WPForms (2023): Everything You Need To Know – Best Visual Form Builder for WordPress

WPForms is a freemium (has a free & paid version) WordPress form builder plugin which launched back in 2016 and has grown to reach a record high number of 5 Million + active installations in the WordPress repository.

Without a doubt, it is the most popular visual form builder for WordPress. Leaving the popularity aside, is it the best WordPress form plugin today? Is buying the WPForms premium version with Pro add-ons worth the cost?

How does WPForms Lite compare with the WPForms Pro version? Are there any free extensions available for the WPForms Lite plugin? We will try to answer all these questions in the article.

How easy is it to use WPForms in WordPress?

It’s very easy for anyone with basic WordPress administration knowledge can use WPForms to add forms to their site.

  • Go to the Plugins menu and click ‘Add New’
  • Search for ‘WPForms’ install and activate the plugin
  • To ‘WPForms’ 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’
  • You can choose a ‘Blank Form’ template and create a contact form from scratch
  • Or you can choose a form template of your choice and edit the content of the form

Creating a WordPress form with WPForms plugin

Since it’s a visual form builder you can easily create forms on a drag and drop interface. You can quickly create forms, even if you don’t have prior experience in creating forms.

You just need to drag and drop the forms fields you require and edit the field content and your form will be ready.

Embedding WPForms to pages and posts

If you are a Gutenberg block editor user you can add find the WPForms block in the blocks. Add the block and choose the form you want to embed to the page or post.

If you are a Classic editor user you can copy and paste the WPForm shortcode on the post where you want to add the form. The shortcodes will be displayed on the Forms Overview page.

How to add WPForms in Elementor?

For Elementor users you can make use of the WPForms Elementor widget to not only embed but to create and edit forms without leaving the Elementor editor page.

But the native WPForms widget does not have any styling features. If you want to style the form while being in Elementor you can use WPForms Widget For Elementor Page Builder plugin.

This plugin allows you to add styles in Elementor to form created using the WPForms plugin.

WPForms Styling

Both WPForms Pro and WPForms Lite come with basic styling and you can choose to apply theme styling. The basic form styling looks neat and minimalist.

You can add Custom CSS for form fields and buttons. They have clear documentation to style the contact forms and you can even customize the individual forms fields

If you don’t have any CSS knowledge and want to visually change the styles for forms created using WPForms you can make use of the Styler for WPForms plugin.

With this free WPForms add-on, you can change the background color, font size, font family, borders, width, text alignment, margin, padding, and more.

WPForms Features

We will see some of the key features on both WPForms Lite and WPForms Pro plugins.

WPForms Lite – Key Features

  • Comes with 11 Standard Form Fields that can be dragged and dropped into the table
  • Mailchimp Newsletter Signup and Number Slider fields are the most unique to WPForms Lite
  • Gives you 22+ free form templates that can be customized
  • Google Analytics tracking with MonsterInsights integration
  • Advanced spam protection with hCaptcha and Google reCAPTCHA integration
  • Customize email notification template and form validation & success messages
  • Uncanny Automator integration to get automated notification on form submission and more

Let’s see some of the key features in detail:

WPForms Google Analytics integration

If you want to track the form submission you can integrate Google Analytics with WPForms using the MonsterInsights plugin (also from the same company.) You can track form impressions and conversions from your WordPress dashboard.

Uncanny Automator WPForms integration

It can be integrated with Uncanny Automator to send notifications through 3rd party apps. With the Uncanny Automator Pro and WPForms integration you can do so much such as save form entries from WPForms to Google Sheets,

WPForms Captcha & WPForms reCaptcha

If you want to stop spammers or bots from spamming your forms, you could add a Captcha for users to submit the form. WPForms allows you to easily add anti-spam protection through multiple CAPTCHA options.

It gives you 2 options that are hCaptcha and Google reCAPTCHA.

If you choose reCAPTCHA you could use:

  • Checkbox reCAPTCHA v2
  • Invisible reCAPTCHA v2
  • reCAPTCHA v3

WPForms (Pro) Key Features

  • Gives you 300+ professional form templates in various fields such as Business Operations, Customer Service, Education, Entertainment, Event Planning, Feedback,  Health & Wellness, Marketing, Nonprofit, and Registration.
  • Gives you 27 additional fields in the premium version (36 form fields totally)
  • Has 17 Fancy Fields to get advanced data such as Rich Text, Signature, Likert Scale, and Net Promoter Score fields, and more
  • Comes with 8 Payment Fields to receive payments with form submissions. Stripe Credit Card, Square, and Authorize.Net are the payment portals available
  • Store Geolocation data when the form is submitted with GoogleMaps or Algolia Maps API integration
  • Newsletter apps integration such as MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Campaign Monitor, Drip, GetResponse, Constant Contact, Sendinblue, and AWeber
  • Access Control features to manage and customize access WPForms and its data

WPForms Access Controls

By default, only users with the Administrator role have permission to use WPForms pages within your WordPress admin area. If you want to give access to users with other user roles you can use the WPForms Form Locker add-on. You can restrict access to the functionality of WPForms for each user role. It can be integrated with Membership and user role editor plugins.

WPForms Geolocation

If you want to store collect and store your website visitor’s geolocation data along with their form submission, you can use the WPForms Geolocation add-on. You can use the Google Places API or Algolia Places API to get the geolocation.

Other Important WPForms Premium Add-ons

  1. WPForms Custom Captcha add-on: use custom questions or random math questions as captcha
  2. Conversational Forms add-on: make your web forms interactive to help form feel human
  3. Offline Forms add-on: save user-entered data offline and allow it to be submitted when the internet is back
  4. WPForms Survey add-on: create interactive polls and survey forms and generate reports
  5. WPForms Zapier add-on: connect your WordPress forms to Zapier and send data to many popular web apps
  6. WPForms Salesforce add-on:  send your WordPress form contacts and leads to your Salesforce CRM account
  7. WPForm Save and Resume add-on: save visitor progress while filling in your forms and submit the form when it is fully completed

How to stop WPForms email from going to spam?

One of the most common problems with WordPress forms is that your emails may not be delivered or end up in spam. This would happen when your hosting provider has not set up server configuration and spam filtering for the WordPress mail function. If you want to fix this issue you will have to set up SMTP for your site.

To fix this issue you could use WP Mail SMTP by WPForms plugin and configure SMTP for your WordPress site. Though it works for any WordPress form, you can expect smooth integration with WPForms.

How much does WPForms cost?

WPForms has 4 pricing plans. With each upgrade you get more features and more number of site licenses.

  • Basic – $ 39 .50 / year
  • Plus – $ 99 .50 / year
  • Pro – $ 199 .50 / year
  • Elite – 299 .50 / year

How does WPForms Pricing compare with other WordPress form plugins?

Comparing all other freemium WordPress form plugins the full premium version is quite costly. It is even costlier than the fully premium Gravity Forms plugin. But to its credit WPForms plugins has some unique features and benefits that are not available in other WordPress form plugins.

There are other free and more affordable alternatives available, which we will cover in the next article.

WPForms Lite vs Pro

How does WPForms free version compare with the paid version? The paid version has tons of powerful features comparing the free version. If you’re just starting a business and need a basic contact form, WPForms Lite could be enough for you.

Should I upgrade/ buy WPForms Pro?

If you’re getting hundreds and thousands of form submissions and your business is growing at a fast pace, you definitely need to upgrade to a premium plan.

Also if you’re looking to create or you would create different types of forms in the future such as:

  • Get opinions and ratings from your visitors
  • Create an online survey form
  • Create a user-submitted events calendar
  • Create an email subscription and send the data to email marketing software
  • Get notified on Slack or other popular apps when a form is submitted

you would certainly need to get any of the WPForms premium plans.

WPForms vs Contact Form 7

The biggest difference between WPForms and Contact Form 7 is that WPForms is a visual drag & drop form builder experience whereas Contact Form 7 has a markdown form editor. The choice of editor interface is purely preferential. Usually, people without coding experience prefer the visual form builder experience.

Also, there are no official Pro add-ons for Contact Form 7. So if you need additional features from add-ons without having to face any compatibility issues you could go with WPForms.

Whereas if you just want to quickly create a WordPress contact form or you want a fully free form plugin with free add-ons because you cannot buy paid plugins you should go with Contact Form 7 plugin.

WPForms User Reviews

WPForms has a high user rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars from 10,419 reviews. This is quite an astonishing rating when seeing it has millions of users. Most of the positive reviewers are happy with the features offered by the Lite version and others have even upgraded to the Pro version.

Even then there are hundreds of negative reviews as well. The majority of the negative reviewers needed the features in the Pro version but cannot afford to pay the high cost of upgrading to the WPForms Pro version.

Advantages of WPForms

  • User-friendly with small learning curve
  • Clear documentation and tutorials
  • Wide range of official add-ons available to extend the features
  • Customizable with coding and provides a developer documentation 
  • Fewer compatibility issues with popular WordPress plugins and themes
  • Helpful support even for the Lite version
  • Sends you a free weekly summary in your email

Disadvantages of WPForms

  • Lack of user-friendly styling options. Not everyone can use Custom CSS.
  • Some of the basic features like saving form entries to the database, multi-page forms, conditional logic, etc, are only available in the Pro version
  • Essential email marketing integrations such as Newsletter Forms, MailChimp, etc, are only available in higher versions (Plus) of the premium pricing plan
  • No way to buy an individual premium add-on. If you want only 1 or 2 add-ons you have to pay for the full pack.

Though it only has a few mentionable disadvantages. They can be a major obstacle if their advantages are important to you.

WPForms 3rd Party Add-ons

Luckily there are some 3rd party add-ons available to overcome these disadvantages.  let’s see them:

Tablesome Pro:

Tablesome Pro is a one-step solution to save form submissions to a database on tables, edit the form entries, display them on the frontend, automatically send form submission data to 3rd party apps and manually download them as a CSV file.

It allows you to connect with many popular apps like MailChimp, Zapier, SendGrid, Google Sheets, connect CRM like HubSpot, Salesforce, etc.,

Also See: How to save Contact Form 7 submissions to the database?

Database Addon For WPForms

Database Addon For WPForms is a free add-on to save the WPForms entries to your WordPress database and also export the entries to a CSV file. The disadvantage to using this add-on is that it saves all your entries from multiple forms into a single database.

GSheetConnector WPForms

GSheetConnector WPForms free plugin helps you to connect WPForms and GoogleSheets using Sheets API. When a new form is submitted, it adds the data to a new row in a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

Also See: How to integrate Contact Form 7 with popular apps?

WP Forms Signature Contract Add-On

If you’re using a form for legal purposes such as contracts, licenses, etc., you would need to get the signature from the form submitter. You can make use of the WP Forms Signature Contract Add-On to get the signature of the form submitter.

Finishing Comments:

Is WPForms the best visual form builder for WordPress? I leave that for yourself to decide, but it does have unique features compared to other WordPress form plugins. So if you need those features it is certainly the best for you.

But WPForms Lite plugin is arguably the best visual form builder in 2021 to quickly add a form template and create multiple forms.

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