When you've got a shared website hosting package and you set up an email address, you might consider the option to send out and receive emails for granted, but in fact, this is not always true. Sending e-mails isn't necessarily a part of the website hosting plans that service providers feature and an SMTP service is necessary to be capable to do that. The abbreviation stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the set of scripts that enables you to send e-mails. If you work with an email application, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then looks up the DNS records of the domain, which is a part of the receiving address to find out what mail server handles its e-mails. After some system data is exchanged, your SMTP server provides the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and the email is finally delivered in the matching mailbox. An SMTP server is required if you use some sort of contact page form also, so if you use a free of charge hosting plan, as an example, it is likely that you will not be able to use such a form as many cost-free hosting service providers don't allow outgoing email messages.