know more about our notification settings and how to configure them, you can do so here.

If you are having issues receiving notifications from Atarim, this article will offer a few things you can give a try to get it sorted!

If you’ve tried all of these steps and still cannot seem to get it working, don’t hesitate to get in touch for some support.

– How email notifications are sent

Atarim does not handle emails directly. Like most other WordPress plugins, we use the wp_mail() function that is provided by the platform.

Once an email notification is sent, it is handed off to the WordPress wp_mail() function. A few things can occur:

  • WordPress directly interacts with your web server to send the email
  • WordPress contacts your SMTP or external 3rd party mail server to send the email.

After the email goes through the wp_mail() function in WordPress, we don’t have any control over the delivery process. It is up to your web server and the recipients mail server.

– Check your SPAM/JUNK folder

Before trying to tweak any settings it is suggested to check your SPAM/JUNK folder. The emails may be sent but are filtered into some other folders like SPAM/JUNK.

– Is everything up to date?

Sometimes it can be as simple as plugins or WordPress not being up-to-date for problems to arise. This is the first thing you want to check, are both WordPress and Atarim up to date? If not, the version you are currently running may have some bugs that have already been fixed. Checking this is the vital first step, as you will be wasting your time if you are trying anything else without doing this first.

– Check your settings

  1. Typos
    When typing it email addresses, it can be easy to miss a typo. If you are testing an email using the additional setting, make sure everything is correct.
    Avoid any spaces too, as this can potentially cause the notification to fail.screenshot 2019.10.10 14 15 16
  2. Use a valid From Address
    It doesn’t always matter if your from address is a made up email, however, to ensure that this isn’t causing the issue, make sure it’s a real email address.screenshot 2019.10.10 14 17 18
  3. Check your user settings
    If you are trying to receive notifications to a certain user, make sure that the ones you are testing are ticked on inside their WordPress account management by clicking Users=> All users=> Edit the user whom you want to send the notifications.screenshot 2019.10.10 14 18 41
  4. Did your client selected you as a user to notify while creating the task?
    Check if your client selected you as a user to notify while creating the task. Please take a look at the below-mentioned screenshot for more information.
    9c9f5ff3 b6a2 4a60 83bc 16b63d4188e5
  5. Enable notifications from plugin settings
    Check if the proper settings are selected under the “Settings” tab so that option to send out the email notifications is selected. Please take a look at the below-mentioned screenshot for more information.
    Screenshot 2

– Use SMTP

Sometimes the issue of PHP sendmail not working can be due to server settings or email reliability issues. Changing to SMTP can be a more reliable way to set things up and solve quite a few issues.

There are quite a few SMTP plugins for WordPress. The one we have always had success with in the past is called Post SMTP Mailer/Email Log.

Install Post SMTP on the website you are having issues with notifications on and go through the wizard. It will ask you for details given to you by your web host or third party SMTP host. Once everything is setup, there are a few things you need to do.

  1. Enable Logging
    Enabling logging allows you to easily identify when errors occur and why they are happening. Looking at your logs will enable you to see where the notification might be failing and hopefully correct the issue. If the issue happens after the email is handed to the wp_mail() function, then only your server admin can help you continue the troubleshooting.

  3. Result from wp_mail():1
    This means that the notifications from Atarim are fine. The email went to the wp_mail() function without any problems and WordPress reported successfully passing it over for delivery. Now it’s up to the server the email was sent to. Only your server admin can investigate this issue further.

  5. Error message: Could not instantiate mail functionPHPMailer class returned an error message:WordPress is not able to send the email because for some reason the PHPMailer class included in WordPress (used by the wp_mail() function) can’t use the PHP mail function. Most of the time this is caused by some restriction in your hosting (e.g. a spam filter was triggered in your server and the email was rejected).

  7. SMTP Error: connect() failedYou’re using a SMTP plugin to send the emails but WordPress can’t connect to the SMTP server. Most common causes for this are incorrect settings in your SMTP plugin, your hosting is blocking the outgoing connection to the SMTP server or the SMTP server is blocking connections coming from your web server.

  9. SMTP Error: Could not authenticateThis WordPress is able to reach the SMTP server, but it can’t authenticate. This can be caused again by incorrect details used in your SMTP plugin (double check not only the username and password but also the port and encryption used). You might also see this error when the SMTP user that you’re trying to use is not active (e.g. disabled by an admin).

  11. SMTP Error: Data not acceptedThis means that the SMTP server is rejecting your email message because it contains something not allowed by the SMTP server rules. Most of the time it can be due to from address restrictions (many SMTP servers only allow to use the email address associated to the username that you’re using to send the email), but it can be any other part of your email content.

  13. The mail message was passed off to WordPress for processing, but WordPress was unable to send the message.When WordPress is unable to send the email for unknown reasons, you will see this message in the log. Only the server admin can investigate this further.


– Check for plugin or theme conflicts

Sometimes other plugins or themes create issues that stop notifications from working. Please go through the following instructions to test for a Plugin or Theme conflict. (coming soon)


– Contact your web host

If there wasn’t a plugin or theme conflict, SMTP isn’t working for you or you’re seeing in your log any of the results described in the logging add-on section, then you will want to contact your web host and have them look at the server logs to check to see if there are any errors being written.

Often they will see if things are being blocked, by them on purpose or due to some server mis-configuration issues.


As always if you have any questions please feel free to email us at

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