The best WordPress contact form plugins

Customer data is an increasingly valuable asset to any business – and one of the most effective ways to capture that data is through a contact form on your website.

There is a wealth of options out there when it comes to WordPress contact form plugins, and depending on the requirements of your business or organisation a comprehensive range of free and paid options are available.

We’ve looked at some of the best free WordPress contact form plugins and some of the best paid-for options, to help you decide which WordPress contact form plugin is best for you.

We’ll also look at the best way to set up a WordPress contact form on your website to ensure your visitors can easily get in touch.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about WordPress contact form plugins to ensure you’re on the front foot when harvesting that customer data via your website.

What is a WordPress contact form plugin?

Let’s start with the basics. A contact form is a short form on a website that asks visitors for their details and information relating to their customer query.

The vast majority of websites have a contact form somewhere (usually found under the Contact Us page).

They are often used as an alternative to supplying telephone numbers or email addresses.

The contact form asks you to fill in fields, for example, name, email address, phone number and a message, which is then sent directly to the business or organisation.

When it comes to websites built using WordPress, there are a variety of different contact form options provided as plugins – add-ons to your WordPress site offered by third-party software providers.

You can read more about plugins on our How to easily boost your WordPress security blog.

The functionality of a contact form will vary depending on the provider.

Whilst there are many free options available as plugins, these tend to have a more basic function and less scope for customisation.

Paid-for options provide a more comprehensive range of functionality, although depending on the needs of your business or organisation, you might be paying out for more features than you actually need.

What does a WordPress contact form plugin do?

For the customer, it provides a clear and easy way to make contact, whether it’s regarding a product query, to give feedback, ask a general question about your organisation, or something else.

For the business or organisation, it funnels all of these messages into one inbox and ensures that the relevant data is collected.

At the same time, it offers a layer of protection against spam. Some websites do publish email addresses rather than using contact forms, but the danger here is that the inbox could quickly become filled with spam emails, and when those genuine queries do arrive, the important details are missing.

Using a contact form can therefore drive efficiency by protecting against spam, and filtering only genuine enquiries through, complete with the data needed to ensure the question can be answered effectively.

Whilst providing a clear means of contact for your customers, contact forms also harvest that valuable data for you to use to respond to the query, and to engage with sender the in the future (dependent on permissions received).

How to protect your WordPress website contact form from spam

Contact forms are not impenetrable. Out there, surfing the net, are an army of spam bots, looking for email addresses and contact forms to target with fraudulent communications.

WordPress contact form plugins come armed with varying degrees of defence, with the aim of ensuring that only those genuine messages get through.

One of the most common lines of defence is reCAPTCHA which asks the user to complete a specific task which is easy for humans, but not so easy for the bots! This helps to filter out the spammers before the form is submitted.

Another neat mechanism is known as the honeypot trap. This is a hidden field on a contact form which humans will not complete as they cannot see it. Bots however will fill in the field, allowing the plugin to easily filter out the spam from the genuine queries.

Many plugins available today come with anti-spam features built in, so when you’re considering which plugin is right for you be sure to check the security credentials to keep that inbox spam free.

The most common WordPress contact form plugins

Below we’ve listed some of the most popular choices when it comes to WordPress contact form plugins, both free and paid-for.

It’s worth taking a look at several different options to find the solution that’s right for you.

Please note that some plugins fall into both free and paid categories, with either option available depending on your requirements.

Best free WordPress contact from plugins:

Contact Form 7
WPForms Lite
Formidable Forms
Jetpack Forms
Kali Forms

To help you find the solution that’s right for you, let’s take a look at our recommendations for the top three free WordPress contact form plugins and their key features.

1. Contact Form 7 – with over 5 million active installations and a 4/5 rating, this plugin is trusted across the globe. As with any free option there is limited customisation available, but with spam protection and good functionality, this is certainly one of the better free products available.
2. WP Forms Lite – this is a basic version of the paid-for plugin. For those needing a basic contact form with a decent level of customisation, this is a great option that’s well-maintained by the developers. It’s also rated 5/5 by users.
3. Forminator – again, with a 5/5 rating you can’t really go wrong as long as this free plugin does everything you need it to. As with WP Forms Lite though, if you do need more functionality in the future you can always upgrade to a paid plan should you choose to.

Best paid-for WordPress contact form plugins:

Ninja Forms
Gravity Forms
Everest Forms
Fluent Forms

Here are our top three free WordPress contact form plugins and their key features.

1. Ninja Forms – with a range of plans available depending on your requirements, Ninja Forms provides a comprehensive solution with a range of functionality available, from file uploads to automation tools and even payments.

2. Gravity Forms – at a lower price-point but with a similar level of functionality, Gravity Forms is the go-to solution for many WordPress developers (including Multisite users). There is a wide range of features available, and add-ons can be integrated to create any bespoke functionality required.

3. WPForms – with a very similar offering to Ninja Forms, WPForms offers a wider selection of packages, each clearly detailing the features available. Again, a range of useful features are available depending on requirements with privacy compliance and anti-spam filtering included.

What’s the best way to set up a WordPress contact form plugin?

So, how do you get started?

Setting up a WordPress contact form plugin can be a minefield, but if you follow these basic steps you should find yourself on the right path.

Step 1. Research and find the best WordPress contact form plugin that you need
Step 2. Download the plugin
Step 3. Create your form in WordPress
Step 4. Customise your notification settings
Step 5. Configure contact form confirmations
Step 6. Set up your spam protection

Need some help with you WordPress contact form?

Our friendly team are always on hand to offer support and guidance when it comes to all things WordPress, including setting up your contact form plugins.

Simply call us on 0121 663 0202 or fill out our contact form here.