Best WordPress Contact Form Plugins
When developing a website, it’s important to consider all aspects of its User Experience (UX). One element that’s often overlooked is user communication – i.e. how visitors will get in touch with personnel associated with the website. If you don’t offer adequate contact options, you could drive potential readers and customers away.
Contact forms present the easiest way to enable visitors to reach out to you. Even better, they won’t have to leave your site in order to get in touch. Fortunately, WordPress offers a number of handy contact form plugins that make it simple to add this communication feature to your site.
In this post, we’ll discuss WordPress contact form plugins and how they can improve your website. We’ll then introduce six of the most popular options to choose from, exploring their pros, cons, and pricing options. Let’s get started!
Contact Form Plugins
Whatever your site’s goals are, you’ll more than likely find a contact form plugin to meet your needs in the WordPress Plugin Directory. Although many free plugins contain a robust array of features you can use to configure and style your contact form, you may need to invest in a premium plugin if you want to add more advanced features.
In most cases, a free contact form plugin will enable you to generate multiple input fields for users to fill in and send to you. Typically, free contact form plugins also include basic security and anti-spam capabilities (such as integration with Google reCaptcha).
On the other hand, premium plugins offer a broad array of more advanced and customizable features. These include pre-made templates, so you can create functional contact forms in minutes, and even email marketing integrations (for services such as MailChimp and Aweber).
With so many WordPress contact form plugins out there, it can be difficult to know which one to pick. To help you make the best choice for your needs, let’s take a look at some of the most popular and fully-featured options available!
The WP Forms plugin is a freemium contact form solution, with both free and paid versions. The basic plugin features a drag-and-drop interface, as well as useful pre-made form templates. In addition to standard contact forms, this plugin lets you create subscription and payment forms with ease.
Price: The lite plugin is free, but you can upgrade to the pro version starting at $49 per year.
Pros: WP Forms is extremely user-friendly, responsive, and customizable, and can integrate with a variety of payment types.
Cons: The offerings of the lite version are fairly limited, including only a handful of form templates and basic field options.
Contact Form 7 is a simple but versatile plugin, enabling you to create multiple kinds of forms for your WordPress website. This plugin works through a customizable markup language, and is readily translatable, spam-protected, and well-supported.
Price: This plugin is completely free to use, although donations are accepted.
Cons: The interface is not as intuitive as other plugins we’ve featured, which may not be ideal for beginners.
Pirate Forms lets you create unobtrusive and flexible contact forms with just a few clicks. It comes with robust contact storage capabilities, as well as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). This latter feature makes it easy to choose what email address completed contact forms will be sent to. With the pro version, you also gain access to multiple form types, MailChimp integration, and customizable form fields.
Price: The lite plugin is free, but you can upgrade to the pro version starting at $39 per year.
Pros: You can add forms to your website with shortcodes and widgets, and Google reCaptcha is included in the lite version.
Cons: The lite plugin has no multi-form abilities or customizable form fields, which means it’s primarily useful for creating bare-bones contact forms.
Gravity Forms is the only plugin on our list that is not offered in the WordPress Plugin Directory. It’s a robust tool that enables you to create contact forms using an intuitive visual editor. What’s more, it gives you access to more than 30 pre-made form fields, and even conditional logic options.
Pros: You get a visual form editor, full responsiveness, excellent customizability, and the ability to test the plugin via a demo.
Cons: There is no free version of the plugin, and many of its best features require add-on purchases.
Ninja Forms is an intuitive and well-reviewed plugin, enabling you to build powerful and even complex forms with minimal fuss. With this tool, you can create unlimited forms for your website, and even save frequently used fields to speed up the form-building process in the future. Ninja Forms also enables Google reCaptcha, and its AJAX submission feature means the user experience isn’t interrupted by page reloads.
Price: The lite plugin is free, but you can add pro features starting at $29 per year.
Pros: In addition to being developer friendly and well documented, Ninja Forms can integrate effortlessly with just about any widget, shortcode, or template function.
Cons: The add-ons and upgrades are pricey, and the add-on features may prove a bit overwhelming for beginners.
Jetpack is a multi-purpose plugin, with various website-optimization features. These include a contact form builder, which you can add to pages, posts, or widgets with a few clicks. The forms built with Jetpack include built-in spam filters, and you can customize each one as you see fit.
Price: The lite plugin, which includes the complete contact form builder, is free. You also have the option to upgrade to a premium version of Jetpack (which also enhances various other features) starting at $39 per year.
Pros: Contact forms can be added to any page, post, or widget, and can be customized via CSS.
Cons: The customization options are a bit slim. However, this is to be expected, considering that contact forms are only a part of Jetpack’s varied feature set.
Since contact forms make it easy for readers and potential customers to reach you, adding one to your site should be a priority. With the use of WordPress plugins, it’s never been easier to add contact forms to your website.
What Is Contact Form Spam?
Although contact forms make it easy for users to reach out to you, one potential downside of using them is that they are often the target of spam. This usually comes from spambots – malicious programs that hijack your form to send unwanted messages to users, and as a result inflate form submission statistics in Google Analytics.
Despite the fact that many WordPress plugins have anti-spam features, additional steps will need to be taken to protect your site from these spambots.
Preventing Contact Form Spam
Fortunately, there are various ways you can defend your WordPress site from contact form spam. The two most effective and simple methods are using reCAPTCHAs and ‘honeypots’.
reCAPTCHA is a free service from Google that is designed to help you discern humans from bots. It enables any legitimate user of your contact form to confirm that they are “not a robot” with a single mouse click. reCAPTCHAs are extremely useful for keeping bots at bay, and are easy to add to your site.
The honeypot technique involves creating a hidden field on your contact form, to ensnare spambots and prevent their malicious submissions. These fields can even be used to reveal the IP addresses of spammers. Several premium contact form plugins have built-in honeypot features, including Ninja Forms and WP Forms. Others, like Contact Form 7, require add-on plugins in order to put honeypots into effect.
Contact Form Styling
Finally, in most cases your contact form will inherit the properties of your theme (colors, fonts, etc) by default. If you want to further tweak the appearance of your contact forms to meet your desired aesthetics, many plugins enable you to do this via CSS, such as Ninja Forms.
Remember that, as with all other aspects of your site, your WordPress contact form should harmonize style with functionality. Fortunately, plugins such as the ones we’ve introduced above take much of the guesswork out of this process.
Why Style Contact Forms?
In addition to purely improving aesthetics, there are a number of other reasons to style your WordPress contact forms carefully. For example, if you have multiple forms on your site, switching up their styles can help differentiate them and eliminate potential confusion.
You can also style your contact forms to maximize click appeal, by using contrasting colors for the primary button, implementing microinteraction animations, and so on. This is relatively easy to do, and can play a useful role in improving your conversion rates.
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