The 17 Best Online Form Builder Apps for Every Task

By Matthew Guay

You are reading: Chapter 2 of 9

When you need to collect information, learn people’s preferences, or gather feedback, there’s nothing better than a form. Forms can be boring—but they don't have to be. The newest form apps make basic contact fields and payment options almost look exciting, while even the most traditional form app can be exciting if it's helping your business grow.

Form apps tend to be pretty similar, with the same dozen form fields, drag-and-drop editors, and basic themes. And most save your form results in a spreadsheet-like grid, and send you an email notification for new form results. It's in the tiny details you'll find the most difference—the little things that will help forms fit your business need and make customers want to fill them out.

So which form builder app should you use?

The Form Builder Apps You Should Try

Forms apps come in all shapes and sizes—from simple, standalone form apps to form builders built into spreadsheet apps to advanced data processing tools that just happen to be built around a form.

So what makes a great online form app? We looked for tools that are:

  • Designed to build forms for your website
  • Flexible enough to make anything from a simple contact form to a detailed, multi-page survey
  • Simple and fast to use, so you can build a form in under 5 minutes
  • Built to work in any website

After testing over 30 apps, here are the 16 best form builder apps:

Icon:  App Best for: Free for: Plans from:
Google FormsGoogle Formsfree forms built into Google SheetsUnlimited forms & entries$5/mo.
WufooWufooquickly creating reports3 forms, 100 entries/mo.$14.95/mo.
JotFormJotFormmaking forms fast without an account5 forms, 100 entries/mo.$19/mo.
Airtable FormsAirtable Formssaving form results to a databaseUnlimited forms, 1.2k entries$12/mo.
FormstackFormstackbusiness-focused professional forms$39/mo.
TypeformTypeforma new take on formsUnlimited forms, 100 entries/mo.$35/mo.
PaperformPaperformbuilding document-like forms$15/mo.
FormsiteFormsiteencrypted text fields and linked forms5 forms, 10 entries/mo.$14.95/mo.
123ContactForm123ContactFormgathering contacts with a template form5 forms, 100 entries/mo.$19/mo.
Cognito FormsCognito Formspayments in free formsUnlimited forms, 500 entries/mo.$10/mo.
Zoho FormsZoho FormsZoho apps integration3 forms, 500 entries/mo.$10/mo.
FormbakeryFormbakerysimple self-hosted forms$9/form
Gravity FormsGravity Formsadvanced WordPress integration$39/yr.
Ninja FormsNinja Formsa morder WordPress form editorBasic features$99/yr.
FormidableFormidableshowcasing form results on your siteBasic features$49/yr.
WPFormsWPFormsa simpler WordPress form appBasic features$39/yr.
FormKeepFormKeephand-coded forms$59/mo.

Google Forms

for free forms built into Google Sheets

Google Forms

The Google Docs suite is a great free alternative to Microsoft Office, but did you know it also includes a great form tool? Google Forms is one of the very best form tools since its free can automatically save your form results to a Google Sheets spreadsheet for advanced analysis. It's also incredibly fast—editing form fields in the Google Form editor is noticeably faster than using almost any other form app.

Google Forms includes all the basic form fields you’d expect—you won't find fields for payments or uploads, but there are text, multiple choice, drop-down menus, and more—along with basic color-and-photo themes to quickly build forms. You can then add extra fields and features with Google Forms add-ons, something few other form apps offer. And, you can share the form to let your team help build the perfect form.

Then, with its Google Sheets integration, you can use the power of a spreadsheet to validate your form entries and put your form data to work with customized reports and lists, if you don’t mind taking the time to put them together with spreadsheet tools. There’s so much goodness here for free, it’s really hard to argue against choosing Google Forms as your first option for making online forms—enough that we made an entire guide to Google Forms to help you get started.

Google Forms Price: Free with a Gmail account; from $5/month with a G Suite account

For a deeper look at Google Forms, see our Google Forms review.

See Google Forms integrations on Zapier

Wufoo

for quickly creating reports

Wufoo screenshot

Wufoo was one of the first form tools to make online forms look really nice, with a form designer so slick you’d want to use it. And it's part of the SurveyMonkey family of apps—one of the earliest web apps with a history dating back to 1999.

But good looks and legacy don’t make a great tool on their own, so Wufoo also brought some of the best features to the table. It has the form fields you need to quickly drag and drop into a form, including payment fields that work with a variety of payment processing services and a file uploader tool that lets people submit images, documents, and more through your form. It also includes over a hundred form templates and themes to help you get started quickly.

Then, once you’ve got the results you want, Wufoo has an incredibly powerful report generator that's just as simple to use. Add a name, select the form data, choose the table or graph style you want to use to show that data, tweak a few settings, and seconds later you'll have a detailed report without ever having to open a spreadsheet. That alone is a great reason to try it out—it's one of the easiest ways to put your form data to work.

Wufoo Price: Free for 3 forms and up to 100 entries per month; from $14.95/month Ad Hoc plan for up to 10 forms and 500 entries

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

See Wufoo integrations on Zapier

JotForm

for making forms fast without an account

JotForm screenshot

If there was a competition for fastest form app, JotForm would win hands-down. Just go to jotform.com, click Templates, and click Use Template on the form design you want to use—and seconds later you'll have a nearly complete form. You can customize the fields or drag-and-drop in some new ones, or just click Publish and copy the form's link to use your form. That’s it.

JotForm includes the standard variety of form fields, along with payment integrations to sell stuff from your forms. Then, from its Widgets menu, you can add dozens of unique fields to your form—everything from signature and photo capture fields to even a timer. With its new design, it's a surprisingly powerful form builder while still being one of the easiest to use. And it's flexible enough, you can even use it to make a fill-in-the-blank form.

JotForm Price: Free for 5 forms and up to 100 entries per month; from $19/month Bronze plan for 25 forms and up to 1,000 entries per month

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

See JotForm integrations on Zapier

Airtable Forms

for saving form results to a database

Airtable Forms

Airtable Forms works a bit backwards. Instead of building your form first, you'll build a database—but it's easier than it sounds. Airtable works much like a spreadsheet, with rows for your data and columns for each type of data you want in every row. Add columns—perhaps Name, Email, and Phone Number for a contact form—and then add a Form from Airtable's view menu.

That'll give you a premade form with fields for each of the columns you just added. Enter your own description, rearrange the fields the way you want (or remove any you don't want to include), then share or embed your form as normal. This time, when your form gets filled out, the answers will be saved in your database automatically for a much easier way to sort through your form results and put them to work.

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

Formstack

for business-focused professional forms

Formstack Screenshot

Formstack goes beyond just forms, with more features built around how your team will use the data you gather in forms. As a professional form builder, it's HIPAA compliant for gathering private data, with Section 508 compliant accessible forms that make it easy for anyone to fill out your forms. Your users can save their forms half-finished, and then finish filling them out later—complete with electronic signatures and payments to power your business with forms.

Wondering if your form would work better with different descriptions, or with the form fields in a different order? Formstack includes an A/B testing tool to let you compare two versions of your forms directly. It can also show detailed analytics from your forms to show how people found your forms, and who was most likely to fill them out. And with its workflows feature, you can build approval workflows to send form data to the correct people at your company and let them review it online or via email before sending it to the next person in your team—or saving the data in an app through an integration.

If you're looking for more advanced way to manage your form data and build forms that get the results you need, Formstack is the app to try.

Formstack Price: from $39/month Basic plan for up to 20 forms and 1,000 entries per month per form

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

See Formstack integrations on Zapier

Typeforms

for a new take on forms

Typeform screenshot

There are forms, and then there are Typeforms. Every other form app shows you the entire form at once, and fills the screen with small text-boxes and bullet points. Typeform throws convention away, instead showing one question at a time in a beautifully interactive design. Tap on pictures to select multiple-choice options, type to sort through drop-down menu options, and press Enter to jump to the next field. It’s the one form app that’s so different, you’ll have to try one of its demos to see how fun it makes forms.

It might not work for every form, but you’ll find new ways to use forms with Typeform, since forms can include paragraphs of text and multimedia along with traditional form fields. It’s a great option if you want to use an unconventional form—and if you want your forms to work great on mobile, it’s one of the best options since Typeform's oversized buttons are far easier to use on a touchscreen than standard bullet points.

Typeform Price: Free for 10 fields per form and 100 responses per month; from $35/month Pro plan with unlimited fields and responses along with logic jumps and payment fields

For a deeper look at Typeform, including features and pricing, see our Typeform review.

See Typeform integrations on Zapier

Paperform

for building document-like forms

Paperform

Forms are for gathering data—but sometimes you have to tell a story before people start telling you their's. Paperform's designed for that, with forms that look more like a blog post or magazine page than your standard list of form fields. Add photos, headings, video, and longform text to your form to tell the story behind your products or why you built this form in the first place.

Then when you're ready to gather data, Paperform's form fields are perfect for selling your products. You can include a table of products, complete with details, quantity, and images for each product instead of the standard bullet points where customers can pick one of your product. Paperform then makes your form fields pop out of the page—literally, with shadows and animations that bring the options you choose to the front—to make filling out your form fun.

Paperform Price: from $15/month Starter plan for 1 user, unlimited forms, and 1k submissions per month

For a deeper look at Paperform, including features and pricing, see our Paperform review.

See Paperform integrations on Zapier

Formsite

for encrypted text fields and linked forms

Formsite

Need to make sure your form data is secure? Formsite lets you encrypt the text in specific form fields to keep your user's data as secure as you need. It comes with built in payment processing integrations via PayPal and Authorize.net—or, you can use the secure fields to directly accept credit card data or cheque payments through your form.

You can then do more with your data in Formsite. You can embed parts of one form into another, for a simple way to perhaps build your standard billing block and use that in all of your forms. Or, you can link multiple forms together, pull responses users submitted in one form over to another form so customers don't have to fill out their info multiple times, or even combine results of your forms to view data together. It's one of the more expensive form apps in this roundup, but helps you do more with your form data than you could in many other apps.

Formsite Price: Free for up to 5 forms and 10 entries per month; from $14.95/month Deluxe plan for 5 forms and up to 500 entries per form per month

For a deeper look at Formsite, including features and pricing, see our Formsite review.

See Formsite integrations on Zapier

123ContactForm

for gathering contacts with a template form

123ContactForm

There are forms for everything imaginable, but most forms end up being a contact form of some fashion. That’s why 123ContactForm is designed to be great for contact forms—albeit contact forms that can also let you sell products, get feedback, and gather survey data. Each of the over 150 included form templates starts by gathering contact info so you won’t have to add name and email fields manually to every form. From that base you can then add any other form elements you’d like. Or if you need an order form, survey, poll, or quiz, 123ContactForm includes templates for those, too.

It's easy to use with a newly redesigned editor, with widgets to embed PDFs, videos, Kickstarter campaigns, audio, and more into your forms. You can then publish your form anywhere from a WordPress blog or Unbounce landing page to your Facebook Page with its built-in form app for Facebook that lets people fill out your form without leaving your Facebook Page.

123ContactForm Price: Free for up to 5 forms, 10 fields per form, and 100 entries per month; from $19/month Gold plan for 20 forms, unlimited fields, 5k submissions per month, and native third-party app integrations

For a deeper look at 123ContactForm, including features and pricing, see our 123ContactForm review.

See 123ContactForm integrations on Zapier

Cognito Forms

for payments in free forms

Cognito

Want a full featured form with logic and payment fields and more, for free? Cognito Forms just might be what you need. It includes calculated fields, file uploads, conditional logic, repeating sections, payment fields, and more, all to help you make the advanced forms you need. It can even put your data to work, building PDF and Word documents from your form entries.

And, it's all for free. You can make as many forms as you want and collect up to 500 entries without paying anything. Then, you can add products to your forms and use them to sell your stuff, and Cognito will charge you just 1% of your sales price. That makes it incredibly effective to start out and only pay once you're actually making money.

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

Zoho makes CRM, email, accounting, document editing apps, and much more—and Zoho Forms ties them all together. If you have a Zoho account, you can start building forms in Zoho Forms for free. You can use form rules to create tasks and send emails from Zoho when forms are filled out, or used its integrations to add form data to Zoho CRM, Zoho Creator, and more.

Best of all, Zoho Forms is built for teams so you can work on form responses together. You can even approve form responses or view stats right from the Zoho Forms mobile app—or share data from forms in the other Zoho apps your team are using. If you need to build forms that fit into your company's entire workflow—and especially if you already use Zoho apps—Zoho Forms is a great option.

Zoho Forms Price: Free 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


Self-Hosted Form Apps

The form apps above are great because they're simple. Their form editors are online, and you can share a link to the form and start getting results without a website. Or, you can embed the form into your site for data collection right alongside your pricing pages and blog posts.

If the latter is your main goal with your form, though, a self-hosted form app might work better for you over the long term. You'll buy form software, install it on your server, then make forms and manage data right from your own site with forms that will keep running even if the form app quits being maintained. They typically have many of the same features as other form apps, only this time, you have to have your own website.

Here are the best self-hosted form builder apps we've tried:

Formbakery

for simple self-hosted forms

Formbakery

Want really simple forms that you can host on your own site, without any plugins or external services? Formbakery is the form builder you need—and it’s faster to use than most other form apps. Just click the Build a form button on Formbakery's landing page, drag-and-drop one of five elements into your form—short or long text, bullet or check mark multiple choice fields, or a drop-down menu—and add the relevant info. Then enter your own name and email address at the bottom. Once that’s done, you can preview the HTML, PHP, CSS, and JavaScript for your form that’s auto generated by Formbakery, then pay $9 to download the code. You can then embed it in your site and use it forever without paying another dime.

If you want a simple, self-hosted form for your site that doesn't require a monthly fee, Formbakery's the app to pick.

Formbakery Price: from $9 one-time fee Personal plan per form

Gravity Forms

for advanced WordPress integration

Gravity Forms

Have a WordPress-powered blog or site? Gravity Forms lets you build forms and manage your form entries right inside your blog, storing your form results in the same database as the rest of your WordPress content.

Just a few tabs down in your WordPress admin panel from your post and page tools, Gravity Forms lets you build drag-and-drop forms with more controls than you’d find in most form apps. You can make multiple page forms to keep those long surveys manageable, set times when your form is available for scheduled giveaways, limit form entries to, say, only let a dozen people enter your giveaway, and even make a form that can generate new WordPress posts. With add-ons in Gravity Forms' pro plans, you can accept payments and coupon codes right in your forms, for a simple form-powered eCommerce solution in your WordPress site, or use those payments to add new WordPress accounts to build a subscription-powered site using just WordPress and Gravity Forms.

Gravity Forms Price: From $39/year Personal license plan for unlimited forms and no add-ons

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

See Gravity Forms integrations on Zapier

Ninja Forms

for a modern form editor in WordPress

Ninja Forms

For WordPress forms that are more customizable, Ninja Forms is a great option to consider. It's a free form plugin with paid extensions that let you add integrations with popular apps, add customized notifications, and more. There are even extensions that let you tweak your form layout, to make multi-page forms or forms with multi-column layouts. You can then customize forms deeply with CSS themes.

The biggest difference from other self-hosted form apps is its design. Instead of a WordPress-style editor, Ninja Forms includes a clean, drag-and-drop design more similar to the popular hosted form apps. You can customize your form layout, too, with form fields side-by-side in multi-column designs to gather as much data as you need without making your forms too long. And with the front-end posting add-on, you can create WordPress posts or pages—or even edit your existing posts—using Ninja Forms' editor. It's the WordPress add-on that might make you use WordPress admin less than before.

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

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

See Ninja Forms integrations on Zapier

Formidable

for showcasing form results on your site

Formidable

Want a simpler way to make WordPress forms? Formidable's free add-on—which you'll find in the WordPress plugin gallery—is a great option. It includes the core form fields you need for free, lets you customize your form using your theme's existing CSS, and stores your form data right in your database.

Its paid option, though, is even more interesting as you can use it to build more powerful WordPress websites. You can build multi-page forms, let users search through lists to find the options they want, and save partially completed submissions. And, you can build a table of form results to embed on your site, complete with a search form to filter through the data. With its add-ons, you can auto-fill location data, make multilingual forms, accept payments, create WordPress accounts, and more. It's an impressive way to build mini apps in your site from forms.

Formidable Price: Free with 8 core form fields; from $49/year Personal plan for 1 site with unlimited forms, features, and support

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

See Formidable integrations on Zapier

WPForms

for a simpler WordPress form app

wpforms

Self-hosted form builders are typically designed for power users, with tons of features and customization options—along with a slightly more confusing interface. WPForms is built to be as easy to use as any other form builder. It lets you start building forms with templates, then drag-and-drop elements to customize the forms as you like.

But it also comes packed with powerful features. With its Geolocation tool, it can find your form respondents' location automatically to pre-fill city, state, and country info and make forms faster to fill out. And if someone starts filling out your form but doesn't finish, WPForms still saves the data they typed in and can reach back out to remind them to finish.

WPForms Price: Free contact form add-on with WPForms basic features; from $39/year Basic plan for unlimited forms and core features for 1 site

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

See WPForms integrations on Zapier

FormKeep

for hand-coded forms

FormKeep

Coding your own forms can be incredibly difficult, since you'll have to make sure your form works the same everywhere, build a database to store your info, and make your own ways to integrate your form elsewhere. But, it's the only way to make a form that looks and works exactly the way you want—that, or FormKeep. Instead of a form builder app like the rest of the tools in this roundup, FormKee is a form endpoint tool that lets you easily code your own form while using its backend to manage your data, send notifications, and connect to integrations.

You'll copy a code snippet and add it to your site, then code in the form elements you want with standard HTML form fields like <label for="email-address">Email Address</label> and style the form with your site's existing CSS. FormKeep will do the rest, storing your records on its server where you can easily look through them. Or, you can use its webhooks or Zapier integration to send your form data to other apps automatically. It's the perfect middle ground between hand-coded forms and a pre-made form service.

Formkeep Price: from $59/month Freelancer plan for 10 forms

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

See Formkeep integrations on Zapier

Pick the Best Form App for Your Business

With all the form builder apps here, and more that work with Zapier, it’s rather hard to pick the perfect form app. Each of these form apps has its own attractive features, they all work great, and will all let you make a wide variety of forms with ease. If one of their unique features stuck out to you, give that one a try and see if it works well for your needs.

Otherwise, it’s hard not to recommend Google Forms. For most standard forms, Google Forms includes the form features you need, for free. And since it saves your form results to a spreadsheet, you can easily sort and filter your form data without having to import it into another app. It even has free add-ons for extra features, if you can't find the tool you need. Google Forms is the first form app you should try out—followed by Airtable Forms for similar features in a database.

For more features than that, Wufoo’s a great option for awesome reports, and JotForm and 123ContactForm are great for easy to use form builders. Typeform’s great if you want to build interactive forms that feel like mini apps, and Paperform is a fun way to make a form and a blog post at once.

Formstack and Formsite’s business features make them appealing, while Cognito is great if you want a cheap way to sell stuff. Zoho Forms might be perfect if you're working on forms in a team.

If you love to have your forms on your own site, without needing another app, Gravity Forms, Formidable, Ninja Forms, and WPForms are great for WordPress sites, while Formbakery is perfect for every other self-hosted site. Or, if you'd rather hand-code your form, FormKeep is a great option to consider.

It can be tough to pick between all the options, but don’t fret: Each of these form builders work great, and they’ll all let you make forms and put your form results to work. That’s what’s really important.

Put Your Form to Work

Typeform to Google Sheets
Automatically save your form data, share it with your team, and let it work for you with Zapier

You've found the form app that fits your needs, signed up for a new account, and have built your first form. With any luck, you'll have new responses coming into your form soon. Now what?

It's time to let your form work for you with Zapier's app automations. Just connect your form to Zapier, then you can build automated workflows with 750+ apps. Want to get an SMS notification every time your form is filled out, then save that form entry to a spreadsheet? Done. Need to tell your team in Slack about form entries, email a template document to your contact, then log all the details to your CRM? Done.

Instead of having to wait for all your form entries to come in, then downloading and importing the form data into your app from a .csv spreadsheet file, Zapier can put your form data to work automatically. Here are some great ways to get started:

Save Your Results

There’s no need to export your form data manually. Zapier can automatically add every one of your form entries to a spreadsheet, database, or other app—and it can even save results to multiple files to share data or automatically back up your form results.

Get Notified

Need to know when someone's filled out your form, or want to reach back out with a quick email or SMS? These Zaps can do that for you, sending a notification as soon as your form is filled out.

Save Your Files

If your form includes a file upload field, you'll want an easy way to save and use those attachments. These Zaps can save your attachments to Dropbox, Google Drive, and more so you'll never have to download files from your form results manually again.

Generate Personalized PDF and Word Documents

If you need to turn your form submissions into a nice-looking document, such as a contract or application, connect your form to WebMerge or Dropbox via Zapier. With this integration, your form results can be automatically turned into a template PDF, Word document, Excel spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentation, or plain text document.

Create Projects and Tasks

When you have a form result that requires more action, make sure you don’t forget to follow up. Zapier can connect to your project management or to-do app and add new tasks anytime a form is filled out, complete with data from your form so you won’t have to go look up the info again when it’s time to work.

Save New Contacts and Leads

Want to keep in touch with people who fill out your form, or trying to gather sales leads? These Zaps can add your contacts to CRM or address book so your sales team can act on their interest right away.

Stay in Touch with Email Newsletters

Or, you can automate that outreach, too, by connecting your form to your email newsletter list. Each new contact will automatically be added to your list so you can send one email and market to everyone at once.

Act on Certain Responses with Filters

Zapier form filters

Sometimes you only need some of your form results—the people who replied yes to your email contact form, or the customers who actually made a purchase from your form. Or maybe you want to do something different with your form results depending on the answers—perhaps sending a different email to people using a company email address than those using a Gmail or Outlook.com address.

Zapier's Filters can help. Add one to your Zapier workflow, and it can watch for specific form entries and only run your Zap when you want it to run. It's the best way to customize your form automations.


Those are only a few of the ways your forms can work for you, automatically. With a great form and integrations, you can collect data and use it in your business faster than ever.

Now that you've found the perfect form app, it's time to learn how to get the most out of it with the best features in your form app. In chapter 4 of this guide, you'll learn how to use form logic, hidden fields, field validation, file uploads, and more to build better forms with the most powerful form features.

Then you can use your new form to do anything you want—gather contacts, sell your products, automate your workflows, or even build a full new app powered by a simple form. Learn how to do that from dozens of startups in chapter 5's guide to optimizing form apps for your work.

But first—want to gather data on the go with mobile apps? In the next chapter, you'll find the best mobile data collection apps—the form apps designed for mobile that didn't fit this roundup, but are still great ways to gather data.

Go to Chapter 3!

Written by Zapier senior writer Matthew Guay.

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