Reviewing 5 of the Lesser Known WordPress Form Builder Plugins

We’ve been scouring the web for the best WordPress plugins for common website needs, and have learned a lot from our recent website upgrade. This series of tutorials and reviews will be an accumulation of all the tips and tricks we have learned over the past few months.

Our first review will be on some of the lesser known, free and premium, WordPress form plugins from 2013. The only two compulsory features we were looking for were drag and drop capabilities, and a backend submission dashboard (i.e. storage of entries in the database).

 

1. WordPress Contact Forms by Cimatti (FREE)

 

This comprehensive form plugin by Cimatti has a vast range of features and a great drag-and-drop form-building interface. It’s completely free, and does everything that most premium plugins do. We found it to be the easiest to setup and implement out-the-box. It’s simple, easy to use and can be customised to your theme/page without much effort.

Features: 

  • Drag and drop interface
  • Customisable fields
  • Easy on-screen messages and email confirmations
  • Preview and testing functions
  • WYSIWYG TinyMCE button
  • Database storage of submissions
  • Dashboard statistics and information aggregation
  • Export to Excel and CSV
  • Custom settings per form
  • Site-wide settings
  • Developer docs and API

 

2. Gravity Forms (PREMIUM)

With every feature under the sun, as well as a host of addons and additional features, this was hands-down the top premium form builder that we found. We’ve tried out the demo on their website, and gave both the backend and front-end a whirl, finding them to be even easier to use than Cimatti’s offering.

All in all a great form plugin, but at $99 per year it is a bit pricey.

Features:

  • Drag and drop interface
  • Easy to embed (using shortcodes and TinyMCE)
  • Multi-page forms
  • Custom settings per form
  • Submission limitations
  • Every standard form field available
  • Advanced fields and validation (addresses, file uploads, telephone numbers)
  • Form scheduling
  • Complete ecommerce functionality
  • Ability to create posts from form submissions
  • Ability to create users automatically from form submissions
  • Conditional logic for validation
  • Entry management and dashboard
  • Admin notifications and emails
  • Easy to customise look and feel
  • Predefined CSS classes

 

 

3. FormCraft (PREMIUM)

This is another great premium form builder that we were lead to while researching the nForms plugin.

Featured on CodeCanyon (so you know it’s been well tried and tested), this one only costs $30 for a lifetime license. So, with all the features and support, this is a great deal (and it’s got a 4.5 star rating).

Features:

  • Drag and drop GUI
  • Email and dashboard submission administration
  • 23 different field types
  • A range of unique fields (smiley ratings, star ratings, sliders, date pickers, etc.)
  • Retina optimised
  • Mobile responsive
  • Form validation including conditional validation
  • AJAX powered
  • Autosave function on the backend
  • Multiple file upload
  • Maps, videos and additional widgets
  • Export and import forms in FormCraft
  • Template galleries
  • Form analytics
  • Different ways to display forms (slide in, popup, etc.)
  • Quick multi-column implementation!
  • Auto-responders
  • Integrates with MailChimp, AWeber, Campaign Monitor and MyMail.

 

4. Visual Form Builder (FREEMIUM)

We added this to our list because it is really, really easy to use. For the end user that doesn’t feel comfortable with forms and WordPress yet, this is a really effective and comprehensive package. The free package offers you almost everything the premium service offers – although we have listed both sets of features below. Premium is sold on a per site basis, with packages starting at $20.

Features (FREE):

  • Multiple layout options and columns
  • Custom CSS
  • Single click form duplication
  • Drag and drop builder
  • Simple anti SPAM plugin
  • Storage of submissions in the database
  • Backend dashboard for entry review
  • Easy export to CSV
  • Multiple email address forwards
  • Form validation
  • Around 20 field types
  • Customised confirmation messages
  • Redirect to success page
  • Embed multiple forms on a post/page

Features (PREMIUM):

  • Almost 30 fields in total, with advanced and custom fields
  • Analytics and conversion tracking
  • Customised email design
  • Upload attachments to the WP database and email
  • Data migration and upgrade support
  • Additional spam filters and reCAPTCHA
  • Advanced conditional logic
  • 20 additional languages supported
  • Automatic updates
  • Simple PayPal integration
  • Bulk edit and add options
  • Scheduling and limiting
  • Create posts and users from form submissions

 

 

5. Form Maker (FREEMIUM)

Form Maker is one of those irritating plugins that seems to be free until you try to use it properly. We found the description and features to be a bit misleading, but the $29.99 price tag to be cost-effective.

It is somewhat limited in the free version (with only 5 form fields available), and it’s hellishly ugly. We fiddled around in the backend demo and tried to create our own super-complicated brief submission form, and failed. We found it far more complicated than the other plugins on this list, but maybe some users will find it useful.

Features (FREE):

  • Custom HTML allowed
  • Can use the following fields: text input, time and date, select button, checkbox, submit button and radio button
  • CAPTCHA
  • Limited to five form fields
  • Custom CSS and Java allowed
  • Customisable fields and properties
  • Receive submissions via email
  • Easy to embed forms using WYSIWYG editor
  • Data validation
  • Database storage of submissions
  • Submit button customisation
  • Form pagination
  • Customisable form templates and themes

Features (PREMIUM):

  • Also allows file upload
  • Unlimited form fields
  • File extension restrictions
  • PayPal integration
  • eCommerce testing and production modes
  • Additional ecommerce fields
  • Google Maps API integration

So that’s a roundup of the five forms we have recently tested. It is worth mentioning that there is a really new form plugin called Smart Forms that we didn’t have time to test, but comes with a host of options. It’s free and was launched early in December. If anyone tries it out, please feel free to comment on your experience here.

Stay tuned for more WordPress plugin reviews, as well as tips, tricks and tutorials.

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