It doesn't matter if you are running a simple blog or a proper business through your website. Providing a proper channel for communication between you and your clients or visitors benefits everyone. You can do this via comments, social media accounts, or a contact form. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Contact forms are the way to go in more formal settings or if you need personal information from clients. In this post, you will learn how to create a contact form in WordPress for free. It might take a little time, but the benefits make it worth the effort.
Why Do You Need a Contact Form?
Let's begin this discussion by asking another question. Isn't it simpler to just provide an email address and other related contact information on a Contact Us page somewhere on the website? Of course, you can do that, but the time you save during the initial setup will be wasted multiple times over when you have to filter out all the spam.
Anyone who has managed a modestly popular website knows that the Internet is filled with spam bots. They keep scraping webpages for any information they can get to post spam. This could include posting shady links in comments or sending emails to whatever email addresses they can lay their hands on while scraping a page.
For you, this basically means getting bombarded with spam emails that can contain potentially harmful links. It could also result in lost revenue if the spam overload prevents you from reading an important email from clients.
Get the Information You Need
Your clients might not always know exactly what information they need to provide in order for you to quickly resolve their issue. When you create your own contact form, you can set it up so that clients or visitors who fill it in provide all the necessary information.
Show Them Additional Resources
Once the users have filled out a contact form, you can show them additional information based on their input in the contact form. This can include things like expected response times, help articles, or other ways to contact you.
How to Create a WordPress Contact Form
WordPress has a robust plugin-based ecosystem which gives you a huge variety of options when it comes to setting up a contact form. In this tutorial, we will use a free plugin to create our contact form.
Go to Plugins > Add New in your WordPress Admin dashboard and then search for Contact Form. This will show you a bunch of plugins. Read their reviews and features to see which one would be ideal for you now and in the near future.
For our tutorial, we will use the Forminator Plugin, which allows you to create a bunch of other forms in the future if the need arises. The first step is to Install and Activate the plugin.
After that, you should navigate to Forminator > Dashboard and then click on the Create button under the Forms section.
The plugin comes with a bunch of basic templates for common types of forms. We will just select Contact Us and then click Continue.
Specify a name for the contact form to make it easier to identify for you later, in case you decide to create a bunch of other forms.
You will see that there are some fields already added on the next screen, including First Name, Email Address, Phone Number, and Message. The asterisk beside First Name and Email Address means that they have been marked as required.
You can click on the Insert Fields button to add other fields to the form. We have added a Select dropdown for choosing a department that will handle this submission and an Input field to specify the account number for easy identification in our case. Click on Settings for the Select dropdown field to make filling it out a requirement.
Edit the label of the dropdown to read Choose Department and provide a list of departments for people to select.
Finally, click Apply to apply all these settings to our dropdown.
You can always check what your form will look like by clicking on the Preview button before actually publishing it.
Click on the Publish button and you will see a shortcode. Place the shortcode wherever you want the contact form to appear.
For this tutorial, I have placed it on the contact page, and it looks like the image below.
The plugin also gives you the option to add a Google reCAPTCHA to the form to counter spam submissions. It is easy to integrate once you get your keys and secret from Google.
As you might have noticed, the contact form itself comes with very minimal styling so that it blends in easily with the rest of the website design. There are four different styles under the Appearance tab to choose from, and they all provide minimal styling while giving a unique look at the same time. You can even tell the plugin to get rid of all the styling and use the CSS in the website's theme to style it.
Customizing the Form Submission Behavior
It is a good practice to give users some kind of acknowledgement that you have received their submission after they click the Send Message button. Almost all contact form plugins will have some settings that you can configure to either redirect users to another page after a successful submission or show them a custom message.
Forminator gives you the option to customize the form submission behavior by visiting Forminator > Forms from the WordPress admin dashboard. Select the form whose behavior you want to modify and then go to the Behavior tab. In our example, we simply tell the users that we appreciate their submission and will get back to them within 48 hours.
Our goal in this tutorial was to show you how to create a contact form for your WordPress website with minimal effort. We began the post by explaining why you should add a contact form to your website instead of simply placing your contact information on a webpage. After that, we moved on to discuss how we can use free plugins to create a basic WordPress contact form.
Hopefully, you should now have a basic contact form that can show you information submitted by users. Eventually, you will be able to create more complicated contact forms that give you granular control over the flow of users and information from one step to the next.
To learn more about the options for creating contact forms in WordPress, including some tips on some of the best premium contact forms and best form builder WordPress plugins available, check out some of our other posts here on Envato Tuts+.
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