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Beyond Gravity Forms: WordPress Form Plugins in 2017

Beyond Gravity Forms: WordPress Form Plugins in 2017

East Bay WordPress Meetup organizer Sallie Goetsch provides an overview of form plugins for WordPress: Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms, Caldera Forms, WPForms, and Formidable Lite, with recommendations for the best free and premium form plugins to use on your WordPress site

Sallie Goetsch

July 16, 2017

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  1. Main Program: WordPress Form Plugins Sallie Goetsch & Laura Steiner

  2. Forms Are Everywhere in WordPress

  3. Uses of Forms • Comments • Search Forms • Email

    Signups • Contact Forms • Payment • Registration • Testimonials • Quizzes • Polls & Surveys
  4. WordPress Has No Native Form Builder

  5. Early Form Plugins Looked Like This Oh, wait. Contact Form

    7 still looks like this.
  6. Gravity Forms

  7. Gravity Forms Was the First Commercial WordPress Plugin of Any

    Kind What Gravity Forms Looked Like in 2011, when I first started using it.
  8. It Shows The Gravity Forms editor today. Six years without

    significant UI changes.
  9. You Saw It Here First Dynamic Population: Populate a field

    with a value. This value can be passed via Query Strings, Shortcode and/or Hooks. Conditional Logic: Show or hide a field depending on the values of another field.
  10. Gravity Forms: Form Settings • Change submit button label •

    Show submit button conditionally • Enable save and continue for long forms • Limit entries • Schedule form • Enable anti-spam honeypot
  11. Gravity Forms Confirmations

  12. Gravity Forms Notifications Send notifications to different recipients depending on

    field values, or create different emails.
  13. Gravity Forms: All Forms • Toggle Active/Inactive • Form Name

    & ID • Number of Entries • Number of Views • Conversion Rate
  14. Gravity Forms Entries

  15. Gravity Forms Import & Export

  16. Gravity Forms Official Add-Ons • Active Campaign • Agile CRM

    • Authorize.net • Aweber • Batchbook • Breeze • Campaign Monitor • Campfire • Capsule CRM • CleverReach • Coupons • Dropbox • Emma • FreshBooks • GetResponse • Help Scout • Highrise • HipChat • iContact • Mad Mimi • MailChimp • Partial Entries • PayPal (+Pro) • Polls • Quiz • Signature • Slack • Stripe • Survey • Trello • Twilio • User Registration • Zapier • Zoho CRM
  17. Gravity Forms Third-Party Add-Ons

  18. More GForms Third-Party Add-Ons

  19. Still More…

  20. Free Add-Ons in the Plugin Directory Of Particular Note •

    Gravity Forms + Custom Post Types • Gravity Forms Constant Contact • HubSpot for Gravity Forms • Drip Email Campaigns • Personality Quiz • Infusionsoft Gravity Forms
  21. Gravity Forms Pro & Con • Flexible, extensible, and well-supported

    • Straightforward to use • Huge ecosystem of extensions & integrations • Developer license for all official extensions is $199/year for unlimited sites • Styling them is a bear. • You need the developer license to get most of the add-ons, even if you only want to use them on one site. • The UI has gotten dated.
  22. Ninja Forms

  23. Ninja Forms When I First Used It

  24. Ninja Forms Now

  25. Ninja Forms Confirmations

  26. Ninja Forms Notifications

  27. Ninja Forms Settings

  28. Ninja Forms Submissions

  29. Ninja Forms Import/Export

  30. Ninja Forms Add-Ons • Layout & Styles • File Uploads

    • Conditional Logic • Multi-Part Forms • MailChimp • PayPal Express • User Management • Front-End Posting • Stripe • Webhooks • Zapier • Salesforce • Campaign Monitor • Constant Contact • AWeber • Zoho CRM • Table Editor • Capsule • Insightly CRM • PDF Form Submissions • Trello • Vimeo Uploader • Excel Export • WebMerge • Emma • Recurly • Twilio • ClickSend
  31. Ninja Forms Pro & Con • Slick Interface • Solid

    Free Version • Add Your Own CSS Classes • Only buy and install the add- ons you need. • Conditional logic, entry export, file upload, & multi- part forms are paid add-ons • Agency package with all add- ons is $499
  32. Caldera Forms

  33. Caldera Forms Form List with Entries Hover over form name

    to get edit link. (This is a little janky.)
  34. Caldera Forms: Form Templates

  35. Caldera Forms Layout Builder

  36. Caldera Forms Field Types Yes, these are all FREE field

  37. Caldera Forms Page Navigation Email Settings

  38. Caldera Forms Conditions

  39. Caldera Forms Settings • Enable or Disable Entry Capture (storing

    entries in database) • Edit Success Message • Anti-Spam Honeypot • Custom Callbacks
  40. Caldera Forms Responsive Settings

  41. Caldera Forms Free Add-Ons • Custom Fields • Run Action

    • Verify Email • Slack • Conditional Fail • Easy Digital Downloads • Translations
  42. Caldera Forms Paid Add-Ons • Easy Pods • MailChimp •

    Stripe • Users • Entry Limiter • Geolocation • Nexmo • Mail Templates • Easy Queries • Connected Caldera Forms • Braintree • Authorize.net • Dwolla • Ingot • ConvertKit • Aweber • Members • YouTube • Zapier
  43. Caldera Forms Pros & Cons • Templates & Layout Builder

    • Advanced Features in Free Version • Good Free Add-Ons • Third-Party Add-Ons • All Add-On Bundle is $499 • Individual Add-Ons Are Expensive
  44. WPForms

  45. WPForms Welcome Page

  46. WPForms Form List

  47. WPForms General Settings Of note here is the ability to

    choose an email header image and background color.
  48. WPForms Form Templates Not surprising that the makers of OptinMonster

    include a newsletter signup among their free templates.
  49. WPForms Form Fields

  50. WPForms Form Settings

  51. WPForms Notifications Note frequent and prominent up-sell messages.

  52. WPForms Confirmations

  53. WPForms Marketing Only Constant Contact is available for the free

    plugin. Paid marketing integrations include Aweber, Campaign Monitor, GetResponse, MailChimp, and Zapier.
  54. WPForms Payments

  55. Embedding a Form in WPForms

  56. WPForms Entries This is the deal-breaker: WPForms Lite does not

    store form entries in the WP database.
  57. WPForms Paid Add-Ons

  58. WPForms Pros & Cons • Easy to use • Decent

    UI • Marketer-friendly • Pricing structure matches GravityForms: $39 basic, $99 pro, $199 developer, $499 lifetime VIP • Email formatting • Free version is extremely limited • Very few free add-ons • Endless upsells • Fewer integrations than Gravity Forms (no polls or quizzes)
  59. Formidable Forms (Free)

  60. Formidable Add Form Helpful prompts and option to load template.

    Most fields are limited to pro version.
  61. Formidable Contact Form Template This is the only template available

    for the free version of Formidable.
  62. Formidable Field Options & Layout Though there are many options

    for form field layout, the interface is a little kludgy.
  63. Formidable Form Settings “Show message” is the only confirmation option

    in the free version.
  64. Formidable Form Actions Email notification is the only free option,

    but you can create several emails.
  65. Formidable Email Notification

  66. Formidable Form Styling Some people love these things. I would

    personally just rather write CSS, because you never really get what you want with these. You can only have 1 style in the free version.
  67. Formidable Customize HTML This looks a little confusing, but lets

    you use your own classes and wrappers for complete customization.
  68. Formidable Global Settings Choose where to load form styling &

    whether to use HTML5, set user permissions for form management, enter reCAPTCHA keys, and modify the default messages.
  69. Formidable Form Export/Import Entry export and import are available in

    the pro version.
  70. Formidable Insert Form

  71. Formidable Official Add-Ons These are available either separately or as

    part of a pro bundle. Some interesting ones: action automation, WPML, Polylang, Locations, User Tracking.
  72. Formidable Third-Party Add-Ons Okay, I was impressed with how many

    of these there were relative to the comparatively small collection of official add-ons.
  73. Formidable Pro-Only Features Laura demonstrates these in her presentation.

  74. Formidable Pros and Cons • Add-ons can be purchased either

    separately or as part of a pro package. • Customize HTML • Styling options (for those who like them) • Lifetime unlimited package available. • Views and many other features are built in to Pro • Great for data wonks • Free version is very limited • Styling options (for those who don’t) • Form layout and shortcodes- for-everything are a bit clunky • Pro prices a little higher than GF except for Lifetime • Definite learning curve
  75. Tying It All Together

  76. Best Free Option: Caldera Forms • Multiple free templates •

    Terrific layout builder • Great selection of field types • Advanced features like conditional logic • Good free add-ons
  77. Best Paid Option: Gravity or Formidable Both are great in

    terms of features and add-ons, though neither has a UI as slick as Caldera. Formidable has built-in views that GF needs add-ins for. GF provides better pricing for annual licensing, but Formidable has a good lifetime package. It’s going to come down to personal preference and the specific requirements of the site you’re building.
  78. Don’t forget to watch Laura Steiner’s presentation on Formidable Pro!

  79. About Your Presenter @salliegoetsch on Twitter [email protected] (510) 969-9947 Sallie

    Goetsch (rhymes with ‘sketch’) built her first HTML website in 1994. Since discovering WordPress in 2005, she hasn’t looked back. Sallie became the organizer of the East Bay WordPress Meetup in Oakland, California, in 2009. She runs her WP Fangirl consulting and development business from her home and appears regularly on the WP-Tonic Live panel.