If you want to make your customers sign agreement contracts and forms on your WordPress site, you will need an e-signature form field. Signatures have been and still are the most crucial factor in identifying a party when making transactions. But getting clients to sign documents in time is such a hassle. The whole process of sending documents forward and back via email is very time-consuming. So, why not create a WordPress form that accepts e-Signature? Some use cases:
- Service agreements
- Terms of service
- Non-disclosure agreements
e-Signatures (not to be confused with “digital signatures” which guarantee that an electronic document is authentic.) are any sound, symbol, or process that you can attach with documents and contract forms digitally to validate clients. Instead of pen and paper, one can just sign documents on their computer screens with the help of a digital pen or mouse. It is an easier and faster way to get your client’s signature.
For WordPress users, the integration of e-signatures is made simpler with WordPress plugins, specifically wordpress form builders. So instead of sending a contract as PDF, which the other party will have to print, fill-in, scan, and send back, you can send your customer to your contract agreement form, which they can easily fill out and sign.
Are e-Signatures legally binding?
Electronic signatures and digitally signed documents are legally enforceable. If both parties agree to e-signatures, and the software used keeps a record of those signatures, then they are legally binding. However it is not as strong as – and cannot replace – signatures that require to be notarized, need court stamps, or witnesses.
How does the e-Signature Form Field look?
Depending on the approach which each form builder takes – but here you can see some examples:
Do all form builders offer e-Signatures?
Not really. Some don’t have the feature at all, others such as Caldera, Gravity Forms or Ninja Forms rely on a third party addon such as ApproveMe and eSignatures.io. These can be extremely sophisticated solutions, and quite expensive too (an astonishing 500 USD a year for the ApproveMe “Pro” version, or as pay per use (0.49 USD per contract) with eSignatures.io), but they also add more features and a layer of security which may be relevant depending on your industry and/or client type. ApproveMe argues with minimizing risk:
“These […] signature add-ons, simply capture the signature information as it is drawn and then sends this information to your web server where this information is converted into an image file and stored forever on your ftp server. This signature process exposes you and your clients legal signature on the ftp server where your WordPress website lives. As such, the image file that most signature add-ons create, of your customer’s hand drawn legal signature […] is accessible to ANY ftp interloper; putting both you and your signer at high risk for identity theft or fraud.“
If you are concerned with hackers stealing signature files from your server, and don’t want to spend extra money for the e-signature service, then you may at least consider downloading the submissions to your computer regularly and then deleting them from your site.
If you want to know which plugins offer the feature out of the box, follow the link below.