I think this is a question that goes out to anyone who builds sites regularly or has needed to build quite a few contact forms.
I’ll start out by saying I’m not an expert in PHP. I get by probably like many of you designers, by learning as much as I have to for making WP do my bidding (muhahahaha) but things like complex forms frustrate me because invariably when I get done there are script errors, problems, etc that just take time to figure out since I’m "franken-scripting".
So that kind of leaves a few of options:
– Man up and learn PHP
– Pony up and buy a Wufoo sub
– Buy some downloadable software
– Make programmer friends
Honestly, I’m not a fan of learning PHP. Just don’t enjoy coding QUITE that much :) Maybe I’m just making too much of a deal about it and it really would only take a week or two to get proficient enough to competently make my own forms from scratch.
Wufoo makes sense, but I’m just curious – what would be the advantage of getting a Wufoo sub for $24 a month instead of buying some visual GUI that produces HTML/PHP form scripts for a 1-time cost of $39.99?
The other issue I have with Wufoo is the few times I’ve used it in the past, I get this really weird lag when going to the contact page. Its like it takes a second or two to bring in the form from Wufoo. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but I feel like I tried the available methods of including a form to someone’s site, and it still persisted (example of one is here: http://www.dawnbuckelewphotography.com/contact.php).
Lastly, maybe it really is worth it to get plugged in with some developer friends who can do that kind of stuff and spread the wealth a little. Would you say that complex forms might be worth just passing that cost on to someone else and hire a developer to take care of it for you?
Humm, are you specificially asking about contact forms in WordPress or about forms in general?
For forms in general, knowing php is going to serve you well. Once you’ve built a few forms, you’ll have a toolkit of code that will let you build them quicker.
For WordPress…. that’s jumping into the deep end of the pool depending on what functionality you need. If it’s just a contact form, then it seems like Contact 7 has a lot of flexibility.
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These are for static sites that I’m referring to. The WordPress sites are not so much of an issue for the reasons you mentioned. More than a few times, I’m unable to sell the idea of a full CMS and end up doing a re-design, or a static site to reduce costs and in some cases they want more complex forms build for a variety of reasons.
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