Thursday, 6 January 2011

Contact forms

Initially I had intended to use a contact form because it not only gives the website a more professional look but also saves me from having to put more personal details on the Internet.
However, during the development of the website I decided to simply put my email and phone number on my contact page. When clicking on the email it would open a new tab and people would be able to email me without having to copy and paste.
I did this because in my opinion contact forms can either improve your website or actually put people off from contacting you. When I come across contacts forms I always tend to think that I might not get a reply back because it doesn't actually feel you're emailing the person as it's so automatic if that makes sense. I prefer a more personal contact.
In the tutorial today I showed my website and was advised that it would be more effective and safer to use a contact form. Another technical problem I came across was that if people didn't have a certain program installed in their computer the link to my email wouldn't work so this method wasn't very effective. After the session I weighted up the pros and cons and came to the conclusion that I would be better off using a contact form.
I watched quite a few tutorials of 'how to make your own contact form' but failed to get it working. Getting it to actually send the message to my email was harder than I had imagined.
Fortunately there are plenty of websites that provide free readymade contact forms. I found and experimented with a few of them, Foxy Form, 123 contact form, Wufoo and Jot form.
The one that worked best for me was 'Jot Form' because it allowed me to personalize a lot of the form which wasn't really possible with the other ones. It is now up and working on my website.

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