Are you taking full advantage of your form plugin?
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As a WordPress consultant, I'm often asked about my favourite plugins. I usually decline to answer, because it's best to source a plugin that meets one of your specific needs rather than looking for a way to use one just because someone else really likes it.
That said, most websites have a contact form, and my favourite form plugin is GravityForms. I’ve been using it for over 10 years, so if I created your site, chances are high that you have it.
But it's not just me! GravityForms is currently the 4th most popular tool in the Top 1 Million sites in the Feedback Forms and Surveys category.
As I explained in How to Create an Effective Contact Page, forms can be a useful way of screening incoming inquiries because they allow you to ask key questions up front, even if it’s something as simple as “When is the best time to call you?” Well-worded questions also help the client to explain their needs more effectively, reducing the number of back-and-forth emails.
Most form plugins will allow you to create your own questions, but GravityForms has many features which set it apart from most of the others. Here are a few creative ways you can use it:
- Set up a custom thank you page that comes up after someone completes the form. This is a great way to engage them by directing them to other important content on your site, promoting a special offer, or inviting them to follow you on social media (see example).
- When someone completes the form, invite them to join your mailing list. When they click in the field, they will automatically be added to Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or another email marketing service. If you have double-opt in enabled (which I strongly recommend), they’ll receive the usual confirmation email (see example).
- Create a poll and allow participants to view the results (see example).
- Collect payment through Paypal, Stripe, or another online payment system (see example).
You can even create automated and customized emails to be generated after a form is completed, with unique messages going to you, the person who filled out the form, and other team members who may need to reply or take other action.
My Care Plan clients have access to GravityForms at no additional charge, along with over 40 official add-ons offering the above feature enhancements and many others, including analytics, anti-spam, automation, CRM, messaging, and more. Since purchasing your own license would set you back $259.00 USD per year, it's another good reason to consider a Care Plan!
For an additional cost, there are also tons of add-ons created by other developers.
GravityView is an add-on I've found very useful, because it allows you to display information from form entries on your site in many unique ways.
Since I started using it for the Productivity & Organizing Blog Carnival, it has saved me from hours of copying and pasting! I also used it to create the searchable Golden Horseshoe Virtual Assistants Group Member Directory.
Check out the demo site to see other possibilities.
If you’d like to explore how GravityForms can save you time, gather more useful information, grow your mailing list, or support any of your other business goals, visit my Contact page to schedule a Zoom meeting.
Photo by AndreyPopov / DepositPhotos
I have used GravityForms for about five years, and it is easy to set up. Their tutorial videos helped me learn how to use the application. However, I recently received a message saying that my forms were Legacy forms, meaning they are not fully supported. Do you know if I need to create all new forms, or can I modify the existing form to get them fully supported again? I can’t seem to find this answer anywhere on their site.
I think you can disable Legacy Markup, but then you’ll need to test the form to make sure everything still works correctly. I’ve included a link to a guide I found under my name in this comment.
My contact needs are pretty simple, so I guess that is why I still have Contact Form 7? Great to read about this one, though. The features are something to think about.
I believe there are extensions for Contact Form 7 that allow you to do some of these things, but I’ve never tried them. Although it’s more widely used (probably because there’s no free version of GravityForms), I find it much more clumsy to work with.
I use the Squarespace platform, so the WordPress plugins aren’t applicable for mine. However, I find it fascinating to read about ALL of the plugins that are available for WordPress sites along with the features that can be integrated. As I ask my site to do more, I’ve been discovering more the options I have available to me with my existing tools. In many instances, I didn’t know understand their full capabilities.
Having someone like you who understands all that can be done with WordPress sites (plugins, features, care, etc…) is invaluable. Your clients are so lucky to have you in their corner.
It seems that Squarespace is adding new features all the time, so I hope posts like this are still useful to you for inspiration. Your kind words are much appreciated!
Like Seana, I’m still using Contact Form 7, which I’ve probably had in place for 15 years! You’ve given me so many great ideas for more creative, inviting ways to use my contact form plugin!
I hope you have fun with it and get some great results!