Recently one of our readers asked if it’s possible to save WordPress contact form data in the database.
Most popular WordPress form plugins will send a notification email to administrators after a form entry is submitted on the website. However, what happens to this data after it’s sent?
In this article, we will share how to save contact form data in the WordPress database.
Contact Form and the WordPress Database (Behind the Scenes)
When a visitor submits a contact form on your WordPress site, the most prominent visible action that you as a website owner will see is an email notification in your inbox that contains all the details that a specific visitor submitted.
However, behind the scenes, most WordPress form plugins will also store this data in your WordPress database.
A WordPress database is a system for storing and fetching data in an organized way. This allows plugin developers to manage data in a programmable way.
As a user, if you wanted to display the data in your WordPress database, then you would need to login to your WordPress hosting account and go to the phpMyAdmin tool.
For example, if you’re using Bluehost, then the link to phpMyAdmin is located in the panel on your left. Simply go to Advanced » phpMyAdmin from your Bluehost dashboard.
Once you’re in phpMyAdmin, you’d need to select your WordPress database, then click on the database table of your respective WordPress form plugin.
Since we use WPForms, this is our form table: wp_wpforms_entries.
Once you’ve clicked on the table, you’ll find all your form entries in the fields column.
Given the looks of it, you will agree with us when we say that this is not the most user-friendly way to see data.
This is why most premium WordPress form plugins come with a user-friendly entry management solution that allows you to access form entries inside your WordPress dashboard.
All contact form data is still stored in your WordPress database, but you can view it in a user-friendly interface like your WordPress admin instead of the screenshot above.
Let’s see how you can easily manage your form entries in WordPress.
How to Manage Contact Form Entries in WordPress
For the sake of this tutorial, we will be using WPForms. It is the best WordPress contact form and helps you manage your form entries with ease.
However, a similar process exists in other popular WordPress form plugins like Formidable Forms, and others.
First, you will need to create a contact form with WPForms. If you need instructions for this, then you can follow our step-by-step guide on how to create a contact form in WordPress.
After you have added the contact form on your website, you need to go ahead and make a test entry submission. Here’s an example of our simple contact form:
Once you have filled it out with sample information, click on Submit.
This will cause two things to happen. First, it will send you, the site admin, an email with all the information from the form.
Second, it will store the contact form data in your WordPress database that you can view by going to WPForms » Entries in the WordPress dashboard.
From this screen, you’ll see different forms and their entries.
You can click on your form’s name, or the count under All Time to see your entry.
The entry management screen gives you the ability to star (favorite) entries in the table, mark them as read, or even delete them.
You can click on the ‘View’ link next to the entry item to see more details, such as the date of submission, other contact form fields, and more.
On the WPForms entry details page, you can add notes about the contact form entry, print or export it, star it, and more.
As a user, this interface is a more user-friendly way to view the contact form data stored in a WordPress database.
Bonus Tip: How to Disable Form Data from being Stored in WordPress Database
In some cases, you may not want to store your contact form data in a WordPress database. WPForms also allows you to do that.
All you need to do is edit the respective WordPress form, and it will open the WPForms form builder.
You need to go to the Settings » General tab inside the builder and scroll to the bottom. Next, make sure to check the ‘Disable storing entry information in WordPress’ option.
After that, simply click on the ‘Save’ button and you’re done.
Now, you need to go back to this form and submit a test entry to make sure that you’re receiving email notifications. This is very important because the contact form entry will NOT be stored in the database when you have the above setting checked.
If you’re running into the WordPress not sending email issue, then you need to install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin. It helps you improve WordPress email deliverability by letting you connect with top SMTP providers like Amazon SES, SendGrid, etc.
We hope this article helped you learn how to save contact form data in the WordPress database. You may also want to see our guide on the best email marketing services to help increase your website traffic and sales.
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