When you've got a shared hosting package and you set up an email address, you might take the option to send out and receive messages for granted, however, this is not always the case. Sending email messages isn't always part of the website hosting packages that companies offer and an SMTP service is required to be capable to do that. The abbreviation stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the set of scripts that allows you to send emails. If you use an email program, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then looks up the DNS data of the domain name, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which mail server manages its email messages. After some system data is interchanged, your SMTP server provides the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the email is finally delivered in the matching mailbox. An SMTP server is necessary if you are using some sort of contact form also, so in case you use a cost-free hosting plan, for instance, it is likely that you won't have the ability to use this type of form as most no charge website hosting providers don't allow outgoing e-mails.