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Jun 152011
 
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Formidable Pro Forms Plugin
  • Formidable Pro Forms Plugin
  • Rating: 4.5
  • WordPress Plugin: Strategy11
  • Version: 1.6.6
  • Price: $47
  • Reviewed by:
  • On June 15, 2011
  • Last modified:December 3, 2012

Review Summary:

Excellent and powerful forms plugin for WordPress that is full featured and competitively priced against Gravity Forms. Formidable Pro gives you complete control over your WordPress forms with tracking, Paypal and Mailchimp integration.

I have been using several WordPress contact form plugins over the years including using Google Docs as a contact form, Contact Form 7, CForms II, Custom Contact Forms…etc

Many of the free WordPress plugin forms can achieve all the basic functionality you would need, though Captcha is a must with Contact Form 7 or you will find yourself spammed with contact requests from bots in short order (as I did).

When a reader mentioned to me about Formidable Pro and some features it had that I was looking for I decided to contact the company and check it out.  Formidable pro was of interest to me because it was the only WordPress form plugin where you could create custom landing pages after a user submitted the form.  This means they could be taken to a thank you page, or a social connection page in addition to sending out a custom email if you want to configure it thanking them for filling out the form.

Setting Up Your Form

When creating a form with Formidable Pro, it is very easy to add as many fields as you need to the form.  On the right hand side of the screen you can select buttons to match the form field type and then proceed to customize the form field based on your requirements.

formidable1

By default when a user submits a form with Formidable Pro, they will get a response message that shows up in the same post/page they were in that looks like this:

formidable6

However, In Formidable Pro, under the Advanced Form Options you have the ability to select your Redirect To:  This is basically what URL the commenter redirects to after they submit the comment.  This could be a thank you page that reminds them to join your mailing list, or simply a page disclosing that you have acknowledged their contact and will get back with them shortly.

formidable4

 

Inserting Form in Post

After you finish setting up your form it is extremely easy to insert your form into a page or post, just click on the Formidable button at the top of your WordPress editor and select the form you want to insert.  You can also select whether you want the form title to be displayed or not.

image

Testing your Form

Remember to always test your forms so that you make sure they work instead of assuming.  This is a good precaution as you could lose business if your contact forms aren’t working.  In this case I just hit my new form and filled out the information and submitted it.

image

Formidable Pro allows for full CSS styling and customizations for your forms, but at this time I didn’t need to do anything fancy and left the default CSS styling.

When you get an email from Formidable Pro, you can see the table style layout of the information in the form is very easy to read and comes across very well.

formidable5

(Click to Enlarge Image)

Why Use Formidable Pro?

As a WordPress blogger who has about 4-5 different types of contact forms on this blog I considered Formidable Pro the best WordPress form plugin to meet my needs and it was well worth the initial investment.  Note, as I use several blogs it is probably better to get an unlimited license instead of having a 1 site license.

Formidable Pro has the most user intuitive interface I have ever seen and the ability to replicate forms to start a new form makes it easier if you want a new form with just a few different fields from a previous form.  If you intend to offer services on your WordPress blog or want to have flexibility for the forms you create then you can’t go wrong with Formidable Pro it is worth the investment.

I replaced all other contact forms on this site with Formidable Pro contact forms now.  How many other WordPress bloggers are using Formidable Pro?

-Dragon Blogger

 

Excellent and powerful forms plugin for WordPress that is full featured and competitively priced against Gravity Forms. Formidable Pro gives you complete control over your WordPress forms with tracking, Paypal and Mailchimp integration.

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Justin Germino
Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.
Justin Germino

@dragonblogger

Technology, Gaming and Wordpress blogger who runs gadget giveaways, helps others with blogging tips, monetization, earning and more!
Using My Intel All in One During the Holidays http://t.co/DtRrH64mSU - 2 hours ago
Justin Germino
  • http://trafficcoleman.com/ TrafficColeman

    There are so many of these out there on the market that do a little this or that, so it hard to find the right one.

    Maybe I can give this a look and see how it stacks up.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • http://www.technologybloggers.org/ Christopher@Technology Blog

    I think I will try this out Justin, as I have never heard of it before.

    I personally use Select ‘Fast Secure Contact Form’ as it is the best I have found so far

    I guess this one is built to be more than just a contact form.

    Thanks for the tip off mate :-)
    Christopher – Technology Bloggers Admin Team

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

      This form was worth my investment, I only wish I got the license to put it on all my sites.

  • Benjamin

    The best? Hardly.

    Gravity Forms is the best. It’s where Formidable Pro gets most of it’s ideas from.

    After using both of them it’s obvious it’s stolen a lot of it’s UI from Gravity Forms right down to the icon it uses in WordPress and many of the interfaces it uses for form and entry management. It’s shortcode builder is also a one for one ripoff of the Gravity Forms shortcode builder.

    Copying is the biggest form of flattery so instead of using the plugin that copies Gravity Forms, why not just use Gravity Forms? It’s much more polished and refined.

    Try doing a search on twitter for Gravity Forms and a search for Formidable Pro. See which one has the best word of mouth and buzz from it’s user base. The choice is clear.

    Go with Gravity Forms and leave the copying to someone else.

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

      Ironically when I did a search on Google I found Formidable Pro first, I had never heard of Gravity Forms and have been running WordPress blogs for 3 years, I do see that it was around in 2009 far longer than Formidable Pro. The lite version of Formidable Pro has over 121,000 downloads from the WordPress plugins. I also did a feature comparison and I see nothing that gives Gravity forms an edge when the Formidable Pro unlimited site license is less than 1/2 the price of the Gravity Forms unlimited site license.

      If you can point out which features Gravity Forms offers that Formidable Pro doesn’t have I would be very happy to know and have showcased here. Note, my post title asks it as a question I was hoping other bloggers would chime in with their favorites and you illustrate a great example of another plugin option for creating forms in WordPress.

      • Benjamin

        Strange. When I search Google for wordpress forms, wordpress forms plugin, wordpress form plugin, Gravity Forms is one of the top results on the first page after WordPress.org links and Yoast. WordPress.org will always be top for “wordpress *” searches by virtue of it’s domain and link juice.

        Search Twitter for formidable pro or formidablepro and then Search Twitter for Gravity Forms. Huge difference in which one people are talking about and prefer. Feel free: https://twitter.com/#!/search-home

        Search Google for “Gravity Forms Review” and search Google for “Formidable Pro Review” and see the disparity in number of reviews and quality of reviews. People like Copyblogger use Gravity Forms, and for good reason.

        Gravity Forms is currently used on just under 170,000 WordPress sites. And that is without having a free version available, which is the only reason Formidable has so many downloads. Gravity Forms has that many sites without the benefit of being a free download in the WordPress.org plugin repository. It’s all been done on the word of mouth advertising it’s users provide it.

        Some features Gravity Forms has that Formidable Pro does includes an advanced add-on system to allow integration with a wide variety of 3rd party services through available Add-Ons: MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, FreshBooks, Salesforce, Constant Contact, Twilio SMS, Highrise, ShootQ, PayPal.

        Gravity Forms leads, Formidable copies. Compare the form editors, compare the shortcode builder, compare the icon they use, all of which Gravity Forms was doing first.

        Does Formidable Pro have some features Gravity Forms doesn’t? Sure. Gravity Forms also has features Formidable Pro doesn’t. It’s not about who has the most features, it’s about who has the better overall product.

        As a user of both products, Gravity Forms is much more polished and professional to use. Formidable has a lot of features but things like the form editor just look disjointed and lack the polish that Gravity Forms has. It’s clear Formidable is created by someone who doesn’t understand usability.

      • HenryKing

        @Justin Germino I’m also trying to make the decision as to whether to go for Gravity Forms of Formidable Pro. Formidable Pro does not have the option of subscribing form users to an email list. That is a big drawback for me.

        • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Dragon Blogger

           @HenryKing  @justin I found Formidable Pro integrates with Mailchimp and looks like Aweber so that you can subscribe users to mailing list right from Formidable Pro form.

  • Steve

    Ben,

    I know what you mean. When I started working with GF, I liked it, then thought, well, let me try out Formidable. I was shocked at how similar they looked. I actually had a hard time at first knowing which I was using.

    The difference comes in the back end from what I can tell.

    But what I can’t find, is a real good comparison in features (take out the marketing BS) as to why I’d pay $200 for something if I can pay $100 and get 99%, or 100% of the same thing, regardless of who is on the back end.

    Thoughts?

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

      I also would like to know if GF has features that Formidable Pro does not have, I don’t honestly know and am curious if 2x the price gets you 2x the features.

      • Steve

        I see no reason why it’s worth twice the price other than it being “the original”. Personally, I’ve had issues with the form building interface locking up and not letting me edit existing forms. I wind up having to add an element to “open it back up” so to speak. That frustration alone means I’d rather buy Formidable. I also see no graphical elements of Gravity forms for reporting purposes.

  • http://strategy11.com Stephanie@Strategy11

    Thanks for the review!

    I would like to lay a bit of the debate to rest though. WuFoo has one of the best user interfaces I’ve seen in a hosted form builder. Because of this, Gravity Forms copied Wufoo into a WordPress plugin. The labels of “the original” and “the copy” are a bit silly since Wufoo was the original. There isn’t all that much variation between the popular hosted form builders (ie Zoho, Wufoo, JotForm, …), and the variation will be even less inside of WordPress where the colors and styles are already defined. Gmail does essentially the same thing as Hotmail, does that make it a copy? Does the fact that Gmail came after Hotmail mean that Hotmail must be better? Different users need different functionality and Gravity forms and Formidable each have their strengths and weaknesses.

    Also, it sounds like some of the comments above are comparing the free version of Formidable to the paid version of Gravity Forms. Formidable didn’t actually even begin as the form builder it is today. It started with the pro features (primarily displaying the collected data to allow clients to edit the content of their pages without messing with the HTML), and the features found in the free version came after. There is some overlap of features between Formidable and Gravity, but the main benefits of the pro version are the tools to actually do something with the collected data whether that means allowing users to edit their responses, display the content on a page, search it, show only users their own submissions (like a journal)… Anyway, the applications users come up with still surprise me. Justin, it’d be cool if you tried out some of the more advanced features as well to add to your review.

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

      I really like the PRO form entries and way you can keep track of every form and every entry ever submitted without having to rely only on the emails sent to your inbox, I also like the reporting feature but don’t get enough form submissions to really showcase this properly. Some of the pro features like being able to insert a file upload to a form is fantastic for sites that allow users to upload images, logo’s or even articles they want considered for guest publication.

    • karan

      Stephanie – have you used Formidable Pro or gravity forms ? would love to hear your reviews

  • BobSchecter

    I’ve just started playing with my new toy (formidable pro) and although I’m new to all of it and the learning curve is a bit steep for a newbie, the plugins potential is simply amazing. The pro-version is far more than a form builder, it’s a database wherein you can capture the information and spit it out any way you’d like. If Stephanie doesn’t give up on it, and some 3rd party vendors start working with it, and produce some templates, wow!

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Dragon Blogger

      @BobSchecter The reporting feature is also nice, I know I lose emails all the time and to have every form submission in the database to easily find makes for good information. I am working on a new form soon where guest bloggers can simply upload their posts via an attachment in the form, to help prevent that double email where they have to contact me and then I have to respond and request a guest post…etc.

      • http://bobschecter.com/ BobSchecter

        A few years ago, I worked with Filemaker for a while to develop a project management program of sorts. That’s my goal with Formidable, though for now I’ll start with a simple phonebook :).

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Dragon Blogger

      @BobSchecter There is a way to integrate mailing lists with Formidable Pro, I found how to do it with MailChimp for example > http://formidablepro.com/help-desk/mailchimp-integration/ so it is supported at least for some mailing list services.

      • stephywells

        There is now an official MailChimp add-on available for those who are wondering.

        http://formidablepro.com/knowledgebase/formidable-mailchimp/

        • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Dragon Blogger

          @stephywells Awesome, I am going to test this out myself as I use MailChimp now. Is this a separate plugin you install/activate?

        • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Dragon Blogger

          @stephywells Awesome, I am going to test this out myself as I use MailChimp now. Is this a separate plugin you install/activate?

        • stephywells

          Yep. Just updated the installation instructions to make that clear.

          http://formidablepro.com/knowledgebase/formidable-mailchimp/

  • http://tnpmedia.com/ TNP

    I’ve used GF on a client’s site and it’s very nice. But one thing I didn’t like about it is the user can’t return and edit the information submitted. GF only allows the user to post or submit.

    From my understanding Formidable Pro allows users submit then come back and edit their post or data. If that is the case then that would make Formidable Pro a better solution for a project I am working on.

    I also like Formidable Pro’s lifetime support and updates.

    With that in mind, I’ll might go with Formidable Pro.

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Dragon Blogger

      @tnpmedia From my own testing and using it, it is simply POST and it sends email. There doesn’t appear to be a popup review your form or anything to allow edit before you submit, once you submit that’s it the post is sent and no way to edit it without sending another. I will check with Formidable Pro support to see if this is supported, but I haven’t run across it.

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Dragon Blogger

      @tnpmedia I stand corrected, Formidable Pro does allow configuration of being able to edit and change previous submissions > https://formidablepro.com/help-desk/login-users-edit-presious-responses/

      • http://tnpmedia.com/ tnpmedia

        @Dragon Blogger@tnpmedia

        Thanks for the confirmation. If Gravity Forms can implement user editing of post then it would be a really solid platform. But then again Formidable Pro has lifetime support and updates. That’s awesome. Thanks for you response. Dragon Blogger.

      • http://tnpmedia.com/ tnpmedia

        @Dragon Blogger

        Thanks for the confirmation. If Gravity Forms can implement user editing of post then it would be a really solid platform. But then again Formidable Pro has lifetime support and updates. That’s awesome. Thanks for your response, Dragon Blogger.

  • studio500

    My experience of Formidable pro is sadly not as upbeat.
    This is not a user friendly program for newbies who have no experience with forms and data fields etc. This is certainly not made clear in sales pitch. The user instructions are certainly not for the feint hearted and are clearly aimed at experienced users of forms etc.
    Whilst the program itself is very capable and offers powerful features the standard support system even for pro users is poor at best and please make sure you don’t post a question on the Formidable Helpdesk on a weekend as by Formidables own admission, priority support will be given to those customers who have paid for the most expensive package.  Premium Pro single licence users have to wait until the weekend has passed for a response. This is another slap in the face for the average user who may only have one website to maintain.
    The fact of the matter is, that if well balanced and easy to follow user guides had been created in the first place, then the support desk would not be awash with a myriad of questions asking, “How do I”……..
     
    Great program for experienced users- Yes
    Easy to use for new users – No
    Explanation provided at to what each element does – No
    Easy to follow basic instructions – No.
    Up to date video guides – No
    Fast efficient Support – No unless you purchase the Unlimited licence package.
     
    Whilst the Formidable package may well provide an excellent premium plugin platform for those familiar with web development and programming, it does not in it’s present form cater for the average person wishing to simply add forms and data input pages to a website.
    This is no way reflects against the actual product itself as formidable does appear to be an excellent tool.
    However the lack a simplified user friendly instructions for the average WordPress single site user seriously lets this product down.
    The instructions talk about data fields and forms etc making assumptions that the user knows exactly what these items are but no explanations given or provided for users who have no previous knowledge in this area.
    Indeed similar comments have been put to the Formidable team. ‘Seeker’ wrote:  Maybe were supposed to just magically know how to do these things” “in fact all of the knowledge based stuff seems tailored to advanced usage” and “I could list numerous other basic questions that don’t seem to be covered in the knowledge base”
    Sentiments that we strongly share.
     
    We feel that Formidable should either:
    A) Make it clear that some previous knowledge of forms is required in order to use Formidable and that all current instructions assume this..
    B) Simply the user manual and make it for more user friendly for everyone including the average user and provide better up to date video tutorials.
     
     
     

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.devise John Devise

    Hi all . The plugin is awesome . let me add one more form plugin – http://web-dorado.com/products/wordpress-form.html.

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

      Your URL gives a 404 error, but I would be willing to take a look at alternative form plugins and compare.

  • http://avgjoegeek.net/ avgjoegeek

    I’m still on the cheap using Contact-7 It works :) But I will need something like this in the near future!

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

      I was using that before I switched to Formidable Pro, with this plugin I can have a user fill out a form and be redirected to Paypal on submit to make a payment for signing up for contest sponsorships, or even for other items.

      I also like that it tracks all entries per form in the WordPress database, in case I lose the emails.

      • http://avgjoegeek.net/ avgjoegeek

        I was wondering how you did that! This makes it 100% worth it! Thanks!