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How to add a Contact Form to your Website
By now, you likely have your WordPress website functioning. You’ve nailed down the basics of pages and posts; you’ve created your site skeleton. So what next? Now you need to make sure you know how to add a contact form to your website so that leads (and potential conversion traffic) can reach you!
You don’t need to code your own solution (thankfully!). Because WordPress is open source, there are tons of free plugins that you can use to create awesome contact forms that’ll do just the trick for you and your site.
Should I add a contact form or email to my website?
What’s the alternative to a contact form? Without a contact form, you’re left to either leave your email there for all to see, or you’re left to create a clickable button that opens up a blank message to your email. If that’s what you prefer to do, suit yourself!
Really, though, there’s no reason to leave your email out there in the open. You’re asking for spam and opening yourself up to endless floods of messages that you neither need nor want.
Here’s why contact forms are always preferable
- They appear more professional than simply listing an email address
- Captchas will prevent bots from spamming you
- You get to control the information! Contact forms enable you to collect all the relevant information you need by requiring certain fields to be completed before submitting a form.
- All information from a contact form will be delivered to you in the same pattern each time. You get to decide the format of the messages that get sent to you!
- An email address on your page allows more spam bots to find you. Contact forms will return less spam.
In sum, a contact form with a suitable captcha (to catch the bots) will look more professional, will provide your traffic with easy access to your inbox, and will prevent the bots from spamming you.
FAQ: What is a captcha?
A captcha is something that is able to differentiate a human from a machine (or spam bot). Many captchas ask you to answer a simple mathematical equation (like 7 + 2 =____). Spam bots can’t answer that, but you can! The ultimate goal for a captcha is to determine that you’re human.
Best Free Contact Form Plugin – Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is my go-to contact form plugin. It’s free. It’s easy. It’s highly customizable and it does the job you need it to do.
The great thing about Contact Form 7 is that once you install it on WordPress, you’re ready to put your contact form on pages and posts. So let's start installing.
How To Install Contact Form 7 On your WordPress Site
On the left hand side of your WordPress Dashboard, click on “Plugins”--> “Add New”.
Next you can search for Contact Form 7 in the search bar and click “Install Now”.
When the install is complete, be sure to press the “activate” button.
That’s it! Your install is complete and you’ll now be able to find a “contact” button on the left hand side of your WordPress dashboard.
It should look something like this:
How to Add Contact Forms to your Web Pages & Posts
Check out the picture above. See the code (circled above)? The code should look like some variety of this:
["contact-form-7 id="124" title="Contact form 1"]
To add a contact form to your page or post, simply copy this code (without the " before the word contact) and, when you find the page or post that you'd like your contact form to appear on, paste it there! Yes, it's that simple. This is called short code. Wherever you paste the short code, your contact form will appear. Like magic.
How to Edit Your Contact Form
There are a variety of different fields that you're able to add to your contact form. Some people want to request, Name, Email, Website, Message. Other people want to collect, First Name, Last Name, Email, Website, Company, Subject, Message. Essentially, you can mold your form to be exactly the way you'd like it to be.
You'll need to use the "Tag Syntax" to create fields. To explain further, tags are what helps generate specific fields. There's a tag for the name field, a tag for the date field, etc. If you're not quite sure how this works, check out this contact form 7 website for more information on their tag generator - the nifty tool that does the heavy lifting for you, making your life that much easier. Yay.
This is what a basic contact form will look like on the backend:
To edit a form or to add another field, you simply need to use the correct tags. The toolbar at the top allows you to click on the proper tags so the syntax remains correct.
Contact Form 7 Field Options
Still deciding what fields you need on your contact form? Good! That's a good first step. I've seen a lot of contact forms that ask way too much information, or information that's just not relevant. Remember, you WANT the right people to reach out with requests for information or even just to engage with your material. So the more targeted questions you ask the better. And, the fewer questions you ask the better. At the very minimum, ask for first name and email.
Here are the options available through Contact Form 7:
How to change the "send to" Email
If you want to customize where the form submissions for your contact form will be sent, click on "mail" and enter in the proper email in the "To" field. In the same way, you can edit the subject message, the headers, and more.
Learning how to add a contact form to your website is the easy part. Now the hard part comes. Creating a beautiful site that engages traffic and makes them WANT to contact you in the first place. So go get started! And be sure to let us know how it goes.
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