Do you want to compare the features in Caldera Forms vs WPForms?
Caldera Forms is closing in December 2021, so you’ll want to make sure you have a new form builder set up well before then.
In this article, we’ll compare the features in Caldera Forms and WPForms so you can see if switching makes sense.
Do I Need WPForms?
Yes! WPForms is the best contact form plugin for WordPress. It’s super easy to use, and it lets you get a simple contact form online in just a few minutes.
The awesome thing about WPForms is that you can start out with Lite, which is 100% free forever. Your forms and settings will be saved when you upgrade to Pro. So after you’ve moved over from Caldera Forms to WPForms, you’ll be able to continually improve your forms with more powerful features.
You don’t need to write any code to make and publish forms, and there’s even an Embed button to publish a form in a couple of clicks!
Let’s look at the features in WPForms vs Caldera Forms more closely.
Caldera Forms vs WPForms: Which Is the Best Form Builder?
In this review, we’re going to dive into the features, ease of use, and integrations in these form builders.
- Caldera Forms vs WPForms: The Basics
- User Experience
- Anti-Spam Options
- Form Templates
- Which Is Better? Caldera Forms vs WPForms
Let’s start by comparing these form builders on basic functionality.
Caldera Forms vs WPForms: The Basics
Caldera Forms and WPForms are both form builder plugins for WordPress. Both have a drag and drop editor that lets you position fields exactly where you want them to go.
And both plugins let you create an unlimited number of completely custom forms.
Each plugin has a free version and a few paid licenses. In addition, you can also buy paid addons for Caldera Forms. These aren’t available to new users since Caldera Forms will soon be discontinued, so we’ll focus on the free plugin here.
We can get an idea of the popularity of each of these form builders by comparing reviews for the free version of each plugin.
At the time of writing this review, the WPForms Lite plugin has 8,800+ reviews on WordPress.org with an average score of 4.9 out of 5. The plugin has 4+ million active installations.
And the free Caldera Forms plugin has 419 reviews with an average score of 4.3 out of 5. The free plugin has just 200,000 installations.
Caldera Forms will soon be discontinued, so it’s a good idea to switch to a different form builder right away. That way, you can easily migrate your forms before the plugin is finally retired.
So: what’s the user experience like in Caldera Forms vs WPForms? Let’s take a closer look.
User Experience in Caldera Forms vs WPForms
One of the main issues users had with Caldera Forms was the user interface, which is dated compared to other form builders for WordPress. So you’ll likely find WPForms easier to use when you switch over.
Caldera Forms has a drag and drop interface, and WPForms does too.
But Caldera Forms just isn’t that easy to work with, particularly if you have a small screen.
If you’ve been using it for a while, you’ll be used to the way everything works here. But for a new user, this interface isn’t that intuitive.
Adding fields is tricky in Caldera Forms. It takes a while to understand how to actually use this.
Some users report confusion and frustration when building forms. For example, there’s sometimes no explanation for errors.
All of these quirks will be familiar to you if you’re already using Caldera Forms.
In comparison, WPForms makes better use of the whole screen because the form builder pops out into its own window.
So no matter what size monitor you have, you don’t get the same feeling of clutter, and you don’t have to struggle with boxes that overlap.
Dragging, dropping, and editing feels is smoother in WPForms. When you drag a field over to your form, you can click on it once to open the settings. This layout is a lot easier to work with.
Even though WPForms has super advanced features, you’ll definitely find it easy to learn how to use it. You can easily make any type of WordPress form you need, including:
- Simple contact forms
- Job application forms
- Vet surgery booking forms
- Payment forms
- Email newsletter signup forms
- And more!
Let’s look more closely at the features in these 2 form builders.
Features in Caldera Forms vs WPForms
The features in Caldera Forms vs WPForms are similar, so moving from Caldera Forms to WPForms won’t limit you on functionality.
If you have a paid WPForms license, you can unlock advanced fields and addons that let you make complex forms.
Check out this comparison of WPForms Lite vs Pro to see a list of the features in the free version vs the paid version.
Caldera Forms also has addons that expand its functionality. But because the plugin is being retired, it’s difficult to access the addons now.
You can still use Caldera Forms addons you’ve already purchased, but you can’t access any others.
There are a few big differences between Caldera Forms, so we want to walk you through those as well.
Caldera Forms and WPForms Pro both store entries in the WordPress dashboard.
Caldera Forms shows the entries in a list.
You can export entries to CSV here, or open any form entry and view it in its own window.
In contrast, the WPForms Pro entry storage is much more advanced. You can export to CSV and Excel format from here.
WPForms also lets you:
- Star entries
- Mark entries read or unread
- Search entries and adjust your search using breadcrumbs
Each individual entry also opens up in its own window. You can:
- Print the entry to PDF
- Export to CSV or Excel XLS
- Resend the entry notifications
- See location information with the geolocation addon
- See the steps your visitor took with the user journey addon
Publishing Your Forms
Caldera Forms lets you publish forms with a shortcode.
You can also embed your form using the block editor while you’re building your page.
These options are fine if you just need basic options. But when you switch to WPForms, you’ll quickly come to love the extra functionality!
Publishing a regular form is as easy as clicking Embed at the top of the form builder.
From there, you can embed your form directly into a page.
If you want, you can also grab the shortcode. So this method is super versatile.
If you want to build your page in the block editor, you can also embed any form you’ve created there, just like Caldera Forms.
From here, WPForms goes a lot further.
This is an awesome way to make a free Elementor contact form!
And you can use WPForms right inside SeedProd too. So it’s really easy to add a contact form to any:
Looks great, right? But we’re not done yet!
Want to use WPForms as a Typeform alternative?
The conversational forms addon will let you convert any form into a Typeform-style layout. Users love this format because it makes forms more fun and helps to focus your visitor on each question.
If you have a Pro license, you can download this addon and start using it with any form you’ve created.
And if you want something more traditional, you can easily turn a form into a completely standalone form landing page with 1 click.
So when it comes to publishing forms, you can see just how advanced WPForms is compared to Caldera Forms and other form builder plugins.
Surveys and Polls
Caldera Forms and WPForms both let you make custom surveys and polls. But WPForms surveys are a lot more advanced.
That’s because the surveys and polls addon doesn’t just enable survey fields. It also gives you full survey reporting in the WordPress dashboard.
That means you don’t have to view your form entries in a list.
You can also view them in charts like this:
And WPForms will also turn your results into handy graphs if you use the special survey fields.
For example, here’s an example of a Likert Scale question visualized in WPForms:
By switching from Caldera Forms to WPForms, you can do a lot more with your surveys, including:
- Exporting graphs from survey questions
- Creating survey reports right from WordPress
- Excluding questions from your report if you need to
- Print your entries or reports to PDF.
We’ve talked a lot about WPForms Pro in this review. But what about the Elite license?
The WPForms Elite license unlocks everything in the plugin. And you can also use your license on unlimited sites, too.
Elite is the best choice if you want the most advanced integrations in the plugin, including:
With WPForms, using any addon is simple. Just install it from the plugin and you’re all set. You don’t have to pay for any addons individually.
Anti-Spam Options in Caldera Forms vs WPForms
Both of these form builders have spam prevention options, but WPForms gives you a lot more control.
So if you’re thinking of moving from Caldera Forms to WPForms, know that WPForms could help to drastically cut the amount of spam you receive.
For example, WPForms features for spam control include hCaptcha and custom CAPTCHAs.
Here’s a full comparison:
|Caldera Forms Free||Caldera Forms Pro||WPForms Lite||WPForms Pro|
|Email blacklist scanner||✓|
|Anti-spam form tokens||✓||✓|
|Email allowlist/ denylist||✓||✓|
The paid version of Caldera Forms has an email ‘blacklist’ scan, but there’s no information on what kind of blacklist is being used, or where the email address is sent for scanning.
This might be a concern if you need your site to be GDPR compliant, although there’s really no information to be able to judge whether this might be a risk.
The strangest missing anti-spam feature in Caldera Forms is reCAPTCHA. Even Contact Form 7 supports reCAPTCHA (in a limited way), but Caldera Forms decided to disable it completely.
In contrast, WPForms is the only form builder plugin that supports:
- Google reCAPTCHA v2
- Google reCAPTCHA v2 invsible
- Google reCAPTCHA v3
You can read more about all of these CAPTCHA options in this guide on how to stop contact form spam.
If you’re moving from Caldera Forms to WPForms, form templates will be super helpful. They’ll speed up the process of recreating your forms, and WPForms has plenty to choose from.
Caldera Forms comes with 6 templates.
But when you switch to WPForms Pro, you’ll get 100+ templates with the Form Templates Pack addon. This will give you a head start when you’re recreating your old forms from Caldera in WPForms.
Additionally, WPForms also lets you duplicate your forms and make your own custom templates. So if you want to save time recreating your forms, know that you can easily copy and adjust them to fit any purpose.
Both Caldera Forms vs WPForms have their own addons and integrations. Addons are additional plugins that extend the functionality in the form builder.
For example, you’ll need addons if you want to:
- Connect your form to email marketing services like Mailchimp or Drip
- Send form data to a CRM
- Connect WPForms to Zapier
As we already mentioned, Caldera Forms addons are no longer available unless you’ve already bought them.
If you’re switching, WPForms’ pricing is simple. Instead of having a confusing mixture of free and paid addons, WPForms has set licenses and doesn’t make you pay extra for specific addons.
We snapped this during a sale. Click here to see if these prices are still available.
This means you won’t see costs continually increase as you obtain more addons for your form plugin.
Caldera Forms is similar to Ninja Forms: both of these plugins have a confusing mix of licensing and addon fees. Check out this comparison of Ninja Forms vs WPForms to see a direct comparison of the prices for both.
WPForms vs Caldera Forms Support
Caldera Forms users can still access documentation for the plugin, and support will be provided until the end of 2021.
As we mentioned up top, some of the documentation feels incomplete and doesn’t provide enough detail about the features and what they do.
WPForms has a lot more support options available to you, even in the free version:
- WPForms Lite users can access support in the WordPress.org forum for the plugin
- If you have a WPForms license, you can get help within 1 business day by opening a support ticket
In addition, WPForms has:
- The WPForms VIP Circle Facebook group, which is available to all users of the plugin
- A YouTube channel packed with helpful video tutorials
- Hundreds of tutorials on the WPForms blog
- Full plugin documentation and advanced documentation for developers.
So you can easily learn WPForms at your own pace, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced user.
If you’re worried about Caldera Forms being unsupported soon, know that you won’t have that issue with WPForms. However you prefer to access support, the team is standing by to help you quickly.
Which Is Better? Caldera Forms vs WPForms
Now you’ve seen the differences between WPForms and Caldera Forms, it’s easy to see that WPForms is the best form builder plugin for WordPress!
It has tons of advanced features that will help you make super effective, high converting forms. And the 100+ templates make it easy to create any kind of form that you previously made in Caldera Forms.
All of the addons and integrations in WPForms make it easy to create advanced forms and reduce your admin. You’ll even be able to make money from blogging by using your forms for:
- Email marketing signups
- Lead magnets
- Digital downloads
- And so much more!
You can try WPForms today with no risk. Every license comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
So if you buy Pro and realize it doesn’t work for you, you can easily get a full refund within the first 2 weeks. No questions asked!
Caldera Forms will be sunset on 31st December 2021. Don’t leave it too late to switch! Download WPForms today and see how easy it is to create awesome forms for your business or nonprofit.
Ready to build your form? Get started today with the easiest WordPress form builder plugin. WPForms Pro includes lots of free templates and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.
And if you want to check out more free form builders, see how WPForms stacks up against Google Forms vs JotForm.