Gravity Forms. Perhaps you’ve heard about it. It is a premium WordPress plug-in which allows you to create forms for your blog.
Gravity Forms was on my “someday maybe” list for awhile. I checked this site out and thought, “Hmmm…. that could be cool. Their website sure is purty.” Then, a couple weeks ago, I went ahead and picked up a copy and gave it a whirl.
So, the question is, why bother with a premium WordPress plug-in to do forms when there are a bunch of freebies like Contact Form 7 out there?
How Gravity Forms Is Much Better Than The Freebies
As is often the case, when you pony up a little scratch for something, you get better stuff. And Gravity Forms isn’t an exception. I’m going to compare Gravity Forms with Contact Form 7 (what I was using beforehand).
- The design is SO much better. Both the admin side and the forms themselves are much better looking.
- The forms can interact directly with your post system, allowing people to submit forms as posts.
- In addition to email notifications, you can have form submissions listed right inside of the admin panel. So much more organized.
- Forms can contain conditional logic.
- Forms are added right into the post/page editor, so you can literally stick forms anywhere you want without any copy/paste stuff.
- It comes with a widget, for easily putting forms right into your sidebar.
- You can schedule forms.
- Built in Re-Captcha support (which beats the crap out of the captcha support built into Contact Form 7)
- Need I go on?
It really is a killer plug-in.
But, perhaps you’re thinking, who cares? All you need is a simple contact form, right? Well, let me give you some interesting uses for Gravity Forms.
6 (Of Many) Uses For Gravity Forms
- Contact form. Pretty obvious, but it had to be said anyway.
- Automate guest post submission. Typically, you get guest posts emailed to you. Then, you have to manually copy/paste it into a post. It is a big bunch of sucky sauce. With Gravity Forms, you can set up posts which submit directly as posts. Check out my form for guest posts on PCMech (opens in new window). I can allow people to enter all kinds of things (even the post category), and have it go into draft and notify me. Then, all I have to do is check out the post. If I like it, publish it. Otherwise, delete it. It really helps streamline the whole thing (and expect me to set this up here on this site soon, too). It’ll save Lisa some work, too.
- Take contest entries. Super easy to do, but get this…. with the scheduling feature, you can impose hard deadlines on your contests without having to do a thing. You can also limit the number of entries.
- Pre-qualify leads. Getting people to apply for something is an interesting psychological tactic in marketing. Not only can you limit the number, but schedule it and everything. Did I mention you can also send an auto-reply to the person submitting the form as an acknowledgement? Cool, huh?
- Contextual Form Placement? How about having a blog post about something you’re doing, and putting a form right smack into the post?! Now, THAT’S a call to action!
- Member Forms. Gravity Forms can pre-fill fields like name and email address based on a person’s profile in WordPress. So, if you run a WP-powered membership site, this makes an awesome form solution while minimizing work required by your members.
The uses for this are many, and really up to your imagination. Most people underuse plug-ins like this when they equate it to contact forms. There is SO much more potential to it.
So much so, that I picked up the multi-site license. I use WordPress for pretty much everything and I have some pretty interesting uses for Gravity Forms in mind for those sites, too.
I’m happy I made the purchase, and you will be, too. ‘Nuf said. Click here to check out their “purty” website and pick up a copy for yourself.