Frequently Asked Questions for Rapid Contact Ex - Contact form generator for Joomla!

This article describes how to install and use Rapid Contact Ex, or how to solve any common problems that you may face with it.
If you cannot seem to find what you are looking for, you can search the Rapid Contact Ex forum, or contact me.

General Questions

You can create forms for your website, that generate an email which is sent to one or more desired email addresses. The recipient may also vary depending on user input (Email Groups: Sales Dept, Tech Support Dept, etc). You can have any number of forms, from as simple as a quick contact module, to a multi-column, file upload full page form.

No. Rapid Contact Ex is a Joomla! extension and can only be used within the Joomla! CMS.

That is very simple. You just login with your user account and navigate to Connect > My Purchases. Since July 2017, you can also use the Joomla! Updater feature!

Please refer to the Rapid Contact ex download page, on the right.

Payment & License

You get unlimited usage on unlimited domains and websites. You get unlimited support (please read the Terms of Service for more information) and free updates for 1 year. After that, you may continue to use Rapid Contact Ex as you did, but to be able to receive updates, you would have to renew your license.

When you download Rapid Contact Ex, you get unlimited usage rights. That means you can install Rapid Contact Ex on a friend's site, but they won't be able to receive direct support or updates, and you should not share the zip archive you download.

Well, that is because extensions are not developed and maintained by a large company, but rather by Christopher Mavros, the developer and owner of this website. That means no expensive equipment and no large facilities, which results in low-cost development, and thus, low-cost extensions.

Installation & Configuration

To install Rapid Contact Ex, you follow the usual steps, as with installing any other Joomla! extension.

Navigate to Extensions > Extension Manager, and under the tab "Upload Package File", you select the zip archive you downloaded from, and click "Upload & Install".

Wait until the package file gets installed and you should see a completion message. You are ready to go.

You would need to create the desired fields and show the form. See question "How to set-up my first form?" in "Extension Usage", for more details.

The only configuration required is to write your email address in the module or menu item options.

Note: For Rapid Contact Ex to be able to send any email, you must make sure that your Joomla! Mail Settings are correctly configured. For more information, please read the question below. 

Rapid Contact Ex, as well as any other Joomla! extension that sends emails, requires that the Joomla! Mail Settings are properly configured. Those settings are found in your site's Global Configuration, under the Server tab.

Some servers allow the default settings (PHP Mail) to work just fine. Even though, it is better to use SMTP, according to your host directions for configuring an outgoing email client.

Some texts can be changed from the menu item and module options. However, if you want to translate the fields, you can set the Field Label to something in CAPITALS_WITHOUT_SPACES and use the Language ini files to translate it. In those files, you can also find all other error messages and texts. For more information about translating using the language ini files, please read here.

This text is a string placed in language ini files. There are two ways to change it:

  1. Language Overrides
    You can simply go to Extensions > Languages > Overrides and select the language for which you want to change this text (e.g. English - Site). Then click on "New", and write YOU_RECEIVED_A_MESSAGE_FROM as the Language Constant. In the Text field, you can write anything you want, even an empty text. Read more here.
  2. Template Overrides
    You can copy the file components/com_rapidcontactex/views/rpxform/default_email_header.php to templates/your_template/html/com_rapidcontactex/default_email_header.php and change it as much as you want, even deleting this text completely. Read more here.

Extension Usage

No. Rapid Contact Ex can be used in unlimited sites and domains, with unlimited DB records. Enjoy ;)

First of all, you need to create your form fields in the Rapid Contact Ex Field Manager. That is found under Components > Rapid Contact Ex > Field Manager. Then, to show the form, you can either publish the Rapid Contact Ex module, or create a Rapid Contact Ex menu-item.
In the module and menu item options respectively, you will find options to customize which fields to show, change texts and configure the anti-spam functionality.

Sure. All you need to do, is create your fields for both forms in the Field Manager, and then select which ones to show for each form, in the module or menu item options.

Rapid Contact Ex offers the following Field Types:

  • Textbox (A simple text input)
  • Textarea (Large text input area)
  • Email (Simple email input)
  • File Upload (for attachments, etc)
  • Drop Down List
  • Checkboxes
  • Radio Buttons
  • Email Group (Creates different email recipients, depending on user selection, like Sales Dept, Tech Support Dept, etc)
  • Hidden (Hidden fields to add your own custom inputs and values)
  • Explanatory Text (HTML-enabled Text in between the fields. This can be used as a header, a group, as explanation for the above field, etc)
  • Telephone (10 digit telephone input)
  • US Postal Code
  • UK Postal Code
  • Calendar
  • Number
  • Multiple Select
  • Email Groups (Changes email recipients according to user selection)
  • Field Group Creators (for dynamically reccuring fields, like Passenger or Hotel Visitor information
  • Checkbox Groups (to only enable fields when a checkbox is checked)

You simply write their emails in the "Email Recipient" option (in either the Menu or the Module options), separated by a semi-colon (;). E.g.;

When editing a field, you should see a help box labeled "Smart Names Help". A few special names are included in Rapid Contact Ex, that define the functionality of that field. If you name your field #Message Subject# (exactly as seen, with the hashes) RPX uses it as the message subject.

Yes! You can use the menu item or module options, to create an auto-responder email with a WYSIWYG editor.

Yes! You can use the Explanatory Text field type, and customize the look of your form as much as you want.

Advanced Configuration

You can do that, in two ways:

  1. By writing the Field IDs at which you would like the form to break in columns (in the module or menu item options).
  2. By setting the amount of columns you want, and the columns are generated automatically.

You can do that, by setting the Intelligent Field Name of the Name and Email fields as Message Sender Name (#User Name#) and Message Sender Reply-To Address (#Reply-To Email#) respectively.

You can do that, by using the Fixed URL option in the module and menu item options, and choosing "As Redirect" for the Fixed URL Method option.

Yes. You would need to enable that, from the module or menu item options (option "Use Custom PHP Includes File"), and write your PHP in the modules/mod_rapid_contact_ex/ includes.php file.

Yes. You can add your SQL in the Component Options.

Common Problems

Please first check that you have configured your Joomla! Mail Settings. Make sure you use SMTP, because the PHP Mail method does not always yield reliable results. For more information on that, please refer to the "Installation & Configuration" section, at the question "How to configure my Joomla! Mail Settings".

If your Joomla Mail Settings are properly configured, your server may not allow using the email address that Rapid Contact Ex is trying to send emails from. Make sure you switch any Message Sender Email (#User Email#) fields to Message Sender Reply-To Address (#Reply-To Email#). Otherwise, Rapid Contact Ex will try to send the email from the actual email address of your form users. Most servers do not allow that nowadays.

Please also check if you have set the same email address as the Sender Email Address in both the Joomla! Mail Settings, and the Rapid Contact Ex menu-item or module options. Again, some servers may not allow different addresses, even from the same domain. If it still doesn't work, feel free to contact me.

This usually happens when an email "From" address is not correct, or a recipient address is not correct. It may also happen if you are have set your emails to be sent from your Gmail account, or other email providers, while in your Global Configuration, you use SMTP with your own domain email address. Most servers do not allow that nowadays.

That is most commonly an issue with directory permissions. You should make sure that the "administrator/components/ com_rapidcontactex/uploads/" (or the one you have set in the Component Options) directory permissions comply with the suggested permissions from Joomla!

This problem usually comes up when Rapid Contact Ex cannot figure out where to send the copy email. For Rapid Contact Ex to recognize which field is used for the user's email address, you should use the Intelligent Field Name Message Sender Reply-To Address (#Reply-To Address#).

This is a usual problem, which only happens if you have not configured your Update Options properly. Since this is a commercial extension, your account username and Paypal email are required for security reasons. If you do not know your account username, please search your inbox for the automatic message sent to your address right after purchasing Rapid Contact Ex.

First of all, make sure you enable an anti-spam question or captcha in the menu item or module options of the form.

If you get spam while using an anti-spam question, make sure your question is not an easy one for robots to solve. For example, math problems are easier for machines than humans. See ideas for good anti-spam questions.

If you get spam while using ReCaptcha, make sure your website is accessed via https. Http websites are vulnerable to spam attacks.

If you use ReCaptcha on a https site and still receive spam, please try using a different captcha.

Sometimes humans use contact forms to send non-automated spam. Unfortunately, there's little that can be done in that case. Feel free to contact me if you need more help. No spam please. :D