Have you ever filled out a website online form, hit the “Submit” button and received an error? Or, clicking “Submit” and left with what appears to be a completely non-responsive button or form? No message, no feedback, nothing?

This can happen with contact forms or any type of online forms. After experiencing a form malfunction, my guess is that visitors would simply abort their original attempt to contact the intended company and leave the website.  As a website/business owner, you’ve vexed someone trying to contact you and may have missed the opportunity to connect with a potential customer. A lose/lose situation.

Contact forms are often web visitors’ initial contact with a company. Periodically testing website forms should be part of your preventive maintenance schedule.

Why would I need to test a form which has already been tested, you ask?

The majority of website forms are implemented via ‘plugins”. Plugins are small programs which focus on a specific website function. For example, within a WordPress framework, one could be using the popular free form plugin Contact Form 7 to provide the form functionality for all forms within the website.

Website plugins and frameworks are regularly updated by their developers to fix bugs and to address security issues.  Functionality breakdown can occur when an updated plugin conflicts with another plugin, thus affecting the functionality of either or both programs. Code conflicts can also occur when the framework itself (ex. WordPress) is updated. Hence why a contact form which worked six months ago, may now suddenly fail.

Website forms are a crucial customer experience touchpoint and they’re easy to neglect. Consider incorporating forms testing in your preventive maintenance schedule to maintain a positive website interaction with your visitors and customers.

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