Contacts for your site are set up in the Components section of Joomla. The Contacts Component is part of the Joomla Core installation.

You may want to just create an online Contact Form so that people can communicate with you via the site.  You may have a large company with multiple Contacts that need to compartmentalized into Categories. Your site could have a list of the Contact Categories or a list of the individual Contacts.  Contacts can be set up to be for a single employee or can be set up with a department wide email address.

When you navigate to the Contacts screen under Components, you will come to a list of all the Contacts for your site.  If it is a recently installed site, the list will be empty.

To create a new contact click on the New button in the action bar across the top.

This will take you to a screen with multiple tabs available for modifying the information and display for this individual Contact.

New Contact Tab

Name: This is a required field.  It can be an individuals name or a department name or anything you want.  It will be what shows up on the list of Contact and it can show up on your Contact web page if Name is enabled.

Alias: Joomla will fill this in for you or you can fill it in yourself.  It must be URL friendly (no spaces, no symbols) and it may be part of the web page URL for this particular contact depending how it is accessed.

Linked User:  If this Contact is a Registered User, ie has a User Profile in Joomla, you can link to them here.  This is not required.

Category:  If you have numerous Contacts and have created Categories to organize them, you can select that Category here.

ID:  Joomla will assign an ID number to your Contact once you have saved this Contact.  You cannot change the number - it is for reference only.

Miscellaneous Information: You could put a description, a biography, or what ever you wish in here.  You can choose to have it show up on the Contact page when you make a Menu Item for it.  

Note: The Miscellaneous Information text box is not the place for the email address, phone number or other information.  Their are form fields for specific information under the Contact Detail tab, including an image field if you want to have photos associated with the Contact.  You should use the form fields for specific information because you can control whether is appears on the website for all of your Contacts.

Details: To the right of every tab in the Contact screen is the Details section. You may change settings for this Contact here, such as if it is Published, the Access Level, if it is Featured or if there is a specific language setting for this Contact.

Publish Options Tab

Created by: You can select one of your Registered Users for this instead of yourself.  The reason you might want to do this is so that they have permission to change the information themselves if they have access to this section.

Created by Alias:  You can put an Alias in here if you don't want a specific name to show up for some reason.

Created Date: There may be a reason why you want to set this to a specific date.

Start Publishing/End Publishing: There may be a reason why you want this Contact information to only show up for a period of time on the site.  You can limit the days that is is set as Published here.

Contact Details Tab

This is the tab where you can enter specific information for the Contact.  None of these fields are required. You can control how this information is displayed on the site by clicking on Options from the action list across the top of the Contact List which takes you to Global Configuration settings for Contacts or you can control the display settings for an individual Contact in Display Options.

Image: You can select from an already uploaded image or upload one for this Contact here. It could be a person's photo or maybe an illustration for a company department.

Position: This would be where you might enter the person's position in the company such as Sales Rep.

Email - Website: These fields are self-explanatory

First Sort Field - Third Sort Field: If you want to be able to sort your contacts in multiple ways - say by Last Name, Department and Start Date - this is where you could enter this information.

Note: If you feel that you want to have addition form fields and information for your Contacts, you may want to consider researching for a Joomla Extension for this added functionality. Hacking the core files for Joomla is not recommended as these changes be lost when you upgrade your Joomla site or could break the site if not done properly.

Display Options Tab

The Display Options will default to what has been set in the Global Configurations for Contacts.  To see what these settings are, open a new tab in your browser, enter your website URL followed by /administrator.  This is the same as if you were logging into the site, but since you have already logged in, Joomla will go straight to the Dashboard.  You can click on Components -> Contacts and select Options (with the little gear icon) for the action list across the top of the Contact Manager page.  You will see a screen with all of the default settings for Contacts.  If you change these stteings here, it will affect all of your Contacts unless the settings hve been overridden on an individual basis.

You can choose to Use Global, Show or Hide for each item on the list.  What you select here or under the Global Configurations for Contacts will effect if that information is displayed on the web page for that Contact.

Contact Form Tab

Show Contact Form: The Contact Form is a form that shows up on the Contact's web page so that visitors can use the form to communicate with the Contact.  The form actually uses the Hosting companies email settings to send an email to the Contact's email address as listed in Contact Details.  You can choose to have this form or not to have a form.  You can also choose to show only the form and not have the Contact's Details show at all.

Send Copy to Submitter: If you select yes, there will be a check box on the form where the person writing the email can send choose to send a copy of the email to himself.

Banned Email: If you want to filter out certain email addresses from using this form, such as someone abusing the form, you can do it here.

Banned Subject: If you want to filter out emails that have certain words in the Subject line, this is where you would enter those words.

Banned Text: If you want to filter out emails that have certain words in the body of the email, this is where you would enter those words.

Session Check: If you want to check that the sender has cookies enabled before sending the email, you can set that here.

Custom Reply: If you have a third-party plug-in that allows you to set up Custom Replies, this is where you would enable this to happen.

Contact Redirect: If you want the sender to be redirected to a different page after submitting the message, you can enter it here.

Note: Many of the settings in the individual Contact can be modified when setting up the Menu Item for the Contact.  If you change a setting here or in the Global settings and it is still not changing the setting on the actual web page, you may need to look at the Menu Item that is creating the page for the Contact and change the setting there.

Note: In order for the Contact Form to function properly, your site's Mail Settings must be set up properly in the Server Tab of Global Configuration. The Mail Settings vary depending on your hosting environment.

Mail Forms and Spam: For some reasons, the bad guys in the world like to fill out on-line forms and submit them which puts Spam in your mailbox. Adding Captchas help to prevent Robots form filling out forms and can reduce the amout of Spam, but may not eliminate it. At this writing, Joomla 3 does not have a way to add a Captcha to a Contact Form created by the core Joomla component.  You can investigate third party extensions at extensions.joomla.org to add forms with Captchas.

Metadata Options Form

This is where you may add information for description and keyword tags for the web page that uses this Contact, and instruct web search engine robots not to index this web page.