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The 12 Best Free Form Apps and Survey Builder Tools

Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay / September 13, 2017

Forms are one of the best ways to gather data. Ask whatever questions you want, share the form with your fans, and watch the answers come in. Surveys get even more focused results, with specific questions that are quick to fill out and quicker to summarize.

Gathering data in a form or survey doesn't have to break the bank, either. It doesn't have to even cost anything at all. For every expensive form or survey app, there are other great free form apps and survey tools that give you many of the same features for free.

Here are some of the best apps to build an online form or survey for free.



Free Form Apps

Form builders are some of the most flexible apps. You could just make a quick contact form for your website. Or, a form could help you gather data even when offline, build a simple online store, or even design a new app without code.

Forms are like digital legos: Drag in the elements you need, tweak a few settings, share your new creation with the world, and watch the answers come into the form's database. They can be whatever you want.

Free form apps tend to be a bit more limited than their paid counterparts—but they don't have to be. After testing over 30 form builders, here are the very best free form apps:

The 6 Best Free Form Builder Apps

Icon:  App Best for: Free for:
Google Forms Google Forms powerful free forms with add-ons and spreadsheet tools Unlimited forms and features
airtable Airtable Forms automatically building forms with a database Unlimited forms with 1.2k responses
Podio Podio building an app from a form Unlimited features for 5 users
cognito Cognito Forms selling products from free forms Unlimited forms; 500 entries/month
Zoho Forms Zoho Forms Zoho apps integration 3 forms; 500 entries/month
ninja forms Ninja Forms customizable forms in your WordPress site Unlimited basic forms

Google Forms

for powerful free forms with add-ons and spreadsheet tools

Google Forms

The best free form builder app is Google Forms—hands down. After starting out as a simple form tool inside of Google Sheets, Forms has become the latest full app in G Suite. Even if you use no other Google products, it's worth signing up for G Suite just to use Forms.

Google Forms includes a dozen form field types, with simple data validation for text fields and logic to jump to new questions based on previous answers. You can't accept payments in a form—but you can add an upload filed to accept files in your form and save them right to Google Drive. Collaborating on a form? You can share the full form with your colleagues so they can add and edit form fields too.

Need more features? There are dozens of great Google Forms add-ons to limit form responses, create template documents from form results, include functions in forms, and more.

Then, best of all, Google Forms can save your responses to a Google Sheets spreadsheet automatically. Instead of needing to import your results, they'll already be in a spreadsheet ready for you to sort and chart in seconds. Or, you can have Google check your form results automatically—tell it what results you expect, and you can build a quick self-grading quiz.

Google Forms Price: Free for unlimited forms and responses with a Gmail account; from $5/month with a G Suite account

For more info about Google Forms, see our Google Forms review.

See Google Forms integrations on Zapier

Airtable Forms

for automatically building forms with a database

Airtable Forms

Another similar tool is Airtable Forms, a form builder built into Airtable's easy-to-use database app. It, like Google Forms, is free—albeit limited to 1,200 responses to each form, which should cover most free form needs.

Amazingly, it's easier to use than even Google Forms. Start out by adding columns for your data you want to collect to an Airtable database. Then click the view drop-down on the top left of the database, then select Form from the Add a view section on the bottom of that menu. Airtable will automatically make a form with fields for each of your database columns. You can then customize each, hiding any fields you don't need in your form and adding details to the others.

When you're done, you can use Airtable's database features to link results—perhaps to keep a list of all your contacts linked to every one of their form responses—or use its sorting features to view just results with a particular answer together.

Airtable Price: Free for unlimited forms with up to 1.2k form entries per form; from $12/month Basic plan for 5k entries per form

For a deeper look at Airtable's features and pricing, check out our Airtable review.

See Airtable integrations on Zapier

Podio

for building an app from a form

Podio

Podio is a collaborative workspace, a tool to build your own apps, a team chat tool, and much more. It's also an online form builder. You can use its pre-made apps—or build your own without coding—to gather info about anything you need, and then create web forms to share directly or embed on your site so you can collect data from others.

The data gathered is stored in your Podio apps, so you can arrange and sort through it easily along with the data your team's entered already. You can even use the form data in other Podio apps to streamline your projects, send messages, and more. It'll take a bit more work to set up, but will be far more powerful than most form tools—and it's free for as many forms as you need, for small teams.

Podio Price: Free for up to 5 users (just don't enter payment info when signing up to get the free plan); from $9/month per user Basic plan for additional users and core features

For more info, see our Podio review .

See Podio integrations on Zapier

Cognito Forms

for selling products from free forms

Cognito

Need features that Google Forms doesn't offer—like accepting payments from a form? Cognito Forms is another great free form option. It only lets you accept 500 responses to your free forms each month, but it includes all of the powerful features you'd expect in a paid form app.

You can split your form up with logic sections, figure out totals with calculated fields, and accept payments its built-in payment processing for a 1% additional fee on top of the payment processing charges. Cognito Forms can even turn your form results into a template PDF document to send a formatted receipt to your customers.

It's not the whole way free with payments—but only costs when you make money, which is an easy way to get started.

Cognito Forms Price: Free for unlimited forms with 500 entries per month, with a 1% cut of sales for forms with payments; from $10/month Pro plan for 2,000 entries per month

For a deeper look at features and pricing, see our Cognito Forms review.

See Cognito Forms integrations on Zapier

Zoho Forms

for Zoho apps integration

zoho forms

The Zoho team builds apps for almost everything your business could need—including forms. Zoho Forms includes all the core form tools you'd expect, with detailed form fields that can calculate values or use logic to send your respondents to the correct next question. Want your forms to look nicer? Zoho Forms's template options make it quick to customize your forms, far more than you can with most other free form tools.

It's best, though, if your team already uses Zoho apps. Managing your contacts in Zoho CRM? Zoho Forms can automatically add new contacts there. Or it could add entries to your Zoho Creator app, add people to your Zoho Campaigns email marketing campaign, or create new Zoho Desk tickets for your support team. Tie it together with all your apps and it'll be easier to get work done from a form than ever.

Zoho Forms Price: Free for 3 forms and 500 entries per month; from $10/month Basic plan for unlimited forms, 10,000 submissions per month, and payment integrations

For a deeper look at features and pricing, see our Zoho Forms review.

See Zoho Forms integrations on Zapier

Ninja Forms

for customizable forms in your WordPress site

Ninja Forms

Have your own WordPress-powered site? Ninja Forms is the best way to add forms to your site for free. It includes an easy-to-use form builder that works much like other popular form apps, with options for multi-column forms and CSS styling. You can can make as many forms as you want, and store as many results as you need right in your WordPress database alongside the rest of your content.

For advanced features like conditional logic, file uploads, advanced layouts, and extra WordPress tools like a front-end post editor, you can purchase individual add-ons to add just the features you want. It's a simple way to start out for free with a great core form builder, then upgrade for specific things you need as your business grows.

Ninja Forms Price: Free for basic forms; add-on extensions from $29 each; from $99/year Personal plan for support and core add-ons

For more info, see our Ninja Forms review.

See Ninja Forms integrations on Zapier

Other Great Free Form Builders

Still haven't found what you want? Here are four other great form builders with free plans—though they each only let you gather 100 form entries per month for free:

Icon:  App Best for: Free for:
Typeform Typeform Typeform reinvented forms with its unique, one-question-at-a-time layout that makes filling out forms fun. Use images instead of buttons, use keyboard shortcuts to jump between sections, and build forms faster than ever with its new editor. Unlimited forms; 100 entries/month
JotForm JotForm You don't even need to make an account to start using JotForm. Just look through its templates, click Use Template, customize your form, and share. It's the quickest way to gather data. 5 forms; 100 entries/month
123ContactForm 123ContactForm Get started quickly with 123ContactForm's 150+ template forms, each designed to help you gather contacts along with other data. Then gather data where your users are with its Facebook Pages form app. 5 forms; 100 entries/month
Wufoo Wufoo One of the original online form apps, Wufoo makes building forms easy. The reason to use it, though, is its reports. Just pick the form data and a graph style, and it will create a report autoamtically for you. 3 forms; 100 entries/month

Free Survey Apps

Sometimes form apps are overkill. You don't need file uploads and detailed responses—you need quick answers from your audience, and a survey is much better for that. Form and survey apps are very similar, but the latter are designed to make it simple to ask questions and get answers.

Before you pick a survey app, be sure to read out our Surveys 101 guide to learn how to write effective survey questions. Then, once you've built a survey, our guide to analyzing a survey is what you'll need to make sense of your survey data.

The 6 Best Online Survey Apps

Icon:  App Best for: Free for:
polldaddy Polldaddy simple surveys and polls Unlimited basic surveys
surveynuts Survey Nuts surveys without an account Unlimited basic surveys
excel Excel Online Microsoft Office integration Unlimited surveys
surveyplanet SurveyPlanet pre-made survey questions Unlimited basic surveys
surveylegend SurveyLegend mobile-ready surveys 3 surveys; unlimited responses
limesurvey LimeSurvey self-hosted surveys Unlimited surveys

Polldaddy

for simple surveys and polls

Polldaddy

For a flexible tool to build full-featured polls and surveys, it's hard to argue with Polldaddy and what just might be the best free survey app. It's a full-featured poll and survey app built by the Automattic team—the team behind WordPress—and it includes just about everything for free.

You can make simple polls to embed in your WordPress blog or other sites, or full-length surveys with multimedia embeds and HTML snippets. Polldaddy can validate responses and automatically close surveys after a certain date to make sure you get the results you want. It even has a mobile app to collect survey responses offline. It's the survey app to grab when you need answers quick, for free.

Polldaddy Price: Free for unlimited forms and responses, though polls may be rate limited for excessive votes; from $29/month Pro plan for custom branding, CSS styling, and PDF exports

Survey Nuts

for building surveys without an account

survey nuts

Survey Nuts is the fastest way to make surveys for free. Open its website and immediately start typing in your survey questions right from the landing page. It even shows a preview of your new survey, so you'll be sure everything looks correct. Add your email at the end, and you can build and share a full survey without ever signing up for an account.

Surveys are usually rather complicated to build, so if you're worried about where to start, Survey Nuts will help you make a survey in minutes. It might be the quickest option for building a new quick survey even if you have another app for your longer, more detailed surveys.

Survey Nuts Price: Free for unlimited surveys with 10 questions each and unlimited responses; from $19/month Pro plan for unlimited responses and questions

See SurveyNuts integrations on Zapier

Excel Online

for Microsoft Office integration

excel online

They're not as well known as the Google Docs suite of apps, but Microsoft Office also has free online apps where you can edit Word documents, make Excel spreadsheets, and preview PowerPoint presentations in your browser. Excel Online even includes an extra trick: A free survey builder.

Just click the "Survey" button in Excel Online's Insert toolbar, and you'll see an extra dialog where you can arrange simple survey questions. Save it, and your spreadsheet will get columns for your answers. You can share the survey directly or embed it in your site, and answers will automatically be saved to your online spreadsheet. Share the spreadsheet with your friends and colleagues, and they can help you edit the survey or view results in Excel Online. And if you have OneDrive installed on your computer, your survey answers will be synced to your computer too.

Excel Online Price: Free Excel Online web app with a Microsoft account; from $6.99/month Office 365 account for desktop apps

For a deeper look at Excel Online's features and pricing, check out our excel review.

See OneDrive integrations and Excel integrations on Zapier

SurveyPlanet

for pre-made survey questions

SurveyPlanet

One of the best reasons to use a pro survey app are the pre-made question banks that help you get unbiased responses. But you might not need to pay for that, since SurveyPlanet includes pre-made surveys and questions in its free account. You can quickly build surveys by dragging in their questions, picking a theme you want, and then share it with the world in minutes.

If you want to tweak more, SurveyPlanet lets you do that, as well. You can make your own survey questions, in any of 25 supported languages. The only downside is that you'll need to upgrade to export your survey results—but if its built-in reports are enough, SurveyPlanet is a great free option.

SurveyPlanet Price: Free for unlimited surveys and responses; from $20/month Pro plan to export or print survey results

SurveyLegend

for mobile-ready surveys

SurveyLegend

Traditional surveys with their tiny bullet-point multiple choice questions can be incredibly hard to fill out on mobile devices—but not SurveyLegend surveys. Designed to work and look great on any device, SurveyLegend surveys have large, finger-ready buttons that are easy to tap and select from your phone—and the editor is even designed to let you build surveys from a tablet.

When it's time to dig into your survey responses, SurveyLegend simplifies everything by showing your responses on a map and condensing answers to a word cloud so you can quickly see what your audience is thinking. Everything's simple to use on the go, so you can get answers and get on with your work.

SurveyLegend Price: Free for 3 surveys and unlimited responses; from $15/month Pro plan for 20 surveys

LimeSurvey

for self-hosted surveys

limesurvey

Looking for a self-hosted, open source tool to run your surveys? LimeSurvey is the app for you. It's quite a bit more complicated to use than other survey apps, with a deep menu system for customizing survey questions instead of a drag-and-drop editor. Look beyond that, though, and it has far more features than most survey editors.

You'll find support for 80 languages, dozens of question types, reusable survey question banks, and support for multimedia inside surveys. If you're willing to set it up on your own server and tweak its code, LimeSurvey can be the most flexible survey option in this list.

LimeSurvey Price: Free open-source


Learn How to Build Great Forms and Surveys

Get the Free eBook!

Forms and surveys can get complicated quick. Once you've picked the app you need, you'll still have to write your questions, arrange them into a cohesive layout, share the form or survey with your followers, gather responses, and analyze the results. It can be time-consuming, and you'd rather get back to your work instead of worrying about how to use a form builder.

Zapier's Ultimate Guide to Forms and Surveys eBook can help simplify things. After testing dozens of form and survey apps, we rounded the best up, uncovered the best features, and detailed how to use them. Then we talked to businesses about how they use forms and surveys in their work, and had our data team create templates to help you analyze your survey data.

With nine chapters covering forms, surveys, database builders, and more, there's something for everyone in this book:

  1. What's the Difference Between Forms, Surveys, and Polls?
  2. The 17 Best Online Form Builders for Every Task
  3. Remote Data Collection: 10 of the Best Apps for Gathering Data in the Field
  4. 8 Overlooked but Powerful Form Features
  5. There's a Form for That: 20+ Ways to Optimize Form Apps for Your Work
  6. Surveys 101: A Simple Guide to Asking Effective Questions
  7. The 20 Best Online Survey Builder Tools
  8. How to Design and Analyze a Survey
  9. Building an App the Simple Way: 6 Database-Powered App Builders

Grab your free copy today—or read it online—to get more out of your new form app even quicker.

Download The Ultimate Guide to Forms and Surveys

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Have another favorite free form or survey builder? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

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