Duda Versus The Top 3 WordPress Contact Form Plugins

By Ariel Rule

duda_plugin_vs_wordpress_2As a web designer or agency owner, time and experience have likely taught you that designing websites for small businesses does not mean it’s a small job.

As algorithms and online search habits have changed, web designers have had to be even more conscientious of how to design sites that have the potential to do well on Google and convert customers better.

It’s no easy task.

And if you’re designing on a CMS platform like WordPress, there is often more troubleshooting involved than we’d like in things that should be simple. I would know. I’ve worked with and built many websites using WordPress, so I know the hiccups that sometimes come with WP.

Something like adding and designing a contact form for various pages can add up to a lot more time than expected.

With that being said, WordPress has some easy-to-use contact forms plugins. Today, I’ll list the top three options available and how they stack up to Duda’s built-in contact form.

Contact Form 7

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There are a lot of free contact form plugins available for WordPress, but one of the most popular, with over a million active installs, is Contact Form 7.

Contact Form 7 has a bare-bones interface that allows users to create a contact form with multiple types of input options. You’re then given a shortcode that can be placed in any text section of a site.

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This plugin offers a quick and free option for creating a contact form where you need more than just a name, email address, and message. However, as a free plugin, the support for problems on this tool are rather thin.

Currently, according to the WordPress plugin page for this, only 81 of 700+ support tickets have been marked as resolved in the last two months. And a common complaint in the rating section is that the plugin has stopped working after the most recent update to WordPress Core.

While the interface is simple, it lacks a lot of functionality that people tend to want out of a contact form for their business. To be honest, it’s not surprising since you get what you pay for.

Gravity Forms

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If you’ve found that Contact Form 7 lacks more robust features, then  another option people tend to like is Gravity Forms.

As far as functionality goes, Gravity Forms has quite a bit to offer when you need to various types of forms. For instance, creating a form that takes someone’s application for employment is something you could build with this tool.

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With more options at your disposal, that also means there is a bit more time involved in getting your contact forms created.

You can only create these forms in the backend and then preview them to make sure they look the way you want. It’s a pesky task, but there’s no way to avoid it.

Gravity Forms is a premium plugin which means it comes at a cost too.

As someone who builds sites for other people, you’ll have to choose the developer option, which will cost you $199 a year for all the features, add-ons and support they advertise.

It’s a bit steep, but good contact forms are not something a small business can scrimp on which means you might just need to pay a lot to give your customers the forms they’ll ask for.

Ninja Forms

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Ninja Forms tends to fall right in the middle of the two options listed above.

The function and support offered are more than a free plugin, but less than Gravity Forms.

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They have a free version that will give you access to easily creating a form, but again, functionality is limited.

To take this contact form up a notch, you’ll need to spend some money, and it’s quite a bit more than you’d think.

For 20 sites, you’ll pay $199 as the initial annual fee, but this has slower support response times. For unlimited sites and their best support, you’ll have to move up to the next tier which is $499.

A Common Problem with WordPress Contact Forms You Can’t Ignore (Seriously)

So there you have it. The top three WordPress contact form plugins you can use for your clients.

However, there is a common problem that tends to pop up here that can leave your customers a bit upset.

Email deliverability.

While these contact forms look nice, there’s still a problem with getting the contact forms to send the emails correctly.

A common problem that these plugins have is they say the emails have been sent, which they have, but they’ve been marked as SPAM and your customers will never know it.

Why is this?

Well, it’s the way email is sent through WordPress.

A contact form is sent to your server and then forwarded to your client’s email account. However, many shared host’s email addresses, and the @wordpress.org email address that WordPress sends by default are widely used by a lot of people sending emails.

As these emails are unsubscribed from or reported, email clients like Gmail mark them as SPAM and send them directly to that folder. Fixing this issue isn’t the easiest thing to do and usually requires you find a workaround or premium third-party tool to ensure email deliverability.

Another common problem here is that these forms will say they’ve sent emails, but they never did. A glitch or bug in the code is all it takes to make this issue come up and it’s a hassle to deal with.

I’ve seen these problems in more than one case and had to deal with them myself, so I know the pain this is to troubleshoot.

How Duda’s Contact Form Stacks Up to WordPress Plugins

Our responsive website builder offers a lot of built-in options for creating a captivating and functional small business website including a contact form builder.

One of the main features of our platform is it’s a drag-and-drop visual page builder so that you spend little to no time messing with code. That also means that contact forms are designed visually too, which is something all the other plugins listed above don’t offer.

We’ve made building a form very easy. Here’s just a quick walk-through of how it looks.

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You can see in the image above that there is an empty column. I’m going to add the contact form and build it here.

The contact form is in the left menu, under Elements → Business. I drag the widget into the column, which gives me the field and design options.

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Right now, it looks pretty plain, but just a few clicks in the “design” section changes the whole look.

Tweaking the style and layout is also simple, and creating this didn’t take me more than three minutes.

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Once you have the contact form in the column, you can move it into other columns in the page to create the layout you’re looking for.

Another nice feature we’ve built into our platform is the ability to edit your content by device. This gives you the power to change the layout and look of your contact forms (or any element, really) between a desktop, tablet, and a mobile device to create better opportunities for conversion per device.

But what about email deliverability?

The problem mentioned above regarding issues with WordPress contact form email deliverability is not an issue that we’ve seen with our platform.

At Duda, we use SendGrid as a 3rd party tool to send out contact form emails. By adding SendGrid to our platform, we maintain our reputation and help ensure we follow best practices to avoid spam detection.

While some may occasionally have their emails marked as spam, there’s never been a case where our whole email provider gets hit.

This third-party email tool built-in to our platform so there is no extra cost for this premium feature. While WordPress has a lot of options for contact forms, as you can see from the tutorial here, Duda’s form builder can do a lot to help you create a quality contact form that sends emails correctly.

Have you ever tried Duda’s responsive website builder? Sign up for a free trial today and see why so many agencies are switching from WordPress to Duda.

About Ariel Rule

Ariel is a long-time blogger and Duda's Social Media Manager. When she's not engaging the social community you can often find her hiding behind her Mac sipping on coffee, writing Duda's next blog post or strumming on her guitar.
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