When you are running a WordPress site for your business, there are many essential elements but one of the most important ones has always been and will always be your contact form.
Strong statement? Maybe. But think about it: Your contact form enables the user to get in touch with you and turn the user into a new lead for your business and – on a more long-term perspective – a customer or even a fan of your brand.
WordPress form builder plugins can do more than you think
However, if you think that that is all your contact form can do, just continue reading. You’ll be amazed by how many features there are.
You can use forms for multiple business or promotional purposes. From letting customers send payments, entire registration processes, building your subscriptions for newsletters to promoting products as well as growing you audience – forms offer you a ton of possibilities.
An efficient form is user-friendly and customized to your needs and corporate identity, so it attracts a lot of visitors. It must be balanced with glorious design and great features. Creating and coding an entire form from scratch can be a really long process. And let’s be honest: Not all of us are technical geniuses.
That’s why so many WordPress website owners use WordPress form builder plugins to set up their forms. With the help of the plugins, different types of forms can be created in no time and you end up with a responsive, user-friendly form
WordPress form builder plugins and features: Spoilt for choice
There are so many excellent form builder plugins on the market – both in free and premium versions, that you really are spoilt for choice. To make it worse: They offer a ton of different features. So even if your quite sure what kind of form you want to build, you can easily get overwhelmed by the sheer number of possibilities.
This is why we decided to set up a list of the most essential features the WordPress form builder plugin of your choice should offer and explained for each one why they are so important.
These are the most essential features of any WordPress form builder plugin
Here is our choice of the most essential features, that your form builder plugin should offer – whether it’s in the free or premium version.
1. Responsive Design
We don’t have to tell you how important a responsive design if for your entire website. We are sure you’ve heard that an incredible amount of traffic happens via mobile devices making it more than necessary to make sure every element of your site looks good on smaller screens. That also includes your forms. Imagine your form does not look good or does not work on mobile devices. Thus, discouraging potential clients to get in touch with you and increasing firm abandonment. It’s costly and unnecessary. It’s becoming an industry standard that all form builder plugins offer templates and elements that automatically adapt to smaller screen sizes.
2. Drag and Drop Editor
Drag and Drop editors can be considered an industry standard these days. Nearly any WordPress form builder plugin will offer this feature in their free version since it allows you to build and design your WordPress forms quickly and easily, saving you a lot of time for coding and making form building beginner-friendly. Which is also why we consider it an absolute must have for any form builder plugin.
Drag and drop editors allow you to add particular blocks into your form, and often help you with a set of ready-made templates to start from. You’re then able to change pretty much anything: the field’s title, the colour and the style. If you’re not familiar with coding and can’t or don’t want to afford a specialist to build all your different forms, a drag and drop builder will make your life a lot easier since it’s very intuitive.
3. GDPR compliance
A topic no one likes to think about too much, yet one of the most important – if not THE most important – features your WordPress form builder plugin of choice has to offer. If you’re based in Europe you need to make sure that the form you create is compliant with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) otherwise it can easily get costly for you.
Since the GDPR includes requirements like explicit consent before collecting or storing user data as well as allowing your website users to request access to or deletion of the stored data, you need to make a few adjustments to improve your website’s compliance with GDPR.
Disable user cookies, turn off IP tracking and add the required GDPR checkbox. Modern Form builders have elements dedicated to this “acceptance” requirement, and some even allow you to choose whether the submitted data will be stored in the WordPress database or not.
In any case, you will be able to proove that the user has agreed to the processing of his or her personal data.
4. Form Submission Notifications
Real-time notifications have become a big part of our business and daily life. Today we can track pretty much anything with real-time notifications.
So why do we consider getting an email or even text notification after every submission so important? Well, a great part of your customer service includes immediate replies to any questions, or queries potential or existing customers might have. It gives you the chance to really stand out and leave your competitors behind. Therefore, you want to be in the loop when a user submits a form. Lucky for you, submission notifications have become an industry standard.
5. Entry Management
Your form builder plugin of choice should definitely offer an entry management. It enables you to view all your lead in one place in your WordPress dashboard.
It also makes sure all submissions are stored in your WordPress data base so you can’t lose them. Why that is essential? We don’t have to tell you how annoying it can be to use a valuable lead simply cause of a technical issue during the transmission.
Some very popular form builders don’t save any entries so make sure you choose your form builder plugin wisely and make sure that it definitely offers an entry management solution.
6. Export Submissions
This feature usually goes along with the entry management feature. It’s a no brainer why your form builder plugin should allow you to export all submissions to an xml or csv file easily but a lot of people forget how useful it can be.
It allows you to access all submissions in a data processing tool, add them to your newsletter service or your CRM easily and thus, saving you lots of time you can spend on growing your business.
7. Unlimited Form Fields
Before you select your “free” form builder, watch out for this restriction. Some vendors ask you to upgrade to a premium plan for “unlimited fields”. So it will save you a lot of hassle if you already know that some of your forms are extensive.
A limited number of fields per form might be sufficient for a simple contact form but when it comes to order forms or registration processes, you want to be sure that your form builder plugin doesn’t have any restriction concerning form fields.
This feature made it under the most important ones since it enables different website owners to build a variety of forms to serve their needs.
8. Customize HTML / CSS
You might think it’s weird that we list customize HTML and CSS to this list since we have been mentioning that the drag and drop builder makes building forms very easy and beginner-friendly. Here’s why:
Normally your form builder plugin will add very little style of its own by default. Instead it will inherit the styling of your WordPress theme. But if your perfect WP website theme leaves your forms looking a bit off, customized CSS can come in handy. Yes, you might need a developer to implement it for you but that’s better than leaving your form looking off.
9. Import / Export forms
This is a fantastic feature that not all form builders offer. It saves you loads of time if you want to use the same form on different websites. Simply export your form and upload it to another – saving yourself a few hours of work. It’s also fantastic in case your WordPress website ever crashes and you can’t restore it. At least you will save a few hours since your forms are already there, making it one of the most essential feature your WordPress form builder plugin should offer.