Contact Form 7 3.0 Beta is now available. This is just one major version release, but this time there are critical changes. It is necessary to test before releasing the official Contact Form 7 3.0 so if you have time and feel brave, please join the test.
Now I’ll show you a few great changes introduced in Contact Form 7 3.0.
Contact Form as Custom Post Type
Contact Form 7 3.0 utilizes WordPress’s Custom Post Types (CPT) feature. This means that Contact Form 7 doesn’t create its own table on the database anymore, it saves contact forms into the wp_posts table that WordPress has by default.
You’ll enjoy the benefits of treating contact forms as CPTs. One of these benefits is that you’ll be able to export and import contact forms via the WordPress admin menu. Also, the extension module developer will be able to customize Contact Form 7 more than ever.
New shortcode format
This change is partly related to using Custom Post Types. The contact form shortcode that you are familiar with has changed.
[contact-form 1 "Contact form 1"]
[contact-form-7 id="1234" title="Contact form 1"]
Note that old one starts with ‘contact-form’ and new one starts with ‘contact-form-7’.
The old shortcodes stop working after upgrading to Contact Form 7 3.0 and you’ll have to replace all shortcodes you have inserted? No, don’t worry. Contact Form 7 3.0 and later versions recognize the old format as well, so you can continue to use them after upgrading.
Requires WordPress 3.2
Contact Form 7 3.0 works with WordPress version 3.2 or higher. This also means that you need PHP version 5.2.4 or higher and MySQL version 5.0 or higher (these are minimum requirements for WordPress 3.2).
In addition to these great changes, Contact Form 7 3.0 includes a lot of improvements and bug fixes. It also introduces new filter and action hooks. If you are an extension developer, you can utilize them to customize more flexibly.
Needless to say, this is a beta version and not stable yet. Please be careful testing it and don’t use it on your live site.
If you find some problems with Contact Form 7 3.0 Beta, please report it on WordPress.org forum. I appreciate your contributions.