Gravity Forms Review and Its Alternatives

WordPress has plenty form builder plugins and it is very difficult to choose among them. There are a huge plethora of free as well as premium form plugins. Gravity forms are among the top form builder plugins and has been on the market since 2009.

If you want an all around solution that can create eCommerce, guest posts or other advanced forms of complex notification and conditional logic then Gravity Forms is probably the best solution. In this article, I will elaborate on all the main features of this plugin.

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Features of Gravity Forms

  • Drag and Drop Form Builder: It is very easy to add/remove and arrange fields using the drag and drop builder of Gravity Forms. All you have to do is to pick the desired fields from the fields sidebar and drop them into appropriate position inside form wrapper.
  • Conditional Form Fields: This is one of the most powerful features of Gravity Forms. You can make intelligent forms that respond according to what data is filled by the user in the form. You can set some fields to dynamically hide/show depending upon user data. It is quite similar to if/else conditions used in programming languages.

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  • Email Notification Routing: Similar to conditional form fields you can create rules for email recipients depending upon what data is filled by the user in the form. For example, if a user selects his work experience as greater than 5 years then you can directly send its data via email to lead developer otherwise it will be sent to HR head.

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  • Designing Form: As far as designing of forms is concerned then Gravity forms has an in-depth documentation for all the classes used by various fields. You can check all the CSS classes here . However, this is little tricky because you have to manually add the CSS styles for each form field. If you don't want to add the CSS coding by yourself then you can either hire a freelancer to use Gravity Forms CSS plugin from WordPress repository to style the forms in real-time.
  • 3rd Party Addons: Gravity Forms has a very large developer community. There are hundreds of free and premium add-ons which you can use to add any type of functionality. I always search WordPress repository for any type of Gravity Forms plugin and most of the time I end up finding it for free. If you don't find the plugin in the repository then you can use codecanyon  to find the plugin. If still, you couldn't find what you are looking for then you can hire a freelance developer to make the functionality for you. Once you install and activate the plugin, you will see a new menu in WordPress dashboard with the title. This menu contains all the options and settings that are provided by Gravity Forms.

How to Create a Form with Gravity Forms

  • When you will click on the Forms menu for the very first time then you will be welcomed by Gravity Forms wizard.

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  • It will guide you to do basic configuration settings like adding license key, setting up automatic background updates and setting currency.
  • Once you complete all the steps in the wizard then you will be guided to form builder section.You will be prompted to entering form title and description.

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  • Now you will see form builder in which all the fields which can be added inside the form are placed on the right sidebar and the form wrapper is placed towards the left.

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Form fields are divided into four categories depending upon their use

  1. Standard Fields
  2. Advanced Fields
  3. Post Fields
  4. Pricing Fields
  • Standard Fields: Standard fields is a group of multi-purpose fields that can be used to create simple forms. It includes Single Line Text, Paragraph Text, Drop Down, Number, Checkboxes, Multiple Choice (Radio Button), Hidden Field, HTML, Section Break and Page Break fields.

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  • Advanced Fields: Advanced fields is a collection of fields which are a combination of multiple standard fields or have in-built validations. It includes Name, Date, Time, Phone, Address, Website, Email, File Upload and CAPTCHA Fields.

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  • Post Fields: Post fields is a group of fields that can be used to create guest blogging forms. It consists of Title, Body, Excerpt, Tags, Category, Image and Custom Fields.

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  • Pricing Fields: Pricing Fields are used for creating order forms for eCommerce websites. It includes Product, Option, Quantity, Shipping, Donation and Total Fields.

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  • Now drag and drop the desired fields inside the form wrapper to add them. You can also move them inside the form wrapper to change their order.
    After you have added all the fields then click on the update form button placed at the bottom of the right sidebar.
  • This will save your form inside the WordPress database. Your form is ready but it won't be visible in the front end since we haven't added it in a post or sidebar.

How to Add Gravity Form in Post/Page

Create a new post/page and in the editor, you will notice a new Add Form button adjoining to Add Media button. Click on Add Form and you will get a drop-down menu with a list of all the saved forms .

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Select the form which you want to add in the post and also tick the necessary options like whether to show title, description or use Ajax.

Now your form is added into the post/page.

Simply publish the post and your form will be visible in the front end.

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How to Add Gravity Form in Sidebar or Footer Section

To add a Gravity Form in sidebar or footer section you have to use the Gravity Form widget. Navigate to appearance -> widgets and you can find the form widget here.  Drag it to the desired sidebar and you will get the option to select the form along with options like whether to display title, description and use Ajax.

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Save the widget and the form will be visible in the sidebar/widget section.

Free Alternatives to Gravity Forms

There are multiple free form plugins available in WordPress repository which can be used to create simple forms. If you need simple functionality then it will be more appropriate to consider one of these solutions.

  • Contact Form 7: This is one of the most downloaded form builder plugins in WordPress repository. It has more than one million active installs. You can easily create simple contact forms and setup email notifications. It also supports submissions using Ajax and has inbuilt support for Captcha to protect from spam submissions. However, it is very tricky to customize the design and layout of the forms as you have to manually give classes to each field and then add the appropriate CSS properties.
  • Ninja Forms: This belongs to a new category of form builder plugins that uses the freemium model. It provides all the basic features for free and you have to upgrade to their premium version if you want to unlock all of its features. Its premium version is a good alternative to Gravity Forms. It comes with features like drag and drop builder, multiple fields and a huge selection of hooks and filters for developers to extend its functionality.
  • Formidable Forms: Formidable forms is also based on the freemium model. The free plugin has support for basic fields like text, email, URL, paragraph text, radio, checkbox, and dropdown. It has inbuilt form style and advanced UI. By purchasing the pro version you can unlock features like views , advanced fields, conditional logic for email notifications, graph based stats and get access to their payment and 3rd party integration add-ons.

Conclusion and Pricing

Gravity Forms is a premium plugin and its pricing varies from $39 to $199 depending upon whether you purchase a single site license or Multi-site license. This might seem a bit pricey if you just want to create a simple contact form and I will highly recommend you to use free plugins like Contact Form 7 for such purposes but if you want to create an advanced form then it is worth the price.

Let us know what are your thoughts about Gravity Forms or if you have any queries regarding this article.

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Gravity Forms Review and Its Alternatives
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