How may I contact you? Nowhere to submit this question to a FAQ!

The web gurus have already revealed the secrets to building successful websites ages ago: attractive design and good content.

However, apparently, most of them neglected the need to mention other small but important details or factors which might make or break an ultimate website: for example, uniqueness of content, website promotion and whether there is any contact information on the website.

I will like to discuss here about the importance of having contact information on websites. I shall leave the topics of unique content and website promotion for another articles at other times.

Have you ever used an online service or visited a website where the information or help pages provided are unclear at best and you have no choice but to seek clarification from the support or webmaster? I have personally experienced a recurring system problems with a major free email provider, and I have no means of contacting the support because its support ticket system was faulty as well. I bet you can imagine my frustration, especially when I try to think of the possible reasons why a major free email provider is afraid to list its email. Is it afraid of spam? I am not going to mention the name of this free email provider here, I just want to get my message across…

Now, the absence of any contact information whatsoever on a website will not only frustrate the visitors and turn them away, it will also possibly attract some unfavorable allegations and presumptions will be made about the webmaster or the website itself:

  • the webmaster is paranoid and anti-social
  • the website or blog is a spam website or blog (splog), hence no contact information is provided and commenting is also disabled
  • the webmaster is a newbie, which explains the unclear information which is expected because he couldn’t even list down his contact information

Before the more experienced webmasters and black-hat webdevelopers flame me for writing this post, I will like to state here that I know some websites deliberately left out contact information as part of their marketing strategies. These people know what they are doing and are obviously profiting from their unusual web strategies, but for the rest of us, especially for those in the service industry, should follow common sense and do that which is highly recommended: provide at least 1 way for your visitors to contact you. Not all web users are super geeks who like to do Whois lookup just to find out the webmaster’s email address. There are also other problems to consider like Whois privacy protection and webmasters who use free providers’ subdomains.

What are the advantages of listing your contact information on website?

I could probably write another article, elaborating about the advantages you could expect when you list your contact information on your websites but I want to keep this article short, just to raise awareness about importance of contact information on websites, so here I list down the advantages in a simplified form:

  • visitors can submit feedback, error reports, broken links, etc.
  • prospective advertisers can contact you to buy an advertisement space, review or link
  • other webmasters might want to contact you for joint venture, sponsor deals and link exchange
  • some visitors are interested to know more about the person behind a website and to make new friend

There are many ways to include your contact information on your websites but you will have to consider the possible risk of spams. Therefore, it is recommended to display your email, address and telephone number in images rather than easily copied texts or even better, integrate a contact form into your website or blog. In upcoming articles, I will show how to integrate a contact form into blogs (Blogger and WordPress) and websites (HTML/PHP). If you are interested in the upcoming articles, do consider subscribing to The WebMaster Blog feed now for them to be delivered direct to you.

So, what is your opinion about this issue? Could you live your webmaster existence without providing contact information on any of your websites? Or do you prefer to interact with as many people as possible, minus the spam visitors?

BobbyT is a 23-year-old blogger, freelance writer and internet marketeer wannabe. You can visit his blog at http://bobbytoat.blogspot.com

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Comments

2 Responses to “How may I contact you? Nowhere to submit this question to a FAQ!”

  1. Yan says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you that a site is not complete without an ‘About Page’. You’ll be surprised that many still overlook it completely.

  2. BobbyT says:

    @Yan: Thank you for your comment, it is very much appreciated

    Yes, indeed ‘About Page’ is another essential element of any site. People are usually interested to know about the personnels running a website. I have even heard some webmasters said that their about pages are one of the most viewed pages on their websites.

    Let’s see, this topic may be good for another article. There are various ways to make an about page interesting instead of a plain old autobiography. I will probably be blogging about this if there is enough interest :)

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