You’ve got a beautiful website and blog and you want people to contact you, either by phone or email. What do you do? Everyone has a contact page on their website. OK, maybe not everyone, but you should have one, really. Here are some really important points to think about when you’re doing your contact page.
How to publish your email address online without getting spam
Spammers use software to crawl the internet to look for email addresses to spam to. This is why people have their email addresses as something like me [at] server.com or something like that to try to cloak the email address from the spammer.
But there’s better ways out there. For example there’s HTML clocking which uses HTML number codes for the ASCII characters.
<a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”> contact us</a>
Here is how the above HTML will look like in the browser: contact us
var username = "rob";
var hostname = "robcubbon.com";
var linktext = username + "@" + hostname;
document.write("<a href=" + "mail" + "to:" + username + "@" + hostname + "?subject=Enquiry" + ">" + linktext + "</a>")
When put into the webpage it creates the clickable email address that will give you “Enquiry” in the subject field of the email. Go on, try it, you can send me an email if you want to:
If you are using WordPress you can happily paste this into the body of a page or post as long as you are using the HTML editor.
Warning: I can not guarantee that any of the above methods will not produce spam at all, just substantially less than if you published your email address uncloaked.
But it always makes sense to give your visitors a choice and every website should also have a contact form. There are many different ways of doing these. One thing you need if you want one is PHP on your server.
If you are using WordPress I would recommend the Contact Form 7 plugin. If you are using a Linux server you can basically plug in this plugin and play with it.
However, things are slightly more complicated if you are working on a Windows IIS server. In this case I have found you need to use WP Mail SMTP plugin to get it to work.
Should I include my telephone number and address online?
Whether you include your telephone number and address is entirely up to you. I wouldn’t give out my address on my website for security reasons. I include a mobile number on my contact page and it hasn’t resulted in many problems. In the UK, if your phone rings once and hangs up and you’re wondering whether to call back, simply check the number in the WhoCallsMe website or even just Google the number. If it’s a premium rate scam someone will have posted up a warning about it. This has happened to me maybe 5 times in about 4 years.
How to design your contact page
Generally, I would say that you should put the link to your contact page as prominently as possible on all pages – preferably at the end of the top navigation. The contact page itself should be simple and well laid out. Here is my contact page, what do you think about it?