If you are wondering what’s the best WordPress plugin for managing multiple contact forms that also come with customization options, you are highly likely to hear about Contact Form 7. If you want to learn how to set up the same, you have come to one of the best tutorials on the web. Read on to learn about getting started with the contact form plugin and a few tricks to get the best out of it.
Contact Form 7 plugin is one of the most favored plugins on WordPress. It offers features such as Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filters to make the process of creating and handling forms easier. It allows you to create forms for different kinds of websites in a few simple steps.
Even though it is highly popular, many people face difficulty while setting it up or using Contact Form 7 while creating forms. This article would provide you with a step-wise guide on how to set up Contact Form 7 along with its several add ons. After reading through this tutorial, you would be able to install the plugin without any difficulty, create different forms in a matter of minutes and add it to your WordPress website.
Top features of Contact Form 7
Five million users and counting, the Contact Form 7 plugin is a widely favored WordPress plugin. Let us have a glance through some of its best offerings and add ons-
- Users find it easy to create and manage several contact forms
- Customizable form fields
- Altering mail content requires the usage of a simple markup
- Users can use Shortcode to insert forms on any page
- Compatible with features such as Akismet spam filtering, Ajax-powered submitting, and CAPTCHA
- Enhanced functionality with third-party extension compatibility
- Special mail tag feature allows gathering additional data such as date and time of submission, IP addresses, file uploads of users, etc.
How to install Contact Form 7
Adding Contact Form 7 to WordPress is similar to the process of adding any other WordPress plugin. If you are unfamiliar with the procedure, follow these simple steps to add Contact Form 7 to WordPress.
- Access the WordPress dashboard.
- Open the “Plugins” menu and click on “Add Plugin.”
- Enter “Contact Form 7” in the search option and select the option.
- Click on “Install” and then select “Activate.”
Once you complete the steps mentioned above, you will see that the contact form is available in the “Contact” section of your WordPress dashboard.
How to set up Contact Form 7
At the time of writing this tutorial, Contact Form 7 was last updated in December 2020. There is a chance you might get a few minor changes in the newer version of Contact Form 7 or alternative form plugins.
Installing Contact Form 7 to WordPress is only the first step towards adding forms to your website. You need to customize the form to go along with your website. This section would tell you how to do so.
- First of all, click on the “Contact” section and then click on “Contact Forms.” Doing so would bring you to the central administration panel. From this panel, you can manage one or more contact forms. You will see that this panel already has a default variant of Contact Form 7, titled, “Contact Form 1.”
- The default, Contact Form 1, contains all the necessary content for basic contact forms. If you like the layout and design, you can use this contact form template on your website immediately.
- If you have a different idea regarding the contact form design, click on “Contact” and select the “Add New” option.
Creating a new contact form
Once you click on the “Add New” option, give your form a name. Next, you will get a window that lets you customize the look of your contact form. The window offers a template that shows you various components of your contact form.
The default design of Contact Form 7 adds a few fields to the form. These fields are for Name, email-id, subject, message, and send. These are the fields that essential in any form, so you might not want to remove them.
If you think you need to add a new form field to your form, you can do it by using the tag-generator button. If you need to add a reCAPTCHA, click on the button that says the same.
It is essential to use a reCAPTCHA if you want spam filtering. Similarly, if want to add a label to your Contact Form 7, copy the tag from the existing field or use the options given in the top section of the editing window. You should also remember that API keys for reCAPTCHA differ for its different versions.
Setting up mail to control email notification
The fields that you add into the Contact Form 7 don’t show up automatically in the email notification template settings. As a result, you need to switch to the “mail” tab after completing the customization of various fields of Contact Form 7.
Switching to the “mail” tab would show you the format in which you would get the mails, including text color, error messages, and a lot of other field types. In the layout, ensure that the “to” address is correct. This address will receive the data from the contact form, once a user submits the form with the query. By default, Contact Form 7 chooses the email address associated with your company website.
Next, you are required to check the message body. Here, you need to add the additional form tags that you generated earlier. It is an important step if you want to receive all the information for different fields that a visitor adds to Contact Form 7.
Don’t forget to save the changes you have made before proceeding to the next section.
Insert a contact form into pages or posts
In the previous sections, the article comprised information on installing Contact Form 7 in WordPress, creating a contact form, and modifying the mail tags settings to get all the details in the mail. But before your audience can start filling them up, you need to add the form or forms to your website.
Now, it is time to add the contact form to your WordPress website. The steps that addons a contact form to your website or posts are simple.
First of all, select “Contact” and click on the “Contact Form” option on your Dashboard. You will see the various contact forms you have made along with their Shortcodes.
Copy the Shortcode of the Contact Form 7 that is to be one of the add ons to your website, and paste it in the text area of the post editor of the website where you want the form to show up. This step links the contact form tag to your website. You can use different forms in different sections of the website and for various add ons and purposes.
Click on the “preview” button to see if the page looks good on your site. If you are satisfied with the look, click on “publish” to finalize the form and make it live.
Now that you have added the form to your website, you need to check if it is working correctly. Open the website, navigate to the contact form, and fill in the details. Once you have filled in all the relevant details, click on the form submission button.
The details entered in the contact form will go to the mail that you mentioned in the settings. Check that email address to see if there are any new email notifications. If you get the response, then everything is fine. However, if you haven’t received the response in the primary inbox as well as the spam folder, you might need to use the troubleshooting options or contact support to resolve issues like this.
Not impressed with Contact Form 7?
Contact Form 7 might be the most popular WordPress plugin for creating contact forms, but it isn’t perfect. In case you don’t find it useful, you might want to try alternative plugins such as WPForms, a form builder plugin made by the WPBeginner team. WPforms is a simple to use free plugin for WordPress site.
WPforms is one of the best alternatives as it easily integrates with the wp-content. As open-source software, WPforms gets regular updates and bug fixes.
Alternatively, you could try gravity forms. Gravity forms is another free, easy to use contact form WordPress plugin. Gravity forms come with lots of options, and the premium version offers additional features for your custom forms, similar to WPforms. You can find different tutorials and site for WPforms or Gravity forms on the web that teach you how to create attractive forms in a matter of minutes.
Final thoughts- how to set up Contact Form 7
Every website needs a contact form to help visitors with query submission. Contact Form 7, and its alternatives such as WPforms and Gravity forms are some of the most popular tools that users use to create striking customized forms for their websites.
The latest versions of Contact Form 7 are free and lets you add lots of options in your custom contact forms. the same to your company website and gather essential information from people seeking your services. Still, don’t forget to check links to the other popular alternatives recommended by WordPress before settling on Contact Form 7.