I've moved on from CF7, and you should too
I probably shouldn’t be writing this post… But here I go.
I do a lot of work customizing and enhancing Contact Form 7. It’s probably the most common plugin that I have worked on in career. To this day, I bill time to clients who have asked for specific customizations to CF7. If everyone actually listened to the advice I am about to share, I would lose out on a consistent revenue stream.
Contact forms are the most common plugin. I can’t even think of a site that doesn’t have a contact form on it, and CF7 is by far the most popular option out there. It’s light-weight, flexible, and for the most part, free (for the plugin at least, but more on this later).
You may be thinking to yourself, “Sounds great! Why use anything else?” I’m glad you asked; keep reading to find out.
What's wrong with Contact Form 7
In short, CF7 is time-consuming and very expensive.
- Time-consuming to create and maintain through updates
- Want to change a field, wording, auto response? Time and money
- Styling forms takes forever since you have to do it all through CSS
- Integration with marketing tools or a CRM requires more time and additional plugins
- Conditional actions after submission require time and more plugins
- Saving submissions requires time and more plugins
- Pretty much anything you can think of requires time and plugins
The main myth about Contact Form 7: it's free (or at least cheap)
False. CF7 takes a minimum of 3 to 5 hours if you want anything other than the most basic style and functionality. Even if it could be done in an hour, your development cost already surpasses the cost of a premium form plugin that can do the same thing in less than 15 minutes.
So, what are the best options for WordPress contact form plugins?
I’ve used so many different tools, and while most of them work just fine, a few have really stood out to me. My criteria is as follows:
- Lifetime cost of ownership
- Ease of installation and configuration (both styling and functionality)
- Stability, Flexibility, and Scalability
1) Ninja Forms
Hands-down, the best contact form plugin for WordPress is Ninja Forms. It’s ranks number one in book for both simplicity and extensibility. You can build an entire email marketing tool with it, ecommerce tool, online booking, you name it!
If you business uses WordPress, you should dole out the extra $99 to purchase a license for Ninja Forms.
I am such a big fan of Ninja Forms that I have partnered with them to offer the plugin at a discounted rate to my customers.