The Story of the Broken Email – “Thanks” to DigitalOcean


I would like to apologize for the email outage for the last three days. I have finally fixed the issue. All emails should be operating as usual from now on. Below is the reason why I had to manually activate accounts for new sign ups and why no daily market update emails were sent.

The Short Version

– My hosting provider, DigitalOcean, decided to block my SMTP port (needed for sending email) without notice or warning.

– I realized StocksCafe could not send emails on Sunday morning.

– At first, I thought I configured something wrong. Spent my entire Sunday googling, searching, and trying different ways to fix it.

– After trying many different approaches and reading numerous articles, I started to suspect it is on DigitalOcean’s side.

– Opened a ticket requesting assistance.

– 5 hours later, got a reply from them saying something along the line of “Yes, I blocked you. Tell me more to convince you are not sending spam before I return you your freedom.”

– Along with the information they needed, I also replied with a complaint. “I am very disappointed with DigitalOcean in the way this was handled….”

– Till today – two days after my last reply – I have not heard anything from them. Much less any suggestions or solutions.

– Maybe they got pissed off with my complaint and decided I am not worth their time. (My monthly hosting fee is only between USD100 and USD150 for the last three months.)

– Anyway, I tried many approaches and finally fixed it by using an external email provider (ElasticEmail) recommended by the friendly, helpful, and responsive client/technical support from UpCloud. (If you are looking for a hosting provider, here is a USD25 coupon for UpCloud.)

The Long Story

No time to write the long story now. Will spend my time to migrate away from such scary hosting providers first. Who knows what they will block/shutdown without notice or warning next.


  • @jcncafe, yup. Actually, it is great using external email provider. Paying a bit of money can really saves me a lot of hassle plus give me so much more statistics about my emails now 🙂

  • You might want to try aws or google. Generally wider range of services and more better customer service.

  • @thevaluefund, Yup. Did look at AWS and Google. More comprehensive but more expensive hence shall stick with cheaper alternatives. Hopefully, they are not like DigitalOcean 🙂

Evan Koh



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