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How to create WordPress forms with a payment option

How to Create a WordPress Form with Payment Options (Easy Way)


Are you looking for an easy way to create a WordPress form with a payment option?

Often small business owners need to create an easy way to accept payments on their website without setting up a complex shopping cart. A simple payment form allows you to accept custom payment amounts, setup recurring payments, and collect custom details with ease.

In this article, we will show you how you can easily create forms with a payment option.

Why Create WordPress Forms with a Payment Option?

If you want to create a simple form with custom payment options, then you don’t need to create a full online store. While eCommerce plugins like Easy Digital Downloads and WooCommerce are very powerful, you may not need something as comprehensive if you’re only selling a few items, services, or need to accept custom amounts from each customer.

In some cases, creating a simple payment form is a much better solution than using a dedicated eCommerce plugin.

For example, on a non-profit website, you may want to give visitors the option to make a donation while they’re filling out a volunteer application form.

Some website owners like to accept optional tips from visitors who are reaching out for help.

Or, you may want to offer a digital download with a ‘pay what you like’ system, where visitors choose how much they want to pay for a product or service. We’ve even seen WordPress websites offer products as a free download, while giving visitors the option to pay for a premium upgrade or extra content.

That being said, let’s look at how you can create optional payment forms. Simply use the quick links below to jump straight to the method you want to use.

Method 1. Using WP Simple Pay (Best Free Option)

The easiest way to create a simple WordPress payment form is by using WP Simple Pay.

WP Simple Pay is the best Stripe payment plugin for WordPress that lets you accept credit card payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more without any having to install any special eCommerce plugins.

A simple payment form, created using WP Simple Pay

This free plugin is perfect for non-profits, small businesses, volunteers, and anyone who wants to collect payments without having to invest in advanced eCommerce plugins.

For this guide, we will be using the free version of WP Simple Pay since it has everything you need to start accepting payments online. There’s also a pro version that lets you accept payments using ACH direct debit, set up a recurring payment plan, add a buy now pay later plan to WordPress, and much more.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the WP Simple Pay plugin. If you need help, then please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin will automatically launch the setup wizard. Go ahead and click the ‘Let’s Get Started’ button.

Installing the WP Simple Pay WordPress plugin

In the next step, you’ll need to connect a Stripe account to WP Simple Pay. Stripe is a beginner-friendly payment processor for website owners.

To get started, click on the ‘Connect with Stripe’ button.

How to connect your WordPress website to Stripe

After that, you can either log into an existing Stripe account or create a new one.

If you’ve already registered with Stripe, then simply type in the email address and password for that account.

Creating an optional payment form with WP Simple Pay

WP Simple Pay will now show you how to connect your Stripe account to WordPress.

If you’re not already registered with Stripe, then type in your email address and then follow the onscreen instructions to create your free Stripe account.

Once you’re logged into a Stripe account, go ahead and click on ‘Create a Payment Form.’

If you’ve clicked away from this screen by accident, then don’t worry. You can reach the same screen by going to WP Simple Pay » Add New in the WordPress dashboard.

How to create a form with an optional payment button

The free WP Simple Pay plugin has a few different payment templates that can help you create different kinds of payment forms within minutes. You can unlock extra templates by upgrading to WP Simple Pay Pro, including a template that adds a Stripe donate button in WordPress.

Since we want to create a simple WordPress payment form, hover over the ‘Payment Button’ template and then click on ‘Create Payment Button’ when it appears.

Creating a simple optional payment form

In the ‘Title’ field, type in a name for your payment form.

This title is just for your reference so you can use anything you want.

Adding a title to your WordPress payment form

You can also use the ‘Description’ field to add some information about your payment form. Again, WordPress won’t show this to your site’s visitors but it can be useful for your own reference or for anyone else who shares your WordPress dashboard.

After that, click on the ‘Payment’ tab.

By default, WP Simple Pay will create your payment form in test mode, meaning you can’t accept payments from visitors.

We recommend leaving the ‘Global Settings (Test Mode)’ radio button selected, so you can test how the form works before you start accepting payments from visitors.

Creating a payment form in test mode

However, if you want to start accepting real payments straight away, then you can select the ‘Live Mode’ button instead.

Next, you can decide how much you’ll charge visitors by typing a number into the ‘One-Time Amount’ field.

Setting a payment amount in WP Simple Pay

Note: By default, WP Simple Pay uses the dollar currency. If you want to accept payments in any other currency, then simply head over to WP Simple Pay » Settings. You can then select the ‘Currency’ tab and choose a new currency.

After you’ve done that, select the ‘Form Fields’ tab.

WP Simple Pay's form field settings

By default, your button will have the label ‘Pay Now’, but you can change this to anything you want by typing into the ‘Button Text’ field.

Since we’re creating an optional payment form, you may want to use something like ‘Send Us a Tip’ or ‘Buy Me a Coffee.’

Adding a button label to your optional payment form in WordPress

You can also change the ‘Button Processing Text,’ which is the message that WP Simple Pay will show to shoppers while it’s processing their payment.

Again, since this is an optional payment form you might use something that reflects this, such as ‘We’re processing your donation.’

By default, WP Simple Pay will use the same button style as your WordPress theme. It also has a ‘Stripe blue’ style that you can use, as you can see in the following image.

A payment form with the Stripe blue style

If you want to use this button style, then simply select the ‘Stripe blue’ radio button in the ‘Payment Button’ section.

​After that, select the Stripe Checkout tab and choose the information that WP Simple Pay will collect from visitors at checkout.

For example, if you’re selling a physical product then you’ll want to check the ‘Collect Shipping Address’ box.

Setting up the Stripe checkout

As you’re working on the payment form, you can preview how it looks at any point simply by clicking on the ‘Preview’ button.

This opens the payment form in a new tab, in exactly the same way you preview posts and pages in the standard WordPress editor.

How to preview a payment form in WordPress

When you’re happy with how the payment form looks, go ahead and make it live by clicking on the ‘Publish’ button.

You can now add the payment form to any page, post, or widget-ready area using the value in ‘Form Shortcode.’

Adding an optional payment form to your WordPress site using shortcode

For more details on how to place the shortcode, you can see our guide on how to add a shortcode in WordPress.

If you published the form in test mode, then the Stripe dashboard doesn’t show any payments you get during this time, which makes it difficult to test your optional payment form.

To see your transactions, you’ll need to activate test mode in Stripe by logging in to your Stripe dashboard and then selecting the ‘Payments’ tab.

Enabling test mode in the Stripe dashboard

Next, click on the ‘Developers’ toggle in the upper right corner.

Once you’ve done that, all of your test payments will appear in the Stripe dashboard so you can check that the form is working properly.

When you’re happy with how the form is set up, you can start accepting real payments by going to WP Simple Pay » Payment Forms in the WordPress dashboard.

Here, simply hover your mouse over the optional payment form, and click on the ‘Edit’ link.

Adding a payment form to WordPress using shortcode

You can now go ahead and select the ‘Payment’ tab, and then click on the radio button next to ‘Live Mode.’

Finally, click on ‘Update.’ Your payment form is now live, and you’re ready to start accepting money from your audience.

How to put WP Simple Pay into live mode

Method 2. Using WPForms (Best For Flexible and Optional Payments)

Sometimes you may want to let customers choose how much money to send as part of a payment or donation. For example, you might create a ‘pay what you want’ model.

Other times, you may want to collect additional details as part of the form or even allow users to submit paid content to your blog or website.

If you’re looking to create a flexible payment form, then you’ll need an advanced form builder plugin.

WPForms is the best form builder plugin for WordPress. You can use it to quickly create lots of different forms, including contact forms, booking forms, and more. Over 5 million website owners use WPForms.

Using this plugin, you can create a form that shows different fields depending on whether the customer wants to send you a payment or not.

For this guide, we’ll be using WPForms Pro because it comes with addons that make it easy to collect payments using popular payment gateways such as Stripe and PayPal. There is also a WPForms Lite version that is 100% free, but it doesn’t include the payment addons.

First, you’ll need to install and activate WPForms Pro. If you need help, then please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After activating WPForms, head over to WPForms » Settings in your WordPress dashboard.

WPForms' pro settings

You can now enter your license key into the ‘License Key’ field. You’ll find this information in your WPForms account.

After activating the WPForms plugin, you’ll need to install at least one payment addon.

To encourage visitors to pay for your product or service, you may want to set up multiple addons so visitors can pay using their favorite method.

To install one or more payment addons, simply go to WPForms » Addons.

You can now find the addon that you want to use, and click on its ‘Install Addon’ button. WPForms lets you accept payments using Stripe, Square, PayPal, and Authorize.net.

For example, if you want to accept payments using PayPal, then you’ll need to install the PayPal Standard Addon.

WPForms' PayPal addon

After activating one or more payment addons, the next step is connecting WPForms to the related payment account. For example, if you installed the Square addon, then you’ll need to connect WPForms to your Square account.

To make this connection, go to WPForms » Settings. You can then click on ‘Payments.’

WPForms' payment settings

On this screen, you’ll see a ‘Connect with…’ button for each payment addon that you installed.

Here, simply click on the ‘Connect with…’ button. This will launch a setup wizard, which will guide you through the process of connecting WPForms to your payment account.

Connecting WPForms to Square

Simply repeat these steps for every payment addon that you want to use.

As soon as you’ve done that, click on the ‘Save Settings’ button at the bottom of the screen. Then, head over to WPForms » Add New.

Creating a new WordPress form

Here, type a name for your form into the ‘Name Your Form’ field.

Your site visitors won’t see the name, so it’s just for your reference.

Creating a payment form using WPForms

WPForms has different templates so you can quickly get started and build all kinds of forms.

To take a closer look at a template, simply hover your mouse over the template. Then, go ahead and click on the View Demo button.

Previewing a credit card payment template

For this guide, we’ll be using the Simple Contact Form template, but you can add a payment field to any WPForms template.

When you find a template that you want to use, simply click on its Use Template button. This will launch WPForms drag and drop form builder.

The WPForms Simple Contact template

The Simple Contact Form template already has fields where customers can type in their name, email address, and message.

So next, we need to add a field where visitors can decide whether to send you a payment. The easiest way to do this is by using a Multiple Choice field.

In the left-hand menu, find the Multiple Choice field and then add it to your form using drag and drop.

The WPForms 'multiple choice' field

To start, we need to change the label that WPForms shows at the top of the Multiple Choice section.

This is the perfect place to ask visitors whether they want to send you a payment. For example, you might use ‘Would you like to send us a donation?’ or ‘Do you want to support this website?’

To change the default label, simply click to select the Multiple Choice section in your form. The left-hand menu will now show all the settings that you can use to customize this section.

In the left-hand menu, delete the placeholder ‘Multiple Choice’ text in the ‘Label’ field. You can then type in the new text that you want to use.

A WordPress form with an optional payment section

By default, the Multiple Choice section has three choices, but we only need two choices.

To remove one of these choices, go ahead and click on the – button next to it.

Deleting fields from WPForms

The next step is customizing the text for ‘First Choice’ and ‘Second Choice.’

In the left-hand menu, simply delete the placeholder text and type in the text that you want to use instead. For example, you may want to type in ‘Yes, I want to support the website’ and ‘No, thanks.’

Adding an optional payment to a WordPress form

When creating WordPress forms with a payment option, you may want to let visitors decide how much money to send you.

To do this, simply click on the ‘Add Fields’ tab in the left-hand menu. Then, drag and drop a ‘Single Item’ field onto your form.

Adding a 'single item' field to a WordPress form

To customize this field, just give it a click.

By default, the field shows a ‘Single Item’ label. You can replace this label with your own text, by typing into the ‘Label’ field in the left-hand menu.

For example, you may want type in text such as ‘I want to send you…’ or ‘Donation Amount.’

Customizing a WordPress form

Next, open the ‘Item Type’ dropdown and click on User Defined.

Visitors will now be able to type any value into this field, and send you this amount of money.

Adding a user defined field to WordPress form

You may also want to suggest the amount of money you would like to get. This can make it easier for visitors to complete your form, since they can click to choose an amount rather than having to make this decision themselves.

To add some suggestions to your form, simply drag and drop a ‘Multiple Items’ field onto your WordPress form.

WordPress payment form

Then, go ahead and customize the section’s label and option text by following the same process described above.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to set a price for each option by typing the value into the field next to it.

A WordPress form with an optional payment

By default, the Multiple Items section has three options. To add more choices, simply click on the ‘+’ icon.

You can then customize the new option’s text, and type in a value following the same process described above.

Adding payment choices to a WordPress form

Want to remove an option from the Multiple Items section instead?

To do this, simply click on its ‘-‘ button.

Deleting fields from a WordPress form

After adding some fields, you can change the order these fields appear in your form by dragging and dropping them.

Once you’ve done all that, you’ll need to add at least one payment option to your form.

In the left-hand menu, scroll to the ‘Payment Fields’ section. Here, you’ll find fields for all the different payment addons that you installed.

To add a payment option to your form, just give it a click.

Adding payment fields to a WordPress form

After adding a payment option field, it’s a good idea to click on it. WPForms will now show all the settings that you can use to configure this field.

For example, if you click on the ‘Stripe Credit Card’ field, you’ll be able to edit the label and add a description.

Configuring Stripe payment in WordPress

We only want to show the payment field to visitors who choose to send you a payment. To do this, you need to enable conditional logic for your payment field.

If you haven’t already, then click to select the payment field in your form. Then, simply click on the ‘Smart Logic’ tab in the left-hand menu.

Once you’ve done that, go ahead and click on the ‘Enable Conditional Logic’ slider to turn it from grey (inactive) to blue (active).

Adding conditional logic to a WordPress form

Next, we need to tell WPForms to only shows the payment field if the visitor selects your ‘Yes, I want to support the website’ option.

To do this, make sure the ‘this field if’ dropdown is set to ‘Show.’

Then, open the field that shows ‘Select Field’ and choose the ‘Do you want to support the website?’ field.

Creating a WordPress form with conditional logic

Once you’ve done that, open the next dropdown and click on ‘is.’

Finally, open the dropdown that shows ‘Select Choice’ by default, and choose the ‘Yes, I want to support the website’ field.

WPForms' smart logic settings

In the image above, we’re telling WPForms to only show the payment field when a visitor confirms that they want to support the website.

Adding Payment Methods to WPForms

The next step is enabling payments for the form. To do that, click on the ‘Payments’ tab in the left-hand menu.

You’ll now see all the different payment options that you can enable for the form.

Configuring PayPal payments with WPForms

To get started, simply click on the payment option that you want to configure.

After that, just check the box next to ‘Enable….’

Depending on the payment option, there may be some extra settings you need to configure. For example, if you’re enabling PayPal then you’ll need to type in the email address where you want to get your payments.

Enabling PayPal payments in WPForms

You’ll also want to use conditional logic rules with your payment settings.

To use conditional logic, click on the ‘Enable Conditional Logic’ slider. Then, open the ‘this charge if’ dropdown and select ‘Don’t process.’

Creating conditional logic rules for WordPress payments

Once you’ve done that, go ahead and open the dropdown that shows ‘Select Field’ by default. You can now choose your ‘Do you want to support this website?’ or a similar field.

Then, make sure the next dropdown menu is set to ‘is.’

Creating an optional payment form with conditional logic

After you’ve done that, you’re ready to open the ‘Select Choice’ dropdown menu and click on the ‘No, thanks’ or similar field.

Now, your site will refuse to process any payments if the visitor chooses the ‘No, thanks’ option, no matter what they type into the rest of your form.

WPForms' conditional logic settings

If you’re offering a choice of payment options, then simply repeat the above process by checking the ‘Enable’ box and then configuring any extra settings. You can also enable conditional logic.

In the following screenshot, you can see that Stripe has different settings compared to PayPal, so it’s always worth checking these extra settings carefully.

Configuring Stripe payments with WPForms

Once you’ve done that, it’s a good idea to enable AJAX form submissions. This allows users to submit the payment form without reloading the entire page.

To enable AJAX submissions, simply go to Settings » General.

Editing the WPForms settings

Then, just click to expand the ‘Advanced’ section.

After that, you can go ahead and check the ‘Enable AJAX form submission’ box.

Enabling AJAX submissions

When you’re happy with how your WordPress form looks, go ahead and save your changes.

To do this, just click on the ‘Save’ button at the top of the screen.

Saving your WPForms form

By default, WPForms will send an email to your WordPress admin every time someone submits this form. However, you may only want to get a notification when someone chooses to send you a payment.

To change WPForms’ default email settings, click on the ‘Settings’ tab. Then, go ahead and click on ‘Notifications’ in the left-hand menu.

Creating notifications for your WordPress forms

Now, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on the ‘Enable Conditional Logic’ slider.

As soon as you activate the slider, WPForms will show some extra settings.

Creating conditional logic emails and notifications

Next, make sure the ‘this notification if’ dropdown is set to ‘Send.’

After you’ve done that, open the dropdown that shows ‘Select Field’ by default and click on the ‘Do you want to support the website?’ or a similar field.

Next, make sure the dropdown is set to ‘is.’

Creating a WordPress form with an optional payment

Finally, open the dropdown that shows ‘Select Choice’ by default.

The final step is choosing the ‘Yes, I want to support the website’ or a similar field.

Enabling conditional logic in WPForms

When you’re happy with these changes, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save’ button.

By default, WPForms will send the email to your WordPress admin email. You can send these messages to any other email address, or even multiple addresses.

To change the default settings, find the ‘Send To Email Address’ field. By default this is set to {admin_email}. This is a dynamic value that tells WordPress to send its emails to your WordPress admin.

You can replace this dynamic text with any other email address by typing the new address into the ‘Send To Email Address’ field.

If you want to email multiple people, then simply separate each address with a comma as you can see in the following screenshot.

Creating email notifications

By default, WPForms uses ‘New Entry’ and the name of your form for the email subject line.

If you want to use something else then simply type the new text into ‘Email Subject Line.’

Creating a custom WPForms subject line

Another option is to use dynamic text in your email subject. To do this, click on the ‘Show Smart Tags’ link and then choose a tag from the ‘Available Fields’ list.

Now when WPForms creates its emails, it will automatically replace the smart tags with values taken from the submitted form. For example, if you click on ‘Total Amount’ then WPForms will show the total payment in its email subject line.

WPForms' smart tags

You can also change the text that’s included in the email’s body.

Once again, you have the option to use smart tags to create a more informative email.

Using dynamic text with WPForms

After creating your custom email notifications, you’ll want to make sure they’re sent to the recipient’s email inbox and not to the spam folder.

The best way to do this is by using an SMTP service provider along with WP Mail SMTP to improve email deliverability. For more details, see our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

You may also want to show a confirmation message to your customers. For example, you might confirm you’ve received their form safely or show them a personalized ‘Thank You’ message. WPForms will show this message automatically whenever a customer submits the WordPress form.

To configure this message, click on the ‘Confirmations’ tab. Then, just open the ‘Confirmation Type’ dropdown and choose ‘Message.’

Showing a custom form confirmation message

If you want to show the same text to all visitors, then you can simply type your text into the ‘Confirmation Message’ box.

Another option is to create a personalized message by adding smart tags, following the same process described above.

Instead of showing a message, you might prefer to show a particular page or redirect visitors to another URL. To do this, simply open the ‘Confirmation Type’ dropdown.

You can now choose from ‘Show Page’ or ‘Go to URL.’

Changing the payment confirmation settings

After that, you can use the settings to configure the page or URL that WPForms will show after the customer submits the form.

When you’re happy with these settings, don’t forget to save your changes by clicking on the ‘Save’ button.

After all that, you’re ready to add this form to your website.

To do this, simply open up the page or post where you want to show the form. Then click on the plus ‘+’ icon.

In the popup that appears, type ‘WPForms’ to find the right block. As soon as you click on the WPForms block, it will add the block to your page.

The WordPress WPForms block

In your new block, go ahead and click to open the dropdown menu.

You will now see a list of all the forms you’ve created using WPForms. Simply click to select the WordPress form with a payment option.

The WPForms WordPress block

WPForms will now show a preview of how your form will look directly in the WordPress editor.

You can also preview the entire page by clicking on the ‘Preview’ button in the toolbar.

WordPress form with a payment option

When you’re happy with how your form looks, you can either publish or update this page as normal. Now if you visit this page or post, you’ll see the optional payment form live on your WordPress website.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create WordPress forms with a payment option. You may also want to check out our guide on how to create and sell online courses with WordPress and our comparison of the best live chat software for small businesses.

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