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Nov 6 2012
Guide to choose a Contact Form Plugin for dummies
Contact Forms are a must have feature for your personal blog or business website. Your website is actually a mode of communication with your peers, friends, or possible business associates. And every good communication goes both ways. So for the visitor of your site to contact you or share his/her views about your content with you, you would need contact forms.
Now that it has finally dawned on you that you need a greater internet presence to become influential in your social or business life; and since all the effort of building a website hasn’t brought in the right impact, you need the most important feature on it- the Contact Form. Some of you might just want to download a Contact Form plugin right away and attach it to your site. But the question is how to choose the right contact form plugin? There are hundreds of plugins available freely on the internet so it becomes a headache to choose a plugin that would suit your site.
Tips to choose a good Contact Form Plugin
The first thing to look for in a plugin is its features and how they will help you. So here are some tips to find your perfect plugin.
Find out your requirement:- This is the first step in selecting a plugin. First find out what your basic needs are and what you expect out of your contact form. You should have a clear idea of
- What types of fields you would want in the form
- What is the necessary information you wish to collect about your guests
- What features are significant for your site
- Whether you want a multiple form support or not (Business sites should have this feature)
Support:- It is the most important feature. Your plugin should be compatible with the technology you are using for your website. Also be careful in checking the versions. Adapting an outdated plugin to a newer technology is problematic.
Simplicity:- Your contact form should be simple, light, and crisp. Unnecessary features will only be a disadvantage for your site.
Easy to use:- Your contact form would be used by a number of different users. Therefore it has to be user-friendly.
Flexibility:- Another important feature. Your plugin should be simple and flexible enough to be used in all kinds of pages. You may change your mind about how to structure your website, or you may wish to use the same Contact Form for different type of page. It should be flexible enough to be used in all types of situations. You should also be able to customize the simple features of the form to suit your needs.
Look:- Of course the contact form must look cool. It should also blend well with your overall website design.
Spam Protection:- Spam protection is a must have feature for any serious business or personal contact form. There are many freely available spam protection tools that can be utilized in making a plugin. Find out which plugin uses and find out its features.
CAPTCHA:- Believe us when we say that there are hundreds of automated program codes out there who try to overload your databases, servers, and processors with useless information, just to degrade your service quality. So the best way to prevent this is the addition of a simple CAPTCHA feature. It would keep the automated bots away.
Plugin maker’s site:- As said earlier the plugin maker’s site is important so check the blog or the site of the plugin maker to review all the information about the plugin. You would be able to learn possible uses of the plugin along with any unresolved bugs in the plugin. Most of the freely available contact form plugins don’t provide individual tech support. So this site must have answers to all your questions.
Additional features:- There are a number of additional features that plugins offer such as Geo coding, auto responders, contact manager etc. Most of these are not necessary for a personal blog but can be very useful from a business point of view. If you are looking to target a specific geographical location, or you want your site to automatically send a welcome and thanks mail, or if you get a large number of contact us messages daily and want to manage them in a usable fashion, these additional features might just make your day. This is a great way to shortlist your available choices.