Cloudflare, reverse DNS and php mail ending up in spam folder

Joseph Szymborski asked:

I’ve been using Cloudflare to host my DNS, and PHPMailer to send e-mail through ZOHOs SMTP servers with great success, but have found that all my e-mails are hitting Gmail, Zoho and Hotmails spam folders.

When I disabled Cloudflare’s DNS hosting, and set-up my reverse DNS server, all my issues were resolved and mail wasn’t sent to the spam folder. Also, a host command changed from:

$ host noteafloat.com
noteafloat.com has address 108.162.197.82
noteafloat.com has address 108.162.196.82
noteafloat.com mail is handled by 10 mx.zohomail.com.
noteafloat.com mail is handled by 20 mx2.zohomail.com.

to

$ host noteafloat.com
noteafloat.com has address 192.73.238.17
noteafloat.com mail is handled by 20 mx2.zohomail.com.
noteafloat.com mail is handled by 10 mx.zohomail.com.

Now, while this is all well and good, I rather like the services Cloudflare offers, so I turned it back on after setting up my reverse DNS. When I test the e-mail again, it gets sent to spam, and if I turn Cloudflare off again, it’ll work again.

Am I forced to choose between using Cloudflare and having my mail sent to the spam folder? Please tell me there is a work around!


I answered:

When you have CloudFlare on, your reverse DNS doesn’t match your forward DNS:

$ host 192.73.238.17
17.238.73.192.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer noteafloat.com.

This is one of the many things that get checked to determine if a message may be spam.

This is easy to fix: Just make them match, and use an actual hostname. For instance, set the PTR for 192.73.238.17 to myservername.noteafloat.com (at Ramnode) and set the A record for myservername.noteafloat.com to 192.73.238.17 (at CloudFlare).


View the full question and answer on Server Fault.

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