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Good things about WordPress: Integrated contact form

Why use a contact form?

This day and age, if you have a website, you don’t leave your email-address on it. You use a contact form. Why?

  1. To avoid spam (there are programs designed to crawl websites and look for email-addresses that can be used for spam).
  2. To make contacting you easier (no need to open an email-program, simply type and hit “Send” while still on your site).

In TypePad you need to find and add a script for that. Sure, that should be easy enough, but WordPress has a built-in contact form that saves you the extra work. Is it any good?

Alright, it’s fairly simple – name, email, website and message, but what more do you really need? In TypePad you can actually add a script and design the form to suit it to your needs, for example from formlogix.com. Many other sites offer contact form scripts, or what is basically externally hosted contact forms that load in your contact page on your web site. The free versions usually have ads in them; if you pay for an upgrade you can have them ad-free. Formlogix typically costs $24/yr, not a large sum, but add that to the at least $50/yr you are already paying at TypePad, and the money soon starts rolling…

How to do it

I think the built-in form in WordPress is brilliant, despite being ever so simple. All you do is enter a shortcode in the HTML-mode of the page editor, see this FAQ for instructions, and voila, this is what comes out when a visitor wants to contact you:

How it looks like to your visitor

WordPress contact form

How it looks like when you ( or your visitor) are logged in

I was a bit puzzled at first. Because, when you are logged in, the contact form displays like this, and this is also how it displays when you visit other wordpress.com blogs when you are logged in to WordPress:

WordPress contact form when logged in

Obviously there’s no need to fill in you name and email and website. That’s already in your profile. Another time saver from WordPress. Thumbs up!

Where do contacts go to?

Note that the contacts you receive this way are sent to the email registered in your WordPress profile. You cannot redirect them to a different email, unless you do that using your email, e.g. if you’re registered with a Gmail-address, you can set up Gmail to filter and forward/redirect mails coming from the contact form.

Conclusion

TypePad versus WordPress: Typepad -1, WordPress +1
Current scoreboard

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