Every website needs a contact page. Without one, you could be missing out on all kinds of business opportunities and connections!
Using a contact form is a much more practical solution. Not only does it cut down on spam and make the act of contacting you much easier and more straightforward for the user, it also gives you a means to ensure people provide you with the kind of information you need by prompting users to complete specific fields.
In this article, we’ll be looking at seven of the very best contact form plugins available for WordPress — with an emphasis on what makes each one different to the others. What’s more, to give you a better idea of what you’re getting with each plugin, we’ve also included screenshots of both the general backend settings pages and screenshots showing what a simple contact form built with each plugin actually looks like on the frontend of a site. (Note: Examples are shown running the most up-to-date default WordPress theme Twenty Fifteen).
Capable of creating not only simple contact forms (like the one used on this very website), but also much more advanced contact forms spanning multiple pages, Gravity Forms is one of the most advanced (and most popular) contact form solutions on the market.
In addition to boasting both a particularly easy-to-use drag-and-drop style form-building interface and supporting conditional logic (a feature that gives you the option of only displaying display certain form fields to users who have already entered certain information in other fields), Gravity Forms also saves submitted entries for future reference and allows you to customize the notification emails that are sent to both yourself (the site admin) and users with relative ease.
A personal license for Gravity Forms retails at $39/year — which should prove more than adequate for most users.
Where Gravity Forms really excels, however, is in how easily it integrates with other services, although some of these will require you to buy an extended license.
The business license costs $99/year and allows access to three basic add-ons, allowing you to integrate your forms with Aweber, Campaign Monitor, and MailChimp.
The developer license retails at $199/year and, in addition to all basic add-ons, it also gives you access to an additional 14 advanced add-ons — including add-ons for PayPal, Authorize.net, Freshbooks, Twilio, and more.
Developed by WP Ninjas, Ninja Forms is another fantastic drag-and-drop style form-building solution. The free version comes with twenty-eight fields, including checkboxes, anti-spam fields, star ratings, and various others.
The plugin allows you to create your own unique notification emails and will also store all submissions in your WordPress database. Plus, there’s a handy exporting feature that allows forms to be imported into another website.
I love the style of the forms that Ninja Forms produces. They’re big, bold, and beautiful; something that certainly helps the plugin stand apart from many of its rivals.
There’s a huge range of premium add-ons available to extend its functionality. These include add-ons for conditional logic, file uploads, PayPal payments, table editors, and integrating various email marketing services.
I like the business model that WP Ninjas has adopted for Ninja Forms since it allows you to download the core plugin free of charge and then download any further add-ons you might need. The only downside to this is that the add-ons tend to be quite expensive.
The add-ons all retail from around $29 and costs can easily run into hundreds of dollars each if you need to licenses for multiple domains. Depending on what functionality you need, you may find a premium alternative (such as Gravity Forms) a considerably more cost-effective solution if you need to use more than a few different add-ons on multiple websites.
With over 24 million downloads, Contact Form 7 is one of the most downloaded WordPress plugins available (second only to Akismet, a plugin that comes packaged with every copy of WordPress).
It has a simple interface and allows you to choose from 16 different pre-defined fields, such as CAPTCHA, file uploads, telephone numbers, email addresses and many others. Plus, unlike many of the other plugins in this list, it also comes in a particularly wide range of different languages.
Once you’ve selected a field, you’ll be presented with a number of configuration options and the chance to assign CSS classes, IDs and sizes to your chosen fields. Contact Form 7 is arguably a little less user-friendly than many contact forms that have drag-and-drop interfaces, but if you know a little HTML there’s nothing stopping you from comfortably creating relatively good-looking forms.
For those who require a little more functionality out of a form-generating plugin, there are also a number of other WordPress plugins built to integrate with it, such as Flamingo, which allows you to save form submissions in your website database (something some other forms on this list, such as the above-mentioned Gravity Forms and Ninja Forms actually do by default).
The premium version of the free WordPress plugin named User Submitted Posts, USP Pro Front-End Forms is a contact form solution created by the particularly capable and well-respected WordPress developer, Jeff Starr. (Starr perhaps best-known for his popular Digging into WordPress book.)
At first, the form creation page may look a little daunting, and it actually resembles the WordPress post editor, but with the visual editor being replaced by a range of form fields. Like Gravity Forms, this is an extremely capable plugin that can be used to create not only contact forms, but also registration forms, blog post submission forms, and more. If you’re a developer looking for a powerful form solution, this is one you’ll definitely want to check out!
By utilizing the WordPress post editor, USP Pro Front-End Forms makes it easy to create beautiful forms. Forms can be styled in the plugin settings area, and there are three default form styles provided. Plus, you can also create your own styles and/or easily disable the built-in CSS styling altogether (thereby giving you a blank slate to work from).
The plugin settings page has options for uploads, email notifications, custom messages, and more.
A single license for USP Pro Front-End Forms retails for a one-off fee of $40. A business license is available for $80, which allows use on up to five domains, and a developer license will set you back $180 — this lets you use it on any number of domains. All licenses come with lifetime updates and support.
If you’re looking for something really simple, consider using the contact form module that comes with the ever-popular Jetpack WordPress plugin.
The default form comes with four fields: Name, email, website, and comment. Additional fields, such as drop-downs, checkboxes, and radio buttons are also available for use if you need them.
Jetpack is a basic contact form that just has a few simple options. Though it lacks many of the features that many other free contact forms offer, it’s simple to use and only takes a few minutes to configure.
Fast Secure Contact Form is a popular free contact form plugin that has been downloaded a whopping 5 million times. Over a dozen fields are available, including attachment, multiple checkbox, and password.
Each field label can be modified, and you can customize every part of your form using CSS via the form styles tab. Alternatively, there’s also the option to link to your own external stylesheet.
Fast Secure Contact Form boasts many great anti-spam features. There’s a CAPTCHA form available, a honeypot spambot trap, and also built-in support for Akismet.
The plugin also lets you modify email notifications, and backup and restore settings to other WordPress websites.
Quform is a premium form WordPress plugin that features 15 form elements. Much like Ninja Forms and Gravity Forms (both mentioned above) it boasts an easy-to-use drag-and-drop form builder and a range of advanced features, such as conditional logic, file uploads, and filters and validation tools.
It comes with five variations of light and dark themes, and all form entries get saved for later reference. Plus, there’s also the option of displaying each form you create in its own ‘fancybox-style’ popup window. Interestingly, it can also export submitted entries to Excel — great for those wishing to create forms for surveys and more.
As a user-friendly form solution that’s capable of building simple or advanced forms, Quform has just about the right balance between usability and features — it’s also the best-selling contact form plugin on CodeCanyon.
Formidable Forms is another plugin that allows you to quickly build forms using a beautiful drag-and-drop interface. When you create a new form, you have the option of choosing a handy pre-built contact form or create a form from scratch.
The free version offers one form template and six field types: single line text, paragraph text, checkboxes, radio buttons, dropdown, and reCaptcha. It’s a pretty straightforward process to move fields around and change field titles and descriptions.
While the free version is enough for basic contact forms, you need to upgrade to Formidable Forms to unlock all of the plugin features. The pro version ups the number of field types from six to 24; includes advanced fields such as file upload, password, and user ID. It also allows you to create posts, pages, and other custom post types directly from form submissions, stores entries in your website database, and gives you access to statistics and graphs.
Additionally, the pro version also lets you create auto-responders and style your forms using a visual interface. It’s the 12 add-ons that are included with Formidable Forms Pro version, however, that really transform the plugin by adding a number of advanced form features: user registration, PayPal integration, location fields, image importer, and support for email marketing services such as Aweber and MailChimp.
A single license for Formidable Forms retails at $47, while an unlimited license retails at $117. Both licenses grant support and updates for one year.
If you’re looking for an easy to use, all-encompassing solution to creating and managing both simple and more complex forms on your website and have the money to spare, it’s hard to beat Gravity Forms (although Ninja Forms is certainly a worthy contender). If all you’re after is a plugin with which to create a basic contact form however, then there’s really no need to shell out on a premium plugin at all; try Jetpack’s Contact Form Module instead! And for everyone else — like those who need something somewhere in between and/or who are on a budget — have a read through each of the others mentioned above and be sure to consider your own particular needs before deciding.
Which of the above-mentioned form plugins (or others out there) are you using on your site? Thoughts?