The Complete Guide to Frontend Posting Plugins for WordPress

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

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

Key Features:

  • 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

Use Cases:

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

Key Features:

  • Drag-and-drop form builder with templates
  • Accept payments and guest posts
  • File upload options
  • Frontend post management and filtering
  • Form analytics integrations

Use Cases:

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!

Written by Jason Striegel

C/C++, Java, Python, Linux developer for 18 years, A-Tech enthusiast love to share some useful tech hacks.