I believe my situation is extremely common. I have a site with the following setup. Registrar is Network Solutions. The DNS points to the webserver on Host Gator and the Email hosted on Google apps.

Recently, email that is being sent from the domain (website@domain.com) at host gator started going into the spam of the one of the accounts hosted in Google apps (info@domain.com).

I know I need to set up SPF records and DKIM keys so I did that earlier this week. Now that everything has propagated, it still isn't working. All mail sent from domain.com goes into spam on info@domain.com. Sending email from the domain.com to other email addresses (not gmail) seem to be fine.

It's not likely to be a header issue, as I've tried multiple header setups.

  • Registrar: Network Solutions - Setup DKIM and SPF record here
  • Web Host: Host Gator - I tried to set up SPF here, but started thinking perhaps I should be doing network solutions instead
  • Email: Google Apps - Generated key & Enabled DKIM

Keys have been modified, so don't bother making sure they match between screens :)

Network Solutions:

enter image description here

Google Apps Setup:

enter image description here

tl;dr - Email sent from my hostgator site goes into gmail spam. Am I doing something completely wrong or do I just have a fundamental misunderstanding of how this is supposed to work?

Perhaps DKIM still isn't fully propagated? That's what I was waiting on to hit "Activate" in Google Apps.

Delivered-To: aceostar@gmail.com
Received: by with SMTP id n133csp1108697ion;
        Sun, 6 Mar 2016 10:25:27 -0800 (PST)
X-Received: by with SMTP id s126mr11449426oib.34.1457288727279;
        Sun, 06 Mar 2016 10:25:27 -0800 (PST)
Return-Path: <ccaw@gator3081.hostgator.com>
Received: from gateway32.websitewelcome.com (gateway32.websitewelcome.com. [])
        by mx.google.com with ESMTPS id n206si9214038oif.52.2016.
        for <aceostar@gmail.com>
        (version=TLS1_2 cipher=ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256 bits=128/128);
        Sun, 06 Mar 2016 10:25:27 -0800 (PST)
Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of ccaw@gator3081.hostgator.com designates as permitted sender) client-ip=;
Authentication-Results: mx.google.com;
       spf=pass (google.com: domain of ccaw@gator3081.hostgator.com designates as permitted sender) smtp.mailfrom=ccaw@gator3081.hostgator.com
Received: from cm1.websitewelcome.com (cm.websitewelcome.com [])
    by gateway32.websitewelcome.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id E8B7E30F18F0A
    for <aceostar@gmail.com>; Sun,  6 Mar 2016 12:25:26 -0600 (CST)
Received: from gator3081.hostgator.com ([])
    by cm1.websitewelcome.com with 
    id SiRR1s00X2AB1R601iRSyK; Sun, 06 Mar 2016 12:25:26 -0600
Received: from ccaw by gator3081.hostgator.com with local (Exim 4.86_1)
    (envelope-from <ccaw@gator3081.hostgator.com>)
    id 1acdMr-000HzA-8r
    for aceostar@gmail.com; Sun, 06 Mar 2016 12:25:25 -0600
To: aceostar@gmail.com
Subject: Request from CCAW.net
X-PHP-Script: ccaw.net/old/test.php for
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
From: Al <al@ccaw.net>
Reply-To: Recipient Name <al@ccaw.net>
Subject: Request from CCAW.net
X-Mailer: PHP/5.4.45
Message-Id: <E1acdMr-000HzA-8r@gator3081.hostgator.com>
Date: Sun, 06 Mar 2016 12:25:25 -0600
X-AntiAbuse: This header was added to track abuse, please include it with any abuse report
X-AntiAbuse: Primary Hostname - gator3081.hostgator.com
X-AntiAbuse: Original Domain - gmail.com
X-AntiAbuse: Originator/Caller UID/GID - [33055 500] / [47 12]
X-AntiAbuse: Sender Address Domain - gator3081.hostgator.com
X-BWhitelist: no
X-Exim-ID: 1acdMr-000HzA-8r
X-Source: /opt/php54/bin/php-cgi
X-Source-Args: /opt/php54/bin/php-cgi /home3/ccaw/public_html/old/test.php 
X-Source-Dir: ccaw.net:/public_html/old
X-Source-Auth: ccaw
X-Email-Count: 1
X-Source-Cap: Y2NhdztjY2F3O2dhdG9yMzA4MS5ob3N0Z2F0b3IuY29t

SPF Record now set
  • not sure it's a great idea to display your full keys... – Patrick Honorez Mar 6 '16 at 16:20
  • Good point, I modified them from the original. – AceoStar Mar 6 '16 at 16:40
  • everyone can see the original records via DNS anyways :) – edlerd Mar 6 '16 at 21:00
  1. Did you setup reverse dns for your ip pointing to your domain?
  2. In a gmail postbox you should check the headers of an email sent by your app. Then check if google accepts your dkim/spf settings.
  3. You should enable https://dmarc.org for your domain to get results. (Maybe you think you setup DKIM correctly, but in fact there is an issue).

(For my domains DKIM is working fine with gmail.)

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  • I have not set up reverse DNS. Is that something I should set up on Network solutions pointing to hostgator? Do I have to install postbox and all that to get a better look at the headers? – AceoStar Mar 6 '16 at 22:41
  • Just in gmail web viewer, select an email => original message will show you headers. reverse DNS is setup with your hosting provider. – edlerd Mar 6 '16 at 23:21
  • derp. I've been using inbox for too long. I switched over to gmail and saw the headers, however, the fact that hostgator is showing in the from enevelop makes me wonder if i should be setting up a key for that. updated post with header – AceoStar Mar 6 '16 at 23:29

Theirs a lot of items that need to be configured correctly to have the best results sending emails, a lot of times most of it is configured out of the box for you. Take the time and run your email through a Mail Testing tool that checks for everything. You'll be surprised on how many different items can affect email delivery.

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