WordPress Ninja Forms – 2019 Review

WordPress Ninja Forms – 2019 Review

WordPress Ninja Forms has clocked up over 16 million downloads. Regularly improved with frequent updates, WordPress Ninja Forms plugin is kept up to date.

Should I Install WordPress Ninja Forms

WP Ninja Forms is Freemium! By that, I mean the basic plugin is free with a few of its tools, like Contact Form. But, many of the add-ons come at a premium. These add-on tools extend the functionality of Ninja Forms.

Developers have made every effort to make Ninja Forms easy to use; this is great for webmasters who can concentrate on what they do best.

WP Ninja Forms is translation ready, enabling you to add a Ninja Form in your language.

Ninja Forms, built with third-party developers in mind. For example, there are many functions, actions, and filters, which allow for easy customisation.

How To Install WordPress Ninja Forms

Installing Ninja forms is a breeze. From within WordPress, go to ‘Add New’, under Plugins, and search for Ninja Forms. Once located, click on the Install button, followed by clicking the Activate button.

That is all there is to it! Ninja forms installed with the default “Contact Me” template.

What Can I Do With WordPress Ninja Forms

For most webmasters, they would have initially installed Ninja forms, to create a “Contact Me” form.

As I am a member of Wealthy Affiliate (Affiliate Marketing Training Camp), I created a short training video on “Installing WP Ninja Forms Plugin & Creating a Contact Me Form“. This video, explains the process step-by-step and is walk-through of me installing Ninja Forms plugin and creating a ‘Contact Me’ page along with the “Question/Answer” anti-spam filter.

What Are The Best Bits

I found Ninja Forms to be intuitive, and I had little recourse to reading the instructions. It was as simple to create a form and to modify the ‘Contact Me’ form, adding in the Question/Response spam filter.

WordPress Ninja Form - Contact Me

Here I’ve listed a couple of the functions of Ninja forms that caught my eye. They are practical and easy to use.

Drag and Drop to Create Forms

The styling on Ninja Forms is minimal. The reason for this is that WP Ninja has developed Ninja Forms to inherit the underlying WordPress Theme!

What this means is, if you change the theme then the look-and-feel of any Ninja Form you have installed will automatically inherit the style from whichever style is active.

No Coding Required

No CSS styling, HTML or PHP coding experience required. Everything is controlled by an easy to use front-end panel. To implement changes, it only takes a few clicks.

You can if you wish, add your custom CSS to Ninja Forms.

Anti-Spam Protection

You are never going to stop spam completely. Being over-zealous can hinder the user experience for your website visitors. That is something you do not want. What you need to do is stop most of the spam heading your way, while letting your genuine visitors access your site with the minimum of fuss.

Honeypots

First off, there is the native honeypot which comes as part of the core Ninja Forms. Every form has a hidden field; this is unseen by humans, but to automated robots (bots), it is as visible as all the other fields. Bots are looking at the code, not the user interface.

When a human enters data into your form, the hidden field in inaccessible and no data entered into that field, and the form is submitted.

If a bot comes along, it ‘sees’ all fields and enters data in all the fields. What Ninja Forms does here is to reject any form submitted with data entered into the ‘hidden’ field. Simple, yet effective.

reCaptcha

Google’s reCaptcha, though useful, does have its drawbacks. Stanford University[1] found that 33% of uses could not agree with an interpretation of the visual captcha. The university also found that it takes around 10 seconds to complete a visual captcha, and even longer if the user’s first language wasn’t English. Put together, these type of spam filters were more of a hindrance than a blessing.

As is usually the case, when it comes to interacting with humans, keeping things simple is often the best action.

Question/Response

Ninja Forms solution is clean, simple and human-friendly while being a pain in the bot (pun intended!) for any auto-bots visiting your form.

Question-Response - Anti Spam

This template field-combo is called Anti-Spam and consists of a question field and a mandatory response field. As a website owner, you are free to set your question, for example; How many inches are there in a foot and set the validation on the response field to 12.

This simple logic is straightforward for most humans to answer, and for the visually impaired, is read to them, but for bots, there is no way to know the answer to such a random question.

Add-Ons For WordPress Ninja Forms

There appears to be an ever-growing list of add-ons, which cover areas like CRM Integration, Emails. Marketing, and Payment Gateways.

Layout & Styles

Layouts and Styles allow you to take full control of the design of your forms, with multi-columns. You can grab borders and slide to vary the size.

Layout and Styles Add-On

Styles are flexible; whether you want to change the colour or size of borders, the text size and colour, and date pickers. Your only limitation is your imagination.

AWeber Integration

One of the most popular add-ons, outside of the core ‘Contact Me’ form is the AWeber automated email marketing. This AWeber add-on integrates neatly with Ninja Forms and connects your WordPress email capture process with your AWeber email marketing lists.

If you do this manually, then you know how difficult this task can become. With the AWeber add-on, you can turn any Ninja form into an AWeber signup form in just a few minutes.

AWeber Add-On

All that is required is to add the AWeber action to your existing form, with the click of a button. With the action added, you choose which AWeber list you want to link to your user data. Then it’s a simple task of matching your Ninja Form fields to your AWeber list fields and click a button.

You can customise your forms, and add an opt-in.

MailChimp

MailChimp is feature rich but simple to use. You can collect all the information you need for your lists. Customising the layout of your signup form is a straight forward process.

MailChimp Add-On

You can have opt-ins on your Ninja Form, and you can have as many signup forms as you need on your website. When done, you can either send or display or both, confirmation of the signup.

PayPal Express

Do you want to accept payments on your website? With the PayPal Express add-on, it is easy to do. For PayPal to recognise your website for online payments, your website must have HTTPS security protocol enabled or the more recent TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol.

PayPal Express Add-On

You can test if your site meets PayPal’s SSL/TLS security protocol standards by entering your website URL in the DigiCert SSL Installation Diagnostics Tool; this is included in the WordPress hosting at Wealthy Affiliate.

Webhooks

Webhooks is a recent addition to the add-ons stable. Use simple GET and POST methods to connect to almost any external services from within WordPress asynchronously.

Webhooks Add-On

Once set up, you can test your WebHook in debug mode – this shows data sent and any response received.

Trello

The Trello add-on is a handy add-on if you are using Trello. The Trello add-on can connect your Ninja Forms to your Trello account using a secure gateway. From within Ninja Forms, you can create and assign new Trello cards to Boards and Trello members.

Trello Add-On

It is possible to set Ninja Form field inputs directly to links on your Trello cards. Once connected, Ninja Forms will be able to read all your Boards and Teams, create and update cards, and make comments.

Front-End Posting

This add-on is one I like the sound of, and I will give it a try. When I do, I will post an update. What does it do? Well, in simple terms, it allows the site-owner to permit public posts and pages without the need to login to the WordPress Dashboard!

Front-End Posting Add-On

The type of public posts might be students posting their work to your website, or customers leaving product reviews. You decide how little or how much of the core post creation functionality to enable the public to create their posts to your website. Additional actions your visitors may want is to upload a file, allowing the visitor to submit videos, images and the like. All the while, you retain control of what content is published, at all times.

Intelligence WP

Intelligence WP advertises this add-on as the “Complete Google Analytics Integration for Your WordPress Forms”. That’s quite a statement when compared to what Google offers when you log in to Google Analytics. Something I will be covering at a later date.

WordPress Ninja Forms - Intelligence WP Add-On

Further Add-Ons

There are many more add-ons to enhance the functionality of Ninja Forms. Here is a short list of just a few of the available add-ons not already mentioned above.

  • Multi-Part Forms
  • File Upload
  • Capsule CRM
  • Salesforce CRM
  • Stripe
  • Elavon
  • PDF Form Submission
  • Excel Export
  • And many more.

WordPress Ninja Forms Pricing

You can purchase individual add-on from $29 for individual sites, with increasing discounted prices for multiple installations.

You can also buy bundled subscriptions; either ‘Personal’, ‘Professional’, or ‘Agency’. Ninja Forms pricing is listed below.

WordPress Ninja Forms - Pricing

Conclusion

WordPress Ninja Forms plugin has a large stable of add-on extensions. These add-ons offer almost all the functionality that anyone could want on a WordPress website, using forms to capture data. There is so much to Ninja Forms it is challenging to know where to start.

Fortunately, the initial free installation of Ninja Forms comes ready loaded with one add-on, the ‘Contact Me’ form, along with the optional spam filter. Setting this up is a breeze, as I have mentioned earlier in this article.

Review Version

I based my review on Ninja Forms version 3.4.11.

Additional Developer Information

This version of Ninja Forms requires PHP version 5.3. Ninja forms will work with 5.2, but some AJAX functions will not work.

Citations: [1] https://stanford.edu/~jurafsky/burszstein_2010_captcha.pdf.

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