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WordPress Form Plugins

14 May WordPress Form Plugins

One of the most basic requirements for most sites is some kind of contact form. If not something more complicated like a quote request, or reservation. Either way, a good form plugin can make all the difference. At it’s core it should be very easy to create basic forms. Something with name, email, and a message should take under 5 minutes to get up and running.

Often form plugins, or any WordPress plugins for that matter, style their elements too much. That should be left up to the theme. The form should essentially be unstyled from the plugin itself. This just means no colors, or widths, etc. set on the form elements as those will override the theme. Often times, turning the form unresponsive and clunky.

There are a ton of different WordPress form plugins, but lets take a look at a couple of the best.

  1. Gravity Forms – This is probably the most used form plugin for WordPress. The developer license is only $100 (yes, I have it) and allows for installs on an unlimited number of sites. There are tons of different fields that automatically validate (such as email, dollar amount, etc.) so you don’t have to just use a text field and write a jQuery validation script. Furthermore, there is a massive community built around this plugin, so there are a ton of addons. Things like Mailchimp integrations, even PayPal integration to accept payments can all be used via addons.
    Every site I build comes with an install of Gravity Forms, even if it just sits there. Also, as mentioned above, forms are very easy to create and edit while still seamlessly plopping right into the theme. Forms can be inserted via shortcode, to allow them to be placed anywhere.
  2. Formidable – This is a form plugin I’ve heard about from a number of different people, but haven’t actually used. I’ve demoed it a number of times and the things it can do are quite impressive. There’s a lot of conditional logic and javascript stuff built right in for a great user experience. On top of that a lot of the addons for Gravity Forms come built right into Formidable. Things like user registration is just a click away. A developer license is $120, but they do offer a free version.
  3. Contact Form 7 – This is the best free form plugin. It offers all the basics, in an easy to use interface, that lets you write HTML very easily on top of the forms for your own styling. It includes most basic form fields, but nothing that auto-validates such as email addresses or numbers.

I’m sure there are a million and one other form plugins for WordPress, but these are the three that I’ve heard of and use the most. They’re all very easy, and unobtrusive. I’ve worked with some others years ago that weren’t quite as intuitive and robust.

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