Many WordPress theme providers have their own contact forms, but these forms are limited in capability. Not only that, you are limited to the amount of form fields the theme provides. As great as the Divi WordPress theme is, their form is very basic. It only has three fields: name, email, and message. The same holds true for Canvas, another great WordPress theme.
If I wanted to add a “how did you find us” drop down field or if I wanted to add a checkbox for the visitor to subscribe to my newsletter, then I was out of luck. Tracking how my inquiries have found me and giving them the option to be automatically added to my newsletter saves me time from having to do it myself.
That’s where a form plugins come in to play! I try to keep the amount of plugins to a minimum in order to avoid conflict with other plugins and the theme, but I always use a form plugin on every WordPress website that I develop for my clients. Since I began designing websites with WordPress, I have worked with these three WordPress form plugins:
If you can’t afford to purchase a WordPress plugin, then Contact Form 7 would be your best bet. I used this plugin on my fightaholic.com website in 2009. I was able to create as many form fields as I wanted, and I wasn’t just limited to text and textarea fields. I could manually code the names of the form fields using HTML and use shortcodes for form fields.
To insert a form on a page or post, I would just copy and paste a shortcode. Although I could have modified the look of the form using CSS, I just used the default form styles. You can watch the video below to see how to create a contact form with Contact Form 7:
I talked about Wufoo in a previous blog post. Wufoo makes forms a breeze to create. You don’t need to know HTML or CSS to create a form if you’re using Wufoo, you just need to know how to drag and drop items. You can start a free account which will give you up to 3 forms with up to 10 form fields each, and you can have up to 100 form submissions per month.
10 form fields wasn’t enough for me, so I upgraded to a paid plan, and I don’t regret my decision. It’s true. If you want to make money, you’ve got to spend money. Starting with the $29.95/month plan, you can have up to 3000 form submissions per month, process payments using Paypal or Stripe, have unlimited forms with unlimited fields, and use form rules. With form rules, you can redirect a visitor to a specific page depending on their answer to a question.
When a Wufoo form is submitted, that data is stored in the Wufoo website. You can access the data any time you want. Not only that, you can run reports to find out useful data like what website is bringing in the most inquiries or what is your most popular service. Using this data could let you know if the money you spent on local SEO or that online ad was worth it or not.
Wufoo forms can go any type of website and not just WordPress sites. The form itself is not a plugin, but there is a Wufoo plugin in the WordPress repository that generates the form shortcode. Take a look at the video below to see how easy it is to create a form on Wufoo:
If you want to create forms by dragging and dropping, but you want the forms to be hosted on your website, then Gravity Forms (* affiliate link) would be the best choice. You can start using Gravity forms for only $39, but to get the most out of Gravity Forms, I would recommend the $99 or $199 plan.
These prices include 1 year of support and updates. After the first year, you would pay a discounted rate to continue with the support and updates. It’s been less than a year since I started using Gravity Forms, so I don’t know what the prices are for subsequent years.
Like Wufoo, you can create a form by dragging and dropping fields. If someone submits an inquiry on a Gravity Form, that visitor’s data is stored in the same WordPress website as opposed to a third-party website. There are tons of add-ons that are available for subscribers that pay for the $99 and up subscriptions including payment processing add-ons from Paypal and Stripe.
Here’s a video on creating a contact form by using Gravity Forms:
There are many more form plugins than what I have shown on this blog post, so please feel free to share your favorite WordPress form plugin.