How to Save Form Data in Database in WordPress (and Why)

In today’s post, we’ll be learning how to save form data in database in WordPress. A contact form usually sends the message in a form to the administrator of the WordPress site. What if you want to save the data in a database as well? That’s why in this post, we will know how to save form data in WordPress database.

Of course, to do this we will be needing the help of a contact form plugin. You can use your favorite contact form plugin but you have to make sure that it provides this feature (i.e. allows you to save data in your WordPress database). While some contact form plugins have this feature in the free version, others only provide this feature in the premium version of the plugin.

We will take a look at a few plugins and see how to save form data in database in WordPress. So let’s get started.

Why save form data in WordPress database

There could be several reasons why you might want to save form data in WordPress database. You might want to print out the data and explore at a later time. You might also want to show the data at a meeting or presentation.

Data in WordPress can be stored through forms. When a visitor submits a form, the data can be saved in a WordPress database in the backend. Some of the forms commonly seen on WordPress websites are as follows:

  • Registration form
  • Purchase order
  • Application form
  • Feedback form etc.

Forms are used to collect user information and are essential when users need to register for a website or a service. Also when online shopping, you need to properly fill up your form with your address and contact details.

Backend function of a contact form

Contact forms work like magic for many of us and send information to our inboxes right from our WordPress site. But what actually goes on in the backend? So before knowing how to save form data in database in WordPress, it might be a good idea to know what’s going on under the hood.

Get Latest Post Notifications!

Subscribe to our newsletter

When a visitor fills up a form on your WordPress website and clicks on the ‘Submit’ button, the details are then processed and can be sent to the administrator in an email. The administrator can then check the details in their email address. However, in the backend, most of the contact form plugins are capable of saving this data on your WordPress database.

In this post, we’re going to show you how to save form data in database in WordPress using 3 very popular contact form plugins. If you are having trouble sending emails from your WordPress, you can check out our post on how to send email from your WordPress localhost.

How to save form data in database in WordPress

Now that you know what goes in the backend when a form is submitted, let’s learn how to save custom form data into database in WordPress. We are going to use 3 different plugins to do this.

  • Contact Form 7
  • Formidable Forms
  • WPForms (Premium)

Many other plugins have a feature that allows you to save data in the database. If you’re not using any of the above-mentioned contact form plugins, then check in with the support team of your plugin if they have the feature.

How to save form data in the database in WordPress using Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is one of the most popular contact form plugins for WordPress. We are starting with this plugin and later on, we’ll show you how to save form data in the database in WordPress using other plugins as well. But first, let’s learn how to save Contact Form 7 data in a custom database. First, go to Plugins > Add New and search for Contact Form 7

installing contact form 7

It has 5+ million active installations and high ratings on wordpress.org. After installing this plugin, we also need to install another plugin called Flamingo. Flamingo is a message-storing plugin and it is developed by the same developer of Contact Form 7. So search for ‘Flamingo’ and install the plugin.

installing flamingo

Now all you have to do is create your form, display it on your page, fill out that form, and find the form data in Flamingo. So first go to Contact > Add New and create a new form and save it.

creating a new contact form

Then you can either copy the shortcode and paste it wherever you want to display your form on your WordPress site. Or you can edit the page where you want to display the form and use the Contact Form 7 Gutenberg block, and select the form from the dropdown to display it on your webpage. Either way works.

Now click on the ‘Update’ button to save your changes and then view the page. Now fill out the form and click on the ‘Submit’ button to complete the process.

Now to check the form data, go to your WordPress dashboard. Now go to Flamingo > Inbound Message, here’s where you’ll find all your form data from users who completed the form. Click on any of these and you’ll see the form entries.

flamingo inbound message

So that is how to save Contact Form 7 data in custom database in WordPress. A good thing about Flamingo is even if you have advanced forms, it shows you the entries properly. It shows you a lot of data which might be more helpful for you.

How to save form data in database in WordPress using Formidable Forms

Formidable Forms is quite a popular form that allows you to save data in your WordPress database. In fact, you can use the free version of Formidable Forms to do this. So let’s see how you can do this.

First, install the Formidable Forms plugin from your WordPress dashboard. Go to Plugins > Add New and on the search bar type “Formidable Forms”. You should see the plugin right below.

insatlling formidable forms

The plugin has 300,000+ active installations and 940 ratings (at the time of writing this article). After you install and activate this form, you’ll see the option has been added to your WordPress admin dashboard. If you click on the Formidable menu, you can already see a default contact form here. 

formidable form lite

You can hover your mouse over this form and edit it if you want, or you can create a new form by clicking on the “Add New” button.

After you’ve created a new form, you need to add this form to your WordPress front end. Let us quickly show you how to do this. We will be using Gutenberg to do it.

First, edit the page where you want to add your formidable form. Then select the section and search for “Formidable” from your Gutenberg search bar. Now select the ‘Formidable Forms’ block and it will be added to your page.

adding form in formidable form

Now, from the dropdown that says ‘Select a form’, click on and select the form you want. If you don’t see any forms in the dropdown, that means you have no forms created. If that’s the case, create a new form and come back to this page and select the form in this dropdown. After that, your form should appear here. Now click on the ‘Update’ button on the upper-right corner of the screen and view the page.

Now fill the form with some dummy data and click on the ‘Submit’ button. After that, your entries will be saved. We can easily view these entries from the WordPress dashboard. Go to Formidable > Entries and here you’ll find all the data filled in the form(s).

formidable form entries

If you hover your mouse over an entry, you will see the option to ‘View’ the data under the ID column. If you click ‘View’ you’ll see all the data user entered in the contact form.

formidable form data

This is a much more convenient way to view your data than login into your phpMyAdmin and finding the form entries.

A good thing with Formidable Forms is that you can also print these entries. If you upgrade to the pro version you will have advanced features available such as editing the entries, Resend Emails, etc.

So that’s how to save form data in the WordPress database and also view those data from the WordPress dashboard.

How to save form data in database in WordPress using WPForms

In order to save and view data from your database in WPForms, you need the pro version of the plugin. Although we don’t have the pro version currently we can show you how to view your data by accessing your phpMyAdmin.

If you want to display the data from your WordPress database, then you have to log in to your WordPress hosting account and open up the phpMyAdmin tool. This can also be accessed from the cPanel.

phpmyadmin in cpanel

Once in your phpMyAdmin, you can see the name of your WordPress databases on the left side menu. Select the database where your contact form plugin is installed.

If you’re using WPForms, then you can see some fields called “wp_wpform_entries”. Once you click on this field, you’ll find all the entries made on your WPForms form in the ‘Fields’ column. This isn’t the most convenient way to view your form entries, but at least you now know how to view these data from your WordPress database.

If you want to view and manage your form entries inside WordPress, you need to upgrade to WPForms Pro. If you have WPForms Pro, simply go to WPForms > Entries, and from here you can view and manage your contact form data.

If can also prevent WPForms from storing data on your WordPress dashboard, there is an option for it. From your WordPress dashboard go to WPForms > Settings > General tab. Now scroll down and put a checkmark on the option ‘Disable storing entry information in WordPress’.

Conclusion

So that is how to save form data in database in WordPress. Although accessing the form entries isn’t possible with the free version of WPForms, with Formidable Forms it is possible. You can also print the form entries as we’ve shown you in this post. So if accessing the form entries is important for you make sure your form builder plugin has that feature. Or you can get your preferred plugin to get that feature and more.

We hope this post was helpful for you and now you know how to save form data in database in WordPress. Make sure to visit our YouTube channel and subscribe to see tutorials on WordPress.


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links and we may receive a small commission if you purchase something by following them. However, we recommend services/products that we believe good to serve your purpose.

Staff Author
Staff Author

A team of WordPress enthusiasts led by Arafat Bin Sultan, a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in tech blogging, content marketing, and video creation.

Articles: 236

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *