What Are the Benefits of a WordPress User Registration Form?
As a site owner, the more information you can gather about your visitors the better. The best way to gain insight into site visitors is to convert them to registered users. But knowing your users better is only the tip of the iceberg. Consider these other benefits:
- Registered users are easier to track.
- Users can be given access to "inside" information.
- There's less need for moderation.
- Logged in user information can be used to populate fields.
- The database of user email addresses eases communication.
- Registered users can generate content.
Let's take a closer look at each of these points.
Registered users are easier to track
You can track a visitor's journey through your site with different tools like Google Analytics Flow Report and Path Analysis. That data is useful, but the visitor being tracked is still anonymous.
You may be able to see that someone converted to a paying customer, but not know who that someone is.
But when you add information that was voluntarily provided by a registered user, tracking their journey through the site can be more enlightening.
Users can be given access to "inside" information
A common use for registration is to protect information that you don't necessarily want to be publicly available. To provide it only to a specific group of people. That information can include white papers, videos, tutorials, or software.
Of course, pages and files can always be individually password-protected. But restricting access based on WordPress registered user status allows you to gather user data while restricting access to the information.
The ability to control that access is not only a benefit to you, but it's also a powerful incentive for a visitor to convert to a registered user.
There's less need for moderation
Registered users are less likely to post comments or other content that could be annoying or harmful to the site or other users. User registration doesn't turn spammers into saints, but the less anonymous a user is, the more likely they are to be well-behaved.
Registered users will also do a lot of self-policing and protection of the website. As members, they will tend to feel more invested than they would as anonymous users.
Logged in user information can be used to populate fields
Stored user information can be applied to actions in the site, such as signing up for classes or ordering products. The ability to automatically populate form fields with user profile information reduces friction and increases conversion.
The database of user email addresses eases communication
The email list of registered users can be used for mass communication, marketing, notifications, and more. When you use registered email addresses for marketing purposes, be sure to provide a method for users to opt-out.
When a user gives you their email address there's implied trust and an expectation that you won't abuse the direct access. Don't hesitate to use the email addresses for notifications and requested contact, but use them sparingly for marketing purposes.
Registered users can generate content
Guest blogging is a valuable way to accumulate content. And depending on the guest blogger, it can even be a stamp of legitimacy for your website. But the process of guest blogging can be complicated and slow.
You can make it much easier by registering your guest blogger as a user and WordPress "contributor." No more back and forth by email. The user adds the new post and you can edit it before publishing.
What are the benefits of registration from the user's perspective?
The benefits of a WordPress user registration form to the site owner are clear. But what about the visitors that you're asking to register? If they don't feel like there's a benefit, most will not take the time to register to become a member.
So what might a visitor see as a benefit of site registration?
- The feeling of membership.
- Access to "inside" information.
- Communicating or messaging with other members.
- The ability to set up a personal public profile.
- The ability to receive notifications.
The feeling of membership
Humans have an inborn desire to be part of a social group. While being a registered user of a website may not seem quite the same as joining a local civic group, for most of us, membership in an online group can satisfy the same needs.
Access to "inside" information
It's common to offer access to software or a white paper in exchange for site registration. If visitors perceive value in what you're offering they will gladly become registered users of your site.
Communicating or messaging with other members
Depending on the type of website you run, the ability to directly communicate with other users can be a strong motivation to register. It relates back to the feelings of membership and community.
The ability to set up a personal public profile
Don't underestimate the value of personalization. Earlier we talked about the fact that logged in user information can be used to populate form fields. That is a convenience for website administrators as well as users.
Most public profile fields should be requested after the user registers however, in order to avoid presenting visitors with a long registration form. More on that in a minute.
The ability to receive notifications
Users will often register on websites to receive updates, notices, product availability emails, and other site-related messaging. A good notification system works hand in hand with site membership to increase user "stickiness" and provide value.
How to improve user registration rates
The benefits of membership aside, it can still be challenging to convert visitors to WordPress site members. In order to remove as many barriers as possible, your goal should be to keep the registration form short and simple.
It's tempting to ask for everything you would like to know at the moment the user is signing up. But the longer the sign-up process, the greater the likelihood it will be abandoned. If you can get by with only asking for a username and email address, that's what your form should request. You can accumulate more information once the user is logged in.
To that end, our Formidable Forms User Registration Form Template starts with the basics: name, username, email address, password, picture (or avatar), and website. Our Simple User Registration Form is made up of even fewer fields: name, username, and email address.
Of course, those are only templates or starting points. You can change and customize the existing templates or even build your own unique user registration form from scratch. Our drag and drop form builder makes it easy to add custom fields, choose the user role, and more.
Other methods for reducing the number of registration form fields
- Eliminate the password verification field by allowing the user to view the password they are entering.
- Similarly, email validation scripts can be used to eliminate an email verification field.
- Ask yourself if the user's email address can function as their username. If so, you can eliminate the user name field.
- If you must gather a lot of information, consider splitting the form into multiple steps. Ask for the most important information first, such as email address, so you can contact the user if they abandon the form.
- If you have requirements like password complexity, make sure you spell them out in the form. Don't let the user experience an error because they weren't properly made aware of a requirement.
- Speaking of errors, make sure they appear next to or near the field that's generating the error. The further the error message is from the error, the greater the likelihood of frustration and abandonment.
- Consider form placement. It seems obvious, but if you bury your registration form at the bottom of a long page or behind multiple links, you can't expect it to perform satisfactorily. Make sure your registration form is prominent and visible.
The most successful user registration forms balance your needs against the potential member's resistance. Don't discourage users with long registration forms, or forms that are difficult to find or complete. It's better to get less information than you'd like than to get no information at all.
The Formidable Forms WordPress User Registration Form Template works in tandem with our User Registration plugin. You can download the plugin and the form template as part of our Business plan. And that plan includes a whole lot more than the user registration tools, including applications, and priority support.
We're so confident that you'll love Formidable Forms that we offer a 14 day 100% no-risk, money-back guarantee! Give us a try today. Your form building and implementation will be easier than you ever believed they could be.