Wordpress is a great open source platform with most of it’s power coming from the 50,000 available plugins which you can download and install – just like apps on your phone there are free and paid plugins.
Adding a plugin is easy. Some are easy to set up and some really complicated.
I’m going to show you how to install a plugin then we’ll use it to create a simple contact form.
There are a lot of form plugins out there. I’ve selected this one for its ease of implementation but feel free to experiment with other plugins.
Installing a plugin
- In your Dashboard menu go to Plugins > Add New
- It is here that you can search or upload plugins.
- In the Search field type Ninja Forms and you should see this:
- Click the Install Now button then when available click the Activate button
- Now in your admin menu you should see Ninja Forms.
Setting up the form
This plugin has a huge range of options but for now we are only going to cover the basics (you can experiment later).
- Click on the Ninja Forms menu item and you will see that there is already a form for you to use called Contact Me.
- If you click on Contact Me you will see the fields of the form, Name, Email and Message with a Submit button.
- You can use this form or click the “+” to add more fields. Also use the Advanced > Display Settings menu for extra form settings.
- Once satisfied with your form we need to tell the form what to do when the Submit button is clicked.
- Click on the Emails & Actions menu item and you will see:
- Store Submission – if you want to keep a copy of what is sent to you in the WordPress admin leave this on. You would view stored submissions by clicking Submissions in the WP Admin dashboard under Ninja Forms.
- Success Message – this is used to show the user a message that their form was sent to you successfully and appears on the page where the form was.
- Email Confirmation – Similar to the Success Message however this sends and email this to the user.
- Email Notification – This is used to send an email to yourself notifying you that an email has been submitted.
- You will need to go into each of the above and set up your preferences.
Now we’ve created the form – now we need to put it on a page.
- To do this we simply copy and past the shortcode and place it on a page.
- If you click the Ninja Forms button in the WP Admin you will see a page similar to the image below – Highlight and copy the shortcode. The shortcode in this instance is [ninja_form id=1]
- Click Pages > Add New
- Title the page Contact Us or similar.
- Paste the shortcode in the text area.
- Save the Page – go to Appearance > Menus and add the Contact Us page to your menu
- Your form should now appear on that page when you view your website. Have a look and make any adjustments required.
Let’s improve on this
- Go back to the Contact Us page in Admin and click the Insert Shortcodes button.
- Select Map and enter you preferred map height in pixels and your address.
- Now go to the front end of your website and preview it – the form and map are both full width on the page.
Try using column shortcodes to put the form beside the map!