Forms are an important part of any website. Whether you just need a humble contact form or something more sophisticated, perhaps a quote request form or some other custom information capture, the chances are you need a form of some kind on your site.
Thankfully there are plenty of options for WordPress webmasters who want add forms their their site without having to wrangle any HTML. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best free and premium form plugins for WordPress in detail, highlight the standout features in each and compare them with each other to help you make an informed decision on which one to use.
Gravity Forms is the most popular contact forms plugin for WordPress and is currently being used by over a million WordPress sites. According to its developers, “Advanced forms for WordPress websites just don’t get any easier than Gravity Forms”.
The form builder feature enables users to quickly design and build WordPress forms in its form editor with a simple three-step process – select your fields, configure its options and embed it to your WordPress site.
The plugin supports multi-page forms (with their own progress bars) and allows users to create advanced fields when the default set of standard fields just doesn’t cut it. Overall, the plugin is loaded with four different categories of form fields:
- Standard fields – single text line, drop down, checkboxes, multi select etc.
- Advanced fields – name, time, address, email, phone, file upload etc.
- Post fields – title, body, excerpt, post image, category etc.
- Pricing fields – product, quantity, shipping, total etc.
Those of you who offer special deals from time to time can leverage its scheduling feature that lets you set a start and end date to restrict form access to a specified period. Pair that up with the option to limit the number of entries and you’ve got yourself a customized form for promotional offers.
Have you ever wanted to disable the Submit button on your form until the user filled out the required fields? Perhaps it was to save the user from having to re-enter the information again or simply to avoid an unnecessary page load. The application of conditional logic on form fields enables website owners to display or hide impending fields based on the user’s previous selections.
Let’s take a look at the array of features Gravity Forms has to offer:
- Easy to use form builder with support for multi-page forms.
- Advanced form fields with options to add conditional logic.
- Advanced options for integrating order forms.
- Easy entry management system for configuring, viewing, editing and exporting.
- Email notifications via auto-responder on form submission.
- Fully customizable with hooks and role management capabilities.
- Default layouts and CSS classes to get you started.
Price and Support
Gravity Forms is by far the best premium contact forms plugin available for WordPress. It integrates seamlessly with several popular web applications and online services to enrich user experience. Users can try out a demo before purchasing one of the three licenses starting at $39 for a single site license – definitely a bargain for the host of features it has on offer.
CaptainForm has been gaining popularity over the past few years and has quickly become one of the most sought out options when it comes to creating forms and surveys for WordPress sites. Setting up the plugin and creating forms with it doesn’t require any prior coding experience on the website owner’s part.
The plugin is pre-loaded with over 30 different types of form templates right out of the box that you can customize to your liking. CaptainForm has it all – contact forms to event registrations and order forms to quiz forms. Editing the templates saves webmaster the time and effort of having to design it from scratch.
The form builder’s drag and drop functionality enables webmasters to create custom forms from within their WordPress form plugin dashboard. Its form builder is intuitive and just about anyone can leverage its wide range of options against various form fields.
One of the best features CaptainForm offers is that website owners can manage the collected data in the best possible way. Its reports feature creates automatic reports and charts against the data that a form collects. This information can provide invaluable insight for growing websites and help website owners boost their services to the next level.
CaptainForm’s standout feature is that it provides an additional layer of security for its forms. It features advanced security in the form of SSL encryption, password protection and CAPTCHAs to ensure that your visitor’s data is kept safe and secure.
Let’s take a quick look at the features CaptainForm provides:
- Intuitive editor that enables users to create forms from within the WordPress dashboard.
- Over 30 free, customizable form templates.
- Easy data management, reports creation and charts generation.
- SSL encryption, password protection and CAPTCHA integration for advanced security.
- Integrates with popular web applications like PayPal, MailChimp, Zendesk and Google Drive.
Price and Support
CaptainForm offers 24/7 stellar support with every license and a 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with their product. Users can try out a demo on their website and pick from one of their licenses starting at $35 for the Apprentice plan.
ThemeCatcher’s Quform is an advanced forms plugin for WordPress that creates ready to use form in a few clicks. This premium plugin features a live form builder which enables users to view their form before publishing it to the site.
The plugin offers a total of 15 form fields to select from which includes the basics for any contact form including custom fields for email addresses, file upload and CAPTCHA. Quform has two built-in theming systems available in dark and light tones. Website owners can customize the forms further without messing around with HTML and CSS code.
One of the features I liked best about Quform is that it enables users to group elements together (and even nest groups) which gives them full control over the fields and makes it easier to design complex forms.
In addition to the wide range of form fields and customization options, Quform provides exclusive functionality for web designers to add progress bars with file upload fields to let the user know how much data has been updated. This feature is a must-have if your site requires users to attach large documents.
The plugin also enables webmasters to view and manage the form submissions from within their WordPress dashboard. To supplement this feature, the developers also added a custom search bar to find specific submissions.
Quform gives webmasters full control over not only the appearance of their forms but also the data that it collects. It comes with 6 filters to strip invalid data before it reaches your database. For an additional layer of data filtering, website owners can enable any number of the 9 customizable validators to ensure the data entered by users is valid. Its tooltips augment a form’s design by providing more information about the field and the data the user should input.
Let’s quickly go over the features on offer by Quform:
- Intuitive form builder interface with live editing.
- 15 form fields and two form themes to pick from.
- Advanced options and add-ons for file upload fields.
- Manage form submissions from within WordPress.
- Form field validation, conditional logic and tooltips integration.
Price and Support
Quform is on the lower end of the price scale for premium WordPress form plugins. Its license is priced at $29 and the developers let you try out the demo on their official site if you’d like to familiarize yourself with the plugin before purchasing it.
Up until now all of the form plugins we covered were premium offerings. Let’s look at some free plugins now for those of you who aren’t prepared to spend money on contact form plugins just yet or simply don’t want to pay for premium functionality and support.
Ninja Forms is a free form plugin for WordPress that comes with premium add-ons to enhance its functionality. The best part about it is that you only pay for the features you use which is probably why the plugin has been downloaded over one million times – numbers like those speak for themselves.
The Ninja Forms plugin comes with more than enough settings for website owners to create unique and custom form designs for their WordPress sites. Fine tuning forms and field options is a cakewalk with the configuration options that come with this plugin.
Web developers and anyone with a little programming knowledge can take full advantage of Ninja Forms by making the most of its functions, action hooks and filters to create custom functionality.
The plugin works well with translation extensions and human translators. Displaying your site’s forms in different languages to reach a wider audience is hassle-free with Ninja Forms.
If the basic functionality doesn’t cut it, there’s a whole repository full of add-ons and extensions to enhance your form builders functionality based on the features your site needs. If you’re running an e-commerce site, add-ons like PayPal Express and User Analytics are sure to give your form an extra boost.
Here’s a list of features Ninja Forms has to offer:
- Drag and drop form builder with an easy to use interface.
- Easy form submission and data management.
- Developer friendly with functions, action hooks and filters.
- Repository of add-ons to increase the plugin’s functionality.
- An abundance of settings to fine tune your forms and form fields.
Price and Support
Ninja Forms is a free plugin with premium extensions and add-ons that users can purchase to supplement its functionality. The developers have created pricing plans and bundles for potential customers with their a la carte package ranging from $19 to $129.
Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is the king of forms in the free plugins category for WordPress. With millions of downloads, this plugin is the most popular option for webmaster who want a free forms solution without having to empty out their wallets. (That’s what we all want, right?)
Contact Form 7 has over a dozen options for form fields that website owners can pick from to create custom forms for their WordPress sites. These include the standard fields such as checkboxes and drop downs and advanced fields like quiz fields and file uploads.
The developers took necessary measures to ensure that the forms are free of spam by integrating CAPTCHA and Akismet spam filtering with the plugin. These anti-spam options are a must-have due to the increase of spambots all over the internet. You don’t want to end up with an excess of spam in your database.
Web designers and developers will come across several plugins in the WordPress repository that integrate with Contact Form 7 and enhance its functionality. It enables webmasters to create multiple forms for your site’s pages, posts and even for widgets!
Contact Form 7’s standout feature is that its forms are powered by AJAX technology which makes the form filling process faster for users and makes the overall experience worthwhile. With a little HTML knowledge, web developers can customize the plugin and create distinctive forms to match their site’s brand.
Here’s a quick overview of the features Contact Form 7 has on offer:
- Dozens of options for form fields.
- Anti-spam measures with CAPTCHA and Akismet spam filtering.
- Insert forms in pages, posts and widgets.
- AJAX-powered form submissions.
Fast Secure Contact Form
Fast Secure Contact Form plugin offers an easy and powerful form builder that enables your site’s visitors to contact you through custom forms. Fast Secure Contact Form is a mouthful but the name says it all – you can create fast and secure contact forms with this plugin.
The plugins empowers webmasters to create and add multiple forms to their WordPress sites and fully customize the confirmation emails and notifications. It offers the bare minimum package of form builder options to design and generate forms.
Setting up and using the plugins is difficult and it requires the webmaster to be programming literate. HTML knowledge is a must to get this plugin configured with your WordPress install.
The Fast Secure Contact Form plugin may not be feature rich but it is a lightweight form solution that’ll create basic forms for your WordPress site without taking up a ton of space and slowing it down.
The plugin also blocks spam from any known spammers that you configure in the settings automatically. It provides quick backup and restore functionality in case your form submissions are lost and enables webmasters to send them to different email addresses.
Let’s review the features Fast Secure Contact Form has to offer:
- Lightweight form builder for WordPress.
- Create and add multiple forms.
- Send customized confirmation emails to site visitors.
- Blocks spam content from known spammers.
Form Plugin Comparison Chart
|Gravity Forms||Captain Form||Quform||Ninja Forms||Contact Form 7||Fast Secure Contact Form|
|Create multiple forms||?||?||?||?||?||?|
|Drag and drop form builder||?||?||?||?||x||x|
|Add-ons and extensions||?||x||x||?||x||x|
|Form submission management||?||?||?||x||x||x|
Wrapping It Up
Deciding which form plugin to install depends entirely on your site and what you need to create forms for. We covered some of the best free and premium plugins to create forms in this article and hopefully left you in a place to take things further.
The most practical course of action would be to determine the features that are most important to you and find the closest fit against our feature comparison table to find the solution that offers the best value.
Which features do you look for in a contact form plugin? Which form plugin do you currently use on your WordPress site? Let us know in the comments section below!