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The Best-Of Series: Contact Forms

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September 29th, 2009
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Best of WordPress

Over the years I’ve tried pretty much every contact form plugin available for WordPress. Some were pretty bad, some were almost there, and a select few really shined. Today I’m going to list those few that really do the contact form job right. Lets begin…

  1. Contact Me Widget
    I really love the Contact Me Widget. I think this plugin takes the simple contact form to a whole new level. Not only does it have a contact form but also an IM function and a place to put all your other contact info. All in one neat little package. Do note though that this plugin relies on the ContactMeButton.com service. So, you may not want to depend on it as the sole option for your visitors to get in contact with you. If the ContactMeButton site were to go down or something, well… I’m sure you can imagine plenty of horrible scenarios…
  2. Contact Form 7
    The Contact Form 7 plugin is one of the most popular contact form plugins available for WordPress. It has a bounty of features. There is AJAX submitting, CAPTCHA, and Akismet filtering just to name a few. There are even a few “sub-plugins” to extend even further its abilities. I love the great amount of customization this plugin allows. You can customize almost everything! Another great thing is all of the available translations. There are a ton! So almost everyone can get their contact on.
  3. SimpleModal Contact Form
    The best thing about the SimpleModal Contact Form plugin is right in the name. It’s a contact form contained inside what is known as a modal dialog. That means it hovers above the page where it is right up front and center. It has the basic contact form functionality you would expect. Like, input validation, optional subject field, and even the option to “Send me a copy“. This plugin also has several translations available which is a major plus.
  4. Visitor Contact Forms
    Visitor Contact Forms takes the modal dialog contact form to another level with more options. You have your basic contact form, input validation, CAPTCHA protection, auto responder, and more. The really cool thing about this plugin though is the Geocoding. Not only can it show a map of where you are to your visitors, but also it can show you where the people are who are contacting you. Because this plugin works off a back-end site (VisitorContact.com) you can get more features automatically. However it also means it is subject to downtime like I mentioned about the Contact Me Widget plugin.
  5. Fast and Secure Contact Form
    Another contact form with lots of features is Fast and Secure Contact Form. This is a great plugin for those who prefer contact forms that don’t rely on JavaScript. It has all the functionality you would expect from a contact form and then some. It also has awesome security. With options like Akismet protection, the PHP CAPTCHA library from phpcaptcha.org, as well as manual filters, to call this plugin secure is putting it lightly. This plugin is also multilingual so everyone can try it out.

Well, there you have it; Five plugins to get you in contact with your site visitors. I hope you can get something useful out of this list. As usual, feel free to chime in with your opinion. I’d love to hear about any plugins I may have missed…

Do you have a good idea for the next article in the Best-Of series? Drop a comment here or contact us and your idea just might be next in the series!

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  1. Patrick Daly (6 comments.) says:

    How is this a “best of” without mentioning cforms? Its the ONLY advanced contact form out there. Its not drop-dead simple, as all the plugins you listed were, but that’s because its amazingly complex, which should gain it some attention here.

    • Carl Hancock says:

      Actually cforms is not the only advanced contact form out there… another plugin absent from this list is Gravity Forms for WordPress.

      While it is a commercial plugin, it is GPL compliant, is very advanced, extremely powerful and has a very user friendly user interface.

      Unlike cforms it is amazingly complex and drop-dead simple to use.

      • Trace (2 comments.) says:

        When I last checked Gravity forms doesn’t do multi-page forms and a bunch of other things that cforms does… that being said, cforms isn’t the easiest to use either….. gravity forms likely has the edge in that respect, but then again, less features means easier interface…..

        • Carl Hancock says:

          Actually Gravity Forms does things cforms doesn’t do, and cforms does things Gravity Forms doesn’t do. So it isn’t a one way street.

          Gravity Forms is also at Version 1.1 and cforms is at Version 11.0 so Gravity Forms has plenty of time to catch up.

          We actually don’t consider cforms to be our competitor anyway. We don’t model things after cforms and we don’t look to cforms for possible new features. We consider services like Wufoo, Icebrrg and FormSpring to be our competition.

          • Eric Marden (16 comments.) says:

            Too bad CFORMS is poorly coded and doesn’t work with alternative WordPress layouts, spawns WP processes needlessly because they don’t follow the api, etc etc.

            I, personally, would never use it (again).

  2. Online Flash Arcade (1 comments.) says:

    I actually use the Contact Me Widget in one of my blogs. The thing I like most about it is that it’s simple, yet gets the job done.

  3. NY Themes (2 comments.) says:

    Missing Plugins:

    [1] CForms
    [2] gravity forms

  4. Digigirl (1 comments.) says:

    I recently discovered MM Forms which has a lot of good features and is very simple to use. It worked like a charm to produce multiple forms when I had trouble getting some of the others to do what I wanted. I’m liking it a lot!

  5. paul (2 comments.) says:

    yes I don’t believe you haven’t mentioned cforms, but thanks for the other ones I didn’t know, I’ll give them a try :)

  6. Hugh Johnson (1 comments.) says:

    The WP-SpamFree plugin (http://www.hybrid6.com/webgeek/plugins/wp-spamfree) is worth a mention as well. It includes a simple to configure contact form and does a great job keeping spam bots away from the contact form, comments, pingbacks and trackbacks in an invisible way.

  7. claire0917 (2 comments.) says:

    I’ve used Contact Me. Very simple and handles the basics well.

  8. Lars Tong Strömberg (14 comments.) says:

    Missing cforms as well, great plugin.

    Depends on the scope of the review though, “forms” or just “simple contact forms”? Cforms do them all in all kinds and shapes and I think they do the simple contact forms well too.

  9. Josh Straub (1 comments.) says:

    This list isn’t complete without mentioning the beautifully streamlined Contact Coldform by Perishable Press: http://perishablepress.com/pre.....-coldform/

    Coldform is extremely small and optimized. I checked out Contact Form 7 and it was nice but added the giant JQuery library to every pageload on my blog – an unforgiveable tradeoff, in my opinion. Especially for a page that only 0.1% of my visitors are ever going to use.

    Coldform was the best contact form plugin I could find that didn’t use JQuery or have any other obnoxious caveats.

  10. Tom - home business marketing (1 comments.) says:

    I use Cforms on my blog, very easy and simple to use.I think I will try the ones you have mentioned as well.

  11. Dan (1 comments.) says:

    I also use cforms had not had a reason to try any other ones.

  12. Diseño Web (8 comments.) says:

    What about a widgeted constant contact form with ajax load!

  13. Carrie (12 comments.) says:

    I personally love the contact form that comes with Wp-Spam Free :P

  14. James (1 comments.) says:

    In your form designing travels, did you happen to try FormBuilder?
    http://truthmedia.com/wordpress/formbuilder/

  15. anmari (3 comments.) says:

    What about my favourite – the secure and accessible contact form from green beast:

    http://green-beast.com/blog/?page_id=136

  16. Trace (2 comments.) says:

    Yeah, kind of a jaw dropping moment when I saw C-forms was missing…. it is so damn powerful! Will definitely check these out as well though…….

  17. Joss says:

    DekoBoko ftw!

  18. Lowell Christensen (1 comments.) says:

    Long before blogging, I sent up a service based business with a website. I’ve always just posted my email for people to contact me. It’s the easiest way for people to get a hold of you. I know if I am looking for a service, and there is a contact form, I always have this gut feeling that there is no one behind the form. I believe that is a standard feeling for many. So I look for a company that posts their address live.

    Since I’ve started blogging, I do the same thing. I post my email contact throughout the site and at the bottom of the blog. I think too many people are fearful that if they post their email address live online, they will be bombarded with spam. But with a good spam filter that emails you a daily report, it’s manageable.

    I did try a contact for once for a niche site offer automotive advertising, and the response rate from legitimate potential clients is way lower than when the email address is posted.

    I guess it depends on what you want to do. If you don’t really care if people email you, then go with the contact form. But if you really want to connect with people and give them the feeling that you a live body behind your site, then post the email. It always gets more response.



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