Enabling users to securely submit content on your WordPress site frontend is a great way to increase engagement. But giving them access to the backend admin area can be risky.
That‘s where frontend posting plugins come in!
In this detailed guide, we‘ll cover:
- The top 9 frontend posting plugins for WordPress
- Comparisons between features, use cases, pros and cons
- Tips from our 15+ years of experience for maximizing success
- Hands-on walkthrough installing and configuring a plugin
By the end, you‘ll be able to pick the perfect solution for empowering frontend content uploads on your site.
- Why Frontend Posting is Valuable
- Frontend Posting Plugins Comparison
- WPForms – The Best All-Purpose Frontend Posting Plugin
- Formidable Forms – Most Design Focused
- How to Set Up Frontend Posting with WPForms
Why Frontend Posting is Valuable
Before we dive into the plugins, let‘s explore why frontend posting is so valuable:
Collect user generated content easily – Curate blog posts, images, reviews, and more from your community.
Save time onboarding contributors – Avoid manually creating accounts and managing permissions.
Increase engagement – Give users ownership to submit content on your site.
Improve security – Don‘t require giving contributors access to the WP admin area.
According to Hubspot, user generated content receives 4X more engagement than branded content. So frontend posting plugins unlock huge opportunities for driving more traffic, social shares, and conversions.
Next let‘s compare the leading options…
Frontend Posting Plugins Comparison
Here is an overview of how the 9 best frontend posting plugins stack up across key factors:
|Plugin||Installs||Post Types||Custom Forms||File Uploads||Paid Plans|
|WPForms||6 million+||All||Advanced builder||Yes||$39+|
|Formidable Forms||1 million+||All||Drag and drop builder||Yes||$99+|
|User Submitted Posts||70,000+||All||Basic customizable form||No||$0|
|Frontend PM||20,000+||Posts||Shortcode form||Yes||$99+|
|Gravity Forms||5 million+||All||Advanced builder||Yes||$59+|
|Easy Digital Downloads||900,000+||Products||For sellers||Yes||$99+|
|MemberPress||140,000+||Posts, pages, custom||Basic form||Yes||$199+|
|Toolset||200,000+||Custom post types||Flexible builder||Yes||$199+|
|BuddyForms||40,000+||Custom post types||Flexible builder||Yes||$99+|
A few key takeaways:
WPForms is the most popular – With over 6 million active installs, it‘s widely trusted and has great community support.
Gravity Forms is also widely used – 5 million sites leverage it for forms, so the frontend posting addon makes sense for existing users.
EDD stands out for digital marketplace use cases – Seller accounts and digital product uploads are its specialty.
Toolset and BuddyForms excel for custom post types – Great for developers building custom systems.
As you can see, your specific goals and technical capabilities will determine the best choice. In general, I recommend WPForms for beginners and Formidable Forms for advanced customization.
Now let‘s dive deeper into the key features and use cases for each plugin…
WPForms – The Best All-Purpose Frontend Posting Plugin
With an easy drag-and-drop builder and tons of customization options, WPForms is our recommendation for most users wanting frontend post submissions.
Works With: Posts, pages, custom post types, user registration
- Intuitive form builder and templates
- Accept payments with Stripe, PayPal, etc
- File uploads and post content mapping
- Spam protection and user management
- Posts Submissions addon for frontend posting
WPForms is great for any site wanting to allow frontend content uploads like:
- Guest blog posts
- Testimonials and reviews
- Listings and directory sites
- Multi-vendor marketplaces
- Community forums
We‘ve used WPForms for frontend posting on several client sites, including an auction marketplace and job board. It handles high submission volume with no issues.
The easy interface allows configuring customized post submission forms in minutes. And handling moderation and filtering submissions is straightforward within the WordPress dashboard.
- Very easy to use and intuitive
- Wide range of form customization options
- Active development and great support
- Affordable pricing for capabilities
- Form builder has a learning curve
- Need the Post Submissions addon for full frontend functionality
Formidable Forms – Most Design Focused
Formidable Forms is the perfect pick if you want beautiful frontend post submission forms. The drag-and-drop form builder and library of templates make it easy to create stunning interfaces quickly.
Works With: Posts, pages, attachments, reviews, listings, etc
- Drag-and-drop form builder with templates
- Accept payments and guest posts
- File upload options
- Frontend post management and filtering
- Form analytics integrations
We‘ve used Formidable successfully for:
- Real estate site listing submissions – beautiful property forms
- Conference site call for speaker submissions – formatted speaker profiles
- Company wiki site for employees – upload guides and docs
Anywhere you want great looking frontend post forms, Formidable is a fantastic choice.
- Very design-focus for appealing conversion oriented forms
- Developer friendly and extensible
- Helpful support team
- Regular updates
- Steeper learning curve than other options
- Need multiple addons for all features
Now let‘s see frontend posting plugins in action by walking through a hands-on tutorial…
How to Set Up Frontend Posting with WPForms
One of the easiest ways to get started with frontend posting is using WPForms combined with the Post Submissions addon.
Let‘s install it and create a basic guest blog submission form.
Step 1: Install WPForms
First, install the core WPForms plugin. You can use the WordPress plugin installer or upload manually:
// Install WPForms plugin Visit Plugins > Add New Search "WPForms" Install and Activate WPForms Lite
Step 2: Install the Post Submissions Addon
Next, install the Post Submissions addon via Plugins > Add New:
// Install Post Submissions addon Search "WPForms Post Submissions" Click Install Activate the plugin
Step 3: Create a Guest Posting Form
Now we can build a form for guest posts. Go to WPForms > Add New to open the builder:
// Open the form builder Navigate to WPForms > Add New Select the "Simple Contact Form" template Click Create Form
Looking good! Now let‘s customize the fields:
// Update the form fields Add a Name field Add an Email field Add a Post Title field Add a Post Content field Toggle Post Title and Post Content to paragraph text Click Settings > Form to edit additional options
Step 4: Connect Form to Post Submissions
Under the Settings > Form Panel:
// Connect the form to post submissions Scroll to Post Submissions Check Enable Post Submissions Select Post Type: Post Map fields: Name > Post Author > First Name Email > Post Author > Email Post Title > Post Title Post Content > Post Content Click Save
We now have a guest blog submission form ready to embed on our site!
Step 5: Embed the Form
Finally, place the submission form on a page:
// Embed guest post submission form Create a new page Add a WPForms block Select the form you created Publish the page
And that‘s it! Now you have WPForms installed and configured for basic frontend blog post submissions.
Hopefully this guide gave you a comprehensive overview of the best options for empowering frontend posting on WordPress.
The key is finding the right balance of features for your goals and technical expertise. We aim for thoughtful comparisons to make your decision easier.
I‘m always happy to offer direct advice based on my 15+ years as a WordPress professional. Feel free to reach out with any questions!