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Contact and registration forms are used a lot online, and it’s easy to see why.

Coding forms can be tricky for beginners. You’ll need to tweak the HTML and add some script server-side. The options below will make this much more accessible.

Four reasons why a contact form is better than an email address on your website:

  • In a form, you can specify required fields, for example, a phone number.
  • Visitors can complete forms from their browsers, without having to open an email application.
  • Unlike email, forms use a special test called a CAPTCHA to help block spam.
  • Forms look more professional.

Create website forms with Wufoo

I’ve used the free version of Wufoo for years and can highly recommend it. Wufoo only adds a small banner to the confirmation page after your visitor has sent their form.

Other Wufoo features

Wufoo offers a lot more than what you might expect from a contact form. You can also:

  • Close the form, either once a certain number of submissions are received or by a certain date.
  • Prevent duplicate submissions.
  • Prevent spam with an optional CAPTCHA.
  • Set some pretty complex rules. For example in surveys, if question 1 response is A, then skip to question 3.
  • Advanced users can use CSS to fully customize their form’s design.
  • Accept payments via Paypal, although this is a little expensive at US $ 29.95 a month. In comparison, you can get a complete online store from Jimdo with a range of payment options from only € 5 a month.

More website form builders

(Update 17 Aug 2015)
TypeForm: This form builder uses an entirely new approach to web forms. Check out the examples on their website to see what I mean.

typeform

Jot Form: We’ve not tested this ourselves but have had good reports. Ad-free service with up to 100 submissions for free.
jotform

Google Docs: Less flexible and fewer features than Wufoo, but no limit to the number of forms or submissions. Should be fine in cases where the visual design is not that important (for example, a research survey).

Google Docs

Formstack: We haven’t tested this ourselves, but looks similar in scope to Wufoo. It also has multi-page forms which users can easily leave and come back to without losing their place.

Formstack

Weebly: A good choice if you need to build a form, and a website or landing page around it. Its integrated form editor is one of the best of all the website builders.

Weebly

Survey forms

SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo are designed specifically for surveys. Best suited to companies who use surveys professionally. Freemium accounts are available for both tools.

Update 20 June 2014

We recently discovered two new form builders that look very interesting: Typeform creates both registration forms and surveys. Survio is a specialized service for surveys. Both tools offer free plans.

There are, of course, also much more professional solutions out there. Hubspot, for example, provides a form builder that is integrated into their CRM. Signups will go directly into your contacts database and can trigger follow up actions such as email autoresponders.

 

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