1. Installation

If it's your first time installing a plug-in, please follow the following steps to install the plugin.

  1. Login to to your WordPress administration back-end.
  2. Navigate to Plugins → Add New, click the Browse button.
  3. Unzip the package you have downloaded and select the TO_UPLOAD.zip file.
  4. Once upload has completed, either click the Activate this plug-in link on that page or go back to the Plugins page, find the "Advanced Contact Form" and click its Activate link.
  5. Once activated, either add a Shortcode like [HPCF form="1"] to your "Contact us" page, or use a widget through Appearance → Widgets, that's it! :)

Please note:

  • Although we have done our best to ensure all the bundled CSS is compatible with all kinds of different WordPress themes, the form still may or may not look as expected on the front-end as the CSS of your theme may interfere with the CSS of the contact form. If you encountered such a problem, it is your duty to make your theme compatible with the form. Nonetheless, if you can't manage to do it, you are always welcome to contact support via htmlpie.com/support :)

1.1 Activation

Automatic updates require an activation key. Please visit htmlpie.com/register to register your copy and receive your activation key.

Once you receive the activation key, go to the Contact Form configuration page (Advanced tab) and enter the activation key, enable automatic updates, and save the configuration.


2. Administration

The administration back-end of this plugin consists of three pages:

2.1 Forms

This page has a list of your contact forms. You can find the Shortcodes for each form as well as options for creating and removing contact forms.

2.2 Subscribers

This page shows a list of your subscribers and provides various CSV exports so you can download the subscriptions and import them to your newsletter software or SaaS like MailChimp. You can also filter subscriptions by date, form ID, verification status, and so on, and export a limited CSV accordingly.

Please note: CSV files may contain UTF8 characters but not all of the CSV viewers support UTF8, for example Microsoft Excel. You need to take a look at a CSV file before importing it, use a software such as Libre Office Calc (LibreOffice) that supports UTF8.

2.3 Configuration

This page allows you to modify almost every aspect of your contact forms.

Recipients

This is the very first section of the configuration form, it allows you to add recipients to the form. You can add as many recipients as you want.

It is also possible to add CC & BCC to each recipient.

The "Recipient's Name" as well as the label of the Recipients menu in the form, can be customized and if you have a multi-language WordPress site, all of them can be translated into your language too.

Fields

As the name implies, this section takes care of your contact form fields.

You can decide which field should be available and choose to use HTML5 fields and so on.

Attachment

This section lets you add file attachment fields to your contact form.

The number of file attachment fields depends on your Web server configuration, but we strongly recommend you to not too add many of them! Add maximum 4 upload fields and ask your visitors to ZIP the attachments and upload them together (your server decides how big every attached file can be); to do so, a short note can be added to the attachment field through Configuration → Verbiage → Attachment → Attachment field description.

Required fields

The name is pretty self explanatory :)

Subscriptions

This plugin comes with a handy subscription feature. Subscriptions can be automatic or optional, with and without e-mail address verification and subscription notification e-mails to the subscribers and the administrator.

In addition, the subscription field label, notification e-mails, e-mail address verification e-mails and so on, are all customizable and translatable through the Verbiage → Subscription.

Mail Settings

This plugin supports SMTP authentication the details for which can be provided in this section.

Custom "From:" Address

Please use this option only if you are sure of what you are doing!

By default, all the e-mails sent through your contact form use sender's e-mail address as the "From:" address (it requires your server to allow "relaying"), using this option you can set a different e-mail address for the "From:" address, then the contact form will use that address as the "From:" for all the e-mails it sends to you.

Sending e-mails without relaying

As explained above, when a contact form hosted on your own site sends you an e-mail, the sender's e-mail address will be used as the "From:" address, even though the e-mail has not actually been sent through the sender's e-mail server, this action is known as "relaying".

In order to minimize Spam, Phishing, online fraud, and so on and so forth many services - like DreamHost, iPage, and GoDaddy - either disable or limit "relaying" and require you to set the "From:" address of the e-mails you send from your site to a trusted e-mail address, for example one that you can use SMTP with or one that belongs to your own site (for example contact@example.com if your site is example.com)

By enabling this feature, the contact form looks at the e-mail addresses of the sender and recipient, the "Mail Settings" and the "Custom From: Address" options, and decides what is best to use as the "From:" address.

Only enable this option if your server does not allow "relaying" or limits to very few per hour or per day.

E-mail format

Most of the e-mails you receive every day have HTML tags in them, but due to security concerns this plugin does not allow HTML elements in the e-mails, and sends them in "plain text" by default.

This option allows you to change that and allow HTML.

Automatic response, Redirect after a successful form submission, AJAX, and IP

These are pretty self explanatory :) just please note, automatic responses can be customized through Verbiage → Automatic Response

Automatic updates

Please refer to section 1.1 of this documentation.

Verbiage section

Allows you to customize and/or translate various parts of a contact form.

Style section

The Style section is probably the only reason you have purchased this plugin? :)

In this section you can combine ready-made styles to give your form a beautiful look & feel in a few seconds.

We'll also add more and more styles with each new version release.

CAPTCHA

This plugin comes with 3 built-in CAPTCHA features: hidden or "honey pot" CAPTCHA, image CAPTCHA, and "riddle" CAPTCHA.

The hidden CAPTCHA is best for minimalist designs as it is not visible actually :) and it is also perfect for Web accessibility.

The image CAPTCHA is probably the best known form of CAPTCHA challenges but not only it makes submitting forms more difficult, it is also not recommended if your site needs to be accessible for people with disabilities who use screen reader software.

The riddle CAPTCHA is a pretty new method of detecting Spam-bots, it is basically a set of simple questions and answers that Spam-bots cannot understand nor answer; you should add as many riddles as you can for maximum security, you can also limit a riddle to a specific language.

Allowed number of instantaneous e-mails

This is an "anti-Span flood protection" feature, which prevents Spam-bots or even an actual person from sending you too many e-mails in a given time period.

E-mail and IP address blacklists

As the name implies you can blacklist e-mail and IP addresses by filling these two boxes.

Please note, IP blacklist feature is not meant to stop DDoS attacks, and only blacklists use of the form, not your entire site.

That's about it! :) Do you need more features? We're all ears!


3. How to translate?

Translating this plugin into your language is pretty easy and straightforward.

You can either add your translations through the WordPress back-end or create your translation files using POEdit.

In order to do it through the back-end, login as the administrator, go to "Contact Form" → Configuration → Verbiage.

You will find all the front-end verbiage there; Just add your translations and save the configuration, that's it.

If you prefer to use POEdit:

  1. Download & install POEdit from http://poedit.net/
    Please note, the free version is good enough so you don't have to buy the other version - we use the free version too.
  2. Using POEdit, open the hp-contact-form-frontend.po language file from /wp-content/plugins/contact-form/languages
  3. Add your translations, save the file to /wp-content/languages/plugins with your language code added at the end of the file name, for example if it is a translation for Dutch, name it hp-contact-form-nl_NL.po, and save the file there.

4. Requirements

  • WordPress 3.x, 4.x
  • PHP 5.4 or higher.
  • PHP GD Graphics Library (just for the image CAPTCHA).

5. Troubleshooting

I've activated the plug-in but I can't see anything new on my front-end:

- Please go back to your WordPress dashboard, either add a Contact Form widget through the Widgets page under Appearance menu, or go to Contact Form → Forms, copy a shortcode and paste it into the page or post where you want the contact form to appear.

Not receiving e-mails:

- Make sure you have entered a correct e-mail address in the configuration form.
- Make sure the e-mails do not end up in the Spam box of your e-mail.

I have enabled the image CAPTCHA but I cannot see it

- Make sure PHP GD library is installed on your Web server.

If none of the above could help contact us through htmlpie.com/support and we'll be there in a jiffy :)

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