Do you want to compare the features in Caldera Forms vs Contact Form 7 vs WPForms?
Caldera Forms closed down in 2022, so you might want to look for an alternative now.
In this article, we’ll compare Caldera Forms, Contact Form 7, and WPForms so you can choose the right plugin according to your website needs.
What Is the Best Form Builder for WordPress?
WPForms is the best contact form builder for WordPress.
We might sound biased, but WPForms has 5+ million active installs and more than 10,000 5-star reviews.
WPForms includes both lite and premium versions. You can start with the lite version, which is 100% free forever and lets you create simple contact forms with some basic field options.
And if you want to create more advanced and powerful online contact forms, WPForms Pro is definitely worth trying. It comes with a huge form template library and a pack of awesome addons to make your form-building process a breeze.
Looking for more details? Check out our detailed post on WPForms Lite vs Pro.
Caldera Forms vs Contact Form 7 vs WPForms: Detailed Comparison
We’ll compare these form builder plugins based on their features, ease of use, and pricing.
First, we’ll see how beginner-friendly these form plugins are and how flexible it is to create online forms using them.
So let’s get started!
Note: Caldera Forms has been discontinued and is no longer available to purchase or download from WordPress.org. If you’re still using it on your site, we recommend switching to a different form builder plugin. This will make sure your plugin works with the latest version of WordPress, prevent security issues, and give you access to new features.
Building a Form With Caldera Forms
You can’t get Caldera Forms for your WordPress site anymore, so you’ll only be using it if you have it installed from when it was available for purchase or download.
The form builder interface of Caldera Forms is not very interactive. Its builder opens inside the WordPress dashboard. There’s no separate form builder setup.
There are 5 tab options, and you can start creating your form by clicking on the New Form button.
Caldera Forms has a drag-and-drop interface, but it’s not easy to use, especially if you’ve got a small screen.
Also, adding new fields is quite complicated. You can’t check the additional field options on your live screen. First, you need to drag the icon, and then it’ll open the list of fields, so it takes a while to understand how to use it.
One of the major drawbacks of Caldera Forms is that sometimes there is no explanation for errors, which is frustrating and confusing for users.
Plus, now that Caldera Forms is discontinued, you can’t contact anyone for help with these issues.
Caldera Forms can be the better option for advanced users and those who have hands-on experience with coding and HTML but not for beginners.
Creating a Form With Contact Form 7
Just like every WordPress plugin, first, you need to install and activate Contact Form 7 from your dashboard. If you need more guidance on the plugin installation process, check out the article on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Contact Form 7 is one of the oldest WordPress contact form builder plugins, and you can guess it by seeing its interface and form-building process.
There’s no drag-and-drop builder. You can’t start your form-building process if you don’t have prior HTML knowledge.
From adding new fields to form editing to creating complicated forms, you’ll need to have HTML and advanced coding experience. This is understandable since Contact Form 7 has been around for more than 12 years and was initially created for developers. However, it means that it’s not the best option for beginners.
Building a Form With WPForms
WPForms is the most beginner-friendly WordPress form builder plugin.
You can create any type of form using its easy drag-and-drop interface.
Let’s start with the basics. As soon as you begin with the WPForms plugin, you’ll see a video guide and a quick summary of the WPForms addons and features.
This guide helps understand the basics of the WPForms plugin if you’ve just started with WordPress.
You can start creating your first form by clicking on the Create your first form button.
Next, you’ll be redirected to the WPForms form template library. This library consists of 300+ ready-made form templates. You can use these templates as it is on your website or customize them however you’d like.
The advantage of using these templates is that you don’t need to design your form from a blank canvas. With the WPForms plugin, you can literally create online forms in just 3 easy steps: select, customize, publish, and you’re done!
Once you select your form template, you’ll be prompted to the WPForms form builder dashboard.
As you can see, the builder includes a completely separate dashboard so you can create your forms without any distractions.
The design, interface, and color of the builder are minimal yet attractive. All options are clearly visible, giving you an idea of what to do in the next step.
You can see your form on the right side and form fields on the left.
You can easily add more fields by dragging and dropping fields into the form. Moreover, you can edit, adjust and delete form fields with just a single click.
If you’re editing an old form that you created in the past, you’ll be able to use the revisions option to see old versions of your form and undo your changes if you need to.
On the left side of the builder, you’ll see 5 tabs :
Using these tabs options, you can add other additional features to your online forms.
On top of the page, you see options to Preview, Embed and Save your form.
With WPForms, you can embed forms directly from the form builder. No need to switch windows or close the form builder.
You can add your forms to pages, posts, sidebars, footers, and more. To keep track of everywhere you’ve published a form, just check the locations on the All Forms screen.
Compared to Caldera Forms and Contact Forms 7, the form builder interface of WPForms is more user-friendly and interactive.
Now that you know the form-building process let’s see the feature list of these plugins.
Features of Caldera Forms vs Contact Form 7 vs WPForms
Check the table below to see the essential features you get with Caldera Forms, Contact Form 7, and WPForms.
|Caldera Forms||WPForms||Contact Form 7|
|Free version available||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Official addons||✔️||✔️||3rd party addons|
|Pre-built form templates||6||300+||1|
|Import and export||✔️||✔️||❌|
|CAPTCHA support||❌||reCAPTCHA, hCaptcha, Custom||v3 only|
|Live form preview||✔️||✔️||❌|
|Direct integrations of Email marketing tools||✔️||✔️||❌|
|Payment gateways integration||✔️||✔️||❌|
As you can check, the features in Caldera Forms vs WPForms are similar, so if you’re planning to switch from Caldera Forms, WPForms would be the best option for you.
Let’s see some more awesome features of WPForms:
- Conditional logic feature
- Multi-page forms
- Surveys and Polls addon to create powerful online surveys
- Popular payment gateway integration such as PayPal, Stripe, and Square
- Email marketing tools integration to grow your email list
- Save and Resume addon to allow users to save partial entries and complete them later
- Instant email notifications and confirmations with form submissions
- Allows to save WPForms entries to Google sheets
- And more!
To check the complete feature list, check out the features page of WPForms.
Entry Storage in Caldera Forms, Contact Form 7 and WPForms
With Caldera Forms and WPForms, you can manage and store entries in your WordPress dashboard.
Caldera Forms Entries
Caldera Forms displays entries in a list.
It allows you to export entries in a CSV format or open a separate window to view more details.
WPForms provides a more advanced and proper entry management system for storing your form entries.
It opens a separate entry storage page where you can:
- Export form entries to CSV and Excel format
- Star entries
- Mark entries read or unread
- Search and sort entries by adding filters
You can view complete user-related data by clicking on the View button under the actions tab.
This will open an individual page for each entry. From here, you can:
- Print the entry to PDF
- Export to CSV or Excel XLS
- Resend the entry notifications
- View location information with the Geolocation addon
- Track the user journey of your visitors
If you start with the free version of WPForms, make sure to turn on the Lite Connect feature. This will save your entries and let you unlock them when you upgrade to the paid version of WPForms.
Contact Form 7 Entries
In contrast, there’s no particular entry management feature in Contact Form 7. It doesn’t save entries in your WordPress dashboard.
You need to build an email template with some code tags, and Contact Form 7 will use this template to send an email notification for each form submission.
This process is not always easy, and that’s why sometimes you don’t get notifications from Contact Form 7. If you face this error, read this tutorial on Contact Form 7 not sending emails.
Caldera Forms vs Contact Form 7 vs WPForms: Pricing
Now comes the most important factor. How much does a form builder cost? The pricing depends on the functionalities and features you’ll need in your form builder plugin.
Is Caldera Forms Free?
The free version of Caldera Forms has been removed from the WordPress plugin repository. Although both the paid and free versions are still available to existing users, you can no longer purchase or download the plugin.
Is Contact Form 7 Free?
Contact Form 7 is a free plugin. But it’ll require you to install 3rd party addons to extend its form builder functionalities and additional features.
Is WPForms Free?
WPForms includes both free and premium versions. If you’re new to WordPress, you can start with the Lite version and later switch to the Pro version to create more powerful online forms.
WPForms Pro offers 4 premium plans Elite, Pro, Plus, and Basic.
- The Basic package supports 1 site and starts at $39.50/ year – includes multi-page forms, templates file uploads, spam protection, conditional logic, and custom thank you pages.
- The Plus package supports 3 sites and starts at $99.50/ year– adds support for popular mailing tool providers like Mailchimp, plus more pre-built form templates.
- The Pro package supports 5 sites and starts at $199.50/ year – includes addons to create surveys and polls, conversational forms, and powerful features like digital signatures.
- The Elite package supports unlimited sites and starts at $299.50/ year – premium integrations like Authorize.Net, Salesforce, HubSpot, Webhooks, and usage on unlimited sites.
Also, WPForms offer a 14-day money-back guarantee so that you can use WPForms on your WordPress sites worry-free.
And that’s it! Let’s see which one is the best form builder plugin for WordPress between Caldera Forms, Contact Form 7, and WPForms.
Caldera Forms vs Contact Form 7 vs WPForms: Which One Is Best?
While comparing our WordPress contact form plugins, we looked in detail at:
- Ease of use
- Features and
- Entry management
Considering all these factors, WPForms is the true winner. And we’re confident in saying this statement because:
- WPForms is beginner-friendly and easy to use.
- It’s a no-code builder form, and you can carry out advanced functionalities without writing a single line of code.
- It comes with smooth form embedding options that allow you to add your form on any page, post, or even as a sidebar widget of your site.
- Includes Elementor and Divi modules.
- The Pro addons for geolocation, surveys, and the user journey make WPForms versatile and powerful.
Caldera Forms is officially closed, so support and plugin updates are no longer available. If you’re planning to switch, Download WPForms today to get a whole new form-building experience.
Next, Compare WPForms to Other Form Builders
Still not sure if WPForms is right for you? We have tons of other comparison posts you can read to learn about how it stacks up with other popular options:
- Gravity Forms vs Ninja Forms vs WPForms
- Google Forms vs Jotform vs WPForms
- WPForms vs Typeform
- SurveyMonkey vs Alchemer vs WPForms
Ready to build your form? Get started today with the easiest WordPress form builder plugin. WPForms Pro includes lots of free templates and advanced features.