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ZYGR INsites…the secret to successful websites
 

There are a number of ways to allow visitors of your website to contact you via email.

  • Display Your Email Address
    • Advantages:
      • Easy to setup
    • Disadvantages:
      • Not user-friendly – End user has to copy the email address, switch to their email program, start a new message and paste your email address in the To: field
      • Susceptible to spambots*
  • Display a Cryptic Version of Your Email Address
    • List your email address but replace the @ symbol with the word AT and the period with the word PERIOD
    • Advantages:
      • Easy to setup
      • Less susceptible to spambots*
    • Disadvantages:
      • Not user-friendly – End user has to copy the email address, switch to their email program, start a new message, paste your email address in the To: field and edit your email address
  • Display an Email Link
    • The text “Email Me”, a  button version of  “Email Me”  or simply your email address can all be configured to open an end-user’s default email program when clicked
    • Advantages:
      • Easy to setup
      • User-friendly – End user’s default email program automatically composes new message with your email address in the To: field (can also be configured to automatically add a Subject)
    • Disadvantages
      • Not guaranteed to work – If the end-user has not setup their browser to launch their email app when a mail link is clicked, nothing will happen and the typical user won’t be able to figure out how to contact you via email
      • Susceptible to spambots
  • Display an Image of Your Email Address
    • Use a graphic design program to create a picture of your email address
    • Advantages
      • Slightly more difficult to setup
      • Not susceptible to spambots
    • Disadvantages
      • Not user-friendly – End user has to switch back and force between your website and their email program to manually enter your email address
  • Use a Contact Form
    • Setup a form that allows the end-user to enter their name, email address and a message; and when they click the Submit button, the information they entered is emailed to you (and a copy can also be emailed to them so they are assured their message was not lost in cyberspace).  CAPTCHA can be added to make it more difficult for spambots to automatically fill out he form.
    • Advantages
      • Works even if the end user’s browser is not setup to launch their email app when a mail link is clicked
      • Not susceptible to spambots
    • Disadvantage
      • Most difficult to setup
      • Not as user-friendly – More manual entry for users as they have to enter their name and email address

The only one I recommend to my clients is the use of a contact form because of security and end user experience.  If you are using WordPress as your Content Management System, I recommend Contact Form 7 with the Contact Form to DB Extension (saves form submissions to a database).  Contact Form 7 is highly customizable and has many useful features such as allowing an end user to upload a file to you.

 

*Spambots (aka spam robots) are programs that automatically search websites for email address will get a copy of your email address and sell it to SPAMers