PHP Email Form is simple and easy to use PHP script for sending the data submitted by web HTML forms (like contact forms) to your email inbox. The library is created by the BootstrapMade team and available in the paid versions of templates published on BootstrapMade.com. It works out of the box with the included contact forms in our templates.

Setting up the PHP Email Form as contact form

We do provide contact forms in all our templates. The PHP Email Form works out of the box with our contact forms. You just need to configure your receiving email address if you have PHP support on your hosting.

  1. If you already started working with the free version of the template: Download the pro version from your member area, uzip it and copy the /assets/vendor/php-email-form/php-email-form.php to the /assets/vendor/php-email-form/ folder of your working project.
  2. Edit /forms/contact.php and replace [email protected] with your email address and you’re done!

PHP Email Form uses the PHP mail() function for mailing by default. The /forms/contact.php also comes with a configuration for SMTP, in case your hosting doesn’t allow sending emails with the PHP mail() function. The SMTP configurations are commented. You need to uncomment the SMTP configuration lines and add your credentials.

Adding multiple receiving email addresses

You can also add multiple receiving email addresses for the submitted forms via cc and bcc methods. Edit and add the below code to your forms/contact.php just before the line echo $contact->send();

$contact->cc = array('[email protected]', '[email protected]');
$contact->bcc = array('[email protected]', '[email protected]');

 

Spam protection

We use AJAX method of form submission by default which stops most of the spam bots. You can add extra spam protection to your forms by using the below 2 methods.

1. Spam Protection with honeypot method
Honeypot method is a very clever method of spam protection. You just add an extra field to your form, which is hidden for your users and not filled while submitting it. Spam bots fills it thinking that it’s a standard required field and alert us it’s activity. If the honeypot field is filled in, we can confidently reject the form as spam. To use the honeypot method:

First, edit your form and add an extra filed, e.g:

<div class="form-group d-none">
  <input type="text" class="form-control" name="first_name">
  <div class="validate"></div>
</div>

Then, edit your /forms/contact.php and add the below code just before the line echo $contact->send();

$contact->honeypot = $_POST['first_name'];

You can change the filed name first_name as you wish.

2. Spam Protection with Google reCaptcha
Google reCaptcha is the most popular form submission protection in the world. PHP Email Form comes with built in support for the latest version 3.0 of Google reCaptcha. Follow the below steps to enable Google reCaptcha protection for your form.

1. Go to Google reCapthca administration website, set-up your website and obtain your keys (site key and secret key)

2. Add the below line to your web page in the footer part along with the other script inclusions.

<script src="https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api.js?render=Your_reCAPTCHA_site_key"></script>

Replace Your_reCAPTCHA_site_key with the site key you obtained in the step 1

3. Add data-recaptcha-site-key to your form tag, e.g:

<form action="forms/contact.php" method="post" role="form" class="php-email-form" data-recaptcha-site-key="Your_reCAPTCHA_site_key">

Replace Your_reCAPTCHA_site_key with the site key you obtained in the step 1

4. Edit your /forms/contact.php and add the below code just before the line echo $contact->send();

$contact->recaptcha_secret_key = 'Your_reCAPTCHA_secret_key';

Replace Your_reCAPTCHA_secret_key with the secret key you obtained in the step 1

You’re done. Your form now should be protected with the Google reCaptcha service!

Adding “Accept terms/privacy policy” checkbox to your form

Here is an example code in case you need to add a checkbox to your form and require your users to accept your terms or privacy policy before submitting the form.

First, add the below code to your form, just before the submit button:

<div class="form-group">
  <span class="ml-2">Accept our <a href="terms.html">terms of service</a> and <a href="privacy.html">privacy policy</a></span>
  <input type="checkbox" name="privacy" value="accept" class="float-left h-auto mt-1" data-rule="checked" data-msg="Please, accept our terms of service and privacy acy policy">
  <div class="validate"></div>
</div>

 
Then, edit your /forms/contact.php and add the below code just before the line echo $contact->send();

if($_POST['privacy'] !='accept') {
  die('Please, accept our terms of service and privacy acy policy');
}

 

Advanced Usage and Customization of PHP Email Form

The PHP Email Form can also be used for emailing any forms with unlimited custom inputs. It also comes with integrated SMTP support that allows you to send emails without a local mail server.

You can just duplicate the forms/contact.php to a new file and use it as a starting point, e.g: myform.php
You also need to set the action property to your new form to the newly created myform.php, e.g:
<form action="forms/myform.php" method="post" class="php-email-form">

Below is a full documentation of each line of the forms/contact.php and how you can customize them for your needs. First, below is the full content of the contact.php. Scroll down for detailed explanation.

<?php
/**
* Requires the "PHP Email Form" library
* The "PHP Email Form" library is available only in the pro version of the template
* The library should be uploaded to: vendor/php-email-form/php-email-form.php
* For more info and help: https://bootstrapmade.com/php-email-form/
*/

// Replace [email protected] with your real receiving email address
$receiving_email_address = '[email protected]';

if( file_exists($php_email_form = '../assets/vendor/php-email-form/php-email-form.php' )) {
include( $php_email_form );
} else {
die( 'Unable to load the "PHP Email Form" Library!');
}

$contact = new PHP_Email_Form;
$contact->ajax = true;

$contact->to = $receiving_email_address;
$contact->from_name = $_POST['name'];
$contact->from_email = $_POST['email'];
$contact->subject = $_POST['subject'];

// Uncomment below code if you want to use SMTP to send emails. You need to enter your correct SMTP credentials
/*
$contact->smtp = array(
'host' => 'example.com',
'username' => 'example',
'password' => 'pass',
'port' => '587'
);
*/

$contact->add_message( $_POST['name'], 'From');
$contact->add_message( $_POST['email'], 'Email');
$contact->add_message( $_POST['message'], 'Message', 10);

echo $contact->send();
?>

 

// Replace [email protected] with your real receiving email address
$receiving_email_address = '[email protected]';

Here we set the receiving email address variable, which we will later use when setting up the PHP Email Form class properties. It’s not required to do it this way, we just moved this configuration at the top in the contact.php since it’s the only configuration setting that requires editing for the default contact form.

if( file_exists($php_email_form = '../assets/vendor/php-email-form/php-email-form.php' )) {
include( $php_email_form );
} else {
die( 'Unable to load the "PHP Email Form" Library!');
}

Here we check if the PHP Email Form library exists and then include it. The script will end execution if php-email-form.php library file doesn’t exists.

$contact = new PHP_Email_Form;

Here we initiate the PHP Email Form and assign it to $contact variable. You can change the $contact to your own.

$contact->ajax = true;

We use the AJAX method of posting the form in our contact form. This setting checks if the post method is really coming from an AJAX call and outputs error if isn’t. The ajax property is false by default

$contact->to = $receiving_email_address;
$contact->from_name = $_POST['name'];
$contact->from_email = $_POST['email'];
$contact->subject = $_POST['subject'];

Al of these four properties to from_name from_email subject are required and need to be set up.

The to property is the receiving email address of the form. You can set it directly from here as $contact->to = '[email protected]'; or use the $receiving_email_address variable as we do.

The from_name property is the email sender name. In our contact form we capture the input value with name “name”. You can set it directly from here as $contact->from_name = 'Custom Name'; or other input value with a different name, e.g: $contact->from_name = $_POST['sender_name'];

The from_email property is the sender email address. In our contact form we capture the input value with name “email”. You can set it directly from here as $contact->from_email = '[email protected]'; or other input value with a different name, e.g: $contact->from_email = $_POST['email_address'];

The subject property is the email subject. In our contact form we capture the input value with name “subject”. You can set it directly from here as $contact->subject = 'My Subject'; or other input value with a different name, e.g: $contact->subject = $_POST['form_subject'];

// Uncomment below code if you want to use SMTP to send emails. You need to enter your correct SMTP credentials
/*
$contact->smtp = array(
'host' => 'example.com',
'username' => 'example',
'password' => 'pass',
'port' => '587'
);
*/

PHP Email Form uses the PHP mail() function for mailing by default. You can use SMTP if your hosting doesn’t support the PHP mail() function or you can prefer the SMPT. To use SMTP, just uncomment the above code and add your credentials.

$contact->add_message( $_POST['name'], 'From');
$contact->add_message( $_POST['email'], 'Email');
$contact->add_message( $_POST['message'], 'Message', 10);

Here we prepare and compose the message content that will be included in the email body with using the add_message() method, which is a part of PHP Mail Form. It can be used unlimited times based on your needs. As you can see, we use it 3 times in our contact.php. The formatted message that you’ll receive in your email will be as an example below:
Email: Sender Name
From: [email protected]
Message: The message text

add_message() method accepts 3 parameters. The first one is the message text, the second one is a title/label and the third one is length check number (it will output error if the provided message text characters count is under the set length).

echo $contact->send();

It will output a text message “OK” if the email is sent successfully or an error message if the email is not sent for some reason.

Customizing the error messages

You can also customize the returned error messages by the PHP Email Form. Here are the available error message properties and their default values.

$contact->invalid_to_email = 'Email to (receiving email address) is empty or invalid!';
$contact->invalid_from_name' = 'From Name is empty!';
$contact->invalid_from_email' = 'Email from: is empty or invalid!';
$contact->invalid_subject' = 'Subject is too short or empty!';
$contact->short' = 'is too short or empty!'; // If the length check number is set and the provided message text is under the set length in the add_message() method call
$contact->ajax_error' = 'Sorry, the request should be an Ajax POST'; // If ajax property is set true and the post method is not an AJAX call

 

Requirements

PHP Email Form requires at last PHP version 5.5 in your hosting server. Your hosting should allow you to send emails with using the PHP’s mail() function. You can use SMTP method if the mail() function is not supported.