Contact Form 7 to Gravity Forms

How to Import Contact Form 7 Entries to Gravity Forms in 5 Simple Steps

Written by Casey Burridge

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Do you need a way to import contact form 7 entries to Gravity Forms?

Contact Form 7 is a simple and effective form plugin for WordPress, but there comes a time when you need more features, more integrations, and a more intuitive user interface. Gravity Forms offers all of this and more!

With a drag and drop builder, robust accessibility features, and a wealth of powerful add-ons, Gravity Forms maintains its spot as the number one form plugin for WordPress.

In this post, we’ll show you how to migrate your forms and submissions from Contact Form 7 to Gravity Forms in 5 simple steps 😎

What You Need

Here are the plugins/add-ons you’ll need for this tutorial:

Plugin/Add-OnFree/Paid
Gravity Forms Import EntriesPaid (available on our website or as part of the GravityView All Access license)
Flamingo (Contact Form 7 Add-On)Free on WordPress.org

What Is Contact Form 7 for WordPress?

Contact Form 7 is a form plugin for WordPress created by Takayuki Miyoshi. The plugin is one of a select few listed in the WordPress plugin directory to have over 5 million active installs!

The Contact Form 7 plugin preview showing 5+ million active installations.

Contact Form 7 is built for simplicity, allowing you to customize a simple contact form using basic markup. After configuring your form, you can add it to a page or post using a shortcode.

Where Do Contact Form 7 Submissions Go?

By default, Contact Form 7 does not store submitted messages anywhere on your webserver. Therefore, the only way to retrieve messages is through your mail server. If your mail server crashes or you make a mistake during configuration, you may lose important messages forever, with no way to get them back.

In order to prevent this from happening it’s best to install Flamingo, an add-on for Contact Form 7 created by the same author as the main plugin. Flamingo ensures that all of your form submissions are saved to your WordPress database.

With Flamingo, you can also search through your form entries from inside your WordPress admin and export them to a CSV file for easy migration.

Contact Form 7 vs Gravity Forms

So what’s the difference between Contact Form 7 and Gravity Forms? Let’s compare them with regards to their features, integrations, ease of use, and price.

Features

Contact Form 7 is relatively light on features. It contains all of the core features you’d need when setting up a basic form for your website and nothing more.

Contact Form 7 has a decent selection of field types including dates, dropdown menus, checkboxes, and file uploads. The plugin also includes support for email notifications, AJAX submit, reCAPTCHA, and Akismet spam filtering. 

Gravity Forms, on the other hand, contains a rich selection of features. This includes a drag and drop builder (making it easy to create new forms), an expansive list of field types, including product pricing fields, conditional logic, and advanced email notifications and confirmations.

Gravity Forms is also the champion at combating spam. In fact, there are numerous easy ways to prevent Gravity Forms spam.

Integrations

Contact Form 7 is not known for its ability to integrate with other third-party applications. However, the author has added some new integrations in recent months. Contact Form 7 currently supports the following four integrations:

  • SendInBlue
  • Constant Contact
  • Stripe Payments
  • reCAPTCHA

With Gravity Forms, you get access to an extensive range of powerful add-ons, many of which are maintained by the Gravity Forms team. These add-ons allow you to integrate your forms with popular email marketing platforms, CRMs, payments gateways, and more!

Gravity Forms also recognizes seven official certified developers that help to extend Gravity Forms by offering premium add-ons (GravityView is one of them! 😎). 

Ease of Use

Adding additional fields to forms built with Contact Form 7 isn’t complicated but it does require a few extra steps and some basic knowledge of HTML markup. This puts a lot of people off who would prefer a more intuitive user experience.

Gravity Forms contains a powerful drag and drop form builder, allowing you to create complex forms with ease. There is a right-hand panel that contains a list of field types along with field settings, all neatly laid out in tabs that expand when you click on them.

Price

Contact Form 7 is free to download from WordPress.org while Gravity Forms starts at $59/year for a basic license.

So what’s the final verdict? If you’re looking for a simple contact form solution, Contact Form 7 is a solid bet. However, if you require more functionality, or you value ease of use, Gravity Forms is the way to go.

1. Export Your Contact Form 7 Data as a CSV File

The first step is to export your form entries from Contact Form 7 as a CSV file. However, exporting contact form 7 entries isn’t as straightforward as you may think.

It’s important to note that by default, Contact Form 7 does not store form submissions in your WordPress database, and therefore, there is no way to export your entries unless you install an add-on.

There are several add-ons that allow you to store Contact Form 7 submissions in your database and export them to CSV. The most popular one is Flamingo and it’s free to download from WordPress.org.

After installing and activating Flamingo, new form submissions will be saved to your WordPress database. To access these submissions, hover over Flamingo in the left-hand menu and click on Inbound Messages.

Flamingo WordPress menu item

To export your entries to CSV, simply click on the Export button at the top.

The 'Export' button above the entries inbox in Flamingo

Your form entries will now download to your computer as one single CSV file. Be sure to save this file somewhere you’ll remember.

💡 Pro tip: It’s a good idea to open your CSV file using Microsoft Excel and ensure any date fields are formatted correctly for Gravity Forms

2. Install the Gravity Forms Import Entries Plugin

After exporting your form entries from Contact Form 7, you’ll need to install the Gravity Forms Import Entries plugin. This will allow you to import your CSV into Gravity Forms and create a brand new form in the process.

Import Entries allows you to migrate your forms and entries from a range of different form plugins to Gravity Forms. This includes Formidable Forms, Caldera Forms, and, of course, Contact Form 7!

To install Import Entries, purchase a license from our website. Next, head over to your Account page, click on the Downloads tab, and download the Import Entries plugin file.

The Download Plugin button on the GravityView Account page

Finally, head back over to your WordPress admin panel and install the plugin. You can do this by following the steps below.

  1. Hover over Plugins and click on Add New.
  2. Click Upload Plugin.
  3. Click Choose File and select the plugin file you downloaded in the previous step.
  4. Click Install now.
  5. When Import Entries has finished installing click Activate.
The Activate Plugin button in WordPress

Now that Import Entries is active, the next step is to import your Contact Form 7 entries to Gravity Forms.

3. Upload Your Contact Form 7 Entries to Gravity Forms

Hover over Forms in your WordPress admin menu and click on Import/Export. Now click on the Import Entries tab on the left. You’ll now be prompted to upload a CSV file containing your form entries.

To upload your CSV, simply drag and drop it into the upload box!

The Improt Entries 'Upload CSV' box

After uploading your CSV file, scroll down to where it says “Where would you like to import the entries?” and select Create a New Form.

An arrow pointing to 'Create a New Form' under where it says 'Where would you like to import these entries'.

Now give your new form a name and click Continue With Import.

My New Gravity Form

The next step is to map the columns in your CSV file to the correct field type in Gravity Forms.

4. Map Your Fields and Configure the Import Options

The importer will automatically detect the different field types based on the content in your CSV file. However, you can overwrite this for any column by selecting a new field from the Field Type dropdown menu.

Mapping form fields

You can also change the field labels by clicking inside the Field Label input box and entering a new label. After mapping your fields, scroll down and click Continue With Import. The final step of the import process is to configure the import options.

Import Entries Import options

The following three options are available when importing to a new form.

  • Continue Processing If Errors Occur
    Keep this enabled to ensure the import continues even if errors arise.
  • Conditional Import
    Enabling this option allows you to use conditional logic to import entries that match certain parameters.
  • Email Notifications
    Enabling this option will ensure that any email notifications you have set up will send as normal when new entries are added.

After configuring the import options, click Create Form and Continue With Import. The importer will now import your entries to Gravity Forms and create a brand new form for you in the process. 

Import Has Finished. We have processed and imported all 135 records.

When the import has finished, click View Imported Records to view your new Gravity Form along with the entries attached to it.

5. Replace Your Old Contact Form 7 With Your New Gravity Form

Now that you’ve imported your form entries into Gravity Forms, the final step is to replace your old contact form with your brand new Gravity Form (and with a bit of custom styling, nobody will ever notice the difference!)

To do this, head over to the page containing your Contact Form 7 shortcode and remove it from your layout.

The Contact Form 7 shortcode

Next, click on the ‘+’ icon and search for the Gravity Forms block. After adding it to your page, select your newly created Gravity Form from the dropdown menu and wait for the preview to load.

A Gravity Forms containing a Name, Email, Subject and Message field

Now update your page to save your changes and you’re done!

Import Your Contact Form 7 Entries to Gravity Forms Today

Contact Form 7 is one of the most popular free form plugins for WordPress. However, if you’re looking for more advanced features and a greater variety of integrations, Gravity Forms is a better bet!

Using Import Entries it’s easy to import Contact Form 7 entries to Gravity Forms. You can also create new forms during the import process, saving you time and manual effort later on.

To migrate your forms and submissions from Contact Forms 7 to Gravity Forms, get started with Import Entries today! 🙌

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