The Best WordPress Form Plugin: Gravity Forms

As far as WordPress plugins go, there aren’t many that I’d be willing to pay for. Gravity Forms is a different beast altogether. It actually makes creating forms fun.

Fun. Like when you finally take off those painful shoes at the end of the day, or when you start using a hammer instead of your forehead to drive nails into the wall.

Today, I needed to send a questionnaire to a prospect (based off of this excellent article), and was about to fire up Word and create a form. Instead, I created a new form with Gravity Forms, and about 15 minutes later, here’s what I got: http://studio625.net/new-client-questionnaire/

It’s got drag and drop field creation, validation, conditional logic, form submission emailing & routing, and conversion tracking right out of the box. Plus lots of other stuff that I’m sure I’ll use in the future.

So yeah, if you’re on WordPress, go buy a copy of Gravity Forms. You won’t regret it.

Update:

Since I wrote this article eight months ago, I’ve used Gravity Forms on every single website I’ve deployed (hooray Developer’s License!). Nearly every website will need some kind of response form, since that’s the primary way of getting value out of a non-ecommerce website. It makes sense to use the best plugin available for the job, and there’s so much flexibility here that you shouldn’t need anything else.

Also, I’ve started using Gravity Forms to get signatures from clients. I simply put the contract into a password-protected WordPress page, embed the form at the bottom and restrict it to one submission. The  client gets a link, reviews the contract, and signs the form. Everyone gets a copy of the signature and the contract remains online for future reference. So much easier than the email > print > sign > scan > email routine that often happens when dealing with customers outside of your area.

Conclusion:

I realize this is starting to sound like an advertisement, but the level of quality in Gravity Forms in a world of poorly-supported WordPress plugins is simply amazing, which is why I can wholeheartedly say that it’s the best form plugin available.

12 Responses to “The Best WordPress Form Plugin: Gravity Forms”

  1. Hi, This is a great article. I actually discovered gravity forms last year from a tutorial I had came across on your site. I have a quite of few questions. I was wondering, how did you create a contract with gravity form? I’ve actually just set one up. I’m just trying to figure out how to get all of the text of the contract to show in the email notifications. So that I and a client can be able to print a copy. Also how do you set it up so the client can view their contract online in the future? I’ve already made a password protected page with the gravity form embedded. As for the client signature and the contact info plus date set all those to required. Do you find that this is sufficient? Since it would basically be an electronic signature. How would I handle my signature or is just the electronic signature form the client that’s all that’s need?

    Here’s the link to my password protected page http://gigistudio.com/password-protected-page/
    The Password is: snipped for security

    In the form I tried the html fields (3) for my paragraphs. I also tried placing the text I used in the html fields in the description part of the Section Break fields. No part matter where I placed the text in the form and the codes I use in the selection for the notification email it will not show.

    I appreciate any advice you have and Thank you in advance.

  2. Hi Gigi, thanks for reading!

    1. To get the full contract into your notification email:
    I suppose you could copy and paste the full text of your contract in the notification email, but that would probably look bad.

    Here’s what my notification email looks like:
    ——————-
    {Your name::1},

    We have successfully received your signature for our Website Design Agreement. You can view it here: {embed_url} . We would recommend printing a copy for your records. Thanks again for your business, and we look forward to working with you!

    Sincerely,
    Studio 625
    ——————-

    2. For your signature:
    Just add your name and title to the bottom of your contract, so it’s basically pre-signed. You could even attach an image of your handwritten signature. 🙂

    3. Regarding the legal status of online signatures:
    I’m no expert in this area, but in the U.S. I think a law was passed saying that a signature doesn’t have to be on paper to be legally binding. That’s something you might want to consult with a lawyer on if you’re not sure.

    4. I also read over your contract and thought I’d recommend the Gravity Forms PayPal Plugin. With that plugin, you could send your clients directly to PayPal after they submit the form. Not sure if you’d want to, but it’s an option!

  3. Hi Chris,

    Thanks so much for the suggestions. I figured out a way to get my full contract into my email notifications. What I did was checked the Disable Auto-formatting box and just typed up my contract using plain html and it works perfectly. Even the image tag of my signature shows in the email for me.

    I wish I could use the Paypal add-on, but I don’t have the developer license. Would be a great feature to have. :O)

    Now, I’m still a little confused on a few things. In this line you said,
    “I simply put the contract into a password-protected WordPress page, embed the form at the bottom and restrict it to one submission.” I think I read it wrong the first time.

    So does this mean that you put the contract text itself in the page and not in the gravity form? And the only part that is using the gravity form is where the client inputs their information? I setup another page and put my contract text in the page itself then made a small form to embed at the bottom. I also set the restriction to 1.

    Let me know if I have this right. The protected page & password stays the same for all clients? As for the client signature form. Are you creating a new client signature form and re-embedding each time? Cause I was testing this out and after I used the form 1x. I went back to the protected page to test again with another fake name and the form is restricted showing the “Sorry. This form is no longer accepting new submissions.”

    Now, when the client goes to view the contract online is the client signature and their info suppose to show? My embed url just goes to the protected page and at the bottom it has the restricted form message. In the notification emails I have it so it shows their name and info.

    Hope I didn’t bombard you with too many questions, lol.

    Thanks for the help.

  4. Correct, my contract is on the page itself, and the form is embedded below it.

    Each of my contracts is slightly different, so I’ve set them up as separate password-protected pages. If you use the same standard contract for everyone you could probably just leave the form up and don’t restrict it to one submission.

  5. Hello, this article truly is a great resource. We are building a custom WordPress website and would like to be able to emulate the functionality of Táve 3.0 Studio Manager for photographers. We have an Event Planning company and want to shorten our booking times by assigning a username and password to our Clients to log into our website. When the Clients login, they can update their contact information, view and approve a contract using a digital signature and pay the deposit. Can Gravity forms help us to achieve this if we design a form for each step?

  6. After a lot of searching around, GF seems to be the clear winner. However, as a relative newbie, and only needing a basic form right now, I find the cost very prohibitive. It’s not just $39 for the personal license, it’s $39 per year (or $30 I think there is a discount!). A long term ongoing cost for a simple form? Not to mention if you want to use it again on a 2nd or 3rd site. $99/$199 per year? Sorry but that’s rather outrageous. Maybe if you’re a real rock and roller and creating new forms is a substantial part of your business.

    If you only want a couple forms you create then forget, this is way too expensive. Just my 2 cents.

  7. Good points. I didn’t realize they changed their business model. When I bought my dev license in 2009 it was a one-time fee for unlimited sites. I prefer to pay once for something, but I also understand their perspective- this is their full time job and they provide outstanding support, along with maintenance updates and free add-ons as new services pop up that justify and integration.

  8. I LOVE Gravity Forms! They kick !@# at form generation and form automation!

    I also ended up adding ApproveMe’s WP E-Signature (www.approveme.me) to my WordPress plugin toolbox. It’s priced similar to Gravity Forms however it’s main focus is on generating court recognized UETA/ESIGN compliant release forms, contracts and agreements (a step up from a jquery signature to image pad).

    I emailed their founder the other day and he said they were working on a pretty rad Gravity Forms Add-On, which would be included in their business license. He said it would essential connect Gravity Forms to their court recognized docusign style contract creator so you would be able to do some serious contract/E-Signature automation using WordPress and gravity form submission results. Very excited to see what they do with this!

    In case anyone is interested here’s their site… http://www.approveme.me

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