Contact Form 7′s “Failed to send your message” error

UPDATE: March 2, 2011

If you are using custom permalinks and your WordPress site is hosted in a Windows server running IIS 7 or later (Internet Information Services, Microsoft’s Web server), you need a file called Web.config. Keep on reading for details.

UPDATE: August 27, 2009

If your website is being hosted on GoDaddy and you are using WordPress version 2.8.x (2.8.4 being the latest at time of writing) and the latest version of Contact Form 7 (2.0.1 at time of writing), you are probably visiting this blog because you are getting the annoying “failed to send your message” error (with the red border) in your contact form.

I just found out this evening that after upgrading to Contact Form 7 2.0.1 and WordPress 2.8.4, my contact form won’t send e-mails anymore. When I wrote this post back in April 2009, I was using WP version 2.7.1.

This post will help you to finally fix this problem.  I have worked for so long on this solution, and I hope you will manage to fix your issue. It may appear a bit complicated, but follow the direction, and you will solve the problem. It requires a couple of additional installations, but the rest is easy. If you haven’t done so, please install the WP-Mail-SMTP plugin and then read my original article on the issue.

This post is a follow-up article to my post titled “How to Send Email with WordPress from GoDaddy”.

Several visitors to my site have informed me that after trying out my suggestions in the aforementioned post, they are still receiving the following error message:

Failed to send your message. Please try again later or contact administrator by other way.

If you have applied the suggestions found in the “How to Send Email with WordPress from GoDaddy” post and still receive the error message above, please try the following:

  1. Go to Contact Form 7’s settings (Tools -> Contact Form 7 (version 1.x)) or the new “Contact” menu (Contact Form 7 version 2.x)
  2. Make sure that you enter “[your-email]” (without the quotes) in the“From:” field.
    From: field:  Enter the same e-mail address shown in the “From:” line of your WP-Mail-SMTP settings. For example, let’s pretend I am using “[email protected]” in the “From:” line of my WP-Mail-SMTP settings. I must enter the same e-mail address in Contact Form 7′s counterpart. Contact Form 7 will have [your-name] “<[your-email]>”This won’t work for you.
  3. Very Important: Contact Form 7 will have a field called “Additional headers:”. Enter (literally) “Reply-To: [your-email]“, without the quotes. The [your-email] placeholder is the same field used inthe Contact Form 7′s form. Contact Form 7 will replace it with the e-mail the user supplies in the form. This header will allow you to reply to the sender directly without copying their e-mail address manually by you.
  4. Click the Save button.
  5. Open the Contact Form in your blog and you should finally see the sweet “Your message was sent successfully. Thanks.” green bordered text.

You will notice that the e-mail will take several minutes to arrive in your inbox. Take heart, it will arrive.

The “To:” field is the e-mail address where you would like to receive the results. The value I am using is my personal e-mail account. Also, make sure that you do include the person’s e-mail address in the form’s results so that you are able to have a copy of the person’s e-mail in hand.

I am going to share with you the code I’m using for my website’s contact form. Use it as a starting point. Note that it uses the Really Simple CAPTCHA plug-in for Contact Form 7.

“Form” Section

<p>Your Name:<span class=”required”>*</span><br />

[text* your-name] </p>


<p>Your Email:<span class=”required”>*</span><br />

[email* your-email] </p>


<p>Subject<br />

[text your-subject] </p>


<p>Your Message<span class=”required”>*</span><br />

[textarea* your-message] </p>



[captchac captcha-897 size:m fg:#000000 bg:#ffffcc]

Type in the Above Code<br />

[captchar captcha-897]



<p> </p>

<p>[submit “Send”]</p>

“Mail” Section

  • To: field: The e-mail address that will receive the results. This can be any valid e-mail address, such as your GMail or Hotmail e-mail address. For example, “[email protected]”, without the quotes.
  • From: field: Enter the same e-mail shown in the “From:” line of the WP-Mail-SMTP settings  “[your-email]“, without the quotes. This field has been discussed above.
  • Subject: field: Enter “[your-subject]“, without the quotes.
  • Additional headers: literally type in “Reply-To: [your-email]“, without the quotes. Very important because this will allow you to reply to the person directly!
  • In the Message Body field, copy and paste the following code:

Name: [your-name]

E-mail: [your-email]




When you are done, click the Save button. You should end up with a form similar to mine, located here.

Custom Permalinks

If you are using custom permalinks, make sure that you uploaded the Web.config file requested by WordPress. WordPress should have asked you to create that file when you created custom permalinks. This only applies to Windows-hosted websites. The Web.config file should be located at the root of your website and contain the following code:





<rule name=”wordpress” patternSyntax=”Wildcard”>

<match url=”*” />


<add input=”{REQUEST_FILENAME}” matchType=”IsFile” negate=”true” />

<add input=”{REQUEST_FILENAME}” matchType=”IsDirectory” negate=”true” />


<action type=”Rewrite” url=”index.php” />






contact form 7, email, WordPress