Date First Published: 31st August 2022
Topic: Web Design & Development
Subtopic: Web Development
Difficulty Level: 3/10
Learn more about what a contact page is in this article.
A contact page is a webpage that allows visitors to communicate with the individual or company that owns or maintains the website. It may provide visitors with details, such as an email address, phone number, postal address, or contain a contact form that sends an email when users submit it with their details. Contact pages are found on all reputable websites and are considered a core page of a website.
For an online business, a contact page is necessary and is a 'must'. Without a contact page, customers would have no way of getting in touch with the business unless they provide their contact information elsewhere on the website, but it is recommended to have a separate page for contact details and contact forms so that users can find them easier in one place. Also, if a website had no contact page listed anywhere, it would indicate that it is not legitimate or trustworthy. Visitors can send feedback, suggestions, and ask questions through a contact page. Without that, websites would not be optimised for improvements due to no way of sending feedback.
The owner of the website can just place their email address on their contact page and ask visitors to contact them by that email address. However, it is recommended to consider using a contact form that contains fields for users to enter the subject, their email address, and their message. Once submitted, the entered form data will be sent to the website owner's email address. Contact forms often use the PHP mail function to send emails or they may use third-party tools, such as getform.io. The reasons why it is recommended are:
Publicly revealing an email address on a website will increase the risks of unsolicited messages (spam). Spambots often crawl the internet, looking for email addresses to scrape. If spambots get hold of an email address, they can add it to a spammy mail list and this can expose to security risks, including phishing emails and viruses that spread through email attachments.
However, when using a contact form, the website owner's email address is never visible on a website, making it impossible for it to be scraped by spambots. But, this does not prevent all spam as it can still come through contact forms, but it will make it much more difficult to send spam. A lot of websites have a CAPTCHA on a contact form in order to prevent bots from abusing the online services using automated scripts.
A website with a decent and well-designed contact form looks more professional than a displayed email address on a page. This can enhance the look of a website and shows visitors that the website owner has spent their time building another way of getting in touch.
Since contact forms are built into a website, they don't require visitors to open a separate email application, where they have to ensure that they have copied and pasted the email address correctly and leave the website to send their message. All of that can be accomplished on the website and users will not get as distracted since they won't have to keep moving between their web browser and email application.