There are a lot of form plugins for WordPress, I mean a lot! Search for “Form” on the WordPress Plugin Repository and you’ll see that you have a lot of options.
I’ve tried many different form plugins over the years and I finally settled on one form plugin that I use over and over. It’s called Gravity Forms. And, in my opinion it’s the best form plugin ever.
Let’s dive right into why Gravity Forms is the best.
1. Ease of Use
You don’t have to be a developer to setup a web form. It has a drag and drop form builder where you can add form fields and rearrange them to your hearts content.
Each field has various options and you can configure those options with a click of your mouse. And setting up a form can be done very quickly, usually in about 15 minutes.
Setting up your notifications and confirmation messages is super easy too. Each form has it’s own settings and all you have to do is enter in your confirmation text and setup your notifications – things like From Email for example.
2. Layout Options
Ever seen a form where each form field was on it’s own line and the form was super long? Sorta crappy right? Well, with Gravity Forms you can use CSS Ready Classes which are essentially shortcodes that allow you to place form elements into columns.
A CSS Ready Class such as gf_left_half and gf_right_half will allow you to place a form field in the right column or left column of a 2 column layout.
Here’s an example of a 2 column layout:
You have two form fields, Name and Email. Normally these fields would be stacked one on top of the other. Instead what you can do is add the gf_left_half ready class to the Name field, and the gf_right_half ready class to the Email field.
This will place these fields next to each other on the same row with the Name field on the left and the Email field on the right. Below is a screenshot of a form using 2 and 3 column layouts to organize the form fields.
Gravity forms supports up to 5 columns in a row. This allows you to create well organized forms that take up less space. This is great usability for the end user.
Other Ready Classes include adding padding, list classes, inline lists, height and scrolling text, which is useful for Terms of Service content at the bottom of a form.
This is my favorite feature of Gravity Forms. You can extend Gravity Forms with Gravity Forms Plugins. Wait? plugins for a plugin? Yep. It’s like plugin inception.
You can add a plugin for Mailchimp Support, a plugin for PayPal support and many others. This allows you to add extra automation to your forms.
If you add MailChimp support you can capture name and email from a contact form and this information will be automatically added to a MailChimp newsletter list of your choice.
You can also setup forms that collect payments. For example you can sell a service on your website and use Gravity Forms with PayPal to collect payment when they submit their form.
The form will redirect to PayPal for payment and return the user to a page of your choice on your website, such as a “Thanks For Your Order” page.
4. Import / Export
Another great feature is that you can export all your form data and import it on a new site. Talk about a time saver. While this feature won’t be used often, it’s there when you need it.
5. Developer Friendly
Gravity Forms can be extended by using hooks and filters. All sorts of custom awesome can happen when using this feature.
This means that if you need to connect your form to a 3rd party service, but a plugin doesn’t exist you can hire a developer to create this functionality for you.
Gravity Forms is an easy to use and feature rich form building plugin for WordPress and the single site license is only $39. With addons and it’s robust features it’s a must have tool for your WordPress website.
Do you use Gravity Forms? If not, what form plugin do you use and why? Drop me a comment and let me know.