how-to-save-your-contact-form-data-in-wordpress

How to Save Your Form Data in WordPress Database (With a Plugin)

Want to save your site’s form submissions with a WordPress database plugin? With the WPForms plugin, it’s super easy to manage your form submissions right from your WordPress dashboard.

In this post, we’ll show you exactly how to save contact form data in your WordPress database, and how to manage your entries from the dashboard.

Here’s a table of contents of this post:

Where Is the Database in WordPress Stored?

Even though you might not see it on the front end, WordPress will automatically create a database for you when it’s first installed, and the name, host, username, and password data is stored in the configuration file called wp-config.php under MySQL database Settings.

WPForms is an online form builder with WordPress data collection features. The WPForms plugin automatically stores all form data in 4 tables within the native WordPress database. They are:

  • wp_wpforms_entries: The info inside the fields (values) of your entries are stored in this database table
  • wp_wpforms_entry_meta: This table has meta info about your entries like associated IDs and dates
  • wp_wpforms_entry_fields: This table contains encoded entry information from your forms
  • wp_wpforms_tasks_meta: This table stores information about tasks that are processed in the background.

Note that the wp_ prefix in the table name is the default. The actual value is set in the wp-config.php file in WordPress. So in your WordPress installation, the prefix may look slightly different.

WPForms is the best WordPress Form Builder plugin. Get it for free!

Most WordPress web hosting providers offer easy-to-use web applications like phpMyAdmin to manage databases after your WordPress installation. Regardless of if you’re using unmanaged or managed WordPress hosting.

The name phpMyAdmin may sound strange, but it’s just a database management system. It allows users to manage the database entries on their WordPress site using a visual interface. Pretty cool, right?

If you’re using Bluehost for your WordPress hosting, you can find the link to phpMyAdmin database server by scrolling to the bottom of the homepage once logged in under Helpful Links » Advanced » phpMyAdmin:

how to access wordpress database

How Do I Access My WordPress Database?

Looking for the WordPress database location? Let’s take a look at how to view form entries in your WordPress database using phpMyAdmin.

Here’s how to access the database so you can find your WordPress data collection. In phpMyAdmin, select your WordPress database and then click on the table, wp_wpforms_entries.

database table

Here, you can find all your form entries in the fields column.

fields column-wordpress database

You can do lots of things in here like create tables. For more details, you can read this beginner’s guide to WordPress database management with phpMyAdmin or check out this video:

How to Manage Entries in WordPress

You may not realize that when you started your WordPress site, in a way, it automatically created a database for you. And WPForms lets you easily access your form entries and manage them all inside your WordPress dashboard, acting like a control panel. Storing and retrieving data from the WordPress database is simple.

Let’s take a look at how to manage your form entries on your WordPress site.

Before we get started, let’s create a simple WordPress contact form with WPForms. If you need help, you can refer to this article on how to create a simple contact form with WPForms.

After publishing the form, make sure to add a test entry, so we have some data to access from your WordPress dashboard.

Next, go to your form builder and click on Settings » General. Make sure that the Disable entry storing information in WordPress option is not checked.

enable storing form data in wordpress database

Now, navigate to WPForms » Entries in your WordPress dashboard to see your test entry.

form entries

WPForms lets you favorite your entries, mark them as read, and even delete the ones you don’t want. Here’s a great list of other WPForms power hacks to try.

Now, under the Actions column, click View to see your form entry.

click view entry management

And here’s how an individual entry will look.

individual entry

Not Getting Emails? What to Do

If you’re seeing your entries in your database but you’re not getting email notifications about them, there are usually 2 main reasons:

1. Your Emails Are Seen As ‘Spoof’ Emails

Spoof emails are similar to spam. Except emails that are suspected of spoofing rarely even make it to an inbox.  This usually happens when WordPress sends you a notification when a form is completed by using the email of the person who completed it as the “from” sender. This is often flagged as spoofing because this email is coming from your website and masks the actual sender of the email (your WordPress account).

And then, email notifications can get lost and never end up in your inbox.

2. Your Hosting Company Doesn’t Use the PHP Mail Function

Another reason you’re likely missing email notifications is because of the PHP mail function and your hosting provider.

Your web host may not support the PHP mail function, (which is very common these days). The PHP mail function is used by WordPress to send emails from your site, including emails generated by contact form plugins. This is why we recommend using SMTP to send emails from WordPress instead of using the default PHP mail function.

Luckily, this is an easy fix.

Install WP Mail SMTP

The easiest and most effective way to fix the Contact Form 7 is not sending email issue for most people is to use WP Mail SMTP. It’s the most powerful SMTP and PHP mailer WordPress plugin on the planet. Plus, there’s also a free version available.

wp mail smtp homepage

One of the greatest things about the WP Mail SMTP plugin is that the Elite plan offers a White Glove Setup service where they do all the install and the technical stuff for you. Plus, WP Mail SMTP in integrated with many of the most popular transactional mailers like:

To install the WP Mail SMTP WordPress plugin, purchase a paid version or head to your WordPress dashboard to install the plugin for free. It’s the best way to get your WordPress form to database, easily.

There are different steps for each mailer you’re using, so to complete setup with this plugin, check out the full guide on how to get WordPress form notifications using the WP Mail SMTP plugin. You’ll be receiving email from your website in no time.

Next Steps With WordPress Data Collection

That’s it! You now know how to access and manage your WordPress database with a plugin.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also want to read our articles on how to export WordPress form entries to CSV and how to save form submissions as PDF files.

What are you waiting for? Get started with the most powerful WordPress forms plugin today.

If you like this article, then please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more free WordPress tutorials.

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Enter the URL to your WordPress website to install.

Comments

    1. Hi Kenneth,

      We don’t currently offer the ability to search entries, though this is on our list to consider adding down the road 🙂

      If it helps in the meantime, a quick option is to create a CSV export of entries and run a search within that (you can open the CSV in a spreadsheet program like Excel if that’s easiest).

      I hope that helps! 🙂

  1. Hi!

    For some reason form entries are not displayed in the entry management. I’ve checked that the settings are correct and data should be stored. I checked our site database through phpAdmin and it seems that the “wp_wpforms_entries” is named wp_7_wpforms_entries should the table be renamed?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Sam,

      A quick thing to try is toggling the activation of the WPForms plugin (deactivating it, then reactivating it). Though pretty rare, every once in a while when a WordPress plugin is activated something doesn’t connect quite right. If that doesn’t do the trick, please contact us in support and we’ll work to troubleshoot this as quickly as possible 🙂

      Also, the datatable name isn’t necessarily a concern, as some sites will alter the prefixes of all tables in their WordPress database as a security measure. If you’re curious, you can see how this is done in this WPBeginner article.

      I hope this helps! 🙂

      1. Hi Anton.
        Thanks for the updates!
        We are glad to hear that it works for you.

        Have a good one 🙂

    2. I’m having exactly the same problem. Receiving notifications fine, but no data is stored under entries. It keeps telling there are 0 entries despite multiple tests. The database tables in the MySQL database are empty too.

      1. Can you check to see if you have any security plugins installed? iThemes Security (and similar) sometimes block database writes/calls by accident.

        In the case of iThemes Security, disabling “Filter Suspicious Query Strings in the URL” and “Filter Non-English Characters” under System Tweaks usually fixes the issue.

  2. Hi,
    i like your plugin but one question before purchase.
    i want to store the submitted data into my own database table.
    How can i achieve this?

    1. Hi Azhar,

      It may be possible to do what you’re describing, however we aren’t able to provide support for the use of custom/alternative database tables.

      If you have any other questions, could you please let us know? Thanks! 🙂

  3. I’m ussing the Lite version of the plugin.
    I want to check the entries in my forms but I cannot find those tables in the database. Is there a reason because i don’t see them?

    1. Hi Fernando,

      I’m sorry for any confusion over that — WPForms Lite isn’t able to store entries to the database, and entry details are only stored in the notification email that’s sent out.

      If you decide to upgrade to one of our licenses down the road, the datatables mentioned here will be created and new entries will start being stored there. If you have any suggestions on how we can better clarify this from our current notice in Lite, please let us know.

      Thanks! 🙂

  4. Hi

    I love your plugin but have only used the Lite version so far for a client site.
    I would like to discuss purchasing the Basic option with them as I need to have a record in WordPress of each submission made via the Contact Form. We are having issues with form entries not coming through. I have added a SMTP option but need the records as well o make sure we capture everything.

    Can you please confirm that the above sample where entries are added to WPForms » Entries are part of this Basic package?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Simone,

      Yes, that’s correct. While WPForms Lite entries are stored only in the notification email that’s sent, all of our paid licenses will store entries to your site’s database as described in this article.

      In case it helps, we’ve recently published a guide to entries that provides tons of details on entry storage and related features.

      I hope this helps! If you have any other questions, please let us know 🙂

  5. I love your plugin but have only used the Lite version so far.
    I have no record of each submission made via the Contact Form. I am having issues with form entries not coming through. I have added a SMTP option but need the records. Should I contact my emailer’s support system to try and retrieve them or are they gone forever

    1. Hi Maya,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re seeing issues with email delivery. Unfortunately unless these emails were sent to spam, the email provider will most likely have no record of them.

      If you need any help getting your SMTP option set up to ensure that all future entries deliver successfully, though, we’d be happy to help — please just let us know in our WPForms Lite support forum.

  6. I would like to see more of the fields in entries page without having to click “view” on each entry. Is there an option of how many fields or which fields to show there?

  7. Hi! Is there a way to export only certain entries to a csv-file instead of all of them at once? Selecting only some of them and then exporting doesn’t seem to work. This is actually crucial to being able to use your product. We have the basic version, I think.

    1. Hi Juuli,

      We don’t currently have a way to select just a few entries for a CSV export, but I agree this would be super useful and it’s on our list of features to consider in the future. I’ve added your vote to that feature request as well. Thanks for the suggestion 🙂

      On the chance that it’s helpful, it is possible to export individual entries to CSV.

      And if you have any other questions, please feel welcome to get in touch with our support team 🙂

  8. Hello, I have WPforms in paid version, I need to use the database to show the records of a form to its user, however, in the table ENTRIES only gives the record in a format. I need to give the user his records of a form.
    Please have information on the use of the database

  9. The code {all_fields} seems only to deliver the name in the notification email.
    If the contact form doesn’t save the data, and the email only contains the name of the
    subscriber, not the rest of the contact page, of what use is WP_Forms free version?

    1. Hi Vince,

      I’m sorry for the trouble, and that’s definitely odd. The {all_fields} Smart Tag should include any field (field label and input value) that the user fills out, just as you’re expecting. This behaves the same way for both Lite and paid versions.

      When you get a chance, please drop us a line in support so we can assist. We provide limited complimentary support in the WPForms Lite WordPress.org support forum.

      Thanks 🙂

  10. Hello,
    Kindly is there anyway to make the form rtl?
    I tried to add it as css feature,but nothing is changed.
    Looking forward your response please.
    Also another question,I’ll be able to retrieve the data in the database to use it for some coding normally?
    Best Regards

  11. hello ,

    I want to try to display the data collected from the form to a table in the site.
    A have a form with a dropdown and a paragraph. In the database there are two same entries but with different entry_id and cannot connect it to wp_datatable. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Antreas,

      I apologize as we’re not able to provide support for custom code. However in case it helps, we do have a developer doc that discusses how to display form entries in a table (you can find that here).

      I hope the tutorial helps! If you have any other questions, please know that you can receive faster and more in-depth support through our private support for paid license holders. Thanks! 🙂

  12. Thanks for the info!

    I have followed the guide in full and the one you see in this course [URL removed], but the steps of the manual installation are different.

    Any advice?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Esther,

      I apologize, but I don’t understand your question. This blog post is about database storage for WPForms, but it sounds like you’d like to know about installation. When you get a chance, could you please get in touch with our team with some extra details on what you’re looking to do? We’ll be able to assist further from there.

      Thanks! 🙂

  13. Hello! I just found out that the email for notifications was misspelled and have not received notifications for the last month! I am using wp forms light. Is there any way to recover this information??

    1. Hi Emilia,

      In our Lite version, entry details are stored only to the notification email that’s sent – so unfortunately we don’t have a way to recover these previous entries for you. Though it may be a long shot, you could try reaching out to your site’s hosting provider to find out if they keep a log of emails sent out from your site.

      I apologize that we’re not able to help further with this! For future entries/forms, I’d recommend going through our pre-launch checklist. This will help to ensure things go smoothly moving forward.

      And in case it helps, we provide limited complimentary support for all of our Lite users over in our support forum. So if you have any questions about Lite, we’d be happy to assist from there 🙂

    1. Hi Emmanuel,

      Our plugin doesn’t allow for existing form field HTML to be modified, as that would create a lot of potential concerns for functionality. However, you can add HTML within our HTML field (to add images, etc), as well as add your own custom CSS or even some JavaScript.

      Any custom code like this, though, will not be saved with the entry.

      I hope this helps! If you have any additional questions, please get in touch! 🙂

  14. I need a little help,
    I just create 2 forms, and I would like to know before purchase Pro.
    that is 2 forms have a different data store or it is consolidated?
    Could you please explain more?

    Thanks so much

  15. Hello,

    I recently installed the WP Pro version of forms to my website. I followed all instructions and deactivated the Lite version, then activating the Pro version. Upon activation however all the forms that had previously been entered disappeared. This is troubling as the responses were being collected for an awards gala. The responses from the lite version were not going to our email (likely due to the SMTP issues) so we upgraded to PRO with the promise of our forms being available to us (as it states on your document page “How to Upgrade”

    “Don’t worry, all of your forms and settings will stay in place when you activate the paid plugin version.

    Once you’ve activated WPForms, you’ll be taken to a welcome screen with more details to help you get started.”

    Please advise as to how we can retrieve these entries.

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      I really apologize for any confusion with this, however our Lite version is not capable of storing entries to the site. Data for entries collected in Lite is only stored to notification emails that are sent out.

      If you have any suggestions on how we can better clarify this, please share those with our support team when you have a chance. Here’s a screenshot with our current wording from the Lite Entries page.

      And if you have any additional questions or we can assist in any other way, please get in touch with our support team.

  16. I’m receiving no notification emails on the Lite version. I’ve checked that the notification option is set to send to my email address, reentered some tests, and I still get nothing. I gather that any entries made over the last couple months are lost. Is there any way to check or recover them? Is there any way to fix the problem with sending notifications?

    1. Hi J.R. Gerow,

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having difficulties with email notifications. WPForms Lite does not store entries and often times these emails can be filtered as spam by email service providers. If that’s the case, you may want to reach out to your site’s hosting provider to find out if they keep a log of emails sent out from your site.

      To resolve email delivery issues like this, we recommend using SMTP to send emails in WordPress. If you need any assistance with this please just let us know in our WPForms Lite support forum.

  17. If I have a huge, multi page form filled out, and by using Pro, saved to the db of my site, what type of email notification will I receive? I’d like a simple “someone filled out a form” type of email, without putting all the form data in the email at all. I only want to log in to view the form data. Is this possible?

    1. Hi John,

      To receive a simple email notification like the one you described, you’ll just need to make sure that the {all_fields} smart tag (and any additional tags for any fields from the form, for that matter) is removed from the form’s notification settings.

      I hope this helps! 🙂

  18. Hi,

    I understand that form entries can be saved to the WP database which is great.

    Is there a way to display form entries on a page with WPForms or should I look for another plugin to do that part?
    For example people submit their favorite quote and these can be seen on the front end and may even be searchable?

    Thank you!
    Julien

      1. How to properly install this code? Do I place it in my PHP snippet plugin (‘XYX PHP Code’) then in my page insert this…?
        [wpforms id="1198"] //display the form
        [xyz-ips snippet=”createshortcode”] //create the shortcode
        [wpforms_entries_table] //execute the shortcode

        I am currently getting the [wpforms_entries_table] displayed as text and not the functionality that it provides.
        Ideas?

      2. Hi Charles!
        I hope you are doing well!

        In case it helps, here’s our tutorial with the most common ways to add custom code like this.

        For the most beginner-friendly option in that tutorial, I’d recommend using the Code Snippets plugin. This will protect your code from updates and keep it easy to manage right within your WordPress admin area.

        I hope this helps.
        Have a good one 🙂

    1. Hi Brazroos,

      Unfortunately once entries have been deleted we have no way of recovering them so I’m really sorry for the inconvenience! In case it helps, you may want to check to see if you have any plugins that create backup versions of your site or if your site’s hosting provider can assist you with this.

      Thanks!

  19. Hi, how does this work?
    1. Does this WP form convert all the email to CSV/excel in the basic package?
    2. Currently you all only send emails of the forms, can i still retrieve these information if i buy the basic package now?

    1. Hi Yvonne,

      You can export your form entries as a CSV file with the Basic license level in addition to sending the form entry as an email notification to yourself or even to the person who filled it out.

      Yes, the only emails that can be sent are notifications for the form entries. You can either add a custom message in the notification or include the information that the user submitted. With a paid license, entries are saved to your website so you can always view them by logging into your site and going to WPForms > Entries.

      I hope this helps!

  20. I founded records in table *posts where post_type is ‘wpforms’, but I don’t have *wpforms* tables in database.

    1. Hi Zoltan,

      If you can’t find the table in your database, can you try completely uninstalling and deleting the plugin from your site? Afterwards you can go ahead and re-install it. Don’t worry, all of your forms will still be there when you do.

      Thanks! 🙂

  21. With WP forms can I have the form behind a login? Each of my customers would be able to login and see the same form.

    Each form would be completed based on clients requirements so each form data would customer specific

    And for example if they login again in one month the form can be sent to us again with same data

    So they don’t have to keep re-completing the form each time?

    1. Hi Rob,

      You can password protect a form with our Form Locker addon or you can create a login form that will redirect a user to a hidden page on your site that contains the form. Beyond that though, we don’t have a built-in way to restrict access to content on your page.

      As for the example you provided though, we don’t have a way to do this right now, but I’ve made a note on our feature request list so we can keep it on our radar! Thanks for the suggestion 🙂

    1. Hi Alex,

      I’m sorry but I’m a little confused by your question. Can you provide more details about what you’re trying to do?

  22. One issue I found with a hosting company that may cause your problem is the hosting plan.
    My hosting play is 512MB and 1 processor.
    As soon as I upgraded to 1G ram and 2 processors, the problem went away.
    It was not a plugin this time.

    If you host with godaddy you have to get the ultimate hosting, the economy and deluxe are not enough and I keep running into this problem.
    So, make sure you have at least 1G of ram and 2 processors if you plan to run the divi theme.
    Here is the the error I get

    Load of global defaults has failed
    An error has occurred while loading the Global History States. Various problems can cause a save to fail, such as a lack of server resources, firewall blockages or plugin conflicts or server misconfiguration. You can try loading again by clicking Try Again.

    This is because you only have 512MB of ram and 1 processor.
    Check this before you go with a hosting plan.

    This is one solution

    1. Hi Awais.
      Great question! If you are using our paid WPForms plugin, you can see the form entries under WPForms > Entries in your WordPress dashboard. The entries will also include all the uploaded files.
      Also, uploaded files are available in notification emails sent to you as a site admin if you have set them up under Settings > Notifications in the form builder. For more details on how to set up notification emails, you can check out this article on our site.
      I hope this helps.
      Have a good one 🙂

  23. Hi,

    Recently I uninstall your plugin and also I removed all the tables which WP-Form generated in the database.

    wp_actionscheduler_actions
    wp_actionscheduler_claims
    wp_actionscheduler_groups
    wp_actionscheduler_logs
    etc…

    But when I want to re-install the plugin, it says, database table doesn’t exist. It means, WP-Form can not re-create those tables in my database.

    How can I solve it?

    1. Hi Naf.
      We are currently working on fixing this issue on our end. In the meantime, you can run SQL query to create those tables manually in the PHPmyAdmin. Or, if you are not familiar with the process, I would recommend contactiong your hostiong provider in ordwer to do this for you.
      I apologize for any inconvenience!
      Havea good one 🙂

  24. Hi, I am considering using the Pro version of WPForms for dues processing of the membership for our organization. We have about 1900 members and maintain the information in an Access database. Is there a way that I can upload our members information and meta (in CSV or any other format) in order to automatically register them rather than setting up each account individually? The functionality I hope to acheive is to enable the member to pay annual dues and update contact info via their profile form and download transactional data for import/update of my database. Is this doable or am I missing something in thinking through the database, registration and payment aspects of WPForms?

    1. Hey Richard – I am afraid that the importing of data is not available at the moment. I’ve made a note of the feature request and we’ll keep it on our radar as we plan out our roadmap for the future.

      Sorry for the inconvenience.

  25. If a user logs in to our site from the contact form and adds some data in it and when it is registered then how can we put that data in the table and show it to the user who has logged in. There is that data ??
    Please some guide me
    thanks in advance

    1. Hey Usama – Great question. We don’t have a built-in way to do this but this can be done with a bit of custom code if you are willing to add. Here is a detailed tutorial for showing entries on a page in tabular format.

      When you create the shortcode using the above tutorial, instead of adding a user id in the shortcode, you can just write current and it will show the entries from the current logged in user.

      Have a good one 🙂

      1. where i use current instead of user id…. sir Question is how i can show own entries of login user not entire
        I use this code [wpforms_entries_table id=”FORMID” user=”USERID”] same as they given only change FORMID . It show all entries but i want to show only current user login own entries

      2. Hey Rahul – In your shortcode, please replace USERID with current, something like this, [wpforms_entries_table id=”FORMID” user=”current”], then it will show the entries from currently logged in user.

        I hope this helps!

  26. Is there any way to show only own entries to current user login

    If u don’t have any such feature them please provide me other way to show only user own entries no other

    1. Hey Rahul – We don’t currently have a way to display only the entries for current user login, though I agree this would be helpful and have added this to our feature request list for consideration.

      Meanwhile, you can consider displaying the form entries on your site so that your visitors can easily see them. Please see the dev doc here

      I hope this option is helpful! If you have any other questions, please feel welcome to get in touch. Thanks! 🙂

  27. Are the actual form entries only stored in the database when using the full version? It seems the free version only stores wp_wpforms_tasks_meta in the database.

    1. Hey Sam,

      Great question! Yes, all of our paid licenses allow notification emails and also store entries to the database, while on the Lite version you can only set up notification emails. Want to know more about entry management in WPForms? In this guide, we’ve covered all the most common questions about form entries.

      For any further help on this, please feel welcome to reach out to our support team. If you have a WPForms license, you have access to our email support, so please submit a support ticket.

      Otherwise, we provide limited complimentary support in the WPForms Lite WordPress.org support forum.

      Have a good one! 🙂

  28. Hi guys,

    I purchased WPForms Basic to utilise the extra address fields. However these are not included when exporting entries as a CSV via WPForms DB. Is there a way I can resolve this.
    Thanks
    James

    1. Hey James – I’m sorry for the inconvenience! We have a step-by-step tutorial on how to export entries to CSV here. I’d recommend using the steps outlined in that doc to export entries and If you have any questions after following the tutorial please feel welcome to contact our support team.

      Thanks! 🙂

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