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Do I just go to Appearance->Editor and then pick the template and modify the PHP code directly, or is there a more "non-coding" way of doing it?

I'm using a theme with a contact form, and the whole contact form code is in the template, and the edit page window just shows up blank. All the code is in the template.

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All code will be in the template. That is how custom templates work.

Altering the output those templates is a code edit except where the templates have been written to include the post body, or meta fields, etc.

But don't go to Appearance->Editor and start hacking away. First, if this isn't your theme you are going to have to redo the work when you update the theme, and second, if you make a mistake in the built in editor you can take the whole site down and not be able to get back in to edit the file. I consider that editor the equivalent of working on an airplane while it is in the air.

Instead, grab the file via FTP, edit it is a text editor, preferably one intended for code, then reupload it. Ideally, you'd set up a development server on your computer so that you can not only edit but test the changes before pushing them live.

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Thanks. I'm surprised it is "wordpress friendly" to have so much of the site in the Template. If I were designing a theme, I'd think the users of the theme would want easier access to such things. Good to know that editing the code is the only way. Cheers. –  Joel Jul 18 '13 at 17:10
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It is WordPress friendly to separate the design from the content, I think. I sort of disagree that a contact form should be part of the theme in the first place. If you change themes, you lose your form. That's an example of something more-suited as a plugin. There are plenty of form plugins that would let you customize the form from the WP backend and insert it as a post. –  helgatheviking Jul 18 '13 at 17:31
    
agreed. I love Gravity Forms. –  Joel Jul 18 '13 at 18:10
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I use Max's HTML Beauty to edit theme files. It was free (think it still is) and helps edit templates by highlighting code elements.

Contact form 7 is a decent form option as well. The form is then separate from the template and stays with you if you change themes.

Good Luck!

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