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WordPress contact form plugins

Mon 2nd December 2013

For my running club’s website, I need a contact form that will e-mail the message to a different person based on what topic the user chose. I have been scouring WordPress plugins for something that does this, and is free. However, I’m finding the WordPress plugin community has inherited little of the culture of the FOSS community in which WordPress is a bit of a diamond, and instead churns out billions of similar but largely buggy and lacking features, or else overly complicated. And if you do find a potentially good one, it will have most of the good features reserved for its “premium” or “pro” version!

So, here are the WordPress contact form plugins I looked at, with some comments why they didn’t suit my needs to hopefully save you some time in the future.

  1. Contact Form 7
    • Quite simple to put together forms, though very text/code based, so you need to understand HTML and shortcodes to use this.
    • Couldn’t work out how to send the e-mail to a certain person, as the drop-down element only contains the displayed value, not a related e-mail address.
  2. Easy Contact Forms
    • Massively over complicated system for creating forms.
    • I had no idea where to begin!
    • Potentially only stores entries in database?
  3. Contact Form Plugin
    • This is the one that has the right feature, but only if you upgrade to PRO.
    • To make it worse, it puts banner ads at the top of your admin screen to buy the upgrade to PRO, and its other products. Vile!
  4. Fast Secure Contact Form
    • Doesn’t appear to do sending to different addresses based on selected value.

Ok, so nothing out there seems to do what I want. Not that there’s not many contact form plugins, there’s bloody loads. I just wish all these people hoping to make a few bucks had worked together to make 2 or 3 of awesome plugins to meet most of the demand. It would have been a much better use of the worlds’ time.

Solution?

Well I’m going to have bodge a solution as there’s not a plugin out there. Instead I’m going to use WordPress’ built-in contact form (or maybe one of the simpler ones above) to make a contact form for each topic, and have them on separate pages. Then on the main contact page it will have big buttons asking what the question is about and link to the appropriate contact form. Should do the trick (if it works)!

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