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The 14 Best Online Form Builders for Every Task
Forms come in all shapes and sizes, and there are dozens of tools to make them. Most form tools will have you create the form on another site, copy an embed code, then put that in a page on your site—and pay a monthly fee to keep the form running. But if you already have your own server or hosting account and are using WordPress to power your site, there might be a better option: a WordPress form tool like Gravity Forms.
Gravity Forms—like a number of other WordPress form plugins—lets you make forms inside of your WordPress Admin pages. Install the Gravity Forms plugin and you'll find a new Forms section alongside your posts and pages in WordPress. There, you can add new forms, edit forms, and browse through form entries. And sharing the forms with the world is as easy as adding a WordPress shortcode with your form's name to a new page or post. It's everything in one place to make and publish the forms you need.
It works similarly to other form tools, too. You'll tap one of the 30+ form field types in the right-hand column of the editor to add the item to your form, and then can drag-and-drop form elements to the positions you want. You'll find standard fields like names and bullet point options, along with fields to create WordPress posts and calculated product listing and pricing fields. You can accept files with an upload element, split forms into multiple pages, and add a CAPTCHA help keep spam away.
Those tools will help you make great forms, but there's a lot more you can do, too. With the WordPress post fields, you can create a form that lets readers submit guest posts, or make a form for your writers to submit articles without needing full access to the WordPress admin. And, since everything from your forms is stored in your WordPress MySQL database, you can reuse the data in other plugins or with your own custom-coded integrations. Tweak it enough, and Gravity Forms and WordPress could be the basis for your next app.
If you need more tools, Gravity Forms offers its own add-ons depending on your plan. On the most basic level, you can connect your forms to email newsletter apps to add new subscribers, choosing the service you use and only installing its add-on. Or, with the Pro plan, you can connect to popular CRM apps, customer support tools, and Zapier to build detailed workflows for your form data—and you can add PayPal for a simple eCommerce store. The Elite plan lets you go further with support for a wide range of payment providers including Stripe, along with tools to build polls and quizzes. Either way, the add-ons let you bring in the features you want, and no more.
Hosting your own form tool makes some things more difficult. You need to make sure you keep your software up-to-date and your data backed up. But, it can make other things easier—and cheaper. You'll keep everything in one place, so you don't have to check multiple apps to get all of your site's data. And, since you can tweak the code and access the database directly, you can use Gravity Forms to build far more advanced forms and apps than you could with most form tools.
If you need an advanced form builder for WordPress, Gravity Forms is one you should definitely consider. Take the Gravity Forms Demo for a spin, try building a form in WordPress' familiar editor, then you can buy and install it on your own site when you're ready to build your own forms.
Originally published March 3, 2015; updated May 30, 2018 with new pricing, feature details, and screenshots.