I have been looking for a simple form builder plugin and that’s when I came across HappyForms. The free plugin has managed to maintain a balance between simplicity and features. In this review, I will share my thoughts about HappyForms and how I feel about it after using it on a few sites. Theme Foundry is the creators of this plugin who also makes premium WordPress themes.
Of Course, Contact Form 7 is always there and it is also the most popular WordPress plugin. However, if you are looking for something less complex, you should definitely check out HappyForms.
For the sake of simplicity, it does not include all the advanced features we expect in a full-fledged form builder. That’s both an advantage and a disadvantage. With that in mind, let us dive into the details.
Ease of Use
HappyForms deserves full scores when it comes to ease of use. The main reason is that you can use the native WordPress customizer itself to build forms. It is the same interface you use to customize your themes. That means HappyForms is not going to feel like the usual drag-and-drop form plugins like WPForms or NinjaForms.
Installation & Set Up
As usual, search happyforms from the Add Plugins page of your WordPress dashboard and install it.
Once you have installed and activated the plugin, you can access it from the Admin menu on the left side.
The Add New link leads you to the Customizer page. Creating a form using HappyForms is a four-step process:
While building, you can arrange the order of fields by dragging the handles on the left-most pane. Unlike other drag-and-drop solutions, dragging won’t work on the live preview.
The free version of the plugin includes the following handy field options:
- Text field
- Radio buttons
- Select box
- Number fields
- Date selection
- Horizontal Slider
- Rating field
- Terms & Conditions Checkbox
- Phone Number
The options on offer prove that the plugin authors clearly know what essential features a user wants from a form plugin. These are the notable features that make HappyForms a useful product.
Google ReCaptcha integration is built right into the plugin. You only have to sign-up for an API site key and a secret key from Google and paste it into HappyForms. It helps to keep spams out of the door.
HoneyPot Spam Prevention
If you don’t want to integrate ReCaptcha, then HoneyPot spam prevention is available and enabled by default.
Save Messages to Database
Another notable feature is the ability to save messages in the database. For me, the ability to save to database is a deal breaker. It helps to manage messages easily from the WordPress admin itself. Even if the email doesn’t get delivered, the messages are safely stored somewhere and will not be lost. In contrast, CF7 does not have this feature
By default, the plugin uses your system’s email to send messages. Apart from receiving notifications on your email, you can also send confirmation messages to the sender.
The styling options are also generous. You can control almost everything from width, colors, padding, background and font sizes. You can also choose the fields to be square or rounded. Another nice touch I liked so much is the ability to show labels inside the field.
However, if you don’t like a form plugin to have styling options rather than functionalities, you might feel a bit disappointed.
Adding form to Pages
The forms have integration with Gutenberg block editor, so you don’t need to copy-paste shortcodes to add form a page or post.
What’s in the Premium Version?
Although HappyForms emphasize that it is a free plugin, it does offer premium plans too. The plans start at $99 per year for unlimited personal sites. It offers additional features like:
- Drag & Drop File Upload
- Open form in a lightbox
- Form Scheduling – show form on selected date/time
- Password-protect forms – Only people with a password will be able to fill the form
In case you come across troubles, you can ask for help via email. As of writing this, their website does not mention any other options like chat or ticket systems. With a paid plan you may get priority email support. I did not come into a need for help, so I haven’t tried
The help guide is also fairly comprehensive for such a simple plugin. It can answer most of your questions regarding installation, setup and use.
As I have already mentioned in the opening sentences, this simple form plugin lacks advanced functionalities like conditional logic and multi-page forms.
It also lacks third-party integrations available with other plugins. On the flip side, these lack of features helps to keep everything lightweight.
Summing it Up
Based on what we have discussed so far, these are the advantages and disadvantages of HappyForms.
- Simple & free
- Lots of field options
- Built-in spam prevention
- Save messages to database
- Highly customizable
- Multi-page forms not available
- Lack of advanced integrations with other services
So if you are looking for a feature-rich form plugin with lots of functionalities, HappyForms may not be the best choice. That’s where full-fledged form builders like WPForms shine.
On the other hand, if you need a free and easy-to-use form builder that doesn’t look complex like Contact Form 7, HappyForms will be the best choice.
What is your opinion? Which is your favorite form solution for WordPress?