Why Use Contact Forms?
Every great website should have an easy and intuitive contact form. Sure, you can just include your email address on your site; however, contact forms offer many benefits. For example, advantages of using contact forms include:
- Simplicity: Contact forms provide customers with a simple, effortless, and direct channel to contact you from within your website. If you have a contact form, they won’t have to leave the page and login to their email account
- Spam Protection: Using a contact form rather than posting your email address provides an extra level of protection against spam. The web is flooded with spam bots that regularly scrape websites in search of email addresses.
- Request Specific Information: When customers email you directly, they often leave out the specific details related to their inquiry. Contact forms include required fields that request specific information about the nature of their contact. This provides you with the exact information you need to effectively respond to their inquiry.
For WordPress users, the benefits of having a contact form extend far beyond the aforementioned reasons. WordPress developers have created contact form plugins that expand the capabilities of how you interact with and respond to customer inquiries. We’ll provide you with our expert suggestion on two high-quality, fully-featured plugins. First, let’s quickly cover some of the advanced features available through contact form plugins to further spark your interest.
- Layout and Styling Options: Layout and styling options give you ultimately control over the look and feel of your contact form, without having to know a single line of code.
- Routed Notifications: Set up your contact form to route notifications to different email addresses based on specific criteria, such as what is entered in the subject line or which drop down is selected.
- Multi-page Forms: For those longer forms that require a lot of information, page fields allow you to break up the content into multiple pages.
- More Standard Field Options: Customize standard fields to include additional formatting options, such as text and paragraph fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, and much more.
- Advanced Field Options: Utilize advanced fields to capture a plethora of specific customer information. You can request email addresses, URLs, and even upload files that can be saved to your server or securely sent to a cloud-based server.
- Extensions: Premium plugins offer many extensions that allow you to integrate existing services and systems into your contact form. For example, you can add newsletter services, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, for convenient newsletter signup options. Furthermore, you can integrate advanced CRM platforms, such as SalesForce or Zoho, to connect your forms directly to your CRM database.
All of the above options will cost extra, but they may be well worth it. We’ve really only just scratched the surface with regard to advanced features and functionality. With that said, let’s move on to our suggested plugins, in no particular order, and cover some of the benefits related to each.
Contact Form Plugins
Option 1: Ninja Forms
If there’s one contact form that has it going on, it’s Ninja Forms. Ninja Forms is available to download for free from the WordPress plugin directory, which means you can easily install it on your site without any upfront costs. Ninja Forms is based on a freemium model, so if you’re looking for a free basic contact form with many free advanced features, this plugin may be for you.
Even though the plugin is free, the premium extension are not. Ninja Forms offers more extensions (or add-ons) than just about any other contact form plugin on the market. Extensions allow you to connect with premium accounts that may be an integral part of your operations. You’ll have to pay for each add-on individually, which may or may not be cost-effective in the long run as compared to other solutions on the market depending on which add-on (and how many) you choose to integrate into your contact form. Again, Ninja Form’s add-on list is robust and constantly growing. Below is a short preview of solutions they offer for integration into your contact form:
- CRM Solutions: SalesForce, Zoho, Capsule, Batchbook, to name a few.
- Newsletter Accounts: Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Emma, MailPoet, AWeber, Mad Mimi, Sendy, Clever Reach, and many more.
- Payment Processing Engines: PayPal Express, Stripe, and Elavon
- And many other options
Option 2: Gravity Forms
Gravity Forms is one of the most powerful contact form plugins. It comes packed with powerful options and built-in features. You’ll have to pay an upfront licensing fee based on the application type, that is, either personal, business, or developer. Nevertheless, the cost is reasonable considering you’ll receive a comprehensive, flexible, and easy-to-use plugin with tons of add-ons.
Similar to Ninja Forms, Gravity Forms offers a variety of integrable options for third party services in the form of basic and advanced add-ons. Rather than charging per extension, they offer packages based on the different licensing types.
- Basic Add-ons: ActiveCampaign, AWeber, Campaign Monitor, CleverReach, Emma, GetResponse, iContact, Mad Mimi, and MailChimp.
- Advanced Add-ons: Agile CRM, Authorize.Net, Batchbook, Breeze, Campfire, Capsule CRM, Coupons, Dropbox, Freshbooks, Help Scout, Highrise, HipChat, Partial Entries, Paypal Payments Standard, PayPal Payments Pro, PayPal Pro, Polls, Quiz, Signature, Slack, Survey, Stripe, Trello, Twilio, User Registration, Zapier, Zoho CRM
The WordPress Plugin directory includes additional contact form plugins. Select the one that’s right for based on your specific needs. We encourage that you take a closer look at the two plugins covered in this article. At some point, you may want to take advantage of the advanced features and functions they have to offer.
Check out our Beyond the Basics video tutorial series for more in-depth premium features and instructional video tutorials.