I am on Siteground hosting services. Everything is great except for civiMail. The issue is their outbound service drops the majority of my bulk emails because I'm feeding their servers too fast. Their restrictions are:

  • A single email should not have more than 80 recipients under the GoGeek plan.

  • You can send up to 800 emails per hour.

  • A single connection to the mail service should not trigger no more than 9 messages to be sent, trying to sent 10 or more will hit the limit.

I tried the throttling of email with a setting of 120000 msec, which I found somewhere but the wording is "single connection". So this means I need to disconnect and reconnect to the mail server, send 9 more, disconnect... etc... Is this even configurable in CiviMail?

  • Does it apply to SMTP sending and/or PHP mail()? I'm only on Grow Big so even more restrained!
    – Mick Kahn
    Apr 27, 2018 at 11:02
  • I can see the first two constraints documented by Siteground, but not the third - do you have a reference?
    – Mick Kahn
    Jun 9, 2018 at 17:24

4 Answers 4


There few CiviCRM extension that use third party to send bulk emails or transactional emails.

  1. FlexMailer
  2. Sparkpost
  3. Mandrill

Alternatively there are many SMTP providers that provides good bulk mailing service like Sendgrid, CiviSMTP etc. Here is the list of SMTP providers that CiviCRM bulk mailings are supported.



  • Well, I'm currently using Sparkpost and it has been problematic. I get a fair number of rejected messages calling my messages spam but I've done everything suggested to avoid it. Apr 24, 2018 at 19:51
  • @NormDressler I'm following a very similar route to you, though haven't got as far as this volume related problem. First of all I kept getting syntax errors with Siteground so started using Sparkpost and I have the same problem as you with far too many messages marked as Spam. I think that's a separate thread from this one. However, I would much rather keep it all on Siteground but having different problems with mail being marked by Spam with that. Also it doesn't seem to send VERP return path when using SMTP to send but seems OK with PHP mail().
    – Mick Kahn
    Apr 27, 2018 at 10:58

Original Answer Below - New Answer: Siteground has created a number of rules and restrictions to avoid you using their services for bulk mailing. May be worth looking into another host.

The 80 recipients siteground is referring to is if you were to send an email with 80 recipients using traditional email. Thats not how CiviMail works - its sending all emails with 1 recipient, or more if you chose to cc/bcc. However, they specifically use that 9 email limit to stop you from using their server for bulk email - however, if you still want to, based on your settings, I would use the following settings under Administer - CiviMail - Mailer Settings

  • Mailer Batch Limit: 180
  • Mailer Throttle Time: 0 (you can use this if you want - but I found it not very useful with shared hosts like siteground.)
  • Mailer Job Size 0
  • Mailer Cron Job Limit - 1 (you might be fine with 0.)

Then I would set the cron to run every 15 minutes.

Alternatively, I would ask Siteground, what they define as a connection. For them, it could be 20 seconds.

I also agree with others - you may want to use sparkpost or similar. However, there is no reason this should not work with your shared host.

Lastly - regarding spam with sparkpost - have you set up an SPF record?

  • Be aware that Siteground says that cron jobs should not run more frequently than every 30 minutes.
    – Mick Kahn
    Apr 27, 2018 at 10:51
  • Thanks @themak for your suggestions. I think that may be sufficient for me at present as I don't have a lot of bulk mail to send. Most batches will actually be under 400 at present, but those settings would avoid problems. Now I have to test it out, but that means setting up over 400 email addresses somewhere as I can't send to the real people. Any thoughts on how to do that?
    – Mick Kahn
    Jun 9, 2018 at 17:22
  • I've done some more testing and this form of throttling will certainly help me in the short term while the number in a mailing is quite low. But after a bit of interaction with Siteground support, I don't think its a long term solution. The emails per hour include any emails sent from the site (all instances on one cPanel) so this includes any other system generated emails and individual emails set. There is still a risk of the total being exceeded if there is a lot of activity.
    – Mick Kahn
    Jun 26, 2018 at 11:31
  • And, when it does fail, it comes up a syntax error in the mailer report and the users email is tagged on hold. It doesn't try again so this only works if you can keep a very close eye on it and resend anything that is blocked. Definitely not a long term solution, so I will be looking into the CiviSMTP option as well.
    – Mick Kahn
    Jun 26, 2018 at 11:33

Norm, You might want to consider connecting a service like SendGrid https://sendgrid.com to handle bulk emails. The issues you are referring to above will be resolved.


I have actually switched to CiviSMTP and am very happy with it so far. No bounces or emails not making it to their destinations.

  • Is CiviSMTP still working OK for you? If so I think I will try this route as well. Looking round StackExchange there seems to be mixed views on all the options, but at least your environment is the same as mine, so if it works for you it should do for me!
    – Mick Kahn
    Jun 6, 2018 at 23:38
  • Yes, very much still working for me! Best decision was to switch to it. Jun 19, 2018 at 14:30
  • Thanks @norm-dressler. I'll give it a try and let you know how I get on.
    – Mick Kahn
    Jun 19, 2018 at 23:15

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