When you've got a shared web hosting account and you create an e-mail address, you may take the option to send out and receive emails for granted, however, that isn't always true. Sending e-mail messages isn't always included in the website hosting packages that service providers have and an SMTP service is required to be capable to do that. The abbreviation represents Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the software application that allows you to send out e-mails. If you work with an e-mail program, it creates a connection to the SMTP server. The latter then looks up the DNS records of the domain, that is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server handles its e-mails. After system data is exchanged, your SMTP server provides the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the e-mail is finally delivered in the corresponding mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you use some kind of contact page form as well, so in case you use a free hosting package, as an example, it is likely that you won't be able to make use of such a form since many free of charge website hosting service providers don't allow outgoing emails.