Forms are a standard part of any website – whether the form is to sign up for a newsletter, to register for a webinar, or just a good old fashioned contact us form, the contact form needs to be a core part of any site.
So how do we add a form to my new WordPress website at www.InstinctiveSolutions.co.uk?
Phase One – Getting a basic contact form working on WordPress
As with everything there are good and bad ways to start any project. To get things moving on this project, I took the easy route – and configured the pre-installed contact form option, WPForms. However, despite being free (well the lite version is anyway) – it’s actually really good.
You’ll begin to see a trend with these blogs – in that I’m not here to tell you technically HOW to install these elements. I’ll link to install guides such as this one for WPForms, to guide you through how to do stuff. My role here is to show you the steps that I took, share the good, the bad and the downright ugly bits. Hopefully that works for you.
Anyway, adding the WPForms plugin was easy, as was creating a basic form. I wanted to create a newsletter signup form to kick things off – simple name and email address – so that I can start sharing a newsletter over the coming weeks.
Form fields added, I then configured my mail settings (or in this case just used the default mailserver that comes with WordPress), formatted my thankyou email and info emails, and was off.
Phase Two – Adding a Captcha To a WordPress form
Now I mentioned that I’d built a few websites in the past. And as soon as I added the contact form a memory hit me – a memory of spam emails filling up my inbox, from every Tom, Dick and Harry-bot wanting to sell me rubbish. Time to add a Captcha.
These little widgets are easy to setup and simply try to stop non-human elements – ie bots – filling out forms. You ABSOLUTELY must install one of these to avoid the pain of spam emails – it won’t completely stop them, but it will help.
Phase Three – What Are We Missing?
Well a lot to be honest. I’d really like to beef up my contact capabilities – but not yet. I’d love real contact forms allowing people to contact me and share their requests with me – and that will come. But for now – this is a start – and there are other things on my list of kick-off tasks that need to be completed first.