The first plugin often install when we setup our WordPress blog is the ever popular contact form plugin. Which one you use will ultimately come down to a matter of preference as pretty much all of the ones in the marketplace perform the basic function of sending you e-mail as expected. But we do like a choice, we do love alternatives and most of all, we love those little hidden features that make our lives that little bit easier.
So today we’re going to run through what I consider to be the top 5 wordpress contact form plugins around. They’re in no particular order and you won’t go far wrong installing any of the plugins below. As I say, it’s a matter of preference, so let’s get started.
I’m starting off this list with Ninja Forms as it’s simply the most powerful plugin on the market when it comes to contact forms, well, forms in general. It has a free version right through to an enterprise grade version which will set you back close to £400. It’s a powerhouse but it does also perform the most basic functions extremely well also – which is why its free option is proving so popular.
The setup process is akin to other like for like plugins. You activate the plugin, make your form via a drag and drop interface and then you include the short code for your new form in the page you want it to appear on. Simple. What sets Ninja Forms apart however is the customisation options at your disposal via the drag and drop interface. Not only is there options for every form element imaginable you can also define custom id’s, classes and even form actions on given fields. It’s extremely flexible and easy to use.
Be prepared however it comes with a lot of paid ad ons so if you’re wanting to use it across multiple sites or want to build forms other than a basic fill in and mail style, you’re going to need to pay for it.
Fast Secure Contact Form
We all know that contact form spam is a problem. None of want or need it in our lives. Fortunately, fast secure contact form comes with full spam protection via reCAPTCHA right out of the box – and it only one of the few plugins to do so. For those that don’t want to go through complex and tedious configuration and setup processes, this is ideal, just activate and you’re good to go.
Due to the popularity of fast secure contact form, it is also heavily developed and supported which means it comes with a lot of features. Creating your form initially is a breeze and you can simply re-order fields as you see fit. It also has support for file uploads (attachments) and has multiple field types for you to choose from such as check boxes, select drop downs and date/time options.
For a simple, secure and easy to configure contact form option, this is by far the best out there.
Contact Form 7
This is probably THE most popular contact form plugin on the market with over 23 million installs! Think about that for a second! Not that many people can be wrong.
As you’d expect with such a popular plugin, it does what it’s supposed to do and does it well. However it must also be said that this plugin has been around for such a long time and has racked up so many historic ratings I feel that a lot of its popularity is due to its legacy and there are better options on the market currently. But don’t get me wrong, it still is fantastic free contact form plugin.
As you’d expect it comes with all the usual features which a contact form plugin requires and if you want a highly basic form you can literally just install the plugin, paste the short code into your page and you’re done.
The gripe for most seems to be with the user interface for configuring additional elements. It’s relying on you to be somewhat experienced in what you’re doing and have an understanding of how things work as opposed to being a drag, drop, click and go type form builder such as the likes of Ninja Forms.
Whilst Gravity Forms can be used to create regular, run of the mill contact forms. It’s important to remember that it is a form builder in general, not a contact form plugin. But it does deserve its place in this list as it still is a legitimate competitor when it comes to the contact form plugin sector.
Gravity as suggested above allows you to build forms of any type, for any purpose. It does not ship with an out of the box contact form such as the likes of Contact Form 7 and Fast Secure Contact Form – however, the form editor/builder interface allows you to select all of the elements you’d need in order to make up your contact form with ease.
It comes with all the usual features and allows you to create forms, contact forms included with pretty much any form element you desire. It also has create spam protection and allows you to assign custom classes and actions on given fields which can come in handy if you’re making more complex forms.
Formidable Forms is another form builder plugin as opposed to just a contact form plugin. However, unlike Gravity it does ship with a pre-built contact form template to use so you can still create a functional contact form with just a matter of clicks.
It contains all of the regular form types as you’d expect and comes stocked with templates for regular forms and also polls and surveys. It has a lot of options. It also has a visual styler so you can customise the look of your form easier than simply being stuck with the bland basic styles of other contact forms. You can also edit the HTML/CSS directly should you want to take thinks a bit further.
Like with most of these higher end plugins, there are lots of add ons and extensions available. There is a premium version, Formidable Forms Pro which extends the functionality to include multi page forms and conditional logic i.e. doing something as the result of something else such as showing additional fields if a certain option is selected.
If you just want an out and out contact form plugin it’s probably a bit overkill but if you envisage having lots of different forms on your blog it might be worth getting to grips with it.
All of the plugins listed above are secure and frequently updated. They all also rank highly in the WordPress community – which is usually a good sign of a solid plugin. So take a look and feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below.