6 Best Contact Form Plugins for WordPress Compared

Contact form plugins for WordPress may sound like a topic that’s been fairly well covered across the web as it is, but is that really the case?

Here’s what I mean; for years we’ve been using Contact Form 7, and not even thinking twice about trying out other solutions. But is it possible that the development in the contact form realm has stopped entirely? Is Contact Form 7 the be-all and end-all of contact forms for WordPress?

Of course not! So today, we’re looking into the top 6 contact form plugins for WordPress in 2016:

1. Pirate Forms

Pirate Forms

There are two reasons why I couldn’t resist putting this plugin on the list: (1) we’ve developed it ourselves, and (2) it’s probably the simplest to use contact form plugin on the market today.

For instance, one of the main problems with most contact form plugins for WordPress is that they force you to create the forms themselves, before you can put any of them on your pages.

On one hand, I get that … this way, you can have more than one form on the site. But that’s not always necessary.

If someone just wants a simple contact form, why would they have to do anything else other than activate the plugin and pick where they want to display that form? Pirate Forms caters to that exact user.

You get 3 ways to display your contact form (the simplest one is via a shortcode):

Pirate Forms display options

After you place the shortcode within any page’s content, here’s what it looks like (on the Twenty Fifteen theme):

Pirate Forms final form look

Note. There are settings too if you want to adjust anything (the fields, labels, messages, options, etc.). For extra safety, the plugin also integrates with reCAPTCHA.

Pirate Forms options

Get this contact form plugin if: You want something utterly simple – something that just gives you a contact form the minute you activate the plugin.

2. WPForms

wpforms

WPForms is an extremely feature rich plugin that also somehow manages to deliver a nice and clear user interface. Everything works with drag-and-drop, which makes creating new forms rather quick, and you also get access to pre-built form templates to speed things up even more.

wpforms-drag-and-drop

Let’s just list some cool features that WPForms gives you:

  • All forms created with this plugin are responsive and mobile-friendly.
  • Includes online payments via PayPal … great for sales, donations, and setting this up involves no coding work.
  • You can create email subscription forms and integrate them with popular email marketing services.
  • There’s entry management right within the wp-admin – you don’t need to go anywhere to see all the entries you received.
  • It blocks spam submissions automatically.
  • You can embed the forms anywhere through shortcodes.

wpforms-embed

There’s a free version of the plugin available. The paid one goes for $39-$349.

Get this contact form plugin if: You want a feature-rich solution that’s also easy to use, and delivers features that go above what’s usually seen in contact forms (payment integration, email service integration, etc.).

3. Ninja Forms

Ninja Forms

Ninja Forms is one of the more feature-rich plugins out there, and it can give you much more than just contact form functionality. You can use it to create subscription forms, surveys, or anything else that can be done through a web form.

Ninja Forms also takes care of managing form submissions for you right within the WordPress dashboard.

Creating forms is relatively easy. You start by going to Forms / Add New. There, you get to use a simplified drag-and-drop interface. To add form fields, you have to click on a specific type of field, and then you can realign it similarly to how you’d work with WordPress widgets.

Ninja Forms demo

Adding your forms to blog posts is done through shortcodes – each shortcode corresponding to an individual form. Here’s what the contact form looks like:

Ninja Forms final form

What’s cool about this plugin is the number of customizations it delivers. Just to name a couple:

  • You can set specific email notifications that get sent out on successful form submissions. You can notify both yourself and the user.
  • You can assign certain actions to form submission, like displaying a success message, or even subscribing someone to a MailChimp list.

There’s a free version of the plugin available. The paid one goes for $19-$499.

Get this plugin if: You need an advanced web form functionality, and having a contact form is just one aspect of it.

4. Jetpack

Jetpack

As you may be aware, Jetpack – the main plugin from camp Automattic – has a contact forms module too. You just need to activate it in Jetpack / Settings:

Jetpack contact form module activate

Creating contact forms with Jetpack works a bit differently than with the other plugins on this list. Instead of creating a form, and then including it in various posts/pages, you get to create forms right on the post/page editing screen:

Jetpack add form

Jetpack gives you the option to adjust the fields (remove the existing ones or add new), and finally add the form to your post:

Jetpack form options

Here’s what the final contact form looks like:

Jetpack final form

Get this plugin if: You want a simple contact form functionality, but you also want to be able to use multiple forms for individual blog posts or pages.

5. Fast Secure Contact Form

Fast Secure Contact Form

Fast Secure Contact Form is a surprisingly easy to use plugin, especially considering all the customization options it offers.

You use it by going to Plugins / FS Contact Form in the dashboard. There, you can create new forms and modify the existing ones (there are two example forms created automatically during install).

Fast Secure Contact Form forms

For each of the forms, you can adjust the basic settings, tweak the fields, adjust the CSS styles, set the security features (like CAPTCHA), and more:

Fast Secure Contact Form settings

I highly encourage you to give all that a look and see what’s possible, but if you want to display your contact form as soon as possible then just use the default shortcode on whatever post or page: [si-contact-form form='1']

Here’s what it looks like:

Fast Secure Contact Form final form

Get this contact form plugin if: You’d like to have more influence over how your contact form works and what sort of security mechanisms it uses. There’s a massive amount of parameters that you can adjust with this plugin, and make your forms fit your needs perfectly.

6. Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7

Hey, I won’t lie to you here, even though I started this post questioning Contact Form 7’s position on the market, the fact is that it’s still one of the top solutions out there, and I just have to include it on this list too.

Contact Form 7 gives you access to an additional section in the WordPress dashboard called Contact. There, you can create new forms and adjust the existing ones.

Working with a form is moderately easy, I’d say. What you get is an interface based on HTML tags. So in order to tune your forms, you have to be careful not to mess up the structure. Not particularly difficult to do, to be honest, but not as simple as with the other plugins on this list either.

Contact Form 7 form editing

That being said, because you get to work with the HTML structure, you can also include custom elements in between your form fields (extra text or images), which can be quite handy in some cases.

Once you’re done tweaking your form, just take the shortcode and include it within some post or page. Here’s what the final contact form looks like:

Contact Form 7 final form

Get this contact form plugin if: You want a contact form that gives you freedom when it comes to the possible adjustments. The HTML-based editing panel in Contact Form 7 delivers that.

You?

So what do you think? Which is your favorite contact form plugin for WordPress? Did I miss anything that should have its place here?

This post contains affiliate links ...

Karol K

Creates content, manages CodeinWP's team of writers and makes sure that every piece of content you see on this blog looks great! / Author of "WordPress Complete" / Professional yerba mate drinker / @carlosinho
  • CristiMirt

    I’ve been using Fast Contact Form for a while now, and I’ve been quite happy with it. After reading this article, I’m thinking of switching to Contact Form 7 🙂

    • kayode onatunji

      Pls can somebody help with the configuration for smtp when using the Pirate form

  • Do any of these include add-ons (free or premium) for conditional fields? Looking for something more robust to replace an old survey plugin I’ve re-purposed; a.k.a. digital duct tape.

    Thanks,

    Nate Wright
    Small Biz Triage
    ‘unapologetically human business’

    • Mick

      If you want easy to use conditionals its definitely worth looking at Gravity Forms.
      It is a premium plugin, but I love how simple it is to build the form logic.

    • Ninja Forms has add-ons for different integrations with third-party tools.

    • Karl Peschel

      Free version of Caldera forms (why didn’t it make this list?? It’s better than all 5 above) has conditional logic.

      • It’ll make the list when we update the post in a week or two. 🙂

    • Thanks for all the feedback guys. Went with a Gravity Forms Developer License (snagged a coupon code, so $150 all-in) – Ninja Outreach’s PDF results options was really cool, but the sheer complexity of knowing which of their countless add-ons / bundles needlessly muddied the water – after an hour digging through add-ons, hit my ‘decision paralysis’ wall.

  • Hi Karol,
    Yet another informative piece with relevant screen shots and connected links.
    Wah, it’s really good to have simple form, not with much complicated fields.
    Needs to try out some.
    Thanks for the wonderful list.
    Have a good day.
    ~ Philip

    • Thanks! Personally, I’ve always thought that contact form plugins are way too complicated than they need to be. 🙂

  • Sonny

    Although I’ve historically used contact 7, I will check out ninja form based on your post. Thanks!

  • I think Contact Form 7 is the most popular choice, but I’m going to try Pirate Form, seems a very easy solution.

    • Yep, making it easy and simple was the whole idea. 🙂

  • Rbkh Rlstn

    I really like Formidable Forms Pro. I use it on every site. Makes it easy to build frontend submission forms for posts, pages and CPTs.

    • “Pro”? Sounds like a paid plugin. 🙂

      • Rbkh Rlstn

        They have a free version. More fields are available with Pro. i like to support developers so I don’t mind paying for a good service.

        • Adam

          Agreed. Formidable Pro is great!

  • Mike

    The only two form plugins I’ve used in since starting with WordPress back in 2009 are Contact Form 7 and, later, Jetpack Contact Form. The former is great for folks like me who are comfortable with HTML and CSS, allowing a great degree of control over form appearance. The Jetpack one is great when you just need a simple form, even if it’s only a placeholder for a more robust form later on.

    If you’re coming to WordPress with no prior coding experience, then I can see how the other plugins would be more appealing. But Contact Form 7 is still my favorite.

    • I agree that CF7 is great for HTML-based customization. But like you said, there are plugins easier to use for beginners.

  • Gustavo Rodrigues da

    Caldera Forms!

    • This looks interesting! Thanks for suggesting.

    • paaljoachim

      Agree Caldera Forms is very interesting!
      One can easily create columns and (with some learning also) add conditional Logic.

    • webmandesign

      Yes, Caldera Forms are definitely missing in this list!

    • Yes, good to see other folk suggesting Caldera. Very good set of features and easy to learn as well.

  • Kenro

    Well, personally I love to use the data captured in a different way than just mailing it, I love to manipulate data in the way its stored, retrieved, displayed and contact form 7 with cfdb plugin just does exactly that… Maybe I don’t know any other forms that can do that but I think cf7 is great..

  • Mr. Milk

    Where is Profile Builder? Also, you forgot to mention a very very important thing: which of them store data on a real database table, in a way that we can query individual fields, etc. Private forms only saves everything in a single post which is a deal breaker for me.

  • Thanks Karol for publishing this well thought list of contact plugins. I was already planning to replace the existing plugin on my blog. And your post helped me to cut down my search. Keep posting the great content like this.

  • sdeleng

    I tried pirate form. It is easy, but I got a narrow nasty looking contact form on my page – nothing like the form displayed above. I can see no way to stretch it out. So I am going back to contact coldform for now – unless a work around for a dummy like me can be given.

    • Hey,

      Thanks for feedback! What theme are you using ?

      • sdeleng

        AutoFocusVersion: 2.1.12
        By THEME SUPPLY Co.

        I have to say it has not been updated in a while and your NEVER get any support from them. I need to change but it took me so much time to set up and I like the staggered look. But it is slow. http://www.masialavanda.com I am in the market for a bi of paid help.

  • sdeleng

    would like to add that the captcha key said “invalid domain – all I did was follow the instructions to enable this functionI

  • Do you recommend any plugin more when it comes to file upload attach

    • I think Contact Form 7 gives you that feature.

  • adeshokan shamsudeen

    Hi Karol,

    Reading your short unbiased reviews of each plugin, I can say they all served well for the purpose they were created.

    If I just want a contact form that allow users to get in touch and nothing more, I’ll stick with jetpack for the simple reason of not using two plugins where one can actually get the basic job done.

    But if I want more, then Contact form 7 is my go.

    Thanks Karol, nice collections.

  • Graham

    Hooray! It’s always good to see a confirmation that I’m using something correctly. I use contact form 7, however I have experience with gravity forms and ninja forms. All good options.

    • Whatever tool suits you best, stay with it! 🙂

  • NiteOwl

    Do all of these tools scrub the user entries for security breach attempts ? (SQL injections etc.)

  • ever attempted to create a blog subscription form with contact form 7/

  • Husnain Abbas

    Thanks for this great article

  • Are these plugins are freely available?

    • Hi! Yes, you can download all the plugins for free. 🙂

      • Thanks for the reply. I really want to integrate the above plugin in my latest site.

  • Hi Carol, this was a huge help. I am currently using Contact Form 7 and it’s quite limited! Gonna check out the others now to see how they will integrate with my website design.

  • kayode onatunji

    ninja form is the best!!! i really love it. unlike contact form7 where u cannot preview your submissions and customize your email. On Ninja form its really easy and achieveable.

  • Stoica Olivian Clau

    CaptainForm is a great WP plugin for creating contact forms and other types of forms or surveys at a fair price. The plugin can be used for free also, although there are some limits, but nonetheless there are enough things to do with the free plan also. The best part of this plugin is that you don’t have to install add-ons at all. All third party apps (more than 20) and payment gateways are included in the plugin. It has many security options to use on your forms. What I like most of this plugin is the ability to add several payment gateways to the same order form. The plugin has also got some pretty nice form templates that can be used. Also preview submission, approvals, SMS notifications among many other features.

    I’d really suggest you take a look at this plugin and think about it for another related article in the future.

    • Hi! Yup, thanks for the heads-up. I’ll keep it in mind for our next articles. 🙂

  • Syamz

    I tried FormCraft Basic and Contact Form Add
    also Ok for free, simple form and beginner.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. It’s good to know some alternatives. 🙂

  • Mohammed Al-Mahdawi

    I’m the author of Forms Management System plugin and I think it deserves to be here.

    • Hi! I’ll take a look at how your plugin works. Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

      • Mohammed Al-Mahdawi

        Thank you!

  • Hi Umar! I’ll keep your plugin in mind for our next related articles. 🙂

  • Hi! I’ll take a look at the plugin. 🙂 Thanks!

  • Harold Groves

    The list of tools seems great and they seem to be very easy to use as well. However, I have been using an online survey tool called SoGoSurvey as per one of my friend’s suggestion. The tool’s description says that it can be used to create forms as well and they have this ‘embed survey’ feature too. Could you please help me figure out how a survey tool can be used to create contact forms? Much appreciated.

  • travellittleknownplaces

    If I replace Contact Form 7 with one of these other plugins, will it automatically replace every contact spot I have on my website?

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  • jyoti

    Nice article . I found ninja forms is kinda good.

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  • govind

    not working i didnt get any mail i tired any solution to solve ?

  • Graham Campbell

    Ninja v3 does NOT work with Woo. Woo say use an older version. Seriously?

  • djohnsmd

    You forgot Caldera Forms!

  • I am using Contact Form 7. It’s simple and I am getting what I require. If we need more features and control then Ninja Forms is one of the best.

    Thanks 🙂

  • Nice article! These plugins looks very useful.

  • Deepak Singla

    Good picks. But Ultimate Form Lite is missed out in the list.

  • Awesome Post.

  • TheBookLady

    I’d really love it if you could include information about what happens to the submitted information after the user inputs it. I need to be able to both put it into a database that is NOT the one connected to my site, plus I need to be able to output a “form” that looks like something put together as a .docx file (could be a .PDF because a panel of people need to be using these forms to evaluate applicants, and they need to be able to write on the form itself. Their notes will later be destroyed, but the basic information the form asks for needs to stay in the database.

    So: what forms, preferably free (this is a NPF where no one is paid), will allow this?

  • Breaie

    Thanks for the list of plugins. I read thru the list hoping to find good plugin that is free for an opt in to our newsletter that popsup. I tried a few plugins that did not work. I tried Supsystic I loved the options, but as I was testing my set up I discovered it leaves wp in an unsecure situation. I deleted it.

  • Ram Ratan

    Hey thanks.

  • Jesseca Gutierrez Flamiano

    Pirate Forms is not working!