Testing Forms Before Launching

Want to make sure that your form works properly before displaying it on your site? Testing your form is the best way to ensure a smooth experience for you and your users.

This tutorial will share the most important questions to answer before launching a form on your site, as well as tips to address issues and improve user experience.

Form Testing Overview

Note: Looking for a pre-launch checklist for your full site? Be sure to check out WPBeginner’s guide to all the items to test before launch.

Previewing Your Form

WPForms makes it easy to test your form before adding it to a page or post on your site. To do so, go to WPForms » All Forms. Then hover over the form title to display an additional menu of options. Once the options appear, click Preview.

Previewing a form

We recommend using this form preview as you check through the questions below.

Testing Your Form’s Functionality

Once you’ve opened your form’s preview, ask the following questions to determine if it’s functioning as expected.

Is Form Validation Working Properly?

Validation messages help users easily see if they skipped a required field or entered a value with an incorrect format.

To test if validation is working, try submitting your form without filling out the required fields. Any empty, required fields should display a red message that states, “This field is required.”

A required field validation message

Next, try entering an incorrect format into any field that has format rules, such as the Email field. When you try to submit the form, it should display a red message asking you to enter your input using the proper format.

A field format validation message

If validation messages aren’t displaying properly, the next step is to check for a code conflict.

Note: For customization options, be sure to check out our tutorial on changing validation messages.

Does the Form Notification Email Deliver Successfully?

When enabled and set up properly, notification emails will automatically be sent out as soon as a user submits your form.

However, due to server configuration issues or spam filtering by the recipient’s email provider, sometimes emails aren’t able to be delivered successfully.

To test your notifications, go ahead and submit your form. Then, check to be sure that the email arrived in your inbox (or that of the intended recipient).

If your form’s notification email didn’t arrive or was marked as spam, or if you’d like to avoid delivery issues potentially developing in the future, the next step is to set up SMTP on your site. This will authenticate your emails so that they consistently deliver successfully.

For all the details, as well as step-by-step setup instructions, be sure to check out our tutorial on recommended SMTP solutions.

For a full guidance on how to fix notification issues, refer to our guide to troubleshooting form notification emails.

Are Conditional Logic and Integrations Working? (Optional)

If your form includes conditional logic, email marketing connections, payment functionality, or any other integration, be sure to check that these features are all working as expected.

Is Every Condition Working Properly?

To test your form’s conditional logic, be sure to try out any conditions that you’ve added to your form.

If conditional logic isn’t working as expected, the best next step is to double-check the condition rules for any possible issues. If the rules appear correct and logical, the next step is to check for a code conflict.

Are New Subscribers Added to Your Marketing Platform When a Form Is Submitted?

If you’ve connected any marketing services to your forms to collect leads, submit a test entry and check your mailing list to be sure a new contact has been added.

Should you see any issues with your email marketing integration, the best next step is to check back through the setup tutorial for the addon you’re using.

Here are the relevant tutorials for our available marketing integration options:

Additionally, you can use our Zapier addon, Uncanny Automator integration, or Webhooks addon to connect your site to marketing platforms that we don’t yet have dedicated integrations with. If you do so, make sure to test these connections, too.

Are Test Payments Successful?

Our payment addons include options to test their functionality before accepting real payments. For more details, please see our payment integration tutorials:

Note: Before adding your form to a live page on your site, be sure to switch the payment settings to Live mode.

Testing Your Form’s User Experience

In addition to making sure your form’s functionality is working as you intended, it’s important to check whether your forms are easy and enjoyable to fill out. Running through the questions below can help you improve your form’s user experience and decrease form abandonment.

Does Your Form Have a Clear Purpose and Instructions?

If a user understands why they’re being asked to complete a form, they’re much more likely to fill it out accurately and complete the submission. These points can help you evaluate whether your form’s instructions are clear and easy to follow.

Does the Form Name Indicate a Clear Purpose?

Naming your form something that makes its purpose clear will help users understand why they’re filling it out. Titles such as “Get in Touch” or “Place Your Order” are good examples.

If you need to change the name of your form, you can do so by going to the Setup area of the form builder.

Editing the form name

Would User Instructions Be Helpful? Have You Helped Set User Expectations?

If you need users to fill out your form in a particular way, it can be helpful to add detailed instructions for them. It’s also good to set realistic expectations for users, such as telling them how long they can expect to wait for a response from you or if they should check their email inbox for more information after submitting their entry.

For example, you might add something like, “Please share any questions in the form below. We’ll be in touch within 1 business day.” to your contact form.

If your form is lacking instructions or other important details, check out our tutorial on adding non-input text to your forms.

Is It Clear Exactly What Content and Format You’d Like for Each Field?

Some fields, such as the Phone and Email fields, require users to input text in a specific format.

If you have a field in your form that needs to be filled out using a certain format, you can show users how the input should look using the field label, description, or placeholder text.

Adding placeholder text to a Phone field

Note: Want to offer users incentives to fill out your forms? Consider offering a free download or other lead magnets.

Is Your Form Too Long?

Shorter forms are easier for users to complete. If your form requires more than a few fields, there are several ways you can make it feel less overwhelming to users.

Could Your Form Fields Be Arranged in a Multi-Column Layout?

Dividing your fields into multiple columns can make your form take up less space on the page, which makes it feel shorter to users.

Short content fields, such as Email, Phone, and Name fields work well in multi-column layouts.

An example of a form with a multi-column layout

If You Have Checkboxes or Multiple Choice Fields, Could They Be Placed into Columns?

When a Multiple Choice or Checkboxes field has lots of short options, putting them in multiple columns makes it easier to see all the available items at once.

A Checkboxes field using a three-column layout

Are There Some Fields That Only Certain Users Need to Fill Out?

If your form includes some fields that don’t apply to all users, it can be useful to hide those fields to prevent confusion.

Using smart conditional logic, you can show or hide fields based on users’ selections or input.

An example of conditional logic showing a field

See our tutorial on using conditional logic for more detailed instructions.

Would Your Form Be Easier to Read With Section Dividers? Could Your Form Logically Be Split into Multiple Pages?

If you have a particularly long form, it can be helpful to break it into sections or even separate pages.

For example, our Blog Post Submissions Form template uses Section Divider fields to separate the “Author Details” fields from the “Create a Blog Post” fields.

This creates logical separation and also provides a chance to include extra details and instructions in the description.

The Blog Post Submission template with section dividers

Is the Form Confirmation Helpful to Users?

After a user submits your form, the confirmation message or page will display.

A confirmation message or thank you page is a great place to show appreciation for the submission, set expectations for response time, and guide the user to the next steps they should take. For inspiration, check out our Thank You page examples.

Does Your Form Work Well on Mobile Devices?

WPForms is designed to be mobile-responsive and will adapt to look great on devices such as smartphones and tablets.

However, depending on your customizations and site theme, additional adjustments may be needed to ensure users can fill out your forms no matter what device they’re using.

To test your form’s responsiveness, try filling out and submitting the form in your phone’s browser.

Note: If you used a multi-column layout in your form, be sure to adapt it to a single column for mobile.

Is Your Form Secure From Spam?

Keeping your forms secure is key to avoiding spam and keeping the data you collect safe and clean. WPForms makes this easy for you with a variety of anti-spam options. These include built-in anti-spam protection, Akismet anti-spam integration, and the option to add CAPTCHAs.

Completed CAPTCHA

Beyond these, WPForms offers advanced settings, such as country and keyword filters. These features empower you to block spam entries from specific locations or containing certain words.

For all the details, as well as step-by-step setup instructions, be sure to check out our tutorial on preventing spam in WPForms.

What’s Next After Testing Your Forms?

Once you’ve thoroughly tested your forms, the next step is to make them accessible to your site visitors. Learn about the various ways to add forms to your site by by exploring our guide to displaying forms on your site.

What to Do If You Have Questions

Have you located an issue with your form that you’re not sure how to fix? Our guides to troubleshooting site errors and resolving CSS issues may help.

If you give these tutorials a try and still have questions, please share them with our support team and we’ll be happy to assist you.

That’s it! You can now use this checklist to test your forms before adding them to your site.

Next, would you like to learn more about entry management in WPForms? Be sure to check out our guide to form entries to see all the details.