Contact Form 7 – Turn Your Forms into a Marketing Machine

In this article we will answer questions about Contact Form 7 such as:

  • How to add Contact Form 7 in WordPress? Is it easy?
  • Does Contact Form 7 have everything to meet the needs of a WordPress user in 2023?
  • Can Contact Form 7 plugin be integrated with other popular plugins such as Elementor?
  • How to style contact form 7 (without adding CSS)?
  • Is Contact Form 7 scalable?
  • Does it have the necessary extensions (add-ons) that you could add as your business grows?
  • How does Contact Form 7 plugin compare with other WordPress form plugins?

Contact Form 7 WordPress plugin (WPCF7)

Contact Form 7 a.k.a. CF7 was first released back in 2007, has been the favorite and most popular WordPress form plugin for many years. Being active for more than a decade and with so many new WordPress form plugins being launched in recent years, Contact Form 7 plugin is that it is still one of the popularly used WordPress form plugins to add a contact form to a WordPress site.
Contact Form 7 is  commonly supported by many popular WordPress themes and many premium WordPress themes have demo sites that include a contact form created using Contact Form 7 plugin.

It’s been maintaining a good reputation for many years and,

It has crossed the historic 5 Million+ active installs mark back in 2017 and it’s estimated to be used in more than 10 Million WordPress sites in 2023.

How easy is it to get started with Contact Form 7?

It’s super easy to get started with Contact Form 7. You just need some basic knowledge of WordPress administration.

  • Go to the Plugins menu and click ‘Add New’
  • Search for ‘Contact Form 7’ install and activate the plugin
  • To ‘Contact Forms’ in the admin menu that has just been added to your site
  • You can edit the existing form on the page or you can click ‘Add New’ and create a contact form from scratch

If you want to know ‘How to add contact form in WordPress with Contact Form 7’, see the Contact Form 7 tutorial below.

Contact Form 7 Tutorial:

In the video tutorial, you will see, how to edit Contact Form 7 in WordPress and other CF7 essentials in detail:

Contact Form 7 – Editor Interface

Contact Form 7 plugin’s editor is simple to work with even for new users. The interface is a minimalistic interface similar to a markdown editor. So if you have experience with markdown editors, you could create and launch a form in a very short time.
Form fields can be added easily by clicking the field button on top of the editor.

What are the form fields available in Contact Form 7?

The current list of Contact Form 7 form fields includes:

  1. Text
  2. Email
  3. URL
  4. Telephone number
  5. Number
  6. Date
  7. Text Area
  8. Drop-down menu
  9. Checkboxes
  10. Radio buttons
  11. Acceptance
  12. Quiz
  13. File upload/attachment

How to add the created contact forms in WordPress posts and pages?

After you’ve created and saved the contact form, you will get a unique shortcode for the form which looks something like this

[contact-form-7 id=”(ID No.)” title=”(Title of the Contact form)”]

You need to copy this shortcode and post it on the page or post where you want to embed the contact form.

Related ContentHow To Integrate Contact Form 7 with CRMs, Email Marketing Tools & Payment Processors?

Contact Form 7 – Gutenberg Block Editor Integration

If you have created your contact form pages with the new Gutenberg block editor, you can make use of the Contact Form 7 Block that comes with the plugin.

How to add Contact Form 7 in WordPress

  • Click ‘Edit’ on the page where you want to add the form
  •  Click the ‘Add Block’ button
  • Select Contact Form 7 block (search for it if it is not displayed)
  • It will show the list of forms you’ve created. Choose the form that you want to embed on this page.

How to customize Contact Form 7 in WordPress

With the Contact Form 7 block, you can only add Custom CSS to style the form. But it does not have user-friendly styling options.

If you want to style the form with the block editor then you can make use of Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg plugin which comes with a Contact Form 7 Styler Block.
With this block you can customize the form fields into columns, and style the:

  • Submit button,
  • Check-boxes,
  • Radio buttons and
  • Acceptance control check box.

Contact Form 7 – Elementor Integration

Since the contact form widget is only available in the Pro version of Elementor, Contact Form 7 could be a good free alternative to Elementor Forms.
The simplest way to do this is to paste the Contact Form 7 shortcode in the Elementor Shortcode widget. But you could only change the background for this widget. It might be all the styling you need.

Styling Contact Form 7 from using Elementor:

If you want to style the CF7 form in Elementor there is an HT Contact Form 7 Widget For Elementor add-on with which you can style,

  • Form field
  • Labels
  • Input
  • Submit button.

There are also other free Elementor add-on plugins that help you with Contact Form 7 and Elementor. If you are using such an add-on do check for the CF7 widget is available.

Contact Form 7 – Style

Since the idea of the Contact Form 7 plugin is to have a lightweight contact form it does not come with styling options. If you want to style the forms you have to add custom CSS to the forms. They have documentation of how you can style Contact Form 7 using CSS.

If you’re looking to style your form within the form editor interface you can make use of the CF7 Skins add-on. With this add-on not only can you choose from a range of compatible form Styles, you could also select from a list of ready to use Form Templates.

If you are looking for user-friendly styling options, there is a Material Design for Contact Form 7 add-on, which adds Google theme styling to your forms.

There are several options available based on what editor or page-builder you are using to create the ‘contact us’ page. We will see how you can do the topics below.

Contact Form 7 – File Upload

CF7 comes with a File Upload field that you can add in your forms, so that your users can upload and attach files while submitting the form in a professional way. You can also receive the attached file by email.
You can limit the file size and file formats from a list of acceptable file types.

Contact Form 7 – Scalability & Flexibility

The core CF7 plugin would be enough for most of the newly created websites. For example, a small business owner who has just now launched a business site would have less traffic and get limited people contacting initially. After some time with some marketing efforts, you would get more traffic to your site. Then you might need more from your contact form and need to extend what you can do with Contact Form 7 plugin.

Though there is no official premium version for Contact Form 7, it is very flexible and has a wide range of free and premium add-ons. Contact Form 7 plugin is much flexible and scalable. So you can add the necessary extensions as your business and your website grows.
If you have any custom needs that cannot be met by the extensions. You could even hire a developer to modify or create a new extension.

What are the important Contact Form 7 add-ons for scalability?

Save to Contact Form 7  submissions to database:

When your contact form submissions increase the most important thing you would need is to save form submissions to your database so that you would not miss any of them and reply to them later. You might also want to export the contact data to send bulk marketing emails to visitors who have contacted you through the form.

You can do this using Contact Form 7 – Database add-ons such as:

  1. Tablesome – free contact form 7 database addon to save contact form 7 submissions and display form entires in the fronend
  2. Flamingo – CF7 add-on to save form submissions to the database and export the data as CSV
  3. CFDB7 – Another CF7 database add-on with additional premium options for Switching database, Exporting as PDF file, Prevent repeated submissions

Read More on How to save WordPress form submissions to database? article.

If you want to save contacts and send email newsletters from your site, connect apps like Zapier, SendGrid, Google Sheets, connect CRM like HubSpot, Salesforce, etc., there is a Tablesome plugin that you can use.

Stop bots from spamming WordPress contact forms:

When your site grows in traffic you not only attract humans but software programs called Spambots which send spam messages in your forms. You can add some CF7 add-ons to stop spambots from spamming your forms.

WordPress Contact Form 7 Spam

  1. Honeypot for Contact Form 7 – adds basic honeypot (security mechanism to detect bots) anti-spam functionality to stop spambots from using your forms
  2. ReCaptcha v2 for Contact Form 7 – adds Google’s reCAPTCHA V2 to your forms
  3. Akismet – you can manually add Akismet anti-spam functionality to your form fields
Apply Conditional Logic to Contact Form 7:

If you want to create a form like a feedback form or a questionnaire you would want to apply conditional logic to your forms. It is simply asking a new question based on your answer to the previous question. You can create apply conditional logic to CF7 forms with Conditional Fields for Contact Form 7 add-on.

Transform Long Form into Multi-step Form:

When you have a long-form, you might want the user to focus on few form fields at a time. So you can transform a long-form into a multi-step form with these CF7 add-ons:

  1. Contact Form 7 Multi-Step Forms
  2. Multi Step for Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 Not Sending Email – Fix:

Sometimes people do not receive form submissions in the email even when they have perfectly configured email settings in Contact Form 7.
This problem could be caused due to various reasons such as the emails might be considered as spam or your hosting company might not use the PHP mail function.
There are a couple of ways in which you can fix this.

The easiest way to fix this issue is not focusing on email notification itself but saving form submissions but to use a Contact Form 7 database addon and save the form entries to your WordPress site itself.

See the tutorial on how to save Contact Form 7 submissions to the database.

The 2nd way to fix this is to send WordPress emails using a SMTP server. To do this you have to buy a subscription from a SMTP host.
Then install an SMTP WordPress plugin such as WP Mail SMTP free plugin and add the credentials to the plugin to send WordPress emails using the SMTP server.

Contact Form 7 Mailchimp

As you collect more form entries, you would want to contact all the form submitters as a follow up. The simplest way to do this is to integrate Contact Form 7 and Mailchimp, a popular email marketing tool. You can use Tablesome and automatically add your Contact Form 7 submissions to a predetermined audience in Mailchimp, using Mailchimp’s latest API.

Other Useful Contact Form 7 Extensions:

  1. Redirection for Contact Form 7 – redirect users to another page after the form is submitted such as a Thank you page.
  2. Drag and Drop Multiple File Upload for Contact Form 7 – allow users to drag and drop files from their device. It is very useful when the purpose of the form is to accept multiple file uploads/attachments.
  3. PayPal & Stripe Add-on for Contact Form 7 – can accept payments using PayPal or Stripe payments with a simple contact form using this add-on
  4. Contact Form 7 Dynamic Text Extension – attach a dynamic text when a user is submitting a form. When you’ve embedded the same form in multiple pages you can get a dynamic text that tells you from where the form is sent.

Also See: How to integrate Contact Form 7 with popular Apps

Contact Form 7 Documentation and Support

One of the best things about the Contact Form 7 plugin is that the plugin is well documented and has well-written CF7 documentation.
Also, the support in the WordPress support forum is very responsive with the plugin author Takayuki Miyoshi within a few hours of posting the support post.

If you want step-by-step tutorials of how to set up forms with Contact Form 7, there is a clear YouTube video tutorial. So you new users can easily set up the CF7 plugin in just a few minutes.

Contact Form 7 – Reviews and Rating

Contact Form 7 plugin has received 4 out of 5 stars from 2,035 reviews (As seen on June, 2023).

  • Most of the 5-stars are given for Simplicity and Flexibility.
  • On the opposite end, most of the 1-star reviews are given for compatibility with other plugins.
  • If you use many plugins on your site, you might want to test form sending in a staging/developmental site when you are updating plugins.

Contact Form 7 Alternatives:

As we have already mentioned CF7 plugin is one of the best WordPress contact form plugins but if you need a Contact Form 7 alternative we have a list of best WordPress form plugins. But the most popular Contact Form 7 alternative of WPForms plugin. We will compare some important aspects.

Contact Form 7 vs WPForms

Both Contact Form 7 and WPForms are free WordPress form plugins. Which is the best WordPress form plugin? Let’s see a small comparison.

WPForms vs Contact Form 7 – Editor Interface

The biggest difference between the 2 form plugins is the Form Editor Interface. WPForms has a visual drag & drop interface for form building. Whereas CF7 has a basic and minimalistic markdown-like editor.
The interface is basically a choice of preference. Mostly, users with web development experience would prefer CF7 where people without coding experience might go for the visual WPForms editor.

WPForms vs Contact Form 7 – Extensions

In terms of extensions, there is not much difference between the 2 form plugins in terms of availability. But most of the WPForms extensions are premium and officially provided by the plugin author.
Whereas for the CF7 plugin most of the extensions are available as 3rd party but many of them are available as free. So you might check the extensions that are necessary for you before making a choice.
More details on WPForms will be available on the WPForms post which will be published next.

Ninja Forms plugin is another user-friendly Contact Form 7 plugin alternative, which is another visual form builder WordPress plugin. Contact Form 7 vs Ninja Forms is an interesting comparison. We will cover in upcoming articles.

Finishing Comments:

Is Contact Form 7 the best WordPress form plugin? Maybe or maybe not be according to your needs.
But Contact Form 7 is clearly still one of the best free WordPress form plugins available in 2023, which growing businesses and other scalable websites can use to create their contact forms.

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