How to Create a Contact Form in WordPress (Step by Step)

Adding a contact form to your WordPress website is one of the best ways to start conversations and engage with your visitors.

But where do you start?

With over 15 years of experience building websites, I‘ve seen the contact form process trip up many beginners.

Don‘t worry – I‘m going to walk you through exactly how to add a contact form in WordPress, step-by-step.

In this detailed guide, you‘ll learn:

  • The benefits of adding a contact form
  • How to choose the best WordPress contact form plugin
  • Setting up email notifications to receive messages
  • Customizing your form for better conversions
  • Expert tips to avoid common user mistakes

Let‘s dive in!

Why Your Website Needs a Contact Form

Before jumping into the implementation, it‘s important to understand why a contact form is so valuable:

  • Increase conversions – Contact forms make it easy for visitors to reach out. This increases engagement and reduces barriers to starting conversations.

  • Filter out spam – Forms add a layer of protection that prevents spambots from grabbing your email address and flooding your inbox.

  • Customer service – Quickly respond to inquiries, orders, and other requests from interested visitors. Contact forms organize conversations.

  • Improve data quality – Ask only for the information you need (like name, email, phone number, etc.) instead of general enquiries.

  • User experience – Mobile friendly contact forms work great on all devices. Visitors don‘t have to tap out a lengthy email on tiny keyboards.

  • Save time – Automated contact form notifications remove the need to manually respond to each message.

A study by SuperOffice found that the average business takes 10 hours and 13 minutes to respond to inquiries. Yikes!

Contact forms help slash this down to just a few hours by streamlining the process.

Clearly there are many upside to adding a contact form on your WordPress site. Now let‘s see how to actually do it.

Step 1: Install a WordPress Contact Form Plugin

There are hundreds of form builder plugins available in the WordPress directory.

So how do you decide?

For beginners, I always recommend WPForms.

It strikes the perfect balance between power and ease-of-use.

Here are a few reasons I prefer WPForms:

✅ 100% free lite version

✅ Drag and drop visual builder

✅ Mobile responsive forms

✅ Customization options

✅ Trusted by over 5 million websites

Let‘s install WPForms and create your first contact form.

  1. In your WordPress dashboard, hover over ‘Plugins‘ and click ‘Add New‘.

  2. Search for ‘WPForms‘ and install the plugin.

  3. After installation finishes, click ‘Activate‘.

And you‘re done!

WPForms is now installed and ready to create contact forms without any coding.

Install and activate WPForms plugin

Pro Tip: WPForms offers a paid ‘Pro‘ version with advanced features like conditional logic, multi-page forms, file uploads, etc. But the free version works great for basic contact forms.

Let‘s move on to creating the form.

Step 2: Build Your WordPress Contact Form

Now that WPForms is activated, creating a contact form takes just a few clicks.

Follow these steps:

  1. In your WP dashboard, hover over WPForms > Add New to open the form builder.
  2. Give your form a name at the top, like "Contact Form".
  3. Select the ‘Simple Contact Form‘ template to automatically add fields.
  4. Drag and drop any additional fields you need from the left sidebar.
  5. Customize labels, sizes, and other options as needed.
  6. Click ‘Save‘ to keep your contact form.

And you‘re done!

The form builder allows you to quickly add and customize fields visually without touching a line of code.

Here‘s an example contact form with name, email, phone, and message fields:

WPForms contact form example

Let‘s look at how to configure email notifications next.

Step 3: Set Up Email Notifications

Now that you‘ve built your WordPress contact form, you need to make sure submissions get delivered to your inbox.

This is done through email notifications in WPForms.

Here‘s how to set it up:

  1. Click on Settings > Notifications.
  2. Verify your email under ‘Send To‘.
  3. Click ‘Save‘ to keep changes.

By default, WPForms sends submissions to the admin email used when you register your site.

You can add other recipient emails separated by commas. The email subject, reply-to address, etc can also be customized.

Pro Tip: Use tags like {field_name} to dynamically pull form data into notifications. This adds context to messages without manual work.

Alright, your contact form is ready to go. Now let‘s add it to a page.

Step 4: Embed Your Contact Form in WordPress

What good is a contact form if visitors can‘t access it?

For your form to appear on the front-end, you need to embed it into a post, page, or widget.

WPForms offers a few different ways to insert your form:

Using the Shortcode

  1. Go to WPForms > All Forms.
  2. Copy the shortcode for your form.
  3. Paste the shortcode on any page.

Shortcodes allow you to easily embed forms without coding.

Using the Block

  1. Create or edit the target page.
  2. Click the ‘+‘ icon to open the block inserter.
  3. Search for ‘WPForms‘ and select the block.
  4. Choose your contact form from the dropdown.
  5. Publish the page.

Blocks are the easiest way to add forms in WordPress 5.0+.

As a Widget

  1. Go to Appearance > Widgets in your dashboard.
  2. Add a WPForms widget to your sidebar.
  3. Select the contact form you want to show.

This displays your form as a widget in sidebars or footer.

No matter which option you choose, make sure to publish your changes once the form is embedded.

You should now see your working contact form live on your website!

Step 5: Optimize Your Form for Better Conversions

Now that you have added a basic contact form in WordPress, let‘s look at a few pro tips to improve conversions.

Here are some ideas to create high performing contact forms:

  • Add a headline – Draw attention with a strong contact form title at the top.

  • Include relevant images – Images can make large forms less intimidating to users.

  • Use field descriptions – Provide instructions so users know what to enter in each field.

  • Make labels descriptive – For example, instead of just ‘name‘ use ‘full name‘.

  • Limit fields – Keep your form simple with just the essential fields required.

  • Use Confirmations – Show a "Thank You" message after successful submissions.

  • Adjust sizing – Make the form fields wider to give a more user-friendly experience, especially on mobile.

  • Validate inputs – Use validator options to prevent incorrect data from being submitted.

The WPForms Pro upgrade also unlocks powerful conversion and customization tools for your forms.

Ready to Start Collecting Leads on Your Website?

And that‘s how you can easily add a contact form to WordPress using WPForms in just a few steps!

Here‘s a quick recap of what we covered:

  • Contact forms improve conversions and organization
  • Install WPForms for easy form building
  • Customize and embed your form using shortcodes, blocks, or widgets
  • Set up email notifications to receive submissions
  • Optimize with best practices for higher conversions

Now over 5 million+ websites are converting visitors into leads using WPForms contact forms.

You‘re set up to start collecting high quality leads on your website too!

I hope you found this beginner‘s guide to creating contact forms in WordPress helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions in the comments!

Written by Jason Striegel

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