WordPress Contact Form 7 is very slow

If you are experiencing the problem that your forms with Contact Form 7 are ultra slow when sending the data and confirming that the form request was sent, you may have the Linux server misconfigured. We wrote a tutorial about how to configure the email server, in our case Sendmail, properly. Check it out here:

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Configure sendmail in Ubuntu 12.04 and make it fast!

I got a server in DigitalOcean and installed WordPress.

To my surprise, sending mail was not something pre-configured so I had to find a way. I did not want to use SMTP solutions but use a simple Unix package such as sendmail or postfix.

It seems that sendmail is simpler, and good enough if you only want to send mails. That is my case, because I just want to receive notifications from WP, such as the ones that contact form 7 sends everytime a form is filled up and sent.

So I looked at tutorials, and the simplest thing to do was

1) If sendmail is not installed, do install it:
apt-get install sendmail
2) Configure hosts file correctly:
nano /etc/hosts
And make sure the line looks like this:
127.0.0.1 localhost localhost.localdomain yourhostnamehere
3) Reload /etc/hosts, so that the previous changes take effect
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart that works but seems to be deprecated, better use:
/etc/init.d/networking stop
/etc/init.d/networking start

4) Run the sendmail config and answer ‘Y’ to everything:
sendmailconfig

source: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/questions/php-mail-function-enable

Thanks to Colling Henderson for the help, which I also found when digging further about the sluggishness of sendmail, in his blog: http://collinhenderson.com/post/48046976172/a-fix-for-slow-sendmail-on-ubuntu

It is of utmost importance that you make sure the of point 2 string “localhost.localdomain” is in there. I did not take it seriously the first time I read it, but it does make a big difference. If you don’t change it, the php send function will be sooooo slow.

By the way, I also followed the instructions here: http://www.devraju.com/php/slow-email-sending-in-ubuntu-12-04-lts-solution/ and I am not sure how much changing the line in the sendmail.cf is affecting the speed. To me it was the fact that the string “localhost.localdomain” what really made the difference from some 1 minute to 2 seconds!!!!