Many WordPress themes come with a built-in contact form but more often than not, sites require something more featureful. Event registration, service requests, secure product/service orders… the list of form needs is endless.
We at Agathon Group test drive quite a few plugins. One of the best we can recommend for creating rich WordPress forms is Gravity Forms (GF).
11 things we really like about Gravity Forms:
1.) Drag-and-Drop placement
When you create your form, you can easily add, remove, arrange, and rearrange fields by dragging and dropping. No programming needed!
2.) Conditional logic
GF really shines when your form needs to dynamically change and show/hide specific fields based on user input. Imagine a registration form with optional lunch. The form could adjust to allow specific lunch orders for each person in a multi-person registration.
GF comes with multiple anti-spam security measures like Honeypot and Captcha. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what those are yet. They help beat spammers.) GF can also be configured to force encrypted (SSL) submissions, so that form data is safe from prying eyes.
4.) Advanced fields and validation
GF has validation built-in for fields like email, address, phone number and will only accept valid entries, notifying the user of errors along the way.
All forms can have as many or as few fields as necessary and support nested conditional sections. Additionally, fields can be set as required and special fields like address and phone number can be preformatted for regions and countries.
5.) Responsive layouts
GF forms scale to fit the space in which they are placed and will reflow content to fit various viewport sizes and devices. Your forms will look as good on a phone as they do on a laptop!
6.) Entries are stored in your database
Form entries deliver via email to the site admin by default, but if those emails don’t get through for any reason, entries are also stashed in your WordPress database for safekeeping. Site admins can reference them through the dashboard alongside the rest of the WordPress admin tool.
7.) Form entry reports and exportation
Site admins can filter, sort, and export all completed entries. GF provides data on views-to-entries and displays a conversion percentage so you can measure the success of your forms. Each entry can be annotated within the admin as well.
For forms that collect payments, there’s even a sales report that allows you to monitor revenue generated from that individual form.
8.) Multiple customizable options for submission confirmations and routing notifications
GF gives you plenty of options for customizing what happens on a successful submission of your forms. Simply put, you can display a confirmation message in place of the form, send the user to a page on the site, or redirect the user to a page on the internet. And in cases where the user is taken to another page, field data from the form can be passed to that page to provide a sense of continuity and confirmation.
GF can also route notifications in a number of ways: to a specific email address, to an email address specified within the form, or to a combination of various email addresses—all depending on form configuration and field entries.
9.) Multi-page forms
For longer forms, multi-page forms can be created to group categorical fields together and advance back and forth through the pages. Throughout the process, the form displays a status indicator to help users know how much of the form remains. This is critical on longer forms to help users avoid fatigue and ensure your forms get completed.
10.) Seamless integration into payment processors, like PayPal and Stripe
Do you need to receive payment for registrations or products? With add-ons or a Developer’s license, GF integrates seamlessly into third-party payment processors to securely receive payments and transfers field input from your form to those payment processors for a very smooth user experience, bringing the user back to your site with a successful submission notification upon completion.
11.) Add-ons for integration into third-party services like Dropbox, MailChimp, Freshbooks and Campfire
While GF is a powerful and impressive suite of tools for building forms, there are add-ons available to extend its features into third-party services like uploading attachments to Dropbox, adding subscribers to your MailChimp campaigns, updating client details in Freshbooks, or creating a new team collaboration message in Campfire. Additionally, there are add-ons to extend GF capabilities like adding coupon codes to products, partial-entry follow-ups, polls, and quizzes.
Building forms online can often be complicated and time-consuming. There are plenty of other form-building plugins worth exploration, depending on your specific needs. Given that out of the box, Gravity Forms offers so many comprehensive options to fit a wide variety of needs, we’re proud to recommend it as an AG Plugin Pick!