Feedback Check: Can Your Readers Contact You?

When was the last time you checked your contact form was working? Contact forms hide your email address from prying eyes while helping readers and site visitors contact you. If you suffer from poor visitor feedback, it is possible your contact form is broken! Read on…

The contact forms in wordpress are a complex code. If you unexpectedly edit essential code in the wordpress theme’s contact.php file (to customize it), you can easily make the form unusable by inadvertent cut and paste errors.

You will realize that the contact forms are usually configured to check for valid email and if all required fields are filled. It is frustrating to encounter contact forms which will always give an error like “email address not validated” even if I enter a perfectly normal email address (it happens so commonly!) and there is no email address provided as an alternative. How do I contact such a blogger?

Better Feedback: Let Readers Contact You Everytime

1. Clarify required fields are clearly marked as “required”. People want to provide as little personal information as is required to make the form work. (Do you really need “country” or “phone number” as a required field?).

2. Check scripts yourself to determine if your email validating and “required field” script is working correctly. Send feedback via the same form to yourself. People will not type the feedback twice and you must be thankful they are sending you feedback. Make it work the first time.

3. Display your email address as an alternative way to contact you (in case the form is not working). Though forms are better than for sending messages, it is easy to protect your email address online from spambots by using a image with your email or a “yourmail [at] gmail [dot] com” way

4. Back up contact file in wordpress. Back up the file before you start customizing the page. A small error in the code can make the form unusable. You can always restore the file back, if it does not work. Usually it will be found at contact.php in the template.

5. Check the email address to which all feedback is being sent/ forwarded. Is it correctly configured and working? Is it ending up in the email spam folders or reaching nowhere!

6. Check the link to your contact page. Repeated cut and paste editing of templates can easily break the contact page url. Check if the contact page links are correctly working? What is the use of all the above suggestions if people can never reach your contact page.

7. Make it easy for people to contact you. Place the link where people can find it. You need their feedback.

Feedback is valuable. If some reader or visitor is sparing their valuable time to give you a suggestion, feedback, criticism, bug report – appreciate them for the effort. And get that precious information in the first go my ensuring your contact system is working efficiently.

I got my default contact form with the template. You can easily add a contact form to any page by trying other contact plugins.

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.