Contact Form 7 Basic Things you Should Know

Contact Form 7 is a WordPress plugin and the best option to create contact forms for blog sites.  CF7 plugin is totally free and you can easily customize the form fields.  There are also many third-party extensions to add extra functionality to it.

Contact Form 7

Know About Contact Form 7 WordPress Plugin

Plugins are used to add extra functionality to the WordPress blog. Different plugins can be used for specific needs. There are so many plugins that you can use to achieve different tasks. Contact Form 7 is one of the most used plugins to create Contact Forms on WordPress blog sites. It can manage and customize multiple contact forms. It also provides the mail contents flexibly with simple markup.

If you decide to use this plugin you should have basic knowledge of WordPress administration. So that you can install it and can get maximum out of it.

Contact Form 7 Installation

To install this plugin you should navigate to Plugins in your Dashboard and then Add New. Then write the “contact” in the search box and, WordPress will show you the related results automatically. From here you can install the Contact Form 7 plugin and then Activate this plugin.

After installation, if you see this message – Sorry you are not allowed to access this page, then you should follow this guide to solve this problem.

Contact Form 7 plugin form fields

After installation on your WordPress dashboard, a new Menu Item will be added named “Contact”.  Click on that and here you will find a default contact form with the name “Contact form 1”. You will also get some shortcode from there. Just copy this code and paste anywhere on your blog page or post or widget. And you will see a contact form on the front end there. Most of the blogger creates a new page Contact us and use the shortcode there to make a contact page.  The default form fields are Name, Email, Subject, and Message. Check the screenshot-

These are the basic default form fields and you can use its the shortcode on your site.

How to add New Fields to Contact Form 7 Plugins?

If you feel that you want to add more fields to the default form. You can edit it on the same window as shown in the previous image.  The fields are known as tags here, so you will be adding form field tags here.

The available tags are -text, email, URL, tel, number, date, text area, drop-down menu, checkboxes, radio buttons, acceptance, quiz, file, submit.

You can use the “Generate Tag” tool to generate as many tags as you want. Just remember that the second word in the tag that you will make is its name. This is important, especially later in your mail template.

Example-

<label> Your Name (required)
[text* your-name] </label>

Your Name (required) – This will be visible on your blog as it is, and works as a label.

[text* your-name] – text denotes that it is a text field. And * denotes that it is a required field. Users can not submit the form without entering some value in this.

your-name – is the word that carries the value.  You have to be careful while using in your mail template.  your-name must be used as it is in your mail template or otherwise the form will not work.

Customize the Mail Section

Till now you have got the understanding of cf7 plugin form. Now the next step is customizing a mail section. In the “Mail” section you can edit mail templates, almost in the same way as you did with the form templates. This is the area which you will receive in your mailbox when someone will submit the form.

Also, you can use a tag even there, but the difference from previous tags is that in a mail template you can use only one word in brackets. Besides that, you need to be aware that this name is the same as the name of tags from the previous situation with the form tags. The form tags and the mail tags correspond with the same name. The mail tags will be replaced by the user’s input value, so that’s why you need to be careful while creating them in the mail field.

CF7 or Contact form 7 Plugin Errors and Problems

While using it you may also face some issues and here are I am listing some common problems related to contact form 7 plugin.

The most common problems of the Contact Form 7 plugin are as listed below. These are also the front end errors which are visible to your visitors on your website or blog.
1) After submitting the form, there is no notification if the message is sent or not.
2) problems with file upload and file attachment in the message
3) message sending failed all the time
4) message sent success but mail not received
5) mail received by has no content (receiving blank mail)
6) I get an error message with a red border. So, how can I solve this?
7) Why do I get an error message with an orange border?
8) contact form always redirects to 404 error page after submission.
9) The spinning arrow icon shows up once I submit a form, but then nothing happens.
10) After submission, my contact form redirects to a URL followed by an unfamiliar code like #wpcf7-f123-o1.
11) captcha not working

There may be some errors while configuring the contact form 7 on the WordPress admin dashboard. These errors are visible on the backend and not on the front end to site visitors. Here is a list of common errors while doing contact form 7 Configuration.

Errors in the Form Tab
Unavailable names are used for form controls.
Multiple form controls are in a single label element.

Errors in the Mail Tab
There is a possible empty field.
Invalid mailbox syntax is used.
The sender email address does not belong to the site domain.
There are invalid mail header fields.
Attachment file does not exist.
It is not allowed to use files outside the wp-content directory.

Errors in the Messages Tab
HTML tags are used in a message.

Errors in the Additional Settings Tab
Deprecated settings are used.

Contact form email not sending email issue

a) There may be an error while sending your message. Please try again later.
b) “Thank you for your message. It has been sent.” But not received the mail.

It is very simple to fix these issues. Follow these few steps to solve the problem:
1) Please login to your WordPress Dashboard.
2) Now Add new -> Search ‘WP mail SMTP’
3) Install and Activate the plugin.
4) Now Go to setting-> Email and configure the SMTP setting
From Email -> Enter your Email Address
Form Name-> Put any name here
Mailer-> Choose to send all WordPress email via SMTP
Return Path -> Always check that checkbox

SMTP Options:
SMTP Host-> smtp.domain.com
SMTP Port-> 465
Encryption-> Use SSL encryption
Authentication-> Use SMTP Authentication
Username-> Enter your domain id
Password-> Enter your id password

5) At Last click on Save Changes. Go to your contact form and send the mail and check your mailbox.

There are so many plugins for SMTP. You can install anyone and use them. Only one thing is important that is SMTP Port, SMTP Host and add your correct username and password there.
If this is not working for you so check your plugin updates and cache. I hope this article will helpful for you.

SMTP plugin to use with contact form 7 in WordPress

1) Easy WP SMTP: It allows you to configure and send all outgoing emails via SMTP server. By this plugin, you can use Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail’s SMTP server. It securely delivers emails to your recipients.

 

2) WP SMTP: It can help us to send emails via SMTP instead of the PHP mail() function. If the field “From” was not a valid email address, or the field “SMTP Host” was left blank, it will not reconfigure the wp_mail() function.

 

3) WP Email SMTP: This plugin describes above briefly. This plugin allows you to connect any SMTP for sending emails from your WordPress site. You can connect any SMTP service like Amazon SES, MailGun, SendGrid, MailJet, MailGet to send emails using them.

 

4) WP Mail SMTP Plugin with Email Logs: This is a FREE SMTP plugin that gives you every feature needed to guarantee fast and 100% confident email deliverability. It includes a list of features designed to test, log, and control your email deliverability, even over multiple WordPress installations and networks.

 

5) Gmail SMTP: This plugin allows you to authenticate with your Gmail account to send an email via Gmail SMTP server. Most shared hosting servers have restrictions when it comes to email. Usually, the email will get blocked or missing for no reason. Sometimes it may get blocked when your website reaches the daily limit of outgoing email. This plugin can bypass this issue by routing the email through Gmail’s SMTP server.

 

Benefits for CF7

Using this plugin for WordPress can really save your time of developing and thinking about the best solution for making a contact form for your blog or site. Feedbacks show that Contact Form 7 plugin is a really needed plugin for a custom solution. Even if this plugin sometimes can have some problems and errors, still is one of the best plugins for WordPress. Contact Form 7 has also many upgrades that growing the quality and flexibility of this plugin.

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About the Author: Arvind Panwar

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