Ad banners were, for years, sufficient for websites to make a living. Today, in turn, things are a bit different – banner blindness and ad blockers have seriously torn into the traditional ad revenue of many online publications. No matter what a website is about, from the latest smartphones to the best New Zealand casinos, it needs revenue to stay afloat. And marketing agencies are constantly reaching out to website owners, bloggers, editors, and administrators to build databases and seek out new leads for their clients. But they often bump into a major mistake webmasters make – a broken contact form, making it impossible to reach out to them with their advertising offer. Today, let’s take a look at the mistakes webmasters make the most often – and how to avoid them.
No contact form plugin installed
WordPress doesn’t come with its own, built-in contact form but there are many great – and free – plugins that will do the job perfectly well. Of course, for it to do its job, you need to install it.
There are an awful lot of WordPress websites out there showing nothing but their contact form plugin’s shortcode on their contact page. If you want to be contacted, dear webmaster, make sure the contact form plugin is installed and working.
The contact form doesn’t work
Some – simpler – contact form plugins rely on PHP’s
function to send messages. And many web hosting service providers disable this function for security reasons. Thus, contact forms that rely on
will not work.
For the best results (for advertisers and readers to be able to send you messages) make sure your contact form actually sends messages to you.
Some contact forms use Google’s ReCAPTCHA to make sure no bots can submit messages. Others rely on simpler CAPTCHA scripts to generate a picture containing a code that has to be typed into a text field before submitting. But these image generating scripts also rely on server-side functions like the GD library or ImageMagick. And if the server doesn’t support them, your CAPTCHA won’t show, making it impossible for advertisers to contact you.
When all else fails
Contact forms are great pieces of software, they are usually robust and functional – but they are not perfect. There can be a gazillion factors that can render them useless. For this case, you should also publish an email address on your website that advertisers and readers can use to contact you if the form doesn’t work.
It can be pretty much any kind of email – most webmasters use free services like Gmail anyway – just make sure it is functional.