Best Free WordPress Form Plugin

Contact Form 7 Review: Is it the Best Free WordPress Form Plugin?

WordPress Contact form 7 is one of the most popular form builder plugins for WordPress. Form Builder plugins are usually the lead generating platforms in WordPress. So without further adieu, let’s start this Contact Form 7 review.

This plugin has a simple user interface. Most of the popular themes which have form inbuilt recommends the Contact Form 7 plugin. As it provides a lot of customizations, theme developers love Contact Form 7 plugin.

In this review we will find how the plugin works and what all the features it has. We will also find out if this plugin is the best free WordPress form plugin? Or is it the best free WordPress form maker?

Is it really the best form plugin for WordPress?

Contact Form 7 is a free and very popular WordPress form builder plugin. To this date, it has 5+ Million active installations according to WordPress popularity and active installation stats. Contact form 7 is the most used WordPress form plugin. It has about 4.2 rating to this date.

While choosing a WordPress plugin it’s always good to check ratings and active installations. But is it really, the QUICKEST WAY TO ADD A CONTACT FORM TO WORDPRESS

It does complete your basic requirements for a WordPress form plugin! and having a good positive overall rating from users, one of the best reasons to choose Contact Form 7 is how quickly you can get a new contact form up and running. It adds a ready-made contact form is automatically added to your website immediately after activation. You can add the forms anywhere on your website.

Best Free WordPress Form Plugin
The default pre-made form created by Contact Form 7

As you don’t need to produce a contact kind or perhaps add your own contact details to {the kind|the shape} (unless you would like to vary the email address form entries ar sent to), Contact form 7 is one among the fastest ways that to feature this kind of kind to any web site.

Best Free WordPress Form Plugin

Contact Form 7 uses shortcodes to insert forms into your content

After the activation, you can add the default contact form to your WordPress existing posts and pages by inserting the shortcode into your posts/pages content.

Best Free WordPress Form Plugin

Example of the contact form shortcode inserted into a WordPress page

You can check the preview and make changes if any needed. And then publish the post/page.

Best Free WordPress Form Plugin

Example of a published contact form

You can add these forms in your sidebars across your website. Make sure your WordPress theme is responsive. You can add the shortcode of your form in the sidebar widgets.

How to add a form shortcode to a text widget?

Add a contact form to your sidebar or other widgetized areas of your theme

The forms by Contact form 7 can also be added to the footer widgets. You just need to add the shortcode of the WordPress form you created with the form builder plugin.

Best Free WordPress Form Plugin

Example of a contact form being displayed in a footer widget

If you have the knowledge of WordPress custom page templates, you can add the shortcode of the form into the template. This you can customize the entire structure of the WordPress posts/pages.

Once you’ve published the form, the default email will be used to send the entries of the form. And, you can change the email address from the Contact form 7 settings.

Change the email address form entries are sent to through the form’s mail settings

If the your email id is not the same as your domain name then sometime people face issue for receiving the entries but it totally depends on your WordPress installation and your WordPress hosting.

But you can fix this issue with the SMTP plugins available under WordPress plugins directory. Let us know, if you want us to publish reviews on the WordPress SMTP plugins. Get in touch with us with this contact form.

MAKE YOUR LIFE EASY BY CREATING CUSTOM FORMS

You can add custom fields in the existing form or create a new one then add the required fields according to your needs. Contact form 7 does not offer a drag and drop feature. You need to add the fields manually. But it is very easy to do that and user friendly as well.

Best Free WordPress Form Plugin

The Contact Form 7 form builder user interface

The form creation section does contain a HTML like code. Don’t get scared. It’s simple and you don’t really need to make changes in the code actually. You just need to make the changes in the text you want to display. The format is very easy to understand.

Example of the Contact Form 7 markup tags

Example of the markup used to create forms with Contact Form 7

The form field labels are in within the angle brackets, and the form field placeholders use square brackets. Clicking on a button adds the related field to the form.

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A new field has been added to the form

Changing the labels or the text related to the input field is extremely easy with this interface.

Adding a new field label to the form

A label has been added to the new form field

Once you understand the method, creating custom forms is very easy with Contact Form 7. After you’ve done editing a form, every instance of that form will be modified on your site. By the power of WordPress Shortcodes, you don’t need to republish WordPress posts or pages.

Creating Customized Complex Forms with Contact Form 7

Creating more customized complex forms with Contact Form 7 can be done but not the same easy way. You can use the existing inputs on the form editor to insert input types and form structure.

But, there are no super advanced features such as conditional logic or payment processing, for that you need to add extensions to the Contact form 7 plugins.

Selecting an element would bring up a popup where you can select basic available options for that field. For example you can select required fields, add placeholder text, and modify them based on the input type you are adding.

Setting more advanced options for input fields

You can write the HTML like paragraph and line break tags to properly display your existing form.

The complete user experience during the creation of a complex form with Contact Form 7 is not that hard. And, if you have basic knowledge of HTML and contact form 7, then it is one of the most powerful WordPress form builder.

Styling Forms Created with Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 does follow your WordPress theme’s style and CSS rules. All the standard WordPress themes come with styles pre-defined for form fields and buttons in their CSS rules.

Some premium WordPress themes come with readymade styles mainly for Contact Form 7 plugin. However, if you need you can always add own custom CSS rules.

Contact Form 7 plugin adds CSS rules in the form of classes and ID to all forms. You can use overwrite these CSS classes in your WordPress theme or child theme.

Best features of Contact Form 7

With over 5 million active installs, Contact Form 7 is clearly the best free WordPress form plugin. So let’s take a look at some of its best features available:

  • Create and manage multiple contact forms
  • Easily customize form fields
  • Use simple markup to alter mail content
  • Insert forms into any pages or posts using Shortcode
  • Plugin supports Akismet spam filtering, Ajax-powered submitting, and CAPTCHA
  • Lots of third-party extensions to add additional functionality

And best of all, it’s a free plugin!

Default Set Of Form Fields in the plugin

If you compare with the most expensive and powerful WordPress multi-purpose form plugins, such as Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7 is a little behind in form fields. However, for creating basic online forms, it should have all the fields most users will like to have.

The current list of Contact Form 7 form field elements includes:

  • Text
  • Email
  • URL
  • Telephone number
  • Number
  • Date
  • Text Area
  • Drop-down menu
  • Checkboxes
  • Radio buttons
  • Acceptance
  • Quiz
  • reCAPTCHA
  • File attachment/upload
  • Submit button

As you can see, all of the basics are covered and plus a few advanced options, such as quizz and the ability to attach and submit files in the form. If you need to create a basic contact form or something a little more advanced, such as an online content request form, Contact Form 7 should be sufficient for you.

Best Free WordPress Form Plugin

How to add a drop-down field to your contact form

HELPFUL ONLINE DOCUMENTATION AND USER SUPPORT

The Contact Form 7 support forum

The Contact Form 7 support forum is actively monitored by the plugin team

One of the plus points of choosing a commercial plugin over a free option is often the promise of responsive user support. But, Contact Form 7 is supported via the WordPress Plugin Directory, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a possible solution to your problem in the forum archives. If not, new topics are responded to quickly on the forum by other people as well.

The official documentation has grown over the years, and covers everything from getting started to troubleshooting. The FAQ section of Contact Form 7 is good too.

CONTACT FORM 7 ADD-ONS

Like many of the best WordPress form plugins, a number of third-party add-ons have been created to enhance the performance of Contact Form 7 plugin.

Best Free WordPress Form Plugin

Contact Form 7 Skins add-on plugin in action

If you’re not familiar with the CSS rules of code, customizing the appearance of your forms can be a little tricky with Contact Form 7 plugin. While the forms do generally work in well with most WordPress themes, there are a few add-ons that can help you change their look and feel. Contact Form 7 Skins is a popular option, also the Custom Skins Contact Form 7.

OTHER FEATURES OF CONTACT FORM 7

Form submission confirmation message

The default form submission confirmation message

Some other reasons why you may want to choose Contact Form 7 plugin over other free WordPress form plugins include:

  • AJAX enabled form submissions to avoid page reloads
  • Akismet and CAPTCHA anti-spam feature to reduce contact form spam
  • feature to display custom submission confirmation and error messages
  • the ability to display form field placeholder text
  • power to track form submissions with Google Analytics
  • the ability to allow users to select a form recipient
  • feature to redirect users to another URL after form submissions.

As Contact Form 7 is currently on version 5.1.1 to this date, and is updated on a regular basis, there’s a good chance new features will be added in the upcoming days.

How to set up Contact Form 7 plugin?

In your WordPress Dashboard click on Contact > Contact Forms. Here you will see the administration panel where you can manage all of your contact forms. You will also find the Contact Form 7’s default contact form, labeled as Contact Form 1.

Contact Form 1

Contact Form 1 contains all the fields a basic contact form may need ever. This form is ready to use and can be inserted into any page and post of your WordPress site.

Also, you can create your own contact form by selecting Contact > Add New.

Contact Form 7 Plugin Price

Is it really the best free WordPress form plugin?

Yes, it is definitely the best free WordPress form plugin. This is the main reason it is the most favorite WordPress form plugin in the open source community. Theme Developers loves this free WordPress plugin.

Drawbacks of Contact Form 7

If you just want a quick and easy way to add a contact form to your WordPress website, Contact Form 7 is definitely the best option for you. But, it’s not the perfect solution and does have some drawbacks on for itself.

The Contact Form 7 form builder interface

The Contact Form 7 form builder interface is one of this plugin’s drawbacks

One area where Contact Form 7 left behind the competition is its form builder interface which is kind of old fashioned. Unlike the other popular, and some other free and commercial form plugins, there’s no drag-and-drop form builder tool or interface.

As we reviewed earlier, the method for adding additional fields to your forms is a little uneasy. Creating custom forms is not too difficult, but a drag-and-drop form builder with a preview window would improve things dramatically. There’s also no quick way to change the look and design and styling of your forms.

A little complaint is that Contact Form 7 plugin doesn’t add a button to the WordPress Editors that gives you an easy way to add the forms to your content of WordPress posts and pages. Instead, you have to copy and paste the form shortcode into your content. This isn’t a real big thing, but, again, it would improve the user experience.

Contact Form 7 doesn't add a button to the WordPress editor

An ‘Add Forms’ button on the WordPress Editor would be nice

Conclusion

Contact Form 7 plugin is the best option for anyone who wants to quickly add a contact form to their WordPress website for free. Indeed it is the best free WordPress form plugin.

You can, add dropdown menus, checkboxes, and file attachment fields to your forms. As such, it’s probably best to think of Contact Form 7 as a contact form builder, rather than a multipurpose forms builder.

There’s also no commercial or premium versions of Contact Form 7. On one hand, this is good for the open source community: There are no upsells or disabled features. On the other hand, however, there’s no option to upgrade as your requirements and expectations grow, whether you need access to more powerful features or more responsive support.

That said, if all you need is to add a simple contact form for free with the option of adding a few more fields or options, Contact Form 7 plugin could what you’re looking for!

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