Tutorial: Creating an Email Contact Form

Web Page E-mail Form

Introduction
Many web page developers like to give their visitors a way to contact them. The easiest way to do this is with a mailto link. Unfortunately, placing an e-mail address on a web page can drastically increase the amount of unwanted e-mail that the address receives. This is because programs called spiders continuously search the Internet for e-mail addresses to send advertisements and other types of spam.

In this guide we will show you how to link to Marshall’s E-mail Form so that visitors can send you e-mail without making you address susceptible to SPAM.

Using the E-mail Form
To use Marshall’s E-mail form, you must insert a link in your web page. Whenever a visitor clicks on the link, he or she will be taken to a page with a form where he or she can send you a simple message.

To insert a link to the Marshall e-mail in your web page:

1. Place the cursor where you want the link to appear.

2. Click on the Insert Hyperlink button on the toolbar.

3. In the Insert Hyperlink window, enter the text for the link in the Text to Display field and enter the following location in the Address field, replacing muuser with your MUNet username. (If your e-mail address is novice1@marshall.edu, your username is novice1.)

/www/emailform.asp?user=username

Conclusion
Congratulations, you have added an e-mail link to your web page. While this method takes slightly more effort than creating a simple mailto link, hopefully it will help keep your e-mail from becoming flooded with unwanted e-mail.

While it is possible for visitors to pretend to be someone else while using this form, there are some precautions that have been taken so we will be able to track down abusive submissions from this form. As stated on the form page, the time of submission and the IP address of the submitter will be included in each message. This information can help in tracking down who actually sent a particular message.