Without a doubt, one of our all time favorite web development tools is Caldera Forms.
As soon as we start with a new website build, Caldera Forms is practically first on our list of plugins to download and install. In fact, we love the plugin so much, that we can hardly wait to begin crafting forms with it. That sounds quite nerdy, but hey, we’re developers.
With Caldera Forms in your development toolkit, not only will you be able to create contact forms that look great and work without fail, but you’ll also be able to create in-depth, intricate forms with just as much ease.
Do you need to set up an online event registration form, that requires payment from more than one payment gateway, that asks for and records user input data for a t-shirt size, and also offers a free PDF download once payment is complete?
No problem. With Caldera, making complicated forms is easy.
We love Caldera Forms. We have no doubt that you’ll love it too.
Why Caldera Forms is the Best Contact Form Plugin for WordPress
With Caldera Forms, building both beautiful and functional responsive web forms, that can easily be styled with CSS to fit any website look and feel, is so easy that even first time users will enjoy the process.
Caldera Forms is Easy to Use and Configure
Firstly, creating forms with Caldera Forms is really easy and rather quite fun too. Thanks to the visual layout builder with its drag-and-drop functionality, building a form is a visual experience, not a code one. Divi users will appreciate this form and function as it mirrors the fluidity and flexibility of the Divi Builder and its modules.
To get you started, Caldera Forms offers a number of templates for you to select from. From contact to pricing to booking forms and more, you can choose to either edit or build on an existing template, or create one yourself. Once you’re on your way, building your form is as simple as creating element holders and dragging in relevant form fields.
When you’re satisfied with the aesthetic of your form, configure the settings by entering relevant information and using magic tags to suit your communication style and flow.
As stated previously, the Caldera Forms builder is so easy to use that it hardly poses a learning curve for new users, and also, it takes an incredibly short time to develop a familiarity with the interface and its various settings.
Caldera Forms Offers Plenty of Features & Extensive Functionality
Firstly, setting up pagination for really long forms with a number of user input areas is as simple as clicking the ‘Add Page’ button. Also, to save you time, you can simply drag and drop fields between pages should you decide that they fit in better within different page areas.
Next, Caldera Forms offers a plethora of form field options. From the standard single line text, email, number and text area entry fields, Caldera Forms includes options for check boxes, radio button selectors, star ratings, HTML-based text entries (which will automatically adopt the typographical aesthetics as assigned to the H tags as set in your style sheet), file uploads, color pickers, in-form calculations and more. This, we can assure you, is an almost unheard of list of form field options within a free form builder plugin, but, more on that later.
Then, for those needing to create somewhat intricate forms that rely on end-user inquiry and input, Caldera Forms offers the ability to use conditional logic. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of conditional logic in contact forms, it is essentially the process of choosing to either show or hide certain form fields based on the results of previous information submitted by the user (for example, if the form user selects option A, a new question will be presented to them, however, if they select option B, the form will remain the same). While definitely not a prerequisite for all forms, and certainly not always sought out by clients, having the option to set up conditional logic is great, especially as it is devoid in the free versions of other form builder plugins (again, more on that later).
Finally, for clients seeking very specific form functionality, Caldera Forms offers over 20 add-ons that can be purchased separately. These can either be one-off individual purchases per site or can be grouped into a bundle purchase for total savings.
Caldera Forms is Secure
To ensure that each form submission is secure, Caldera Labs have included an automatic spam detection and prevention feature – an anti-spam honeypot – within each of their forms.
As well as the honeypot, if you’d like additional security for your forms, Caldera Forms integrates with an Akismet processor. For this, you’ll need to have Akismet installed and activated on your WordPress website.
Caldera Forms Has Great Documentation and Support
Even though Caldera Forms is easy-to-use, there may come a point where a spot of confusion arises, but rest assured, Caldera Labs provides a plethora of information, help and guidance for Caldera Forms.
Firstly, the Getting Started guide will help new users navigate through the early stages of using the plugin – from explaining the main Caldera Forms dashboard, to detailing a step by step guide to making a form and displaying it a website.
Next, Caldera Labs offers extensive documentation and instruction on how to use the plugin. Assistance with both basic and advanced level queries can be found here.
Dedicated support is available to users who have an active license key from purchasing a Caldera Forms add-on. And finally, to make matters even easier for their customers, Caldera Forms offers a service wherein their developers can step in for a fee, either to create tricky forms or to offer assistance with form builds that call for custom code work.
Caldera Forms is Free
All of the factors mentioned above (bar the few paid support features and add-ons) are available to you for free and can be downloaded from the WordPress.org repository.
After installing and activating the plugin, you’ll be on your way to making amazing forms for your website in no time.
In the event that you require extra form functionality (such as additional form operation or integration with third party software such as PayPal, Stripe, MailChimp or Slack), Caldera Forms offers over 20 add-ons that can be purchased either as individual items or as a mix-and-match bundle.
Comparing Caldera Forms to Other WordPress Form Builder Plugins
We’ve done our research and can safely say that, in our honest opinion, Caldera Forms is the best form builder plugin available.
From the perspective of ease of use, value features and functions, the ability to build just about any form imaginable and price (or the lack thereof), Caldera Forms just wins. Hands down. Every time.
First, Caldera Forms’ visual layout builder with a drag-and-drop interface makes form building a breeze. In comparison to the traditional HTML form creation method, as employed by Contact Form 7, Caldera Forms offers a much more fluid and user-friendly form building experience that both beginner and advance WordPress users can enjoy.
Then, Caldera Forms is extremely easy to configure and assigning form settings can be done in a matter of minutes. There are other form builders, Fast Secure Contact Form for example, that offer an almost overwhelming number of configuration settings and options. This will certainly pose a steep learning curve for new users and too, familiarizing oneself with the configuration options may take a bit of time.
Next, while many contact form plugins operate on either a paid or ‘freemium’ basis (where a certain level of functionality is offered in the free plugin and payment is required for premium versions or upgrades), Caldera offers extensive form building features and six add-ons within its free version, and only calls for payment for very precise form functions. This translates to an extreme level of value for you, the developer, for no cost whatsoever.
Formidable Forms, Ninja Forms and WP Forms each operate on a freemium basis and, in their free or lite plugin version, offer the ability to create a rather simple form with various simple field options, respectively. The premium versions of each of these plugins all charge for additional features that come natively with the free version of Caldera Forms (such as multi-page forms, file uploads, conditional logic and more). The popular contact form plugin Gravity Forms is only available via purchase via one of three packages (based on frequency of use, with varying degrees of add-ons included).
While there may be some value in considering purchasing one of the above plugin packages, it’s only worth doing so if you are building advanced forms with third party integrations on an extremely frequent basis. If not, Caldera Forms will definitely meet and exceed your development needs.
Finally, in wrapping the argument as to why Caldera Forms is superior to other form builders, if you’re using the Divi theme by Elegant themes, you’ll know that the native contact form module offered within the Divi Builder is only adequate for very, very simple contact forms. If you have a client that requests functionality for a feature or element over and above the basic entry of a name, number, email address and message, you’ll find yourself in a spot of trouble. For this, and other reasons, we highly recommend using Caldera Forms as your go-to contact form plugin.
Aspen Grove Studios and Caldera Forms Collaborate for Divi
We’ve been fans of the Caldera Forms plugin for an incredibly long time, and are thrilled to be collaborating with Josh Pollock and the team at Caldera Labs for an extra special surprise that brings Caldera Forms to the Divi Builder in new and exciting ways.
We’ve got a whopping fifteen freebies that have been designed and developed by us using Caldera Forms to help you and your web development projects.
In this giveaway, you’ll find:
- 5 custom designed Contact Page layout packs
- 5 custom designed Coming Soon layout packs
- 5 custom designed Newsletter/Email Sign-up layout packs
In addition to the FREE resources listed above, all our Premium Child Themes‘ contact forms are now powered by Caldera Forms!
We hope that you are as excited about working with Caldera Forms as we are, and we hope that you’ll be introducing the plugin into your development with Divi if you haven’t already done so.
If you use one of the forms from this giveaway, please come back and share the link below – we’d love to see what you’ve created!
If you have any questions or queries, please feel free to share them in the comments section below. We love receiving your feedback.
Thanks for reading!