Ever wondered how to use forms in WordPress? In this article, we'll inspire you with 13 ways forms can supercharge your website!
Approximate read-time: 9 minutes
Most don't realize it, but the Internet is run almost entirely on forms. Think about it: could the Internet we know function without contact forms or payment forms? It's hard to imagine how that would work.
There are many types of forms, ranging from simple and user-friendly, to complex with advanced features. If you are here, it means you are interested in learning more about form editors. Welcome! We love your type around here.
If you've asked the question "what can you do with forms in WordPress", then you are in the right place. In this article, we'll answer that question in 13 powerful ways.
If you have a WordPress website, this article is for you. Ready to learn about one of the best WordPress plugins you'll ever install? Let's get to it!
Learn more: The Best WordPress Calculator Plugins
1. Allow users to contact you (contact forms)
Unless you're really antisocial, you've probably filled one of these out before. These days, customers make contact through chatbots, social media, and apps. But the trusty old contact form is still a great way to receive inquiries on your website.
If paired with other powerful features, a WordPress contact form can become a force for your website. For example, you could set up your contact form to send email notifications to different departments dynamically based on the nature of the request
For something even more advanced, you could try adding conditional logic to your contact forms. This is a feature where the choices a user makes when filling out the form will change how the form displays. Conditional logic is like the choose-your-own adventure of form building!
2. Let users join your mailing list (signup forms)
Growing your mailing list is one of the most important parts of building an online business. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to build a list without web forms?
Although offline collection is actually a viable and oft-ignored tactic, the fact is that a well-designed signup form can work for you 24/7. Set it up, tweak it, and watch your list grow!
Many email platforms have their own signup forms that work with WordPress. But when developing our own form builder plugin, we go out of our way to integrate with as many email platforms as possible (more on that below).
Why? Because email platforms do email very well... and forms plugins do forms very well!
3. Generate leads (lead generation forms)
Lead generation is a huge part of what HubSpot calls inbound marketing. It wasn't too long ago when companies pushed leads towards picking up the phone. Now, online lead generation is becoming the best way to find new customers.
There are tons of ways to increase the number of leads coming into your business, but having a well-made landing page with a form could make all the difference.
When designing a lead generation form, you have to make the process as simple and frictionless as possible.
Maybe you are asking for too much information? Perhaps your form is confusing? Maybe your form has WCAG errors? There's a lot that can go wrong.
But here's some good news: there's a lot that could go right with a solid WordPress lead generation plugin.
Read more: 10 Ways To Generate More Leads on Your Site
4. Send users to your email platform (integration)
As we mentioned earlier, email platforms are in the business of email. And what big business it is! The good news is that it's easier than ever to connect your WordPress site to your favorite email provider.
Sure, many email platforms have their own WordPress plugins that enable forms on WordPress sites. And sure, they work well enough. But consider this: every major WordPress form builder provides support for email platforms.
There's a reason for this! An online form builder is often much more flexible than the form options within email providers. Another reason to use a form for email collection: one less plugin to slow down your website.
Our form plugin has integrations for all the major email players including:
5. Auto-respond to inquiries (autoresponders)
With a little imagination, it's possible to use websites and form design to tell people the best way to contact you. If they follow your advice, you can set up automatic email responses that will do all the hard work!
The most common example of this is an autoresponder on a contact form. Once a user submits a form, an email will automatically be sent to them letting them know when they can expect a response.
But an automatic email response can contain a lot more than a confirmation. Perhaps the email could encourage users to sign up for your mailing list? Maybe it could tell them about some interesting products? The possibilities are endless.
6. Collect feedback (reviews & testimonials)
If you sell products or provide services, you should probably be collecting customer feedback. And wouldn't you know it? The best way of collecting that feedback is with your trusty WordPress form plugin!
It can be tempting to go to the WordPress plugin search box and search for a customer reviews plugin. But in case you haven't figured it out yet, the whole point of this article is to convince you NOT to do that!
One form plugin is always better than 13 random plugins that can easily conflict with each other and slow down your website. Don't believe it? Next time a website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, think about us when you click the X!
Read more: How To Add Reviews to Your WordPress Website
7. Host surveys, quizzes, & games
Which Harry Potter character are you? You must be a Dumbledore if you were wise enough to find this article! If you thought those last 2 sentences were fun, you'll love online surveys, quizzes, and games.
Guess how you can get those going on your WordPress site? If you guessed a form plugin - congratulations! You're a winner. And you've won the right to keep reading.
In all seriousness, these kinds of interactive forms are becoming more and more popular with web developers. If a form is fun or provides a larger benefit to the user, they will be much more likely to fill it out.
As your audience is playing games, you can collect data from them. Perhaps you can require their email address and newsletter signup to play the game? You can ask them questions that can provide valuable insights. Make it fun and you'll get so much more out of people.
Read more: How To Make a Quiz with WordPress Forms
8. Order forms & pricing (eCommerce)
How much do you love picking up the phone and calling to buy something these days? Chances are you hate it! Why? Because web forms have revolutionized the way we shop.
You'd be hard-pressed to find an online shop without forms in this day and age. A lot of people use services like WooCommerce and Shopify, but by now I'm sure you know what's coming. You betcha! It's all just forms baby.
With forms and eCommerce, the sky really is the limit. You can create forms with pricing fields in many WordPress form builders. But beyond that, you can create forms that do calculations, display images dynamically, and a lot more.
9. Collect job & school applications
If you're old enough to remember dropping off resumes on location and filling out paper application forms, I commend you. You must be loving this new reality where you can apply for a job from the comfort of your own home!
That is yet another efficiency afforded to us by online forms. Job applications are just the tip of the iceberg. A form builder plugin can help you build an application form for a school, college, or any place that needs to be applied to.
Why both with a paper application form when the Internet makes things so easy? All you need is a form plugin on your WordPress site - you'll never get paper cuts again.
10. Raise money for charity (accept donations)
If you are raising money for a charity or accepting donations for any reason, you'll need web forms to make this process as simple as possible. A simple form always gets more action.
You probably would want to create a form that gives people different payment options too. Can your forms handle PayPal or Stripe? These days, people expect to see different forms of payment available to them.
If your WordPress form builder lacks those options, you might be missing out on a lot of donations. That would be bad news for your cause.
11. Give quotes & estimates (using calculators)
If you hate answering the same questions over and over again, you'll love a system of online quotes. Pretty much any service business can make service estimates work through web forms.
All it takes is an online form and a little know-how. Maybe you are a used car salesman. You can build an estimate form on your website that tells customers exactly how much you will pay for their car.
Maybe you install hardwood floors. Ask customers to input variables like room dimensions and type of wood panels and tell them exactly how much they can expect to pay.
Do you enjoy repeating yourself on the phone and doing calculations in your head? I don't think so! Service quotes are yet another way you can use forms to do business online. The best part? A lot of form builders have calculator templates, so you won't need to start from scratch.
And actually, there are many ways to use calculators on your WordPress site - quotes and estimates are just the beginning!
Read more: How To Create a Calculator in WordPress
12. Accept file uploads & user-generated content
User-generated content is a huge part of the Internet. Just look at websites like Wikipedia and Google. Both sites allow for tons of user-generated stuff, like comments, reviews, photos, and lots more.
In the future world of today, collecting content from your audience couldn't be easier. A solid form builder plugin can help with that (of course)! You can allow users to upload files, or even contribute entire articles to your WordPress site.
Think hard about the content you'd like to generate. Most likely, you'll need a form plugin with all the right features to make it happen.
13. Create a community (register & manage users)
A well-made online community can be a lot of fun. If Reddit is any indication, chances are there are people out there who share the same interests as you. So why not build a community and bring them together?
Great idea! By now, you must realize that an online community is almost entirely dependent on web forms to function. You'll need to be able to register and manage users - a form can do that.
Read more: The Best WordPress Membership Plugins
What more can WordPress forms do?
So there you have it, 13 ways to use WordPress forms. Thirteen may seem like a big number, but we've only just scratched the surface here.
Lucky for you, if you are craving more ideas, crave no more. The Formidable Forms blog is a giant reservoir of form-building knowledge! We hope to see you there.