One of the most essential plugins for a WordPress website or blog is a contact form plugin and over the years I have pretty much exclusively used Contact Form 7.
Don’t get me wrong, Contact Form 7 is also flexible but it involves skills that only a web expert has and so it isn’t very flexible in the hands of a client or beginner.
Even if you are an expert WPForms still going to be a lot faster to set up bespoke forms than using Contact Form 7.
WPForms features a drag-and-drop editor for customizing your form fields and settings whereas Contact Form 7 relies on a more traditional approach of using shortcodes to customize everything.
I have also been a fan of Gravity forms over the years as their plugin offers a lot of special features and functionality but they don’t offer a free version of their plugin as a stepping stone to upgrade later if and when those premium features are needed.
WPForms is the best of both worlds in that it offers a free version of the plugin for your general contact forms and basic features that are suitable for most cases and a premium version that stands toe-to-toe with Gravity forms in terms of advanced functionality.
On this website I am using WPForms lite, you can see my form on my contact page.
Here are some of my favorite features of WPForms:
Stripe Payments Add-on
If you haven’t heard of Stripe then you are missing out. Think of it as similar to Paypal but with lower fees.
This approach to taking payments is ideal if you don’t want to set up a complete eCommerce store which is often overkill depending on what you are selling. You can also set up recurring subscription payments using this add-on too.
There is, of course, a Paypal add-on too but I wanted to give some love to Stripe.
File Upload Feature
This is ideal for job application forms where you might need the user to submit their resume or C.V.
Another great use is for customer support forms where you want to allow your customers to upload a file like an error log for example.
It features an anti-spam feature and the ability to limit file uploads by file extension to prevent anything malicious from being submitted.
For websites running contests and giveaways that request applicants to submit their art or other creative works this is also a handy feature.
Post Submissions Addon
If you run a site that relies on UGC (User Generated Content) then you can use the post submissions addon which allows users to submit post or page drafts from the front-end of your website. Then you can review the submitted drafts and publish once you have checked and edited them.
Ideal for creating a content discovery platform, allowing authors to submit their content without giving them access to the dashboard and for those who want to allow people to submit press releases and other news to the site.
You could also use this feature if you wanted to collect testimonials from your customers or if you combine it with a payment feature you could use it to charge for guest post submissions.
In short, there are lots of good use-cases.
Here’s how it works:
Mailing List Addons
WPForms also supports a wide range of email marketing and autoresponder services like Mailchimp, ConstantContact, AWeber, GetResponse, and Drip.
There are some services that aren’t supported yet but I’m sure they will be added in the near future.
This means you can easily create and customize attractive looking email newsletter forms and lead magnets without having to mess with crappy embed codes.
I’m always seeing attractive websites and then their opt-in forms just look terrible.
User Registration Add-on
The default WordPress user registration process and interface leave a lot to be desired and so this is a very welcome addition.
Whether you are allowing authors to sign up or you want to create a sign-up process for your private membership area this makes the process far more professional and user-friendly than having them go to the default WordPress registration page.
Want your users to be able to sign their signature with their touchscreen or mouse?
Then this addon solves that problem and provides an attractive looking interface.
You can customize the size of the signature box, make it a required field, or only show a field if certain conditions have been met.
This is ideal for contracts, petitions, service agreements, quotation forms, and non-disclosure agreements.
Surveys and Polls
If you want to create surveys and polls why waste your time with a custom plugin when you could use your contact forms plugin?
You can also use conditional logic to create personalized questions based on previous answers.
WPForms surveys and polls look professional and the reports and charts it generates are really nice.
Confirmations and Notifications
WPForms also makes it incredibly easy to manage and customize the emails sent to both you as the website administrator and to anyone who fills out the form after it has been submitted.
This was ideal for a recent client who wanted to automatically send a contract to her customers after they had filled out a specific application form.
One of the great features you get by switching from Contact Form 7 to WPForms is the entry management system.
Put simply, all emails submitted through your forms will be accessible from within your dashboard. This is particularly useful if you want to double-check you aren’t missing any emails and for reporting on the number of leads your forms are generating.
This area also allows you to export all of the data to a CSV file, ideal if you use a CRM and want to import your contacts or like to use your data in Excel.
To save you even more time WPForms has a series of templates you can use as a start point when you want to create a new form.
By default, this includes a simple contact form, a suggestion form, a newsletter sign up form and a blank form.
When you first install WPForms and activate, it redirects you to the WPForms start page where you are presented with a YouTube tutorial on what to do next.
I think this is an ingenious way to onboard users of a new plugin and would love to see other plugins follow suit.
The Best Contact Form Plugin: Conclusion
WPForms is the best all-round contact form plugin for WordPress and the option I will continue to use for my own websites and for the clients.
It’s very rare for me to switch a core plugin I have used for years and on hundreds of websites but in this case it’s merited and I’m happy I did it.
If you are still using Contact Form 7, it’s time to give WPForms a try and see what all the hype is about.
While you are here why not check out my other recommended WordPress plugins to see what else I use on all of my websites.
If you are looking to learn more about WordPress be sure to check my other WordPress guides.