How to Make an Email Link vs. Using a Contact Form

When I have a minute, I will make videos to cover these topics, but in the meantime, here are some tips regarding making and using email links in your WordPress site — versus using a contact form.

In the video “How to Make Text into a Link” I show how to make a text link. Use this technique, but instead of inserting a web address with http://… “ into the Link URL field in the Insert/edit link dialog box, insert a “mailto:” link. That is, “mailto:” plus your email address. For example, “mailto:name@example.com”

Don’t bother changing the “Open link in the same window” Target option. That does not matter because this is an email link and not a link to a web page.

You can put in a Title for the link, like “Send an email to your name” or “Contact your name by email”. (That will show as popup text when someone rolls over the link.) Then click the Insert button to create the link.

link like this

I strongly recommend that you do not put your email address in a web page unless you also install a WordPress plugin like this one: Email Shroud WordPress Plugin

If you don’t use the EmailShroud plugin or something like it, robots will happily find your email address in the page and they will copy it and begin sending you spam. Lots of spam.

The other alternative is to use a contact form.

If your site is hosted by WordPress.com, you can use their easy contact form. See “How Do I Make a Contact Form?

If your site is hosted by a third party like pair.com or whomever, you can use the Secure Formmailer Plugin for WordPress from Dagon Design. The Dagon Design plugin is excellent. If you are comfortable downloading and installing a plugin yourself, give it a try.

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12 Responses

  1. Hey thanks for that quick and simple tutorial!

  2. hi mark how to make a contact us page with a table ; email address name and the massage ? i know how to make pages but i need to know how to make the contact us thingy , here is my example ( http://www.webosaurs.com/customer_care/ )

    and thx

  3. Hi Mark – love this post, just a quick question. I’m using wordpress.com, and want to use the Email Shroud plugin, but I don’t know how to follow this instruction from the ES plugin page – “Create a directory called emailshroud on your WordPress server under the wp-content\plugins\ subdirectory.”

    Should this be on my computer somewhere? Where is it usually found?

    Thanks a million!

    Bryan

    • @Bryan
      Thanks! And thanks for your question. Unfortunately, you can’t install plugins on WordPress.com-hosted sites. You’ll need to make the move to a self-hosted WordPress site in order to do that. You can read more about the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org here.

      If you continue to host on WordPress.com, I highly recommend using your own registered domain. That way if you decide to go to self-hosted, the move will be much less painful (speaking from experience). Here’s a little more about why it’s good to use self-hosted WordPress.

  4. OK, thanks, Mark. Much appreciated – I will check out the self-hosting.

    On another note, if I continue to use wordpress for hosting, is there a way to include an email link without worrying about the spam you mention in your article without using the contact form, which requires a lot of space?

    Thanks again, Mark.

    Bryan

    • @Bryan – If you don’t want to use the Contact Form, you can do one of the sorta-kinda-hidden email address tweaks like you see lots of places, such as “name – at – example – dot – com” or “name(at)example(dot)com”. Something like that. bryan at example dot com – etc. etc. I think some spambots can read these, or they are getting better at it, but this kind of address is less likely to get spammed than anything with “mailto:” in it. That’s for sure.

  5. Thanks again!

  6. Mark,

    In using the contact form, I tried defining and showing my own subject using the following text from the WP link you recommended:

    “The e-mail subject of the message defaults to [Blog Title] Sidebar for text widgets and [Blog Title] Post Title for posts and pages. Set your own default with the subject option:

    [contact-form subject="My Contact Form"]

    You can even let the user fill in their own subject by showing a new field on the form. The field will be populated with the default subject or the subject you have set with the previous option.

    [contact-form show_subject="yes"]”

    However, while the Contact Form appears in my posts, I cannot see the subject that I entered using the above steps.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks very much,
    Bryan

    • @Brayn Stoudt
      Thanks for your question. Can you give me the URL of your site? When you say you can’t see the subject, where are you looking? It should be in the subject line of the email you receive from the contact form. I’m guessing you tested it. If you did, what is the subject line of the email? Are you using subject= or show_subject=”yes” ?

  7. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for your reply. My URL = transforminghealthcare.wordpress.com.

    I did not test it because I set it up to reply directly to someone else, rather than myself.

    It sounds like the subject, then, does not appear on the contact form within the posting, but rather in the subject line of the email which is generated when someone actually fills the contact form out.

    If that’s the case, I think the mystery is solved. Thanks again!

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