I’m coming up on my two year anniversary for using Gravity Forms, a premium forms plugin for WordPress. I remember debating whether the plugin was worth the $199 price tag, but I finally pulled the trigger. I just got a reminder email that my year’s almost up and I need to decide whether it’s worth it to renew. The verdict?
Gravity Forms is worth every penny.
In case you’re not convinced, I wanted to share some ways I’ve used to make my life easier and my site development cycle speedier. I’ll break it down by the three available license options to give you an idea of what you can do at each level.
Personal – $39 (The Basics)
The personal plan only allows for use on a single site (but with unlimited forms).
- Contact Form. In it’s simplest use (i.e. no fancy footwork required), Gravity Forms makes great a contact form. Every website needs one and while there are some decent free options out there (Contact Form 7 and Fast Secure Contact Form), Gravity Forms offers me the benefit of familiarity. I’ve used it on every site I’ve rolled out this past year and can set up a contact form with my eyes closed at this point.
- User Interface. The drag and drop UI and clean admin panels make Gravity Forms more intuitive to use than the freebie form plugins.
- Auto Responders. In addition to browser confirmation that a form’s been submitted, I can shoot out a personalized auto-response to the sender. Trust me, it’s a nice touch.
- Captcha. I hate Captcha, but I’ve been required to use it a couple of times. It’s really simple to add with Gravity Forms.
- Conversions. Wonder how your forms are converting? Each form shows the number of views and entries and divides that to show your conversion rate.
Business – $99 (The Goodies)
Things are getting fun at this point. The Basic Form Add-Ons included with the Business license are where Gravity Forms SHINES LIKE THE NOON-DAY SUN!
- Newsletter Subscriptions. Tack on support for Aweber, MailChimp, or Campaign Monitor with just an API key. It’s as easy as creating a form and linking it to a subscriber list. I’ve never used Campaign Monitor, but I’ve done multiple integrations with Aweber and MailChimp and it’s a breeze. (Sidebar: there’s a third-party plugin for Constant Contact I’ve used a few times. It’s cumbersome and conflict-prone, which may say more about the Constant Contact API than that plugin – I don’t know). Anyhow, using Gravity Forms to create an email opt-in form is ridiculous easy.
- Populate fields dynamically. There are tons of great applications for this. Most recently I used it on a real-estate site to auto-populate the email subject line with the property address. (Here’s a tutorial if you’d like to see how I did it)
- Custom Post Types. Are you ready to blow your mind? This is one of my favorite ways to use Gravity Forms. Install a plugin called Gravity Forms + Custom Post Types (descriptive, eh?) and you can map your form to a post type. YES! You can populate form fields from a taxonomy and even CREATE a new post via a form entry. If you want more details, here’s a post on using Gravity Forms with custom post types.
Developer – $199 (The Works)
All the goodness of the Basic Add-ons plus the Advanced Add-ons. Prepare to have your socks knocked clean off.
- Unlimited. Unlimited use on unlimited sites. This is the license for me.
- Payment Integration. Hook up forms to Freshbooks, Authorize.net, Paypal Standard, and Paypal Pro. Setting up payment on a site can be a pain, but the payment add-ons with Gravity Forms have saved my sanity (and my time).
- User Registration. This is cool. You can automatically register a new WordPress user on form submission (you can even hook it up to PayPal and wait to create the user until payment is confirmed). This add-on also works with BuddyPress and Multi-Site, though I haven’t had a chance to try out those options yet.
- Polls, quizes, and surveys (oh my!). No need to waste time researching the best survey plugins. With Gravity Forms I can interact with users to collect and analyze information.
- And Beyond. Gravity Forms is nicely documented and wide open to developer customizations via hooks and filters. If the available add-ons aren’t enough, you can code to infinity.
Is Gravity Forms Right for You?
I can’t answer that, but I can tell you it’s been an invaluable tool in my WordPress toolbox. I might even say it’s my MVP (Most Valuable Plugin).
In my opinion, don’t spend your money on the Personal license. Go big or go free at that level. The Business license is fantastic, but only supports three sites, which is too limited if you’re making websites professionally. That leaves the Developer license. Do yourself a favor and splurge. What you spend you’ll more than recover in time saved.
I’m an affiliate for Gravity Forms, which means I get a small commission if you purchase it through the links on this site. I didn’t receive any compensation for this article – I wrote it because I believe it’s a great product.