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Perishable Press

WordPress Plugin: Contact Coldform

[ Image: Coldform Icon ] Welcome to the homepage for Contact Coldform, a secure, lightweight, flexible contact form with plenty of options and squeaky clean markup. Coldform blocks spam while making it easy for your visitors to contact you from your WordPress-powered website. The comprehensive Settings Page makes it easy to take full control with plenty of options and several built-in themes for styling the form. Coldform delivers everything you need and nothing you don’t — no frills, no gimmicks, just pure contact-form satisfaction. Now available at the WP Plugin Directory!


Contact Coldform had a good run (10 years!), but it’s time for something far better: Contact Form X. CFX is superior to Contact Coldform in every way. Contact Form X gives you all the same features of Contact Coldform, plus you also get a recent-email dashboard widget, GDPR options, inline docs, Google reCaptcha, and of course the contact form itself is all Ajax-powered and super awesome.

Contact Coldform = 2008–2018.
Contact Form X = 2018 & beyond..

I encourage all users of Contact Coldform to upgrade Contact Coldform to Contact Form X. You can learn more and download the plugin at the WP Plugin Directory. And yes, I use Contact Form X for my own contact form here at Perishable Press. </update>


  • Plug-&-play: display Coldform anywhere
  • Sweet emails: Coldform sends descriptive, well-formatted messages
  • Safe and secure: Coldform blocks spam and filters malicious content
  • Ultra-clean code: lightweight, standards-compliant, semantic, valid
  • Fully customizable: easy to configure and style via Coldform Settings


  • Slick, toggle settings panels make it easy to customize Coldform
  • Style Coldform using built-in coldskins or upload some custom CSS
  • Provides template tag to display Coldform anywhere in your theme
  • Provides shortcode to display Coldform on any post or page
  • Displays customizable confirmation message to the sender

Anti-spam & Security

  • Captcha: Coldform includes challenge question/answer
  • Bot trap: hidden input field further reduces automated spam
  • Secure form processing protects against bad bots and malicious input
  • User-friendly error messages help users complete all required fields

Customize Everything

  • Includes option to enable users to receive carbon copies
  • Coldform message includes IP, host, agent, and other user details
  • Customize form-field captions, error messages, and success message
  • Includes three built-in themes “coldskins” to style, or
  • Style the Coldform with your own custom CSS
  • Option to add a custom prefix to the subject line
  • Option to disable the captcha for registered users

Clean Codes

Coldform brings delicious code on every front:

  • Squeaky-clean PHP: every line like a fine wine
  • Crispy-clean markup: valid, semantic source code with proper formatting
  • Shiny-clean emails: Coldform delivers descriptive, well-formatted content
  • Better performance: conditional loading of stylesheet only when needed

More Features

  • Works perfectly without JavaScript.
  • Option to load CSS only when Coldform is displayed
  • Option to reset default settings
  • Options to customize many aspects of the form
  • Options to customize success, error, and spam messages
  • Option to enable and disable CSS styles

Installation and Usage:

Typical plugin install: upload, activate, and customize in the WP Admin.

  1. Unzip and upload the entire directory to your “plugins” folder and activate
  2. Use the shortcode to display Coldform on any post or page, or:
  3. Use the template tag to display the Coldform anywhere in your theme.
  4. Visit the Coldform Settings to configure your options and more info.



Template tag

<?php if (function_exists('contact_coldform_public')) contact_coldform_public(); ?>

For more information, visit the Coldform Settings page and readme.txt file.

Coldform Screenshots


As explained at the beginning of this post, I am retiring Contact Coldform. The plugin will be updated through 2018 or so, and will encourage all Coldform users to upgrade to the far superior Contact Form X. Check it out and download via the Plugin Directory:

Jeff Starr
About the Author Jeff Starr = Web Developer. Security Specialist. WordPress Buff.
160 responses
  1. BTW i tried adding

    === Contact Coldform ===
    Contributors: Jeff Starr
    Tags: contact, form, clean, simple
    Requires at least: 2.0
    Tested up to: 2.8.4

    to the top of the readme.txt file but that didnt work

  2. Jeff Starr

    @eddie: not sure what the issue could be — I am running Coldform on several current WordPress sites with no issues. The best I can suggest is to uninstall, re-download the most recent version (0.88.1), and try again with the readme.txt in place. Should work fine..

  3. using 2.9.1 i get a “The plugin does not have a valid header” when i try to ACTIVATE the plugin (the install it says was sucessful, though it doesnt show up as a deactivated plugin after activation fails)

    and i using Coldform version (0.88.1),

    please what’s wrong ?

    look this page:

  4. Jeff Starr

    It looks like you may need to disable the visual/rich-text editor and paste the coldform code into the page without any auto-formatting.

  5. Will Webb May 18, 2010 @ 12:26 am


    Thank you very much for your plugin. I will recommend it to friends.

    However, I am also getting “The plugin does not have a valid header” and the same problem as above.

    I’ve got WP 2.9.2.

    I don’t think I understand the previous solution is there another way. Or could you expand.



  6. Jeff Starr

    Hi Will, first, make sure you have downloaded and are using the latest version (0.88.1) of the plugin, and then follow the installation directions completely. If that doesn’t do it, then you may need to disable the rich-text editor while editing the page that contains the <!--coldform--> string. Disable the rich-text editor in your User Profile in the Admin, and then try re-adding a fresh copy of the Coldform string. The plugin should work just fine.

  7. Super Newbie July 3, 2010 @ 6:49 am

    Hi Jeff.

    I need help. I’m new to WordPress and I chose to install Coldform as my very first plugin to learn how to use a form. Here’s what I did:

    I have chosen the “” file and tried to install it via “Install Plugins > Upload” in the WP dashboard.

    It was a success, and the ‘Activate Plugin’ appeared.
    I pressed it, and still “The plugin does not have a valid header” occurred.

    I did create a “readme.txt” file with the content found in Post #98 (before activating the plugin) and placed it in both directories:
    just to make sure.. (not a programmer and a newbie, hehe)

    So, what did I do wrong? Please help.


  8. Super Newbie July 4, 2010 @ 2:40 am

    Aha! Got it.

    I was so anxious to try out the plugin (plus I’m quite unfamiliar with WP, and saw the ‘upload zip file’ option), I immediately uploaded the “” instead of the “contact-form” itself (which was clearly stated on the manual).. My bad. hehe (sleep is good.. lol)

    Hope my fellow WP newbies learn from my experience
    and avoid doing the same ‘stupid’ mistake. lol.

    Can’t wait to try out Coldform and learn WordPress! Woohoo!

    Thanks, Jeff!

  9. Jeff Starr

    @Super Newbie: Glad you got it sorted out – absolutely not a “stupid mistake” Sometimes I forget the fact that everyone is learning at their own pace and from their own place, so it’s up to writers to include as much information as possible (without getting completely ridiculous). Others will indeed learn from your example – thanks for sharing :)

  10. Super Newbie July 6, 2010 @ 7:28 am

    Wow! Great plugin, Jeff!
    Works perfectly, and simple enough even for a newbie like me.

    One thing though, is it possible for me to create new entries in coldform?
    e.g. customizing coldform (used as a questionnaire),
    or just simply adding a checkbox in the form (for ‘I agree’ before submitting)

    Thanks, Jeff!

  11. Jeff Starr

    @Super Newbie: Sure, but it would require modifying the plugin files directly. Nothing like that possible through the Admin. There are other contact-form plugins that do, but the purpose of Coldform was strict simplicity.

  12. Super Newbie July 7, 2010 @ 4:49 am

    Yea, and that’s what I love about Coldform.
    (plus the full control over the design! Awesome!)

    But if it’s not a bother (and with your permission to modify the plugin files a bit), can you teach me what codes to add to include a simple ‘I agree’ checkbox in Coldform?

    I’m not a programmer, I can’t do it on my own (and I specially don’t want to ruin the super clean code that Coldform has by trying! :p ). But I do have a very basic idea about programming in general. Just tell me the right code, and I’ll do the rest. Pretty please? Any help will be much appreciated. :)

    And as a request, can you also add the ‘I agree’ checkbox as an option, by default, in the next version of Coldform?


    Coldform is amazing! I totally recommend it! :)

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