Want to learn how to save custom form data into databases in WordPress? Then this step-by-step guide is for you.
It sounds scary, right?
Custom form, data, and databases. It’s like the lions, tigers, and bears to non-techies. But, it’s surprisingly simple to save your form data to a database.
And all you really need is one plugin for WordPress to save a form to a database.
That plugin is one of the best contact form plugins, Formidable Forms. And this is how to use WordPress to save form data to a database on your WordPress site. No coding experience necessary.
How do I use WordPress to store form data in a database?
Believe it or not, some WordPress form builders can save in a database natively.
Formidable Forms, for example, already has a built-in database for your form data.
However, there is another way to connect a WordPress form to its MySQL database. But, if you don’t have much experience with SQL databases and SQL queries, we’d warn against using this method.
This method involves keeping your form data in WordPress’ database, but that means knowing some PHP coding. If you don’t know PHP, you risk breaking your site by editing it.
Basically, if you understand the phrase Global WPDB Insert, you’ll be okay.
If not, stick with Formidable.
Luckily, Formidable's free plugin allows you to save your form data into a database. So you don’t owe a dime today. However, if you want some cool add-ons we’ll discuss later, those will be part of Formidable's paid plans.
Here are the steps in our WordPress form to database tutorial:
- Create your form
- Collect form data
- Do amazing things with your data (optional)
Step 1: Create your form
First, you must use WordPress to create a form and save it to your database.
Hopefully, you’ve already installed and activated Formidable Forms to follow along.
So, in your WordPress admin, go to Formidable → Forms and click Add New.
You can choose one of our templates or select Blank Form to start from scratch. Next, give your form a name, then click Create.
Customize your form however you want with the user-friendly drag-and-drop builder. This form builder alone saves you a ton of time designing your form. You can even customize the HTML of the form if you know how.
For our example, we’ll make a basic contact form with an email and text field.
Make sure you click Update to save your changes! We can’t count the number of times we’ve almost cleared everything we did by not saving!
Now let’s get it on your website.
Go to the post/page where you want to show it and add a new WordPress block. Search Formidable and click the beautiful Formidable logo to add the block.
Next, choose your form from the dropdown menu, click Update on your post/page, and your form is ready!
Or you can paste the form using a piece of shortcode and the form ID if you prefer.
Now, any Formidable WordPress form submitted to the database is stored automatically.
Step 2: Collect WordPress form data to your database
This step is straightforward.
Get form entries. That’s all you have to do.
After every form submission, the form entries are automatically saved into Formidable’s database.
You can easily filter through and search the information stored in the searchable database table:
Or upload any existing data you have. All you need is the XML or CSV file:
Then, adjust and add to any of the inserted data — all from Formidable’s WordPress dashboard.
Step 3: Do amazing things with your WordPress custom forms database (optional)
So, now you’ve created your form in WordPress and saved it to your database. What now?
This is where we said you’d have to pay for the extra features. But we think our paid plans are quite the deal.
Formidable doesn’t stop at just storing form data in a database in WordPress. That would be too simple.
Instead, it supercharges your form to database in WordPress abilities.
Let us introduce you to three amazing features in Formidable:
- Formidable Views
- Google Sheets integration
- Form to PDF
Show your data to your customer with Formidable Views
Did you know you can use the information stored in the database to create entire websites?
For example, think of an employee directory.
You can automatically take employee information and display it in a beautiful employee directory using Formidable Views! That means you can have an entire directory website using a form builder.
And that’s just one small example of how Formidable Views can use your data.
Export your data to get the power of Google Sheets
Google Sheets is the largest spreadsheet application for a reason.
It’s easy to use, has tons of features, and…it’s Google. They practically own the internet.
And there’s a good chance that using Google Sheets to organize your data would help you immensely.
The good news is Formidable Forms makes it simple to send. Connect Formidable and Google, then you can send your form data straight to your chosen Google Sheet.
Contact form data, order history, and much more, all in the click of a mouse.
We know you like things simple, so we deliver that.
Send your form entries to a PDF
Sometimes, having a physical copy is better.
It doesn’t get corrupted or deleted. It’s just there. Maybe it's collecting dust in your filing cabinet. But it’s there.
So, not only do you get the benefits of a built-in database, but you get even more!
That’s why we don’t hesitate to call Formidable Forms the best form builder for WordPress.
How will you use your WordPress forms to save to a database?
Having a database is essential for keeping your data organized and safe.
And using a WordPress plugin form to save to a database is one of the best options you can choose. There are many plugins to choose from (Gravity Forms, WPForms, and more). But, none offer the features Formidable offers.
So, this tutorial taught you how to use a WordPress plugin to save form data to a database. If you enjoyed this post, then you’ll enjoy learning how to create a searchable database in WordPress!