Anyone can build & maintain a custom WordPress site without any coding knowledge. With plugins you can create anything on your site, including custom forms, without ever touching a line of code.
That’s the value of a great WP plugin and I’ve compiled this guide to help anyone looking for a solid form builder for their site.
Every plugin listed here is outstanding. They’re all incredible so the best choice depends on your needs and level of experience in WordPress. I’ll cover each one in detail to help you find the right form builder for your website.
First on this list is CaptainForm and it’s a fantastic choice for beginners. It comes with a free plan that limits you to 3 forms just for testing. If you only need a simple contact form you could run this free forever.
But the true benefits come in the paid options that store data and handle all processing. When you get a paid plan you’ll have access to dozens of pre-built form templates for quizzes, surveys, polls, product order forms, email signups and so much more.
Plus you can quickly extend these forms with 3rd party tools like PayPal/Stripe for payments, Dropbox for storage, or MailChimp for email marketing.
The goal of CaptainForm is to connect into the services you already use to save you time. Why reinvent the wheel? CaptainForm’s support team can help you solve common setup problems and they’re always working to improve the plugin.
If you consider how much time you’ll save building your site and solving problem this is a no-brainer. Not to mention the cheapest tier equates to about $3/mo which is perfect for any small business site or newly-minted WP blog.
Most WP users love the Gravity Forms plugin for good reason. With 33 different field types, a drag & drop builder, plus many different submission options, this plugin has it all.
You have the ability to create any type of from including user file uploads, quizzes, polls, and the typical contact form. You can also manage how the form submission is sent whether via email or stored in the database. Certain people can be notified when the form is submitted which adds another layer of communication.
Each form can be as long as you need with options for multi-page forms and advanced fields for details like addresses, phone numbers, and auto-verified emails. And with all these features you better believe it also supports checkouts for shopping carts.
If you’d like to use WooCommerce then Gravity Forms can be a nice plugin to add into your site. But it’s just as useful for simple email opt-in fields or basic website contact forms too.
The Gravity Forms site offers a number of add-ons for specific features based on the account plan. The developer license comes with everything including Slack and CRM platforms. If there’s anything you use to manage your business I’d bet Gravity Forms has an add-on available.
Whether you’re building a custom WP registration form, setting up a time-sensitive survey, or building a super detailed contact page, Gravity Forms covers it all.
Their support is immaculate and the visual builder is one of the best you’ll find for WordPress. Highly recommended for WP users of all backgrounds & experience levels.
The greatest feature with Ninja Forms is the live visual form builder. It comes with default elements for all form inputs like phone number, address, and e-mail with built-in verification features.
You can even try a live demo of Ninja Forms to see how it works. Their pricing is very reasonable for the quality and their smallest “Personal” plan should be perfect for just one website.
You can always try Ninja Forms totally free but you won’t get the pro features like payments and custom form handling. Each form generates a unique shortcode which you copy/paste into any page(s) you like.
Working through the dashboard you get full control over the style, position, and settings of the form. It even comes with translation support for dozens of foreign languages.
By default any plan you get will support custom templates, all layout styles, and all form fields including file uploads. But you can also grab add-ons which may be cheaper than buying a higher plan.
For example, if you just need MailChimp support you can get that with the cheaper plan rather than upgrading to a higher one. And there are easily 30+ add-ons to pick from with support for everything from Freshbooks to Paypal and even Trello.
Ninja Forms is great and it’s one of the few plugins you can actually test in your browser. I definitely recommend looking over the plugin’s features to see if it can meet your expectations of a form builder.
A cheap yet sturdy option for WP form design is Formidable Forms. They charge a flat rate for the initial plugin and 1 year of support.
Each plan comes with different features but they all have a few things in common:
- Licences ranging from 1 to unlimited sites
- Save & resume on all forms
- Supports file uploads
- Default form templates
If you need to accept payments or send forms to MailChimp you’ll need one of the higher plans. But these can always come later after you’ve been using Formidable Forms and know you like it.
Their support only lasts for one year but you can get discounts on renewals if needed. The plugin is mostly straightforward but if you’re not super tech-savvy then their support will prove invaluable.
Because this plugin works with so much data it’s one of the best solutions for complex websites. Do you need to support user file uploads or conditional logic? This is all included regardless of what plan you get.
I’d say Formidable Forms is great for a budget plugin. The higher plans offer the best features but they’re probably not as useful for most people.
Wufoo For WordPress
Wufoo is not by itself a plugin, but rather an online form builder. This site lets you create any form you like using their website. Then you can embed the code onto your site.
All form submissions go through Wufoo which can save your server from heavy loads.
But there is a sweet Wufoo WordPress plugin that lets you generate shortcodes for your Wufoo forms. These shortcodes use square brackets and can look like HTML code, but they’re so much easier to use.
You do not need to understand coding to learn shortcodes. They use settings attributes within the square brackets that look kinda like this: [wufoo form=”1″]
By using this plugin you won’t need to write a single line of code yourself. Wufoo generates the shortcode on their website so you literally just copy/paste into your page and you’re done. The plugin takes care of the rest.
This does mean you’ll need a Wufoo account but you can sign up for free just to test the waters. It’s a WP-friendly service and great for offloading forms away from your web server.
Visual Form Builder
While this may not be the most updated plugin out there, it’s definitely one of the stablest and most widely used with an easy 100k+ installs.
The Visual Form Builder plugin is totally free and made specifically for WordPress. It comes with a button-based visual editor on the backend with input fields, checkboxes, select menus, and pretty much every other feature you’ll ever need.
It uses the drag-and-drop feature built into WordPress making it crazy simple to pick up. Visual Form Builder even takes extra settings for custom CSS classes and options for required fields. Validation can be handled with ReCAPTCHA or a simpler Q&A type security question.
Take a look at the plugin page for a broader guide. It covers all the basics of setting up a brand new form, customizing the style, and getting it placed onto any page on your site.
This is one of the best form builders for beginners who have no idea what they’re doing. It is by far one of the strongest free options available but it seems geared more towards contact forms over anything else.
So if you need a payment gateway or e-mail capture this probably isn’t the best plugin. If you’re willing to get dirty with some code you can make adjustments, but I’d recommend this more for beginners who want dynamic contact forms from scratch.
One of the newer free plugins on the market is Form Maker. It’s an excellent choice for more complex form pages that need extra elements like embedded maps or upload fields.
The visual editor has big buttons where you can add specific types of fields or elements on the page. It’s great for contact forms but also many others like surveys, polls, user signups or pretty much anything.
Default input fields look incredible and very minimalist. You can fit these forms onto any WordPress website and they’ll blend right in.
With a detailed options page you can also choose where the form data should go when submitted. This offers far more control over the form itself, something you don’t always find in free plugins.
You can pick from multiple color schemes, multiple columns, and many other design styles all for free. This is seriously one hell of a plugin!
I absolutely recommend Form Maker for any webmaster who doesn’t know how to write code. It’s a pristine plugin with so many features and a visual editor that even a monkey could learn.
Contact Form 7
My absolute favorite contact form plugin has to be Contact Form 7. It’s been around for years and it’s one of the few plugins that still has active support from the developers.
This is totally free to install on any site you run. It doesn’t come with any branding or annoying features on the frontend, just a simple contact form. You can even add extra form fields to gather extra info from people(budgets, project ideas, priority, etc).
You get full control using the CF7 backend in your WordPress admin panel. You can even make multiple contact forms to add onto many different pages of your site. They can each send to a different email address making this plugin quite versatile.
Just note that CF7 does not have much in the way of customization. You can write CSS code targeting the CF7 elements, but it doesn’t have a visual editor for non-coders.
If you’d prefer a contact plugin that lets you restyle the form I actually recommend the FS Contact Form. It’s also free and has a similar design like CF7, however you can directly edit CSS in the admin panel.
You cannot go wrong with either of these contact plugins but if you have no coding experience and want a simple solution go with CF7.
Visual Form Builder Pro
VFB Pro is yet another paid plugin attached to a one-time fee. It’s a reasonable price for everything you get and certainly one of the cheaper options.
The smallest plan supports one site but it should have enough features to work well:
- Unlimited forms
- Unlimited fields
- Spam verification tools
- Visual builder & email designer
Because the price is so low you get the basic form builder and form submission features by default. Then if you need extra features just buy add-ons for your site.
A portion of these add-ons connect into 3rd party platforms like email marketing programs. But a good number also support default WordPress features like user signup fields and even a “create post” feature.
The user signup add-on works great for social sites or WP-powered communities. The “create post” add-on would be most useful for accepting guest submissions right from the site, or for a social news feature where users can submit links to be listed à la Digg.
None of these add-ons offer much in the way of basic features. And that’s the beauty of VFB Pro because you have so many optional features but ultimately the core plugin is very simple to pick up & start using.
You can find lots of gems in the Envato marketplace if you dig deep enough. Quform is one example of a WordPress form builder plugin with a solid backend.
You can update the form styles like fonts, colors, padding, borders, or pretty much anything else. Working in the visual editor feels incredibly natural so you’ll have no trouble picking colors and restyling the form to match your site.
But I notice this form goes out of its way to create a unique dashboard interface. It doesn’t really follow the default WordPress dashboard style which can be confusing at first. Once you adjust to the Quform interface you’ll realize how easy it is to use.
You can build any forms you like from event booking forms to newsletter signups. Quform offers 15 different form types to pick from along with built-in CAPTCHA support.
A really nice plugin if you want something outside the “norm” for WP form builders. Plus it still gets sporadic updates so this is likely to be around for years to come.
One other CodeCanyon plugin I like is ARForms. This one’s a little pricier but it comes with built-in support for all the major email marketing platforms like Aweber, MailChimp, Getresponse and a few others.
The field editor works just like any visual form builder where you can drag & drop different inputs. You can then customize them with icons, styles, placeholder text, and even rearrange the layout. You’ll be able to include images and other dynamic features inline for larger form fields.
If you need to create a checkout field this plugin can also accommodate. It supports auto-calculating totals for multiple items in a shopping cart(or anything else, really).
If you need a checkout process I recommend using Shopify instead of WordPress just for security reasons. But if you prefer WordPress then ARForms has you covered for anything you need.
This plugin also gets semi-frequent updates every few months with new features & security patches. Plus it comes with default templates you can re-use to save time building multiple forms.
Lastly I have to throw in FormCraft since it’s such a detailed plugin for form building. I wouldn’t recommend this for total newbies because it comes with far more features than a small website needs.
However it does support multiple add-ons with all e-mail subscription services being included with the plugin. You’ll find a total list on the site with features like ReCAPTCHA and PayPal. This plugin even has WP multisite support which can be useful for larger codebases.
Even though FormCraft has its own website the plugin is sold through CodeCanyon. It is the most expensive one from that marketplace and over its lifetime has sold over 11k copies.
All form fields are fully responsive, support retina displays, and work through Ajax form submission. They can also support uploaded data and even auto-save features in case the user leaves in the middle.
The drag & drop GUI is packed with features and very detailed. Probably not the best choice for newbies.
But if you’re willing to spend some time learning the UI then this plugin will not disappoint. For the price it’s a great solution if you need complex forms, but aside from that you may feel better with a more user-friendly paid option like Gravity Forms or Ninja Forms.
The Final Pick
If you’re looking for the #1 best WP form plugin I’d go with Gravity Forms. It’s a massive plugin with so many features that you can build any form you need regardless of style or purpose.
But if you need a free alternative you can always browse the WordPress plugins directory to see what’s out there. Visual Form Builder is a decent choice, although certainly limited compared to how much you get with Gravity Forms.
And these are only the best plugins I’ve found while building WP sites. If you have other suggestions please feel free to drop comments and let us know.