Setting Up Email Accounts Using Cpanel

You have just secured your domain and want to set up an email account.

In a Linux environment you will, in all likelihood have a web site control panel called Cpanel (DUH!). Your web hosting provider will provide you with a username and password to allow you to access Cpanel. This username and password combination is normally also used in your FTP client as well. FTP is a method to transfer files from your local machine to your web server.

Accessing Cpanel can be done in a number of ways:


are some examples.

To set up your email address do the following:

  1. Log in to your Cpanel using the username and password provided by your web host.
  2. In Cpanel click on the logo and hyperlink that says Email Accounts
  3. Fill in the required information and click Create Account.

Getting your email to work in your desktop email client:

The quickest method is to; add a new email account and use for the INCOMING mail server and your ISP’s SMTP server for the OUTGOING mail server (e.g. for Telkom it is

See for images.

Domain has exceeded the max defers and failures per hour

You have just received this message “Domain has exceeded the max defers and failures per hour” and are confused.

First the explanation:

Clients who send out mass mailings normally trigger this feature on Linux Cpanel web servers, due to the number of bad/undeliverable email addresses on their lists. They will receive a bounce message with an error similar to the following:

Domain has exceeded the max defers and failures per hour (5/5 (26%)) allowed. Message discarded.

The server monitors emails sent through all email accounts on your domain, and if, over the past hour, more than 25% of the attempted deliveries have failed, outbound email will temporarily be limited.

The “(5/5)” portion of the error indicates that the measurement of bounces kicked in once 5 bounces were detected during the hour. In other words, if you have 4 bounces in an hour during which you sent 16 emails, even though 25% of your emails have bounced, nothing will happen because you are under 5 bounces. Once you reach five bounces in an hour, the bounce percentage measurement is taken and a sending restriction is enforced if you’re over the bounce percentage limit.

Sometimes this is a ‘false’ trigger and restarting the servers mail manager will eradicate the messages appearing again.

Remember this is a SENDING error and may be stopped if the OUTGOING SERVER on local machines is set as the ISP’s SMTP.

If you send mass mail and haven’t kept your mailing list clean by removing invalid email addresses, you may generate enough bounces to have your mailings limited. The only way to work around this is to clean up your list and remove any invalid email addresses.


Some domains and local machines have viruses stored on them that use the e-mail facility to send other viruses or just to take part in a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service Attack) resulting in the domain or infected machine sending hundred/thousands of e-mails an hour. The max defers and failures feature helps combat such attacks.

For an example of a botnet attack read what Cloud Flare says:

There is currently a significant attack being launched at a large number of WordPress blogs across the Internet. The attacker is brute force attacking the WordPress administrative portals, using the username “admin” and trying thousands of passwords. It appears a botnet is being used to launch the attack and more than tens of thousands of unique IP addresses have been recorded attempting to hack WordPress installs.

One of the concerns of an attack like this is that the attacker is using a relatively weak botnet of home PCs in order to build a much larger botnet of beefy servers in preparation for a future attack. These larger machines can cause much more damage in DDoS attacks because the servers have large network connections and are capable of generating significant amounts of traffic. This is a similar tactic that was used to build the so-called itsoknoproblembro/Brobot botnet which, in the Fall of 2012, was behind the large attacks on US financial institutions.

Read more about the WordPress Botnet attack on Cloud Flare.


If you’re not sure exactly what is causing this, you can probably figure it out by using the Email Trace icon in your hosting control panel. When you click the Email Trace icon, you’ll see a field where you can enter a recipient’s email address and then click a “Run Report” button to get information about email sent to that recipient. If you enter nothing for the recipient email address, you’ll get back data for all email traffic, and as you look through it you should see groups of bounced messages which can help you determine what sender caused the problem, and why.

Creating an Email Forwarder using Cpanel

Often we want to forward a domain specific email address to another – e.g to a Gmail account (Gmail can handle POP 3 accounts but that is for a different tutorial). Cpanel can receive email sent to your domain and then forward that email to an email address that you specify.

Do the following to set up an email forwarder in Cpanel:  

  • Log in to your domain’s Cpanel
  • Click on the Forwarders Icon or hyperlink
  • Click on the Add Forwarder button
  • Fill in the asked for information
  • Click Add Forwarder button

Some hints:

  • If it is a TEMPORARY forwarder make sure that you return and delete it when no longer required

See images below:

Creating an Email Auto Responder using Cpanel

Your Linux server using Cpanel comes with an auto responder application and setting up an auto responder can be done on a per email basis as follows:

  • Log in to your domain’s Cpanel
  • Click on the Auto Responders Icon or hyperlink
  • Click on the Add Auto Responder button
  • Fill in the asked for information
  • Click Create/Modify button

Some hints:

  • Use the same return Email address and From name – e.g. if the email is sent to ‘info’ and ‘YourName’ then reply from ‘info’ and ‘YourName’
  • Often just using RE: %subject% in the Subject is the best way
  • Don’t include HTML or major sales messages – keep it simple and to the point
  • Include an alternative contact point in the Body
  • Manage the start and stop times PROPERLY – nothing is more irritating than receiving an auto responder that says you are unavailable until 31 January 2011 and today’s date is 16 July 2012!

See images below: