When you have a shared hosting account and you create an email address, you may take the option to send and receive emails for granted, however, that isn't always true. Sending e-mail messages is not always part of the website hosting plans that companies offer and an SMTP service is needed to be capable to do that. The abbreviation signifies Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and that is the software application that allows you to send emails. If you work with an e-mail program, it connects 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 email server deals with its e-mails. After some system information is exchanged, your SMTP server delivers the message to the remote IMAP or POP server and then the email is finally delivered in the matching mailbox. An SMTP server is needed if you use some kind of contact page form also, so if you use a no charge hosting plan, for example, it is likely that you will not be able to make use of this type of form since many free website hosting providers do not allow outgoing e-mail messages.