Earlier this year I took the contact form off of my web site and put an obscured email address link (decoded with jQuery). The reason I did it was that I was getting spams from the contact form. It cut it down significantly but I'm wondering if a customer would prefer the form over the email link that opens their email client. It just occured to me that I never even considered what would happen if they use gmail or another web based email client. Clicking the link wouldn't be very helpful in that case. Hmm. I wonder how much that decision has cost me this year.
Hi V - I voted for the contact form since I always slightly object to websites doing anything on my machine
A good - and extra secure - script is the one by Dagon Design.
You can customise it and I've never have any spam from it. If you have questions, Deuce is on hand to help It's a favourite of his.
ETA: It's on my site here if you want to have a look at a working version.
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Thanks for the vote, Smee. I've abandoned PHP a few years back. I will, however, take a look at the script you mentioned for ideas. Right now I have the form fail with the inclusion of markup and it strips out any URLs and email addresses and asks the sender to resubmit. Some still get through but at least I no longer get any link spam. Now I just keep getting some lady from New Jersey asking to improve my site's local search results. That's weird since I've been at the #1 position for as long as I've been paying attention to it.
There are pluses and minuses for every contact method.
The form always ticks me off because if I write someone, I'd like a record. My Congress critters are a special example of doing it wrong. Contact by form should, if possible, generate an acknowledgment email that quotes the original message. Responses to the form contact should be via email from an addy that accepts email in order that follow-up comments are threaded.
Email contact is problematic due to email harvester bots. No amount of obfuscation will help since if the browser can read it, so can the bot. Offer the option anyway by linking to a restricted access page with both an email link and a copyable text address. Use a test to baffle the bots. There, I really dislike Captchas, preferring a text based test, e.g. "what is John Foster Dulles's middle initial?"
Provide a snail mail address. 'Nuff said.
Telephone numbers depend on your business's ability to service the phone.
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The form always ticks me off because if I write someone, I'd like a record.
I used to have it CC: to the sender but I removed that option. The only reason I did that was because it sent the private email address alongside it. I suppose I should send two emails instead of one with a To: and a CC:. I do agree though. Receiving the confirmation email is more comforting than just wondering if it sent.
Voted for contact form as don't really approve or like web sites opening my apps even if it is really the browser doing it.
contact form but with the proviso that Gary points out and to be honest that I tend to overlook of sending an actual confirmation with copy of original for the senders records, rather than simply a glib "thank you you're message has been sent and will be promptly lost somewhere and never read or replied to"
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I posted this question on a non-technical site and, surprisingly (very, very surprisingly), the third option is winning by a landslide. Copy and paste is the #1 choice followed by contact form.
Is this an example of being too concerned with minutia that we ignore what the real world wants?
I don't like contact forms. They're too complicated, they can sometimes be ambiguous, too many/too little options, and if they're designed badly enough you don't know if your message gets sent.
I like copy-and-pasting email addresses. I don't know why, I just do. I like my email window being open, a nice big message saying "YOUR EMAIL HAS BEEN SENT", a copy in my sent folder, and a reply in my inbox.