Forms are an integral part of any website. From contact forms to a form for filling out a customer survey, your website greatly benefits from offering these easy to use elements. While you may know that your WordPress site needs to use a form for a certain process, chances are you may not know exactly where to start.
Here’s what you need to know about creating forms for your WordPress website.
Know the Purpose
You obviously don’t want to have a random form on your website just because, as this can create all sorts of confusion and frustration for website visitors. Before you get into the nitty gritty of creating forms for your WordPress site, first figure out what you’re trying to achieve.
Do you want users to be able to quickly and easily contact your company? Are you looking for a way to collect personal communication details for a visitor? Do you want to provide survey functionality for visitors to review products or to provide company feed?
Whatever the purpose of the form may be, it pays to know exactly what you’re aiming to do. This way you can determine what type of fields need to be added to collect the right information.
Pick a Method
There’s no wrong or right way to create forms, but there’s likely a certain method that makes more sense than others. If your website is hosted in WordPress, it’s much easier to use a contact forms plugin for WordPress. With the right plugin you can have well-designed looking forms in just a few minutes
Just as you’ll want to simplify the form for users, you want to simplify the creation process as much as possible. No matter if you use a form plugin or create forms from scratch, functionality and design are the two most important considerations.
Determine What Information is Needed
Once you know what the form will be used for and how you will create it, the next step is to write down what type of information will need to be collected. For example, if you’re looking to create a form for email subscription signup, you’ll want to include fields for users to provide their:
- Full name
- Email address
- Field to explain how information will be used
Depending on your marketing schema, you may also want to collect the user’s birthday or geographic location. This information could come in handy if you send email subscribers a coupon on their birthday or want to run a campaign based on geographic location.
When figuring out which fields need to be available on the form, it’s important to avoid collecting too much information. Consumers are less willing to divulge information that they don’t believe is relevant to what they’re signing up for.
Design the Form
With all of the fields determined, you can move onto designing the form. Since the form will be linked on your website, you want to ensure that its overall look, feel, and function goes along with the rest of your existing site. This improves user experience as there will be a seamless transition between website to form and back to your website.
When creating the form, simplicity is crucial. Don’t use long field names and don’t try to display paragraphs of information. The form should be short and should include two prominent “Submit” and “Cancel” buttons.
After the form is created, it’s time to test. Start with testing the form using different browsers along with browser versions. You can do this using a cross-browser testing tool such as Browserling. The tool also allows you to test different browser versions, depending on the selected operating system.
Once you’ve ensured the form loads on the most common browsers, you’ll also want to test different resolutions, as this can impact how the form loads on the page. The most important factor to test is the form’s responsiveness.
Responsive design is all about ensuring your website and the forms are viewable and usable on a variety of devices. While you’ll do most of your testing using a computer with a large screen, it’s even more important to ensure the forms load on smaller screens, such as a cell phone or a tablet.
Creating a form on your website may seem like a simple process, but there’s a lot of thought and process that goes into creating a useful and functional form. When it’s time to add forms to your website for email subscribers, surveys, or for contact purposes, be sure to keep these steps in mind.