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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 = Fullstack Developer. Book Author. Teacher. Human Being.
The Tao of WordPress: Master the art of WordPress.

160 responses to “WordPress Plugin: Contact Coldform”

  1. Perishable 2008/06/08 7:50 am

    @Stan: sounds like a possible issue with your web host? The mail delivery itself is very standard stuff, nothing more than PHP’s humble mail() function, which seems to be available on most servers.

  2. Thanks Pershable

    I’m trying to track down the problem, because I can put a simple mail function using a plain text editor in a static xhtml or html page and it works fine. So does other software that utilizes this function.

    So, I am checking with my hosting service and thinking it’s something to do with my .htaccess and/or the fact that my WordPress is on a sub.domain. Or perhaps it’s my WordPress version itself (2.2..1)

    I am determined to get this to work. It looks like too good and necessary of plugin for me to pass up.

    I will find the solution then come back and let you know when I track down the problem, in case anyone else needs the info in the future..

  3. Thanks for the update, Stan! Following up with the results of your investigation would be very helpful indeed, especially for others who may be experiencing the same issue. I look forward to hearing back from you.

  4. Thanks.

  5. My pleasure!

  6. Update

    Ok, sometimes it’s the simple things that drive you crazy. I checked and double checked everything scoured through my php.ini…read almost every post at the large support forums of my webhost. Checked my error logs and never saw a thing relating to coldform. Saw some other errors but nothing to do with coldform

    Turns out I had to de-activate my ‘Automatic Upgrade’ plugin. Wierd I know, but that seemed to release the coldform from whatever limbo it was in and it began working !

    I had installed and activated the automatic upgrade plugin to try it out…it didn’t work…and I forgot to deactivate it.

    Then later on when I installed coldform it (auto upgrade)) interfered with coldform somehow.

    Then I decided to check my error logs immediately after attempting to use coldform and an error popped up about the auto upgrade plugin…that’s when I hit pay dirt.

    Wish I’d have thought of that sooner…whew

    Great plugin !

  7. Perishable 2008/06/14 9:01 am

    Excellent sleuthing, Stan! Glad to hear you worked it out. Also glad it wasn’t an issue with the Coldform plugin itself! So, I wonder what’s up with the Auto-Upgrade plugin? I personally have never used it, but know of several people who do.. Did you happen to notice any changes in the Coldform files themselves (or in the Coldform database options) after Auto-Upgrade interference? Either way, this is useful information that certainly helps others who may find themselves in a similar situation. Great work and thanks for the update!

  8. I don’t know what’s up with the auto update plugin except it didn’t work. When I forgot to de-activate it, my blog still ran fine. So fine, that’s one reason I have not been in a hurry to upgrade. I’m still at WPv 2.2.1

    But I’m thinking that when I’m ready I’ll probably do the upgrade manually. I will feel better having complete control and know every thing that has taken place…got to be better than not knowing what actually went on.

    As far as any changes to the coldform files it doesn’t seem like their were. I wasn’t paying very close attention to detail when I glanced through the coldform files before installing. I could have missed something.

    I would bet that nothing did change in the files since coldform is working flawlessly. (now that the auto update plugin released it from a headlock)

    Thanks Jeff.

  9. Perishable 2008/06/17 9:53 am

    Right on, Stan! Thanks for taking the time to share this information with everyone. And, I completely agree about performing manual upgrades. Having full control over a rather unpredictable process is always a wise approach. Also, glad to hear that the Coldform is working flawlessly. It is designed to do one thing and do it well, so I am grateful for the positive feedback. Thanks again for keeping us in the loop — best regards to you and your site! :)

  10. I am curious if your plugin can generate an automated response email thanking users for filling out the form?


  11. Jeff Starr 2008/08/20 8:45 am

    Hi Derek, that would be easy enough to integrate, but not currently included in this version. It’s a great idea though, and I will look into adding such functionality in the next update.

  12. I’m not sure if this is a great idea. Does anyone actually like receiving such mails?

    I know I don’t.

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Perishable Press is operated by Jeff Starr, a professional web developer and book author with two decades of experience. Here you will find posts about web development, WordPress, security, and more »
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