Aha! I’ve figured out email delay! It’s all about the “greylist”.

Posted in: Ideas, News | 0

So a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. (Catch the classic comedy movie reference?) I was sick of email, through my hosting server, taking forever to get to me, so I was poking around the cPanel email tools… and I came across “greylisting”.

Essentially, cPanel allows you to somewhat re-examine email that comes in that is “not quite right”: it’s from a server that is not commonly used, it’s from a server that might have a checkered past, it’s from a sender where the “delivery detail” didn’t quite look right.

Instead of outright blocking the email, it holds off sending it, asking the sender to re-try.  Eventually, if it’s from a real person or organization (the email I was concerned about was from Instagram), the email will make its way through.

All in all, it’s a good way to prevent spam from getting through. Hurray!

Or not. What it can end up doing is delaying email for a few hours.

So two things to help:

  1. I’ve added a few more common “senders” (Shaw, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) to the “whitelist”, so that they never get “greylisted”.
  2. If you’re a hosting client of mine, and you’re not getting email that you expect in a timely manner, I can “whitelist” that sender and hopefully get the email flowing better.

In reality, this really may not matter to some; getting more spam is worse than having emails delayed.

Unfortunately, I can’t turn of the greylisting for individual hosting clients; I can, however, show clients who are interested how to check their email delivery logs so that they can have an idea of what’s going on.