Long forms not converting? Try a multi-step form with progress bars! We'll show you how to create a multi-page form on a WordPress site.
Approximate read time: 6.5 minutes
Do you want to build a multi-step form on your WordPress site? You're in the right place!
Multi-step forms (also called multi-page forms or multi-part forms) enhance user experience and boost form conversions. More on that below.
Before we get started, let's take a look at some great reasons why a multi-step form can increase conversion rates and grow businesses.
Why use a multi-step form in WordPress?
Nothing kills excitement like a super long form.
We've all been there. Ready to sign up for a new website, but wait! The signup form is too long...
Did you skip it? If you did, you wouldn't be the only one.
The business data experts at The Manifest found that 81% of people have abandoned a form before completing it. They also found that 27% of those people left the form because it was too long.
That's not all, though. The landing page experts at Instapage chronicled a case where multi-step forms increased lead conversion by 214%. If your forms are too long, stats like these say it's time to split them up!
The problem with long forms is that completing them feels like work to the end-user. Your business or your client's business is supposed to solve problems. Not create new ones! Long forms increase friction, which leads to lower conversion rates.
Friction in a form is like walking in tar. Any part of the conversion process that slows the user down, makes them less likely to complete the action. In other words, it's bad news.
So what's the solution? You guessed it! A form with multiple steps.
Splitting forms into smaller parts is great for form conversions, as we mentioned before. But there are other uses too.
For example, multi-step forms can be used for quizzes or longer surveys - both of which are great tools to learn more about your audience.
And if you sell services online with WordPress, you need multi-step forms to get more customers. Convinced? Let's take a look at some best practices.
Multi-step form best practices
Noted American statistician Edward Tufte has said that "the most common user action on a website is to flee." Yikes! Nobody wants that...
When you think of web traffic in those terms, it likely makes you want to optimize every aspect of the website you're building. That's a long but rewarding undertaking. As a first step, let's learn some best practices for multi-step forms.
Optimize your CTA button (submit button): Change the text on your form button to show users that there will be another page. You could change the text on your button to say "Next →", for example.
Segment form steps logically: Try to group form fields together logically. For example, group payment and shipping info together. Always think about the end-user when dividing your form up with page breaks.
Use a progress bar: A multi-step form with a progress bar is easy to navigate between each page and jump to a different step. This also allows users to go back and fix mistakes.
Include a summary page (when needed): When combined with multi-step forms, a summary page is powerful. Before submitting their info, users can preview their submission, which is also a great way to reduce incorrect submissions.
Following these guidelines will help a lot when it comes to multi-step forms. But, don't forget about all the other things you can do to generate more leads on your site!
Are you building multi-step survey forms?
Great news! Formidable is the best WordPress survey plugin on the market!
Step 1: Create a form in WordPress
To get started, all you need is a great WordPress multi-step form builder.
A great progress bar plugin for forms will quickly solve the problem.
We have a list of the best multi-step form WordPress plugins, but we'll focus on the top option for now. And that's Formidable Forms.
The first thing we need to do is create a form in the WordPress admin. Whether it's a registration form, contact form, or any other — you can create it with Formidable.
And for this tutorial, we'll install Formidable Forms Pro.
After that, click Formidable → Add New to create a new form.
You can create any kind of form you want. To keep things simple, we'll show you how to create a multi-step contact form. Here are a few multi-step form examples our team built for you. Check out these stepped form templates:
Step 2: Split up a form with page breaks
Once you've created a form, the next step is to add page breaks. These break the form into multi-step forms!
To add page breaks to a form, use Formidable's drag and drop form builder. Under Advanced Fields, drag the Page Break field into the form.
In this example, we divided the form after the First Name and Email Address fields onto multiple pages.
Step 3: Add a progress bar
After you've split the form into at least two parts, you'll be able to give each part a name.
This is done by going into the Form Settings and switching the Pagination option to Show Progress Bar.
You could also adjust the Page Titles, hide the Page Numbers, or hide the Pagination Lines. We recommend checking the box titled Show page titles with steps and label each page. This helps users know which page they are on when looking at the horizontal progress bar.
In our example, we are going to name the pages Contact Info and Your Message. Remember, naming your pages in multi-step forms can help users know where they are in the form submission process.
Step 4: Choose the progress bar design
Now that you've set up a form, you might want to make sure the WordPress progress bar matches the site and your form design.
But first, make sure you choose the progress bar style you're after. There are two options to choose from in the Form Settings tab as your default progress bar.
These are the Progress Bar:
And the Rootline:
Once you've chosen the one that best fits the site design, it's time to tweak the colors for the progress bar.
To do this, head to Formidable → Styles → Progress Bars and set any color scheme you want.
As you make adjustments to the progress bar background colors, text colors, and circle sizes, you'll be able to preview them immediately. And by the way, using this time-saving visual styler doesn't require any coding at all!
Step 5: Publish the multi-step form
Now add your new multi-step form to any page or post and publish the form.
Before wrapping up, you might want to consider more optimization, like conditional logic, for example. With conditional logic, you can make sure site users only answer the questions that matter most based on what they input.
In the case of multi-step forms, the possibilities with conditional logic are endless!
Here's one simple idea: Ask users to select their type of request using a dropdown box on the first page of a multi-step form. You can then configure the form to show different options based on their selection!
That's it! Hopefully, this has shown you just how easy it is to create a multi-step form and how to create a multi-step progress bar.
For more WordPress wizardry, be sure to follow the Formidable blog!