How to Add a Contact Form to WordPress

There are very few websites that don’t have a neatly laid out “Contact Form.” A contact form is a great and effective way of getting your visitors to reach you without having to send out emails.

There are numerous of contact form plugins available for WordPress websites, with each of them coming with different attributes and features, but more often than not all you need is something simple and easy.

This tutorial will discuss easy and quick ways of how to setup and add contact forms to your WordPress site.

How to Setup Contact Forms in WordPress

There are many free contact forms available for WordPress, and it will take many man-hours to write on each of them. We are however going to focus on using Contact Widget by WPMU DEV. This enables you to put contact forms in widgetized areas of your website, and most of all it is a very easy and simple plugin to use.

The widget comes with options to customize your success messages as well as in-built spam protection, and the ability to change emails and to add custom CSS.

There’s no need to be concerned with compatibility issues. The widget uses Multisite installations, offers easy setup so that every website within your network has its own contact form.

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Setting up a Contact Widget requires you to download and activate the plugin.

A “Contact Form” widget will appear on the Available Widgets list in Appearance -> Widgets. Simply drag and drop the widget to any widgetized area on your theme. You can put the contact form in the footer or in a sidebar, it’s all up to you. Once you have placed the widget in the area you want, click on the title and it will expand and show the number of text areas available for you to edit. You can also change the contact form to something more interesting like “Get in Touch” or “Contact ”

You also have the option to change details, like the email from default that’s if you want emails send through your contact form to be redirected to another email address.

WordPress Contact Form Plugins

Before we begin, we will go over some of the most popular contact form plugins that are available for free on the WordPress Plugin Directory. These tools are very easy to use, and also better to learn from when you are getting started with developing your own plugins. The following is a list of some of the most popular and highly rated contact form plugins for WordPress.

Contact Form 7
Arguably the second most popular WordPress contact form plugin with an estimated 18 million downloads. It is largely regarded the de facto contact form plugin for WordPress sites. With Contact Form 7 you can manage several contact forms and you can easily customize the form as well as the email contents with simple markup. The form comes with features like CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering, Ajax-powered submission and plenty more.

Contact Form to Email
This plugin doesn’t only create contact forms and send the data to a specific email address, but it also saves contact form data into a database, allowing for pintable reports as well as the option to export selected data to a CSV/Excel file.

Bestwebsoft Contact Form
This form enables you to integrate a feedback form to a post or web page seamlessly. It is very easy and you won’t need additional settings, although a couple are available to play with.

FormGet Contact Form
This an easy online tool that uses a drag and drop feature. All that’s needed is for you click on the fields you want on the form, and within seconds your contact form will be ready.

Why Create Your Own Contact Form?

Becoming a Better Plugin Developer
Being able to develop your own WordPress plugin offers a better understanding of how WordPress works, helping you become a more experienced and better developer. While there are many plugins available in the WordPress Plugin Directory, having the ability to extend and modify other plugins is a very practical skill.

Building Better Forms
A lot of WordPress contact form plugins are bloated. This means that they include several features and attributes which you may not even use. Heavy use of CSS and JavaScript files is also common among several standard contact form plugins. It increases the amount of HTTP requests which in turn adversely affected the performance of WordPress.

Studies of Yahoo Performance Rules
80 percent of end-user response time is utilized on the front end. Much of this time is delegated to downloading components on the page: stylsheets, Flash, scripts, images and so on. Reducing the amount of these components on the other hand reduces the amount of HTTP requests that are required to render pages. It is one key for faster loading pages.

If you are like most people who desire simple and straightforward contact form plugins that work then you can easily build your own plugins and do away with bloated plugins.

Fighting Spam

The Contact Widget plugin also allows you to enable Captcha to fight spam. All you do is click on the “Enable Captcha” box to activate it. You will need the reCaptcha key to utilize this feature.

One of the most intriguing features of Contact Widget is that it is compatible and matches just about every WordPress themes, and you can tweak it by adding custom CSS.

Contact Form Optimization