I used to use a few different contact form plugins (most often Contact Form 7) that did the job, but more recently have started using Gravity Forms for all forms needed on client sites. It’s just easier to style one plugin’s elements with CSS than having to support several, and GF can handle anything from complex multi-page forms down to the simplest contact form.

Gravity Forms isn’t free, but it’s worth every penny. For an individual website it’s $39, but I’ve had a Developer License ($199) for over a year that allows me to install it in unlimited sites.

What I love about Gravity Forms:

  • It has a clean, simple interface out of the box;  a lot of CSS styling isn’t necessary, but it’s set up with classes to make it easy if you do need to do extensive styling;
  • Conditional sections (that appear only when certain conditions in the form are met) are easy to set up;
  • WordPress user registration can be included in any form;
  • Has a pretty nice form widget;
  • Supports auto-responders;
  • Export entries to Excel/csv without an additional plugin;
  • Integrates with Mailchimp, Aweber and Campaign Monitor (pro and business versions);
  • Accepts payments by integrating with Paypal, Authorize.net or Freshbooks (pro and business versions);
  • Has new features coming out fairly regularly (most recently – signatures through touch-screen devices, polls, and SMS notifications for form submittals;
  • Has great tech support and user community.

That last list item is the reason I decided to go with a Developer license. I’ve gotten very detailed help from the support community on a number of projects.

If you’ve used a number of different form or form widget plugins and are looking for one stable and comprehensive one that can do it all, I’d recommend checking out Gravity Forms. It’s definitely worth the cost.

This series is for helping fellow WordPress designers add useful  functionality to their websites by pointing out some of the great plugins I run across while building client websites. I hope this helps you!

Last week I built my first custom WordPress theme for a magazine website; today I’m working toward finishing up the site.

I’m migrating existing content over where I can, and am now working on a couple of contact forms using the Contact Form 7 plugin. I’ve used it before and I think it’ll work here; I need two forms for different tasks.

The next step will be to install a carousel gallery on the home page and another gallery on one of the interior pages; I’ve picked out two likely carousels but could use suggestions on the other gallery. I might use Highslide, if that’s compatible with WordPress.