In case you have a shared hosting account and you set up an e-mail address, you may consider the option to send and receive messages for granted, however, that isn't always true. Sending e-mail messages isn't always included in the website hosting plans that companies offer and an SMTP service is needed to be able to do that. The abbreviation represents Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and this is the set of scripts that allows you to send e-mails. If you use an e-mail app, it connects to the SMTP server. The latter then queries the DNS records of the domain name, which is a part of the receiving address to find out which email server handles its email messages. After system information is swapped, your SMTP server delivers the email to the remote IMAP or POP server and the e-mail is finally delivered in the related mailbox. An SMTP server is necessary if you use some kind of contact page form as well, so if you work with a cost-free hosting plan, for instance, it is very likely that you will not be able to use this type of form since many cost-free website hosting providers don't allow outgoing e-mail messages.