Fixing Contact Form 7 Error After Trying to Send a Message

Internet sites should use contact forms to look more professional, reduce spam, and keep the website secure. 

For WordPress websites, Contact Form 7 is usually the go-to option. The plugin has more than 5 million active downloads and is available in 63 languages.

However, despite its popularity and regular updates, there are still some instances of error when submitting a message via the contact form. “There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later” are the words you will see. 

There are three different message border colors that determine what kind of an error it is and how to fix it. The three colors are yellow, orange, and red. Let’s take a look at different methods to solve these three instances of Contact Form 7 errors.

Yellow Color

The yellow error message entails that the issue lies in the form of validation. You will need to visit the WP’s dashboard and make some changes in the admin area.

After visiting the admin dashboard, find the Contact Form 7 plugin and select “Contact Forms” just like the screenshot shows below.

After clicking on the “Contact Forms” you will see an error message that has a URL (shown below). 

Clicking the URL redirects you to a landing page that asks you to validate the contact form. Pressing the validation button should fix the issue.

Orange Color

The orange color error message border indicates the issue with spam. Thankfully, there is a way to get rid of the error using ReCaptcha V2.

CF7 relies on reCaptcha to stop spam cluttering websites. After switching to reCaptcha version 3 from version 2, Contact Form 7 started malfunctioning. However, switching back to version 2 ought to fix the problem. Here are the steps to do it.

Step #1 – Install Contact Form 7 – reCaptcha V2 from the WordPress plugin page.

Step #2 – Go to the installed plugin pane and switch to version 2.

Step #3 – After switching to version 2, navigate to the Contact Form 7 page and click the integration tab. Here, you will need to select the “remove keys” option.

Step #4 – Visit Google’s reCaptcha page, where you will need to sign in with your WP site details and create new site keys. Keep in mind that Google might ask you to remove the old website first. While registering a new site on Google reCaptcha, make sure to click the V2.

After generating new website keys, return to the CF7 integration pane and add V2 site keys to your WP website.

Once you add the new keys, save the changes and go to the forms panel, where you will need to include an additional shortcode. The code is written in the screenshot below:

Red Color

The red error indicates that your server is behind the problem because it refuses to send emails. First, try to get in touch with your website’s hosting provider and ask them to test the email function. If they find that there is something wrong with sending emails from their end, they should be able to fix the issue.

In case hosting providers cannot help, you will need to get an SMTP plugin. The purpose of such a plugin is to authenticate and send emails via third-party services. WP Mail SMTP is a solid choice.

After downloading and installing the plugin, visit its settings page, where you will need to choose one of the available mailing services.

You can create multiple accounts with ESP services via the plugin. Once you do, you will receive API keys. Enter these keys in the SMTP plugin settings tab and save the changes.

The last thing to do is to send a test email to see if the services are functioning properly. You can find the Email Test tab at the top of the SMTP plugin’s page. 

Caching Plugin Conflicts

Sometimes, the contact form problem might be related to caching plugins. Test the contact form feature after disabling the cache plugin on your site. If disabling the plugin fixes the issue, you will need to find an alternative plugin for caching your WP website.

Alternative Plugins

Switching to a different contact form plugin could be the most effective solution to the Contact Form 7 errors. Let’s check some of the best CF7 alternatives.

1. WPForms

Thanks to its great user interface and drag-to-drop builder, WPForms make it easy to create catchy forms, and it does not take too long.

The plugin offers pre-built templates and workflows to make the plugin even more newbie-friendly. 

Finally, WPForms are 100% mobile responsive and highly optimized for server and web performance which helps with SEO and conversions.

2. Ninja Forms

You do not have to have any coding knowledge to create contact forms with Ninja Forms. Some call it the ultimate WP form creation tool, and for a good reason. With more than 1 million active installations, Ninja Forms users can utilize the plugin’s built-in features to build forms for their websites.

3. Formidable Forms

The Formidable Forms plugin comes with pre-built templates that simplify the form creation process. Of course, users are free to customize forms themselves. The built-in visual styler and layout classes come in handy as well.

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