TouchBase was originally created to generate obfuscated email 'mail to' links, that could include a subject heading and other parameters. It has since been expanded by request to support a couple of other useful services; like FaceTime, Skype and telephone.

Of course, you can manually create your own HTML links for your website. But TouchBase is a drag-and-drop solution (zero complicated code required) and presents you with an attractive interface for creating these special links. Plus it provides options to let you optionally convert rather subdued hyperlinks into attractive buttons that match the rest of your website.

TouchBase stacks can either be added in the normal page flow or you can also place them into theme ExtraContent containers and navigation bars. TouchBase can work on a public-facing website and it will also work fine on a passworded / membership website (like one built with SiteLok) or a company intranet site. It has no dependencies on any outside services. PHP 7.0 or greater is recommended.

Examples:

These are some examples of the TouchBase stack configured to create links to some different services.
 
A simple email link:
 
A simple email link with a custom label and button styling applied:
 
A Skype link:
 
A styled Skype button with Font Awesome icons:
 
A telephone button with Font Awesome icons:
 
Obviously some of these button configurations only work if a user has got particular software on their computer. For example, you would probably find a Skype button only works if the Skype software is actually installed on a computer or device. You can improve usability by changing the button label to reflect what the button will do.

Setup

To get the TouchBase stack working in your website, follow these instructions:
  1. Once installed into Stacks, open the Stacks Library, search for 'TouchBase' and drag and drop a TouchBase stack into your page.
  2. Within the TouchBase settings, choose the configuration type from the drop-down menu (e.g. FaceTime, mailto, Skype).
  3. Continue to configure the link with the parameters required; like handles, addresses or numbers.
  4. A simple link will be generated by default. You can optionally apply theme button styling or create a custom button style with the options provided.
  5. Preview the page in RapidWeaver. Publish when ready.

Important: TouchBase will change your page extension from .html to .php if you have not done so already. Any pre-existing .html pages published to the same location will require deletion with your FTP app or file manager.

TouchBase will display your link or button in RapidWeaver preview, but will not do anything when clicked. You instead have to view the stack in a normal web browser, before it will function.

Spam bot protection

Spam is a big problem for contact details and forms published online. TouchBase uses PHP to take your contact information, then encode it into a complicated string of HTML entities. This helps stop automated spam bots scanning through your webpage and picking-out unprotected contact details. Most spam bots only see gibberish code, but the web browser displays the entities as standard letters and numbers.

If you look in the web inspector, you will see the decoded contact details in their normal format. Whereas if you view the page source code (ALT + CMD + U), you will see the encoded / encrypted version most spam bots see.

This system of obfuscation will greatly limit the ability of many automated spam bots to contact you. But it will not stop a human spammer from still contacting you. It's worth mentioning that no email or contact form is immune to human-generated spam; even one protected with reCAPTCHA.