Websites are all about giving information to visitors. But it’s crucial to create two-way communication. And contact forms are one of those few instruments for making it possible. Contact forms can boost user engagement if designed right. They are also helpful for building a smooth and effective workflow of tracking and processing inquiries from clients. So, it’s essential to make them good-looking and efficient, right? If your site runs on the most popular CMS in the world, creating a WordPress contact form will be very easy for you after reading this article!
4 Reasons Why You Need Contact Forms
Using contact forms on the website became a standard. But are they essential, or just the email address on the contact page will be enough? Let’s have a look at the main advantages of using contact forms:
1. Protection from spam
When you put your email address, spambots can easily scrape them and add them to their databases to send different spam letters. When using contact forms, the email address is not revealed. Also, if using a good CAPTCHA, the number of spam messages will be limited, which is impossible to do with an email address.
2. Better user experience and conversion rate
Using contact forms is faster and easier for potential clients than opening a new tab in the browser (or opening a mailing app) and writing an email. Avoiding this unnecessary step improves conversion.
3. Mailing lists
Regarding conversions, I would like to highlight that forms are a perfect place to offer a mailing list subscription and automatically add the visitor’s email address to the list.
4. Efficient processing of emails
If you publish your email address, all the emails, regardless of the subject, will be sent to this address. Let’s say there can be some emails for the PR department, some – for sales, and some – for the engineering department. Publishing different emails for each department can confuse users.
So a contact form where they can easily select a department (and the email will be automatically redirected) is a great idea, isn’t it? It helps to process emails efficiently and easily keep track of them.
Also, to automatically populate CRM and assign tasks to the right people for efficient lead generation.
The 4 Main Elements Contact Forms Should Have
Even though the elements of the particular contact form entirely depend on the purpose of the form and are chosen individually, there are some essential elements and best practices for creating efficient contact forms.
1. Sender’s email address (reply-to)
It is a must-have; without it, you will not be able to contact this person. It should be a required field.
2. Name field
It is important to know how to refer to the person and save their name in the database. So, it’s a required field too.
3. Textarea field
Only subscription forms can afford not to have a Textarea field. It is the field where the visitor can write a request.
4. Submit button
The “send” button is something you can’t imagine any form, and it will simply not work.
These are the basic elements any contact form has. The rest of the fields depend on your business type, the page where they are placed, and many other conditions.
There are some best practices for making efficient contact forms that help to boost lead generation. Let’s talk about them.
Contact Form Best Practices
The fewer fields, the better
Researches show that having up to five fields is the best solution because it can improve the conversion by up to 25%, compared with forms with five to nine fields. However, if more fields are needed, it’s better to make multistep forms or try to use various fields such as range, checkboxes, etc., and make the color scheme and whole design discreet and friendly.
Understanding the difference between B2B and B2C forms
As a rule, B2B brands can and should afford to make longer forms with a more significant number of fields because B2B communication is not about emotions (and emotional purchases, as it is in B2C) but more about calculated decisions. So, it’s better to talk business from the beginning and ask for all the basic required information already in the contact form.
Putting a contact form in the proper context
Building trust with the visitor is essential if we discuss forms that are the first step in a lead generation funnel. Filling out the form should feel like a natural action for the potential client.
How to Easily Create a WordPress Contact Form
Creating a contact form is easy if your website runs on WordPress. There are various great plugins, many of which are free and have addons for seamless integrations with third-party marketing and automatization services. Many of them can also perform post-submit actions, such as redirection to a specific page, sending a confirmation email, and others.
You just need to install the plugin and use the instructions on creating a contact form. Typically, WordPress plugins have a user-friendly interface, so you can easily drag and drop all the required fields and elements. This is what creating a simple contact form a free WordPress plugin (JetFormBuilder) looks like:
Some fields look much better if there’s a placeholder or a mask of the format required for entering certain information. One of them is a phone number field because it can be entered using both international and local formats, with or without a country code. That’s why it’s a good practice to use an input mask for it:
After creating a form, we only need to insert it to the page with the help of a widget (Elementor) or a block (Gutenberg), and here we have it.
3 Best Free WordPress Contact Form Plugins
There are many form plugins on the market. Here are the three free plugins for creating contact forms.
This plugin has been around for ages. It’s one of the most downloaded and popular plugins in the WordPress community.
Why is it popular?
Well, it’s super simple, lightweight, and has a ton of third-party add-ons for various purposes. You can install it as a basis and be able to create simple contact forms. But when you need more, you can add another plugin to extend its functionality. This might be a key to its popularity.
Several facts about Contact Form 7:
- It offers 13 form fields.
- This plugin uses a simple markup to create and customize forms.
- It supports Google reCAPTCHA.
- The plugin uses AJAX form submitting.
This plugin is relatively new on the market. That’s why not so many people know about it. But it deserves the title of the best and the most advanced free form plugin on the market.
You can install the plugin from the WordPress.org plugin directory (using the default plugins search right from the admin panel of your website) or download it from the JetFormBuilder website.
This plugin will allow you to build any form for payments, new user registration, or submitting recent posts or product listings from the front end. But even if all you need is just create a simple contact form, you will easily do it using JetFormBuilder.
This plugin is powerful and easy to use. Except for the traditional forms, it offers to create quizzes and polls. It has a clean and user-friendly interface, many integrations, and customization options.
Let’s talk about some of its features:
- Drag-and-drop interface with a lot of settings for each field. A CSS class can be assigned to each field, as well as an error message if the form is not validated.
- Conditional visibility is available for each field.
- It has 25 form fields.
- The plugin offers six premade form templates.
Overall, this powerful, well-designed plugin helps with lead generation. It’s easy to use even for beginners, but it also has what to offer to professional developers.
Further Reading: 11 Best Practices to Create the Perfect Blog Post Format
4 Tools to Prevent Contact Form Spam
One of the most important things you need to do when creating contact forms is to protect them from spam messages. Otherwise, you will receive thousands of spam emails. There are several ways to protect yourself from it. The most popular is CAPTCHA, which stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart.” Several types of it can be used before the visitor can submit the form.
1. Custom CAPTCHA
Custom captcha plugins can be different and have various tasks to complete to check if users are real. For example, solve a simple math equation or to type a word shown in a picture. Is it an effective method? Yes, but you must check that the plugin’s author is trustworthy.
But it’s much more convenient to use CAPTCHAs from Google, so-called reCAPTСHAs.
2. reCAPTCHA v3
It’s an invisible way of checking the user. Based on the previous activity, it gives the user a score, and if the algorithm decides there’s no danger, the user doesn’t have to do any actions. If not, the user has to go through additional verification methods (such as selecting the right pictures, checking a box, etc.).
3. reCAPTCHA v2
reCAPTCHA v2 actually has two different methods for checking the user:
- “I’m not a robot” Checkbox: The user has to click on a checkbox, and if there’s no suspicious activity that comes from this user, it’s enough. But if not, Google will ask to prove that he is human with other tests.
- Invisible reCAPTCHA badge: It’s similar to the previous one but doesn’t require the user to click the checkbox. Additional actions are required only if the source of traffic seems suspicious.
4. Using antispam plugins
Using such plugins to protect the website from additional threats is always a good idea. JetPack, Wordfence Security, Akismet, Antispam Bee, and other WordPress plugins are helpful for overall security.
4 Inspiring Contact Form Examples
Let’s look at the most exciting and inspiring contact form examples to get some extra inspiration.
1. Creative Mob
It’s an excellent way to stylize a contact form and a contact page like this! What do you think?
2. Bright Light Theatre
This organization provides theatrical education for those who live in the Chicago suburbs. And the page’s and form’s design go hand in hand with the name and mission.
Further Reading: 13 Definitive Blog Post Templates to Inspire Your Blogging
This is a website of a professional web designer, developer, and blogger. It has a horizontal scroll and great animated backgrounds inspired by Indian culture. This contact form suits perfectly to such a design.
4. Two Man and a Truck
This website has a great example of a multi-step form. Using it, you can get a quote for moving services. Fields are changing on hover, and the design is clean and elegant.
Further Reading: 18 Types of Blogs You Can Launch Today
Final Thoughts on Creating a WordPress Contact Form
Creating contact forms with WordPress plugins is easy if you use the suitable instruments and know exactly what you need in communication with your clients: which tone of voice to use, what questions to ask, and what design to apply.
Before creating your contact page, consider using the email address or contact form. If you are using the contact form, don’t forget to protect the form from spamming, include all the necessary fields, and list any important information the visitor should know (for example, vacation days, working hours, etc.)
We went through the most important things when creating contact forms: best practices and inspiring examples, security issues, and powerful plugins that can help you convert your visitors into customers.
Further Reading: 7 WordPress AI Website Builders to Experiment With
Hero photo by Miles Burke on Unsplash
WordPress Contact Form FAQs
Here are the steps on how to create a contact form in WordPress:
1. You’ll need to choose from a wide range of contact form plugins with features like CAPTCHA protection and file attachments.
2. After installing the plugin and activating it on your site, you’ll have full control over its appearance. You can customize the style of the form and decide what information should be required from visitors when submitting their messages.
3. Add this new contact form anywhere on your website by simply placing a shortcode into the designated area.
Yes, with just a few clicks, you can add a contact form to your website or blog using one of the many plugins available through the WordPress plugin directory. Users can customize their contact forms according to their needs, including custom fields and messages. With WordPress’ wide selection of features and customization options, it makes it simple to set up the perfect contact form for your website or blog.
Yes, there’s a free contact form for WordPress. One such plugin is a free contact form plugin, allowing site visitors the opportunity to easily contact you without the need to set up your own contact page or install coding yourself. Installing the plugin requires a few simple steps, and once complete you will be on your way to having a functional contact form on your site in no time!
WordPress offers several different contact forms and choosing the best one to suit your needs can be a challenge. However, with a few basic guidelines, selecting the appropriate form to meet your needs becomes easier. Popular contact forms include Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms, and WP Forms – each of these has its own unique benefits for different purposes.
Creating a contact form in WordPress without plugins is simpler than many people think. All you need is a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and PHP. First, create an HTML page with a contact form on it. Once the form is established, use CSS to customize the design of the page to fit your website’s aesthetic. Finally, add some PHP code to make the information from the form available elsewhere on your website or even emailed directly to you.