Google Forms has been considered as a hidden gem offered by Google, the search engine giant. It is not as well-known as Google Docs or Google Sheets, but the rich features make it a good choice for most WordPress users with the need to create simple forms to collect information from visitors.
Google Forms might not be the same powerful as some premium WordPress form plugins, while it is completely free to use, and would certainly be much better than most of the free plugins.
If you haven’t got acquainted with Google Forms, you can learn the good reasons to use it first. And if you have acquired enough basic knowledge and only want to know how to integrate Google Forms with WordPress sites, jump to the tutorials directly.
Why Use Google Forms?
Google Forms, which is integrated with Google Drive, is a helpful service for those who want to create surveys, polls, quizzes, signup forms, event registration forms, etc. It enables you to collect data in almost any way you can imagine, for example, collect email addresses with a subscription form. Besides, the service comes with many other notable features.
- It includes built-in themes, and supports custom logos, photos and colors.
- It is responsive, working well on any device regardless of the screen size.
- There are a large number of ready-to-use question options that can ease your life.
- You can add YouTube videos and images to forms.
- You can add collaborators to forms so that your co-workers or friends are able to build surveys with you.
- Google Forms collects data and converts it to Google Sheets for better analysis.
- It supports the customization of the confirmation page.
Now, let’s start creating your first form with Google Forms and adding it to your WordPress site. Before doing this, make sure that you have an active Google account which allows you to access Google Forms.
How to Create a Custom Form with Google Forms
Google Forms can be found either in the Google Drive dashboard, or by visiting this page directly. By following the link, you will get to the about page shown in the image above. Click on the “Go to Google Forms” button to get started.
Create a new form
After getting into Google Forms, you will be presented with more than a dozen of templates. If the form you want to create is covered in these templates, just select the one you need to save some time. Or you can start with a blank form. Our example is conducted with the latter option to build a simple contact form.
After clicking on “Blank”, you will see a page on which you need to give the new form a title, a description, and the first question. For the question, you are able to make a choice from various options including dropdown, short answers, multiple choices, checkboxes and paragraphs (long answers).
For a contact form, the first question is usually the user’s name, so the format should be “short answer”. You can make this question required or not by checking/un-checking the corresponding option.
As soon as the first question is completed, click on the “+” sign to add more questions.
In the toolbar, you can also find the options for adding images, videos and sections. Use them when you need. They don’t require any technical knowledge. Only clicks are enough.
After adding all questions and content, check them one by one to make sure you have made all the questions you want available with the right format. To adjust the order of a question, simply drag and drop it to the place it should be.
Customize the appearance
When the questions are done, you can customize the new form with custom images and a color scheme you like. Clicking on the “Color Palette” icon, you are able to select a pre-set color scheme.
If you don’t like these colors, click on the last image icon. A popup will appear in which you can select a theme. Themes are well categorized, which makes the choice easier. To use your own images, make use of the upload function.
The new theme would make a difference to your form design.
Customize the form settings
Before making the form available to the public, we suggest you click on the settings icon to check the form settings. With the few settings, you are able to require users to log in, add a custom thank-you message to the confirmation page, select the link shown on the page, etc.
Publish the form
When you have done all the things above, you can click on the “Send” button on the upper right of the screen to publish the form. In the popup, you will get multiple options for using the form, including:
- Sending the form to collaborators via email.
- Getting the form URL.
- Getting the iframe embed code that can be used to insert the form into websites.
- Sharing the form directly to Google+, Twitter and Facebook.
Add the New Form to Your WordPress Site
There are two ways for adding a form created with Google Forms to a WordPress site: by adding the embed code, or by using a plugin. For both ways, you have to create a form first by following the steps above.
As these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, we will analyze both here.
Make use of the embed code
As mentioned above, you can get the embed code of the form by clicking on the “Send” button. In the popup, specify the width and height of the form first, and then click on “Copy”.
After copying the embed code, log into your WordPress site, create a new post or page, and paste the code into the post editor. You can also modify the parameters to change the border, form size and more. Then, preview the post or page to see the form.
Using the embed code is the simplest way for adding a Google form to WordPress sites. However, the disadvantages are obvious. For example, the form doesn’t use your website’s CSS, so the design hardly fits in that of your website. Besides, there are some links to Google displayed below the form, which makes the form look less professional. If you want to prevent these issues, refer to the plugin method.
Add the form by using the Google Forms plugin
The Google Forms plugin is a free plugin used to embed a published form into a WordPress page, post or widget. A good reason to use this plugin is that it removes the wrapper HTML, so that the Google branding as well as some presentation elements are removed. This makes it possible to apply your website design to the form.
Also, by using the plugin, you can manage the Google forms on your site more easily in the case that you use multiple forms to achieve different purposes. The plugin provides a dashboard where you can edit forms quickly.
Assumed that you have already installed the plugin and created a form with Google Forms, you can start adding the form to your WordPress site by clicking on Google Forms > Add New Google Form. On the new page, there are a lot of fields to deal with.
First of all, you need to give the form a title so that you can identify it easily in the future. Then, for the form details, you must enter the form URL which can be found by clicking on the “Send” button of the form. Depending on your preference, you can also add a custom confirmation page to the form to display your popular posts or simple thank-you information.
Besides, the plugin supports email notifications upon form submission. You can enable the feature and then add the email address that receives the notifications. Additional form CSS and caching are also allowed. Use them whenever you need.
If you want to use your own words for the buttons and other texts in the form, enable the text override and enter custom texts wherever you want.
On the right column of the page, there are some additional form options with which you are able to:
- Add CAPTCHA to the form to reduce spam.
- Split the form into multiple columns, and change the column order.
- Send an email to users when they complete the form submission.
- Hide or show the form title.
You can deal with these options depending on your own requirements for the individual form. And after doing this, publish the form as you do with any WordPress post. Upon publishing, you will find the form listed under the Google Forms sub-menu with a shortcode ready-to-use.
To use this form in any WordPress post, page or text widget, you only need to copy and paste the shortcode to the place you want. That’s all.
After the form is published on a post or page, you can go to the Form Submission Log sub-menu of the plugin to view the logs like timestamp, URL, remote host and HTTP user agent.
Alternatively, you can go back to the Google Forms website to view and analyze the responses to your form. You can either view the summary, or dig into each individual response. Also, there are options for you to download the responses as CSV and print the responses.
In addition, you are able to create a spreadsheet for the responses for further analysis. By clicking on the “Create Spreadsheet” icon, you will get a new spreadsheet collecting the information of the timestamp and all the form fields.