Fluent Forms Review

WP Fluent Forms Review

WP Fluent Forms Review based on a complex implementation.

What to expect from this review

WordPress.org is the standalone version of WordPress where you get to choose your own hosting arrangements and extend the base functionality with plugins.

I’ve been using a number of forms applications over the years, starting with Contact Form 7, WPForms and most recently Fluent Forms. After using Fluent Forms to produce a forms based transactional application I can safely say it’s the best Forms plugin on the market today.

I base this opinion on a reasonably complex application – customers purchasing courses with a variety of categories and costs that run on selected dates. Discounts are available for delegates after the first one with full price calculation including VAT. Job details are required for all delegates.

The challenge is to produce a form that doesn’t look daunting, does the necessary calculations and sends acknowledgements to the company admin team and a receipt to the customer.

What Fluent Forms Offers

Forms applications have been around since the beginning of time and anyone who is even tangentially involved in web design will have some experience of them. So there’s no excuse for Forms providers not keeping up with the prevailing trends in web development.

I’ve created forms based applications with Contact Form 7 – custom code, no real support for any intelligence in the form other than “fill and submit” . WPForms was an improvement but couldn’t support as many of our requirements as Fluent Forms.

Simple Forms Designer

Fluent Form Designer
Flunet Form Designer

The designer interface is pretty much straightforward. You can drag-and-drop a variety of field types, some “out of the box” such as Name and Address, others customisable.

Fluent Forms offers

General Fields

These are the commonplace fields that almost every form application needs and some that are necessary but not usually available out of the box such as file upload, country list and image upload.

Advanced Fields

These fields wit the possible exception of Captcha are decidedly uncommon. Hidden fields, Section breaks, Ts and Cs, GDPR agreement, Action hooks, Range slider, Color Picker, Form Step and more.

Container

Not so much afield as a means of grouping fields into a section that can be multicolumn and displayed according to conditional logic. For example we had a requiremet to capture delegate’s names, email addresses and job role.

We didn’t want the customer to see an endless number of identical fields so we grouped them into one container then displayed the containers based on the number of delegates attending the course. The result was a simple elegant form that didn’t look too imposing to fill in.

Payment fields

Payment, Subscription, Quantity, Payment Method, Payment summary. It’s perfectly possible to create a shopping basket application with Fluent Forms.

Conditional Logic

In Fluent. Forms, conditional logic is used to determine whether or not a field is displayed.

Calculation

We used a numeric field containing an equation to calculate the total price based on the number of delegates.

SMTP Plugin

Fluent also provide an SMTP plugin called FluentSMTP so that you can have your mail sent by your favoured mail provider. We actually used the WP SMTP plugin because it seemed to offer slightly more options, particularly with Outlook as a provider.

Spam Protection

This is massive. Fluent Forms support spam protection in two ways. a technique called Honeypot where an invisible field is filled in by spam bots (they’re not intelligent enough to differentiate between the real fields and the honeypot, thus identifying themselves as spam. And reCAPTCHA support built in. You’ll need a reCAPTCHA key, but the process is simple and free.

Settings and Integrations

Confirmation Settings

Fluent Forms Confirmation Settings
Fluent Forms Confirmation Settings

This refers to the screen that displays once the form has been successfully sent. There are also options to send to a customised page and to haide or reset the form after submission.

Payment Settings

Fluent Forms Payment Settings

The payment settings give you an idea of the existing integrations – Stripe, Debit/Credit Card, Giropay etc.

The actual account settings are global, this screen simply determines how an individual form deals with payments. Different forms can have different methods.

E-Mail Settings

You can configure multiple emails to be sent when a form is submitted. We use an admin address when we are developing an application so that we can track exactly what is happening in development and add the clients email address and in some cases eg an Order Form, the customer’s e-mail so that they can get confirmation of their order.

Each e-mail can be individually configured and duplicated, so where there are minor differences simply duplicate one email configuration and make the alterations where they are required.

Conclusion

Make no bones about it, I absolutely love Fluent Forms. I now regard it as an essential plugin for all of my websites. It’s powerful, flexible, lightweight (it doesn’t fill your site with bloated code, it’s fast!) and I’ve pushed it to the edge of what I think is reasonable for a forms application to be responsible for.

Of course Fluent Forms is just one of a number of plugins that help your website perform to its potential. I talk about other plugins in my post Essential Plugins for a Fast WordPress Site.

Also, check out my article on best software stack for digital marketing in 2022. to see what other applications I recommend in the marketing space.

Geek Friendly?


Add our Insight direct to your mailbox!

Subscribe…

Each Month


Actionable tips to turbocharge your digital dynamo!

If this was useful - give it a share!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.