Vishnu is a freelance writer by night, works as a data analyst by day.
There has been a tremendous increase in the number of businesses that find new revenue streams, new clientele and business associates via the power of the internet. Now I refer not to just the eCommerce websites, that offer b2b and b2c services but also conventional business companies such as law firms and boutique investment banks.
Any reasonably sized and well run business establishment can not afford to not have an online presence. The quality of the website reflects on the quality of the business establishment, so we need to ensure that a business website is in tip top shape.
One crucial and often overlooked parts of a business website are the forms utilized on it. Case in point, the Contact Form which plays the role of cupid between a business and a prospective new client.
You could learn coding and create your own custom forms or you could purchase a custom form plugin. If you are interested in doing the later, here is a roundup of some of best custom form plugins available from around the web.
This plugin is an absolute beast when it comes to working functionality yet a newbie WordPress user should find it a breeze to use (see comparison between Gravity and WP Forms here). It offers seamless integration with a number of other premium services like Paypal, Stripe, Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, etc. In addition to the cool features that are built into this plugin, there are a number of add-ons which could potentially add to its use. Armed with a Visual Form editor, Multi-page forms, Order Forms and Conditional Fields; this plugin is a must see for anyone on the look out for a powerful form builder.
A multi language, cross browser functional plugin for quick and effective form building without so much as having to touch a line of code. You can change the appearance of the form with three themes with 5 variations provided by a unique theming system. The plugin allows the admin to employ conditional fields and facilitates the export of all data submitted into an excel file for further examination, if need be.
Form Craft helps create responsive forms with a drag and drop form builder. Conditional Logic and Live Updating can be utilized to maximise the ease of user experience. The plugin also comes with a built in analytics feature to track data submission and conversion percentages. This plugin can work easily in tandem with Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, My Mail, Get Response and AWeber.
Also abbreviated as FSQM, this plugin can be used to collect feedback, surveys or even conduct quizzes. The plugin collects the data from all submissions and is consolidated for the admin to view. An unlimited number of forms can be created with the simplistic drag and drop feature of FSQM.
There is a file upload system as well and it is hardened to provide extra security against any malicious files. The form builder has 35 form elements and 24 themes to choose from. This plugin can be used alongside a Learning Management Theme to conduct Multiple Choice Quizzes.
3 Themes with clean design and 30 awesome backgrounds offer you all the necessary customisability. You can build a Contact Form using Contact Form 7 and then apply all the fancy changes to the contact form with Ninja Kick. One feature I noticed while checking out the demo for myself was the social networks bar, above the contact form which would come in quite handy.
Definitely not the plugin of choice for all types of custom forms, but if you are looking for just an excellent Contact Form and nothing more, then this plugin should do the trick for you. The Ultimate Contact Page is loaded with reCaptcha support to curb spam, Mailchimp support and multi-lingual support. You can also display the working hours for your business, so you won't be disturbed on your day off.
Yet another premium form building plugin with conditional logic, a drag & drop builder, multiple email marketing integration, numerous form elements and instant review features. And to add to all these features, forms can be made to flyin and popup with this plugin. The plugin supports multi column forms and WPML which means it can be used in a number of languages. The plugin utilises reCaptcha to prevent spam submissions and provides an analytics system for the admin to look at the metrics affecting the form submission rates.
A great plugin for an online business that sells services like website designing, graphics or even free lance writing. You can use this plugin with WooCommerce, Gravity Forms and Paypal to add a different functionality to your website. While this can be used for anyone looking to provide a service online, I'd recommend it for website designers.
Let's now look at few free plugins, some of which might serve your website well and not cost you a dime.
A simple form management plugin can create multiple forms, support AJAX form submissions and prevent spam like any of the above mentioned premium plugins. However you'll need a few other add-ons to work in tandem to help save all the submissions that your website receives. This plugin is sufficient if you're looking for a good contact form or a bit more, but it isn't best suited for specialised functions as a standalone plugin.
This plugin provides what its name advertises, it provides a simple email via form option for anyone looking to get in touch with a website admin. The plugin includes Captcha support and Akismet to block out any would be spammers to keep your mail box squeaky clean.
Ninja Forms provides an awesome free from creation solution to the average blog owner. A drag and drop builder helps you create an awesome custom form with ease. Since it is a free plugin any modifications are welcome and it has been designed to help you modify the code to suit your purposes. You can manage, export and edit the submissions that your website receives. For a free plugin, it offers a great deal of features and should you require more there is a ton of commercial extensions for this plugin at Ninja Forms.
The Form maker is an excellent form creation plugin with 10 form elements to use. The Form Maker comes with a few theme options to choose from depending on your website design. The Form Maker is loaded with Captcha and reCaptcha to help you deal with spammers. Extensive questionnaires can be created with this plugin. There is a commercial version of this plugin that enables Google Map integration and Paypal.
As you might have noticed by now, certain form creation & management plugins lend themselves well for general purposes and some others are very good at specific functions. It's up to you to pick out one of the 12 awesome plugins listed here, to do the job for your website.
I'd recommend Contact Form 7 for the average blog owner looking for an effective contact form. But if you are running an online business, you should try Gravity Forms.