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Merge Tags in Body Cause Email Failure and Hanging User Experience

  1. Hi folks, dug a bit and haven't found similar topics.

    That said, whenever I put ANY Merge Tag into the body of the administration will log everything in the database but hang for the user (AJAX never stops spinning, Non-AJAX eventually goes to error page). The admin email obviously never gets delivered.

    As soon as I remove the Merge Tags from the body, all is well.

    Please advise, this is a pretty big problem for me.

    Posted 3 years ago on Wednesday March 21, 2012 | Permalink
  2. No one else is having this issue?

    Posted 3 years ago on Tuesday March 27, 2012 | Permalink
  3. I've tried this a few times on different forms/different servers and I can't replicate your problem. All of the merge tag data is being passed to the email notification successfully and not hanging or timing out. I tried both Ajax and non-Ajax forms.

    I'm assuming you're using the latest release of Gravity Forms ( currently v1. ) in conjunction with the latest version of WordPress. Is that correct?

    Posted 3 years ago on Monday April 9, 2012 | Permalink
  4. Yes, everything is fully updated.

    Posted 3 years ago on Monday April 9, 2012 | Permalink
  5. Can you share a URL to your form please so we can check it out?

    Posted 3 years ago on Monday April 9, 2012 | Permalink
  6. Here ya go:

    Posted 3 years ago on Monday April 9, 2012 | Permalink
  7. So, Do you still have the merge tags in the admin notification? I posted a couple of submissions via your form and didn't have any problems with timing out or hanging?

    Posted 3 years ago on Monday April 9, 2012 | Permalink
  8. I took them out, yes, but as of the past week am still having people submit multiple times (because they think it's failing) and have also had people reach out to me via separate channels making sure it got through because they're not getting confirmation or it's erroring out. Sometimes they get email notifications, some times they don't. Some times I get them, some times I don't. It's pretty sporadic.

    I've turned it back on for a short while today, please let me know when you've finished so I can disable it and reduce the errors.


    Posted 3 years ago on Monday April 9, 2012 | Permalink
  9. @ALB Gravity When you create a new form, the admin notification is automatically created using the {all_fields} merge tag. So there is definitely not an issue in Gravity Forms with using merge tags in the email notification, otherwise every user would be experiencing what you are reporting. This is the only report we have of this issue.

    What this tells us is the issue is a site specific issue, meaning it's an issue only happening on your site and it's being caused by a specific set of circumstances unique to your site setup. We've never seen or heard of this particular issue, so this is going to be a new issue to debug for us.

    What you described sounds like there could be a server resource issue, possibly PHP memory related. PHP memory issues can cause all sorts of strange behavior, although i've never seen it behave this particular way... it's certainly possible. The solution when it is PHP memory related is to increase the available PHP memory allocated in the PHP settings for the site.

    Site specific issues can also be caused by theme and plugin conflicts. These occur when code in your theme or code in another plugin interfere with and cause problems with code in another plugin. This frequently happens with javascript when developers don't properly implement it, but it can also happen at a PHP code level when developers do things like manipulate the global post object, global variables, etc.

    It's difficult to tell based on the issue you describe what the likely cause is. We would need to be able to access your site and do some tests and see the issue happening firsthand. We would then need to perform some tests for theme and plugin conflicts to see if the issue occurs when a different theme or other plugins are deactivated.

    Because PHP memory issues can masquerade as theme and plugin conflicts (due to the fact deactivating plugins free's up PHP memory and different themes also use different amounts of memory) it's best to begin there.

    What I would suggest doing is the following...

    Step 1: Increase the available PHP memory on your site. This is a simple PHP.ini setting that is usually pretty simple to update on most web hosts. You may need to check with your web host to find out exactly how to do this. You can read instructions on how to do this here:

    I would suggest increasing your memory to at least 128M and ideally 256M or higher.

    After increasing the PHP memory (be sure to update both the PHP settings and the memory setting in your wp-config.php file), add the merge tag to the notifications and test your form again. If the issue still occurs, move on to the next step.

    Step 2: Test for theme and plugin conflicts. You can test to see if code in a theme or plugin is causing the issue by following the instructions here:

    After trying both of the steps above if you are unable to determine the cause of the issue, email me directly at and we can debug this further.

    If you need us to debug this further, it will require site access to your site in order to do so. We need to replicate an issue in order to debug it and because the only place the issue is able to be replicated is on your site, that means we would need to debug it on your site. When emailing me, include the URL of the site, a WordPress admin login as well as FTP login.

    Posted 3 years ago on Monday April 9, 2012 | Permalink


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