Help! I Can’t Find The Right WordPress Contact Form Plugin

In WordPress we have a lot of options to create contact forms. But I can’t seem to find the best solutions. I even think to create my own contact forms plugin.

My Requirements Are:

  1. Responsive.
    Not only in form output/front-end. Administration panel need to work in mobile devices. Well, at least usable, I understand that some features might need to be hidden/disabled in small screen devices for usability and UX. But not broken.
  2. Use WordPress UI:
    Seamless integration with WordPress, native-feel. I’m not a fan of app-like fancy UI. Professional. No excessive branding with cute icon/logo. If possible no cross-selling of add-ons/upgrade (or easy way to disable it).
  3. Simple and easy to use:
    User need to be able to use it without the need to learn proper form HTML markup.
  4. Little to no learning curve:
    No excessive features, I just need a contact form not a shopping cart, not a user registration form. If the code base is extendable and able to do all this via add-on that’s a plus. But it’s not necessary and not needed in the “core” plugins.
  5. Theme and Template Friendly:
    Can be added in a page template, any template file, no need to be in the “loop”. Simple shortcode to display the form should work with do_shortcode() function.

So, basically, something basic that I can use on my clients site and that’s it.

Of course anti spam features (maybe custom honey pot or integration with recaptcha/akismet) is also a requirements.

Here are several of my issue with current contact forms solutions (not in particular order):

Contact Form 7

v.4.6.1 – 1+ million active installs – View Plugin

I love CF7. This is the first contact forms plugin I use, and I still use it today. It’s simple but offer a lot of flexibility. But it’s…

1) Broken in Mobile

You cannot manage the forms on mobile devices, because it’s using the outdated ThickBox library. I used to use this library in my plugin too, you can read how I solve this issue in my other post.

How to reproduce: Simple edit your form on mobile device/small screen and click any of the field button such as “text” “email” to create the fields.

2) Need HTML Knowledge

Even though it’s very simple to use, but to use it you need to understand HTML.

Jetpack Contact Form Module

v.4.6 – 1+ million active installs – View Plugin

This is a nice contact form with very user-friendly features. But unfortunately..

1) Broken in Mobile

The same way CF7 is broken.

2) Cannot be used on template file

They use shortcode and post meta combo which make no sense. The the do_shortcode() don’t work, this means we cannot add it via template file.

This bug was submitted 3 years ago. I don’t think they will ever fix it.

3) Ugly shortcode

Args! My Eyes!

NinjaForms

v.3.0.30 – 700k+ active installs – View Plugin

A lot of sites use this plugin. They did major overhaul in v.3 but also make sure it’s backward compatible (which is always a plus).

1) Not using WP UI

It’s fancy, but I believe user experience is broken for not using familiar WordPress UI.

2) Too complex

Too much features for a basic contact form. It’s overwhelming.

WPForms Lite

v.1.3.5 – 70k+ active installs – View Plugin

This plugin gets a lot of attention lately. So I tested it.

1) Broken in Mobile

Well, WordPress is responsive, I can edit my content on the go with my phone. Why can’t I do the same in plugin admin screen?

2) Not using WP UI

It’s fancy, but I believe user experience is broken for not using familiar WordPress UI.

Formidable Forms (Lite)

v.2.03.03 – 300k+ active installs – View Plugin

Several developer friends recommend this (the PRO version) as alternative for Gravity Forms. But I never try the PRO version, only the lite one. So this is my test for the lite version.

1) Broken in Mobile

Cannot drag-and drop on mobile device too.

GravityForms

v.2.1.2 – 1+ million sites – View Plugin

It’s not free. But GravityForms probably is still the most popular commercial contact form plugin.

1) Broken in Mobile

The same issue with most plugins in this list. It’s not usable on mobile device. So, if you miss-typed something, and you want to quick edit it on mobile, you can’t do it.

2) Too complex.

It also too complex for most users.

Fast Secure Contact Form

v.4.0.49 – 400k+ active installs – View Plugin

I never actually use this plugin. But my first impression is not very good.

1) Broken in Mobile

2) Not really user-friendly.

I think setup is too complex. The UI is a little confusing for me, maybe because it’s the first time I try the plugin (it feels a little outdated ?). And too much features that I don’t need. There’s scheduling, newsletter, etc.

And that’s it. I have tested 7 (probably) most popular WordPress contact forms plugins. And can’t find the right one.

Are my 5 requirements too much? Do you have any plugin recommendation for me? Do I need to write my own contact form plugin?

Let me know in the comments!

1 Comment

  1. Christian

    I was hoping you found a good solution.
    I tried a lot of forms too, all you mentioned plus a few other worth mentioning:

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/caldera-forms/ which for a simple contact form probably is too complex but is very powerful.

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/torro-forms/ which seems to be not yet there where it wants to be (still beta), but on a good way

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/wise-forms/ which I just found a few days ago when I was looking for a chat plugin (which is the developers other offer) and hadn’t time to test, yet. But looks quiet promising.

    Also https://wordpress.org/plugins/ultimate-form-builder-lite/ is not that bad but not sticking to WP UI exactly and with lots of banners (we sometimes use a plugin do CSS-out the most common banner on plugins we use)

    Reply

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