Many of our client websites store contact form submissions on the website database and if you have access to your website admin area you can view them.
It’s a handy way to see in one place all contacts received by your website contact form.
And since email generated by contact forms can sometimes be unreliable, it’s a handy failsafe and an easy way to check if everything is working as it should.
If you don’t have this on your site, we can add it on request.
*A handful of our client sites use Ninja Forms, which includes storage of form submissions. See Ninja Forms Documentation for more info.
Accessing contact form submissions
We use one of two plugins on our sites – Contact Form Database or Flamingo.
Each of them is accessed from the left menu of your admin area – the Contact Form Database link is usually down towards the bottom, and the Flamingo link lives above the Contact link.
Contact Form Database
Contact form DB keeps a record of all the data you receive through the contact form(s) on your website and allows you to also download that information in a CSV file.
To access it, select Contact Form DB in the left menu and then (if you have multip0le forms on your site) select the form you want to see records for.
You’ll see a button that allows you to export the form to a spreadsheet you can view in Microsoft Excel, and to the right of that you can delete all entries by clicking on the button marked Delete All This Form’s Records.
in Flamingo, just select Inbound Messages to view contact form submissions.
Legal health warning
If your contact form captures personal details, particularly medical details, you need to be very careful about using this feature, in light of recent legal cases.
In the (unlikely, but possible) event that your website is hacked the information stored in Contact Form DB is accessible and can be misused.
So if you are capturing medical or otherwise sensitive information on your site we recommend you do not have this feature on your website, but if you choose to, we recommend you empty the database at least once a month, if not once a week.
An example of what can go wrong if you don’t take proper care of your data, albeit an extreme example, is available on the ICO website: Hacker threatened to publish thousands of names of people who sought advice on abortion, pregnancy and contraception . In this case BPAS was not even aware its website was storing personal details.