HostGator Web Hosting Blog | Gator Crossing

HostGator Blog

Web Hosting Made Easy!

  • Online Marketing 101: Basic Introduction for Business Owners

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by

    What Is Online Marketing

    What is Online Marketing?

    If you’re a new business owner (or in the planning stages of becoming one), the amount you need to learn can be overwhelming. One important area of knowledge every business owner needs to take some time to understand is online marketing.  

    4 Reasons Why Online Marketing Matters

    A recent survey found that people now turn to the internet for more of their shopping than brick and mortar stores, and the percentage of purchases consumers make online has been on an upward trajectory for years. Businesses cannot neglect the internet. And it’s not enough just to have a website (although that’s an important first step). The web is a competitive space and you have to put work into increasing your online visibility so the people likely to become your customers can find you. Online marketing is the best way to do that. But you shouldn’t necessarily look at online marketing as something you have to do. Instead, see it as a powerful opportunity for your business. There’s a lot you can accomplish with a solid online marketing plan and a lot of benefits it offers in comparison to other types of marketing and advertising.  

    1. You can meet people where they are.

    A growing number of people spend much of their day online. A Pew research study found that 73% of people go online at least once a day, and 21% say they’re online “almost constantly.” Some of that time is spent actively browsing for things they want to buy (and you definitely want them to be able to find you then), but a lot of it is spent on social media, checking email, or reading blogs and news sites. Online marketing allows you to reach and connect with people in the places they hang out online, in addition to showing up when they’re looking for what you’re selling.  

    2. You get richer analytics.

    One of the biggest challenges businesses have always faced when it came to marketing is figuring out whether or not your efforts are working. Online marketing gives the gift of extensive analytics that make it easier to track marketing success than it’s ever been before. You can see a detailed analysis of how people are finding and behaving on your website, how well your social media marketing efforts are paying off, and how people interact with your emails. Detailed marketing analytics both make it easier for you to figure out the ROI of your marketing spending, and give you the knowledge you need to continually improve how you approach your online marketing over time.  

    3. You can be more targeted in your marketing.

    Few businesses need to reach everyone in their marketing. For example, if you sell fitness gear, you only really need to reach people that work out regularly (or at least try to). Traditional forms of advertising generally meant having to pay to reach everyone in order to get your advertising in front of the few it was really meant for – billboards and TV commercials don’t allow for much targeting. Online marketing, in comparison, provides plenty of opportunities to target your ads and content to particular audiences. PPC and social media advertising let you specify who you want to show your ads to based on factors like geography, gender, income, and interests – and retargeting goes even further and lets you deliver ads to people based on their past interactions with your brand. With online marketing, you don’t have to waste money advertising to teens when your target audience is seniors. You can only pay for reaching the people most likely to buy from you.  

    4. It gets better ROI.

    76% of businesses say that their online marketing gets better ROI than any offline channels they use. As a result, spending on online marketing continues to rise year after year. Businesses wouldn’t be throwing money at it if it wasn’t paying off. If spending money on online marketing will help you make more money, then there’s no good reason not to do it. Recommended WordPress Hosting

    The 7 Main Areas of Online Marketing

    Online marketing takes a number of different forms, but for most business owners there are a few main types of online marketing you’ll want to consider.

    1. SEO

    Search engine optimization (SEO for short) describes all the tactics used to help improve a website’s chances of ranking high in search engine results. With Google being one of the first places people turn when they’re looking for anything – the answer to a question, directions to a nearby business, a product they’re looking to buy – showing up on the first page of Google can make a huge difference in how many people discover and visit your website. SEO consists of a few main types of work:
    •  Keyword research – Various keyword research tools help you better understand the terms your target audience is using to find the things you’re selling.
    •  On-site optimization – Strategically use your target keywords in meta tags and the text on your webpages.
    •  Link building – The hardest and most important part of SEO is finding ways to get links pointing back to your website, which signals to the search engines that your website is of high value.
    SEO works hand in hand with some of the other types of online marketing listed here – content marketing in particular. It’s competitive and requires playing the long game. You won’t see results right away, but when you do, they can make a big difference. One of the most important things anyone new to online marketing needs to know about SEO is that doing it badly doesn’t just mean you don’t get results – you can face serious penalties from Google that are hard to recover from.  That means even if you plan to hire someone rather than trying to optimize your website for search engines yourself, it’s important that you take some time to learn the basics so you know how to recognize a professional that’s legitimate.  

    2. Paid Search Marketing

    Where SEO requires playing the long game, paid search marketing provides the closest thing to a shortcut for gaining visibility in the search engines. Often called pay-per-click marketing or PPC, these are the ads you see above or to the side of the organic search results in Google and other search engines. As with SEO, a large part of paid search marketing is performing keyword research so you know the best terms to target in your ads. The search engines will display your ads in relevant searches, and you only have to pay them if someone chooses to click. Paid search marketing produces faster results than SEO and gives you a lot of power to target your ads to the right people at the right moment, based on demographic data and search terms.  

    3. Content Marketing

    Content marketing arose in part because fresh, high quality content on a website is good for SEO, but it’s become a much larger and more versatile form of online marketing than that. The goal of content marketing is to create an ongoing relationship with customers and leads by providing consistently valuable content. Content marketing works best when you have a clear strategy to help you reach your target audience with information you know they need in a format they like at the moment it’s most helpful to them. There are a number of different forms that content can take. Some of the most common are:
    •  Blog posts on your own site
    •  Guest posts and articles on other sites
    •  Long-form content pieces like ebooks and white papers
    •  Video content
    •  Interactive content like quizzes and calculators
    •  Webinars
    •  Infographics
    All of this takes time and money to produce and, as with SEO, it’s something you should plan on keeping up consistently over time if you want to get results. But it can help you improve your search rankings, gain new leads, and nurture your customer relationships over time – which all adds up to higher profits for your business.  

    4. Social Media Marketing

    Social media marketing includes any type of marketing you do on any of the main social media sites, both paid and free. This includes using your social media accounts to:
    • Promote your content
    • Share updates about your brand
    • Promote your deals and products
    • Interact with followers
    • Participate in groups or chats
    There are a number of different social media networks brands participate on and the list of channels to consider just keeps growing. Some of the main ones to look into are:
    • Facebook
    • YouTube
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • Instagram
    • Pinterest
    • Snapchat
    Your brand may not need to be on all of these. Research each one to figure out which ones your target audience are spending the most time on that are a good fit for your brand and the types of content you’ll be sharing.  

    5. Email Marketing

    Email marketing is one of the best tools you have to maintain and nurture relationships with your customers. It can include any emails you send about deals and promotions, personalized emails based on a subscriber’s browsing history, and emails that promote your content. Email is one of the most effective online marketing channels available with an average ROI of $38 for every $1 you spend. But it’s important to practice permission marketing, which means only emailing the people who opt-in to receiving your emails. This makes building up an email list one of the hardest and most important parts of email marketing. As such, email marketing often works well in conjunction with a larger content marketing strategy, since you can use your content to attract new subscribers and your emails to promote your content. It’s considered one of the most effective forms of content marketing when used that way. But it can also be used outside of a content strategy to promote sales and deals to repeat customers.  

    6. Affiliate Marketing

    Affiliate marketing is when one brand or blogger includes links to products sold by another website in their content. When a visitor clicks one of the links and proceeds to buy the product, the person or business behind the content gets a percentage of the profit. Affiliate marketing won’t make sense for every business, but for businesses that use it, it can bring in new customers and help you make more money. If you decide to create content with affiliate links, it’s usually best to include a disclaimer on your website letting visitors know so you don’t lose trust. And you’ll need to be prepared to create lots of high-quality content. If you go the route of creating an affiliate program, then you’ll need to develop clear terms for how the program will work and identify relevant bloggers and influencers to recruit to participate.  

    7. Conversion Optimization

    Conversion optimization is the practice of designing your website, particularly landing pages, in the way most likely to get people to take the action you want them to. That means creating strong calls-to-action (CTAs) and testing out how different layouts and designs affect click-through rates and purchasing behaviors. Conversion optimization won’t help people find your site like some of the other forms of online marketing covered, but it will help turn them into customers or subscribers once they do find it.  

    5 Tips for New Online Marketers

    To help you make sure you use the types of online marketing listed well, there are a few general best practices that can help.  

    1. Do online marketing.

    The first tip is straightforward enough. Don’t feel like you can get away with not bothering to do online marketing. If you want to reach people in the space where they’re doing their shopping or planning their purchases, then you have to invest in online marketing. Not doing so may not ruin your business, but it will pretty well guarantee you’ll be leaving money on the table and missing out on some of the people that could become your best customers. And the longer you wait to start, the further behind you’ll be.  

    2. Learn a little bit about everything.

    As a business or website owner, you shouldn’t feel like you need to be an expert on every facet of online marketing, but you should strive to get a 101-level knowledge of each of the various types of online marketing. That knowledge will steer you in the right direction in figuring out which types you should invest in and recognizing the people skilled enough to help you pursue each one effectively.  

    3. Hire good people.

    Online marketing is a big job. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Seek out an agency or some freelance professionals who are experts on the types of marketing you want to pursue and can take over some of the planning and execution for you. Their expertise will lead to better results, and you can avoid stretching yourself too thin.  

    4. Create an overall online marketing strategy.

    You may have noticed in the descriptions of the different types of online marketing that most of them work better if you use them in combination with others. Your content marketing can improve your SEO. Your social media and email marketing can help promote your content. And conversion marketing can take customers past the finish line once the other forms of marketing have brought them to your website. Don’t treat each channel and type of marketing as separate. Creating an overall strategy will enable you to make sure every piece of marketing you and your team creates will better support everything else you’re doing and have a higher likelihood of achieving the results you want.  

    5. Keep it up.

    Online marketing isn’t something you can do once and be done. Your online marketing strategy needs to be consistent and updated regularly. Treat this as an ongoing line item in your budget. Use your marketing analytics to check in regularly on how well your efforts are working and determine how to improve upon what you’ve done before. The longer you do online marketing, the better you’ll get at it and the more you’ll see results. But before you get to that part, you have to get started.
  • 7 Best Tools Every Affiliate Marketer Needs

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by
    Affiliate Marketers Online Tools

    The Essential Online Toolkit for Affiliate Marketers

    It’s time to load up your toolkit! From several Google searches, you already know that affiliate marketing is a promising route to earn a few extra bucks or even start an entirely new career. Affiliate marketing gives you the freedom to be an entrepreneur without the inventory. With all your excitement to jump into this field, it’s unlikely anyone told you what tools you need to succeed. Like any profession, the right tools give you the opportunity to do your job effectively (and make more money). That’s why I’ve compiled a list of seven tools to move you toward success. Ready to get started? Read on...  

    1. Keyword Planner

    Content marketing is the go-to approach to attracting and maintaining consumers. Meaningful content informs people about their challenges and offers several solutions. As an affiliate marketer, you can implement content marketing to nurture your audience and establish a trustworthy relationship. Then, you can recommend products that will solve their problems. Nevertheless, your first step is to get visitors to your site. For your content to rank high in search engines, you will need to perform keyword research. This is the process of identifying the keywords your audience uses when searching for information online. Google’s Keyword Planner is a powerful tool to find keywords relevant to your affiliate marketing business. You can discover new keywords and get search volume data. affiliate marketing keyword research User intent is part of doing effective keyword research. You want to put yourself in the shoes of your potential visitors. The more you know about your audience the more you can niche down the specific keywords to attract people to your content.  

    2. WebinarJam

    For consumers, seeing is believing. Demonstrating a product is one of the best ways to persuade people to purchase. That’s where webinars provide the most value. Webinars offer you a chance to talk directly with your audience. “An affiliate marketer could easily add webinars to drive new sales to large groups of attendees. Imagine a weekly webinar where she hosts affiliate partners on a content-rich webinar and then offers the product at the end of the webinar,” writes Mike Capuzzi, speaker, author, and marketing consultant. WebinarJam is a tool for delivering live cast presentations. You can create webinars on the spot, share your desktop screen, and highlight attendee responses. Before you jump on camera, practice your presentation to get rid of any public speaking jitters. Carve out time in your live broadcast to answer attendees’ questions. You also may want to create free handouts with additional product details.  

    3. HostGator

    You’ve completed your keyword research and created meaningful content for your affiliate products. Now, you need somewhere to post that content. A website is a simple tool to elevate your brand and encourage people to click on your affiliate links. It’s your professional space in the marketplace. Of course, when shopping for web hosting, we suggest the HostGator platform. Our tool offers a drag-and-drop feature to create a website in minutes. Also, we provide 24/7/365 support to help you with any technical issues. hostgator affiliate programTo build a killer website, begin with a strategy in mind. Make sure your affiliate links are visible and easily accessible for visitors. You also want to be transparent about your affiliate marketing efforts. So, always provide a clear disclaimer on your site.  

    4. Constant Contact

    Communication is key for affiliate marketers. You want the ability to connect with your audience about new product offers or special giveaways. Email marketing is your answer for building quality relationships. It’s an opportunity to provide subscribers relevant content and ask for feedback. However, don’t feel obligated to add every detail in your email. Daniel Cassady, a freelance writer, agrees: “If you have a lot of information you are trying to get across to your readers, it’s best to give that information to them in easy to handle nuggets instead of long paragraphs. Use bullet points to make the content of your newsletter easy to glance over and then link to a more in depth article on your website.” Constant Contact makes it easy to create professional emails with their customizable templates. Plus, you can send automated messages to specific subscriber groups—giving each subscriber a personalized experience.  

    5. YouTube

    Research shows that “online videos will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020.” More than ever, people are watching video to learn and to entertain themselves. This is your moment to seize the attention of the consumer. By creating fun-filled videos, you can build a connection with your viewers. But what exactly will you discuss? Affiliate marketers possess a unique expertise. You know about the best products in your industry, and you can use that knowledge to your advantage. For example, you can produce videos giving honest, research-backed product reviews. You can create a series of videos showing consumers unconventional ways to use a specific product. Or you can highlight how a product changed your lifestyle. YouTube can host all your video content. Just upload your video and share the link with your audience. Creative entrepreneur Roberto Blake offers tips to improve your YouTube videos. Check out the resource below:

    6. Hootsuite

    From Facebook to Pinterest, social media is the spot for everyone to hang out online. It’s where consumers get their news, learn about events, and explore different interests. Social media centers around storytelling. For affiliate marketers, it’s not enough to tell your followers about a product. That’s boring, and people ignore those messages. “When it comes to selling on social media, it is a great idea to offer unique, interesting, and even diverse information about your product rather than push for a hard sell. No one likes to feel they are being sold something, but everyone likes to buy something they truly want,” states Sarah Arrow, a marketing coach. When promoting products on social channels, add your personality to your posts. Tell a funny story on Facebook or add a quirky GIF to a tweet. You can manage your social media with Hootsuite. The platform helps you engage with your audience efficiently and you can see your analytics in real-time.  

    7. ZipBooks

    It’s important to remember that as an affiliate marketer you’re running a small business. You have revenue and expenses to track on your success journey. Maximizing profit is one of your primary goals. You’re constantly searching for ways to add more money to your bottom line, while reducing your costs. Recordkeeping is a helpful skill for all affiliate marketers. You can quickly interpret what’s an asset for your business and what’s a liability. Now, it’s even easier to manage your accounting with software like ZipBooks. This tool organizes your work into projects and tasks. You can input your expenses and generate monthly reports. expense software for affiliate marketing When starting any business, it’s essential that you talk with financial and legal professionals. These experts can provide specifics on opening a business bank account, applying for a business license, and determining your tax obligations. So, take the time to get the necessary advice.  

    Tools for Success

    Affiliate marketing is similar to other side hustles or career paths. You need the best tools to ensure your success. Don’t worry about starting from scratch. You can use the seven tools above to demonstrate products, send emails, and track expenses. Grab your tools, and sign up for HostGator’s affiliate program!
  • What Is PHP Hosting?

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by

    What Is PHP Hosting

    PHP Hosting FAQ

    When the time comes to choose your hosting environment you’re going to have a ton of different options at your disposal. The hosting environment you choose not only needs to have certain technical capabilities so your website can grow, but you also need to choose the right scripting environment so your website can function properly. One of those environments is PHP web hosting. PHP web hosting is a style of web hosting that has the ability to read and execute the PHP programming language. Below you’ll learn what PHP actually is, its role in web hosting, and the benefits of choosing a PHP web host over the options available.  

    What is PHP?

    PHP is a scripting language that’s developed by the PHP group. The PHP language is an open source interpreter, which means that it interprets in real-time. It’s not built into the code of the machine it’s running on. PHP works to produce dynamic content and is usually embedded within working HTML code. The main goal of the PHP language is to provide a powerful and free tool to create dynamic websites. It’s currently one of the most popular scripting languages in the entire world. You can identify PHP files by the “.php” extension that follows the filename. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on PHP, or just want to figure out what a specific function does, then check out PHP.net. This is the support and knowledge center for PHP developers around the globe.  

    PHP and Web Hosting

    Since PHP is a server-side language the server will process the source code. So, front end users won’t have access to the code like they do with strict HTML sites. However, PHP sites still do and can contain snippets of HTML and CSS throughout. PHP is very flexible and can do things that most static sites cannot. Before you make any decision about choosing a web host you need to ensure it supports a PHP environment. If it’s not fully supported, then any PHP scripting you have will be rendered instead as HTML. PHP can help to perform a lot of complex features like:
    • Display the best version of a site for a chosen screen size.
    • Send and receive cookies.
    • Create blogs, forums, and other interactive pages.
    • Create interactive websites that require user input.
    • Create a dynamic content site with the help of a database.
    PHP web hosts are compatible with both Linux and Windows platforms. The PHP Linux combination is one of the most popular.  

    Benefits of PHP Hosting

    If your website is built with PHP and your web host supports it, then your site will receive a host of benefits you won’t be able to get with other environments. Below we highlight some of the most common benefits of PHP hosting.  

    1. PHP Is Compatible

    PHP is a universal scripting language, which means that websites created with PHP are going to be compatible with almost every new device, including iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. The ability to generate sites that look good on every screen size is now a requirement for most modern websites.  

    2. PHP Can Be Cheaper

    Since PHP is a free, open source, scripting language the hosting costs in a PHP hosting environment are generally less than other commercial language hosting environments.  

    3. PHP Is Simple to Use

    Most developers prefer to work with PHP. It integrates easily with HTML and CSS, without needing any additional plugins or software to make it work. Plus, it’s a must-have if your site runs on a popular CMS like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.  

    4. PHP Is Incredibly Fast

    PHP is very light on server resources. This means that your site will perform much faster and won’t put a strain on loading times or overall site performance. When your site consumes a ton of server resources just to load a page this will not only increase hosting costs, but it will diminish your overall user experience.  

    5. PHP Easily Integrates with Databases

    The real power of PHP comes in its integration with databases like MySQL. However, since PHP is so versatile there are other database integration options as well. This is a core requirement for most CMS, blogs, online stores, and forums.   As you can see PHP web hosting is a great option if your site is built using the PHP framework. For questions about PHP and your HostGator account, please visit our support portal.
  • Top Tech Trends to Watch in August 2017

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by
    Tech News August 2017

    August 2017's Top Tech News

    The month of August looks likely to be a big month in the tech world. Many of the biggest players in tech are making big announcements and moving forward on anticipated projects. To help you stay on top of this month’s tech news, here are a few main stories to look out for. Dedicated Server

    Google Announces Facebook-Like News Feed

    Google has announced that its feed feature, which is already available to anyone using the company’s mobile app, will be moving to the desktop homepage for the site.  The company hasn’t said exactly when this change will happen, but for people who pull up the site every day (which is most of us), the change may have a big effect on how we interact with the service. Instead of a primary focus on the search box,  people will see a collection of suggested news and culture stories based on their interests.Google news feed  

    Facebook Launching Facebook TV

    If you were concerned that there just aren’t enough places online to watch TV, Facebook’s got you covered. They’ve partnered with a number of other media properties to start developing shows that will become available to users this month when they launch Facebook TV. Including original TV shows in the Facebook feed provides the company a new format for displaying ads, and could potentially give people a reason to spend more time on the site.  

    Hyperloop May Be Moving Forward (Maybe)

    Elon Musk has talked before about the possibility of a hyperloop – a type of transportation technology that can move people very quickly from one city to another. He shook up the tech news world last month with a Tweet suggesting a hyperloop project had received government approval. In a later tweet he verified that the verbal approval was preliminary and there was a lot of work to do before any project would receive the formal go-ahead, yet even the level of approval he’s got now feels like a big leap forward in the likelihood of seeing this ambitious project realized.  

    Debates Rage Over AI Concerns

    Another day, another example of Elon Musk in the news. Not content just to shake things up with hyperloop talk, he also made headlines last month by expressing his fear that AI posed a threat to humankind. The comment has set off a battle of ideas between Musk and other prominent techies who have criticized his concern, including roboticist Rodney Brooks and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.  

    Amazon Launches Spark and Pay Places

    Because Amazon can’t go a month without some big news, they’ve recently launched not one, but two new services. Amazon Spark is an Instagram-like feature for app users that will provide photos and other product-related content from customers and influencers with similar interests to yours in the app’s feed. In addition, they announced Amazon Pay Places which will allow people to use their Amazon account when shopping at brick-and-mortar businesses. While the option is only available at a few TGI Fridays locations so far, if you were worried about Amazon taking over the world of commerce, this is a step that seems poised to make that more of a possibility.  

    Release of Samsung Galaxy Note

    After a high profile mishap, with the Note 7 becoming the butt of many jokes when it famously burst into fire for some customers, Samsung is ready to try again. The company has announced that they’ll be releasing the Note 8 later this month. The recent release of the Galaxy S8 went off without a hitch, so the company is surely hoping to accomplish the same with the Note 8. galaxy-note-8-concept

    Google Analytics Offers Voice Navigation

    Google Analytics is joining the list of services that offers users the option of using voice-activated commands to navigate the service. If you use Google Analytics (and you should), the feature could add some efficiency to the process for you.  

    Lyft Joins the Ranks of Self-Driving Car Developers

    Lyft is throwing their hat into the ring of companies working to develop the technology for autonomous cars. They’ve stated that they expect a majority of their rides to become autonomous over the next few years, so they’re making a move now to be one of the players in developing the technology their business is likely to be dependent on.  

    The Dark Web Takes a Hit

    The dark web – sites where people can buy illegal materials – is under attack. The U.S. government shut down AlphaBay, a site considered to be the biggest online market for illegal drugs last month. They followed that up with the shutdown of Hansa, a popular AlphaBay alternative. Each time one market goes down though, another one manages to open up. Nonetheless, the government has made its intentions clear with these moves and there’s reason to expect they’ll continue to follow the illegal trade to shut it down wherever it goes.  

    Dropbox Starting to Prepare for IPO

    While the timing on when the IPO would happen is still unclear, Dropbox has made moves that show a plan to go public is in the works. They hired underwriters to help determine their valuation and may make the move later this year. If they do go public this year, they’ll be one of the biggest tech companies to do so in 2017. As full as August is looking to be with tech news, September is likely to be just as busy. Check back for our next installment of the top tech trends to watch for and subscribe to the HostGator blog.
  • 6 Best Contact Form Plugins for WordPress

    Monday, July 31, 2017 by

    Best Contact Form Plugins for WordPress

    Easily Add a Contact Form to Your WordPress Site

    Looking for an easy way to create contact forms? WordPress doesn’t allow you to create contact forms natively, and if you’re not a developer, creating a contact form on your website can be a tedious task. The beauty of WordPress is that there are tons of different plugins that let you easily create contact forms on your site. But it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all those different choices. What are the pros and cons of each, and which one is best for your website? Let’s take a head-to-head comparison between the most popular contact form plugins for WordPress. Recommended WordPress Hosting

    1. WPForms

    WPForms WPForms is the most beginner friendly contact form plugin that comes with a drag and drop form builder to create beautiful WordPress forms. With WPForms, you can quickly build forms in just a few clicks with pre-built form templates. Contact forms, subscription forms, order forms, and more templates are available so you don’t have to build common forms from scratch. There are also plenty of more advanced features, including conditional logic, multi-page forms, geolocation, form abandonment lead capture, and more. You can also integrate WPForms with your email newsletter service to easily build your list. Pros:
    • 100% responsive forms: Your WordPress forms will always look great on any size device.
    • Optimized for speed: WPForms is highly optimized for web and server performance. It doesn’t negatively impact the page speed of your site.
    • The easiest plugin: Several pre-built templates are bundled with WPForms, so you don’t always have to create a form from scratch. Just pick a template and edit it as necessary.
    Cons:
    • Free version is limited: The free version of WPForms comes with all the basic features most users need to build a contact form. For more advanced features such as order forms, digital signatures, and more, you’ll need to invest in the premium version. With the premium version, you’ll be able to integrate with third-party services like OptinMonster.
    Price: A free version is available in the WordPress repository. For advanced features, you can get a license starting at $39.

    Who Should Use WPForms?

    WPForms is the best solution if you’re looking for the easiest way to build a form. Without any assistance, even a beginner WordPress user can create a WordPress form with WPForms. Developers looking for an easy contact form plugin to set up for their clients to edit forms themselves will also find WPForms to be the best option. If you’re looking for advanced features such as digital signatures or form abandonment lead capture, WPForms is also a very affordable option.  

    2. Jetpack Forms

    Jetpack forms Are you already using the Jetpack plugin on your site? Jetpack is a multipurpose plugin by Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com, that offers different modules to enhance WordPress features like WordPress stats, mobile themes, related posts, and more. Jetpack Forms is one of the most popular features offered by Jetpack. If you’ve already installed Jetpack on your site, you can create simple contact forms by activating the contact form module. Pros:
    • Customizable contact forms: Jetpack’s form builder allows you to make simple customizations like adding basic form fields. It also offers an option to change the subject line of the email sent to you whenever someone submits your form.
    Cons:
    • Limited options and features: The main downside is you can’t create complex forms with Jetpack Forms such as order forms, newsletter forms, post submission forms, and more.
    • Bundled in a large plugin: Jetpack is a large plugin that includes separate modules for various features like basic site stats, related posts, and more. If you just need contact forms, there’s no need for such a large plugin on your site.
    Price: Free

    Who Should Use Jetpack Forms?

    Jetpack Forms is most suitable for those who are already using other Jetpack modules on their site, and only need to create very basic forms without much customization. Otherwise, it’s not necessary to install such a large plugin to create simple contact forms.  

    3. Gravity Forms

    gravityforms wordpress contact form plugin Gravity Forms is the most feature-rich contact form plugin in the market. It lets you quickly integrate your form with tons of different third-party online services through addons. With Gravity Forms, you can build powerful and complex forms with ease. The plugin is also developer friendly, so you can extend its functionality per your requirements. Pros:
    • Tons of addons: Gravity Forms allows you to install from a huge list of optional addons that let you integrate your form with a variety of third-party services.
    • Enhanced features: The plugin is constantly being improved with more advanced features. With Gravity Forms, the possibilities for creating a powerful form are endless.
    • Developer friendly: If you’re a developer who needs to customize your form to any extent for clients, Gravity Forms might be the right solution.
    Cons: Gravity Forms is a premium plugin. If you don’t have a budget to purchase a premium contact form plugin, Gravity Forms is not for you. The personal plan doesn’t come with any addons, and it allows you to use the plugin only for a single site. Price: Starting at $39

    Who Should Use Gravity Forms?

    Gravity Forms is not for everyone, especially for those who are on a limited budget. The plugin is a good fit if you need to create highly complex contact forms or want a developer friendly form that lets you customize your forms per your needs.  

    4. Visual Form Builder

    visual form builder Visual Form Builder is yet another easy to use contact form plugin. The plugin is fully responsive. Both the admin and front-end interfaces adjust to any screen, so you can create contact forms on the go. The plugin is available for free to download from WordPress.org directory. There’s also a premium version available with addons for features such as payment processing. Pros:
    • Basic spam protection: The premium version gives you an extra layer of spam protection with Akismet.
    Cons:
    • Each addon sold separately: If you need access to a lot of addons to enable more features, the pricing can quickly get more expensive than other form plugins.
    Price: $29. Addons can be purchased separately.

    Who Should Use Visual Form Builder?

    If you’re looking for a cheap basic plugin with some cool features for your website, you might want to consider Visual Form Builder.  

    5. Formidable Forms

    formidable forms Formidable Forms comes with a simple drag and drop interface and visual styler. The plugin allows you to build forms in just a few minutes. It also allows you to choose from 30 different field types, so you can build any type of form. You can download the basic plugin for free from WordPress.org plugins directory. To access more advanced features like user registration, payment processing, and email marketing integrations, you can find several addons that can be installed along with the pro version. Pros:
    • Style customizations: Its visual styler lets you change the look and feel of your form. You can change field colors and sizes, add backgrounds and borders, and more.
    • Extendable with addons: Formidable Forms helps you integrate your form with several payment systems and online services.
    • Supports charity: A portion of every Formidable Forms fee is donated to the Operation Smile charity.
    Cons:
    • Expensive: No addons are available with the basic license plan. Compared against other plugins, the basic plan is more expensive.
    Price: Starting at $49.

    Who Should Use Formidable Forms?

    Formidable Forms is best suited for those who want to customize the look of their forms, but it can be pricey compared to other plugins.  

    6. Contact Form 7

    Contact form 7 With 3+ million active installs, Contact Form 7 is the most popular contact form plugin in the official WordPress plugin directory. You can also find a limited number of addons for Contact Form 7. It is the only plugin featured in this article that doesn’t come with a drag and drop form builder. There is a learning curve if you’re using the plugin for the first time. However, the plugin provides you with a demo form that you can see inside your WordPress dashboard, so you can look at it to learn how to create a form. Pros:
    • Free: The plugin is 100% free of cost.
    • Established: As the plugin has been around for many years, many WordPress themes support and recommend Contact Form 7, and there are many third party addons available.
    Cons:
    • Coding skills required: The plugin expects you to have a basic understanding of HTML to create a contact form. The form builder interface looks almost like the text editor.
    • Limited features: You can’t build a complex form with Contact Form 7 because it supports only a limited number of addons. The documentation contains technical jargon which would be hard for beginner users to understand.
    Price: Free

    Who Should Use Contact Form 7?

    Contact Form 7 could be a nice choice if you know HTML and just need to create a simple contact form for your site, and don’t mind digging deeper into docs to find answers when needed.  

    Which Is the Best Contact Form Plugin For You?

    We’ve looked at various popular contact form plugins available for your WordPress site. With all the different contact form plugins out there, it is easy to get overwhelmed. If you need a fast and easy way to create beautiful contact forms, even with advanced features, WPForms is the best choice for you. You can try the free version and then move on to the premium version when you need enhanced functionality. If you’re after a feature-rich plugin, and want highly customizable complex forms, Gravity Forms is the best plugin for you. Which one is your favorite plugin? Let me know by leaving a comment below.