@samtuke, the url was malformed to a google form making it a bad link and Hostgator completely blocked the email from sending as a result, without any warning or block messages. I corrected the link and PHPList sent the newsletter out and was received by 800+ contacts. Interesting with Hostgator is that I could send that test same message with the malformed url on the same server using standard email without problems. It was only via PHPList send that Hostgator rejected the message from sending. I do have SPF & DKIM configured on the server but guess that did not make a difference.
BTW it is annoying that the Hosgator email ip addresses are blacklisted by a few servers so I occasionally see emails bounced as rejected. Makes me think about moving PHPList over to another server however, I have it configured perfectly on HostGator including cron jobs.
PHPList is really a perfect solution for someone like me who has legitimate verified lists of contacts that I frequently import and allows me to be in full control of the newsletter server. I am not a programmer but know just enough coding to navigate through configurations. I found Constant Contact and MailChimp to be terribly restrictive when it comes to importing new contacts as you have to verify ‘in blood’ that all contacts are legit and everyone has to 1st opt-in when I already have consent!