What are forms and why do we need them?
In this virtual life, forms are the computer equivalent of paper forms we fill out all the time in every day life, such as an application form.
The necessity of forms presence has become more important throughout years and now, every single site needs at least one form, for allowing users to keep in touch with the site admin, for orders in online commerce sites and more.
So we can create forms for everything we imagine and want, like surveys, online orders, feedback, contact, etc.
Best Forms Plugin
Many have tried what it has succeeded. Gravity Forms is like Thor`s hammer!
Contact Form 7, “Easy” Contact Form, “Best” Contact Forms and even more have been crashed by the the complexity and flexibility of Gravity Forms.
Being considered the best WordPress plugin for forms, it helps you to create forms in no time and insert them into pages or posts and allow people to send you any sort of information and even to publish directly on your site. You can insert a Gravity Form as a widget (named “Form”) if you want to put a form in your sidebar or widget-ready area .
Gravity Forms Plugin comes in 3 License packages:
- Personal- for single use at $39
- Business-a 3 sites license at $99 and
- Developer-unlimited license for $199.
Once you have bought the plugin, you can simply install it from the WordPress Plugin Menu and enter the License Key in the Settings menu.
Tah-Dah! Now you are ready to enjoy the Gravity Forms Plugin and create different forms, for contact, feedback, testimonials or for everything you can imagine.
You will see a menu called Forms that appears in the left sidebar of the WordPress dashboard. This means the plugin is working and you are now ready to create a form by your own wish.You will be amazed by the simplity of the creation process and once you go Gravity Forms, you never go back!
To create a new form, choose New Form and from the 3 types of fields in the right side (Standard fields, Advanced fields and Post fields), simply drag and drop the fields that you want , in which order you want.
As you can see, I`ve created a “Contact Us” form with fields for name, company, email, phone, reasons for contacting and massage.
I`ve just dragged and dropped single line text for company and email, a drop down for reasons, a paragraph text for message and name and phone (predefined fields from Advanced fields) and this is the result:
All this creating process is visual and you immediately know how your form is going to look like!
You can create your own forms using from single line text, dropdowns, radio buttons and HTML to address, phone numbers, email input, file upload or dates from the Advanced Fields. You can add a CAPTCHA with the click of a button (you must sign-up for a free reCAPTCHA account and activate it from Settings).
Plus, you can set form scheduling(from Form Advanced Edit) which allows you to create and enable a form from a given start date and end date and this will set you free from worries like forgetting to take the form down when you don`t need it anymore.
For every field that you add, you can Edit Properties and change field label, description, rules etc. or you can use the Advanced Edit and set field size, CSS class name, visibility (everyone/admin only). You have an interesting option, to Enable Conditional Logic, which allows you to set up some fields to be conditional on other fields.
You can use Post Fields to accept guest posts on your blog that can include:
- Title-creates a post title.
- Body-creates the Post Body. You can set the Maximum Characters that the field is allowed to have.
- Excerpt-creates the Excerpt for the post.
- Tags-this creates tags.
- Category-you can choose the Field Type and select which categories are displayed. You can choose to display all of them or select individual ones. Also you can Display placeholder and write down your text.
- Image-select one or more image metadata field to be displayed along with the image upload field. They enable users to enter additional information about the uploaded image.
How to insert Gravity Forms in your post/page
Now that you have created and saved your form, it`s time to integrate it in your page or post. How to do that?! As easy as pie!
You will see that a new “Add Gravity Form” icon appears (usually the last icon next to Upload/Insert) and after pressing that, all you have to do is to choose the form that you want in your page or post and insert it. And that`s it!
What Email Notification Routing is and how it works.A real life example.
Gravity Forms plugin offers you the possibility to set Email Notification Routing , which means you can set up notifications to your email address or to a specific email address when entries are submitted. Also a good thing, the entries can be managed from the Entries option, directly from the dashboard, where you can see all the submitted forms and user info.
Let`s imagine we are a company, a small one, with few departments and we have a site with this Contact Us form, which allows our parteners, clients or potential clients to stay in touch with us and to contact us for different questions or issues they have.
Now, one confusing and annoying think is that the received messages to be distributed to all the departments and everybody to read them and say “Hey, that`s not for my department, why did I received it?”.
To avoid that, Email Notification Routing allows us to sort the received messages and depending on the reason we are contacted for, the messages will be sent to the properly department, like below:
Long short story.
If a client want to contact us for a sales department problem, the submitted form entries are routed to the sales department email and they are not shared in all the company.
That`s how this great plugin saves us from wasting time and from extra work!
Set it up!
In the Settings option you can make General Settings like the css output, enable/disable No-Conflict Mode or reCAPTCHA Settings if you want to use this feature in your post.
Also, Gravity Forms plugin lets you to select a form and the fields entries that you would like to Export. Also you can Export Forms. By pressing Download Export File -a XML file is created and saved in your computer. Also you can Import Form.
A little confusing thing here is the fact that the files you can import don`t have restricted file types and not everybody knows that only an XML file can be imported.
Gravity Forms and WordPress
Also, if you decide to buy a developer license, you will have access to add-ons (and hooks and filters for them) like:
- MailChimp – an email marketing service with over one million user. It allows users to send newsletters, manage subscribers lists or track campaign performance. The platform uses on open API and and encourages other systems and web applications to integrate with its email-markenting engine.
- PayPal – an online payments an money transfer service that allows you to send money via phone, email or text messages. And Gravity Forms makes good team with PayPal! With this Add-On, you can capture credit card payments along with any additional data you want from your customer right on your site.
- The User Registration Add-On for Gravity Forms – creates users registration forms that automatically registers users on your WordPress site.
- The Signature Add-On for Gravity Forms – allows you to capture signatures online by allowing users to sign your forms using touchscreen devices, touch pads or mouse.
“I enhance WordPress, but who enhances ME?”
Custom Post Types!
You can use Gravity Forms+Custom Post Types and map a form to a custom post type or map fields to a custom taxonomy, create hierarchical dropdowns for hierarchical taxonomies, populate a dropdown with posts etc.
Gravity Forms constantly offers support through the little question mark icon, present everywhere.
For the bigger problems, Gravity Forms Plugin offers support exclusively through Gravity Forms help site and support forums with a lot of active users next to the core support team and you will get an answer to your problem in no time. You can search similar problems and see their solutions or participate to the latest discussions. Here you have access to the documentation section, FAQ, support forums and download section. You can also find very useful tutorials and resources about Gravity Forms Plugin.
And don`t forget to login first!
- Gravity Forms Plugin has a very intuitive and well designed interface, and everything is explained by pressing the question mark icon.
- You can create a form in few minutes and insert into page as easy as you insert an image(no more shortcodes!)
- Its flexibility eliminates the need for any other form plugin and it have a well structured functionality and it`s very complex, being part of the elite group of plugins.
- The price. Well, that`s something hard to forget!With 3 license packages, Gravity Forms wanted to be available for everyone, from beginners with only one site, to intermediates with 3 sites and developers. If the beginner license at $39 is decent, that`s not what we can tell about the developer license, which comes at $199! That`s quite wallet emptier, but the license comes with many prerogatives and all I can say is that this plugin worth every single penny!