Formidable Forms is one of the most advanced WordPress form builders I’ve come across. It has forms to help you automate quotes, estimates, and payment plan calculations – but for the average user, those features aren’t really necessary. It does have a free version, but it’s incredibly limited. Read on to find out which alternatives I recommend.
Next-Level Form Builder, but Don’t Expect It All for Free
Formidable Forms is a WordPress plugin that’s great if you’re a business owner, as it offers a range of innovative templates such as mortgage calculators and car payment calculators. Despite its advanced features, it’s simple to use and integrates seamlessly with your WordPress website.
You can download and install Formidable Forms for free, but its best features and templates are only available if you upgrade to one of its three paid plans (collectively known as Pro). Its extensive range of add-ons, such as the Multilingual add-on to translate forms into 60+ languages, are also only available if you’re a Pro user. Without the plugin, you’re restricted to English-only forms.
Over 200,000 people actively use Formidable Forms – but should you join them? Read on to find out whether Formidable Forms meets your specific needs, or if you’d be better off with a simpler form builder like Cognito Forms or NinjaForms.
Formidable Forms offers more than 25 professionally designed, mobile-responsive templates, including mortgage application, loan application, travel booking, and car payment calculator forms. You can easily customize the templates by adding, removing, or moving form fields around, and customizing fonts, colors, and borders.
If you opt for the free plan with Formidable Forms, however, you’re limited to just two form templates – the Contact Us form (which is automatically generated when you install the plugin) and the blank form, which you can customize with your own form fields.Explore Formidable Forms Templates
Advanced Features, but Could They Be Too Advanced?
Formidable Forms claims to have the most advanced form features of all WordPress plugins, and its list of features is certainly extensive. The majority of these features are only available if you upgrade, though, so it’s really a matter of whether these features are useful to you.
Repeater fields (to allow your visitors to add new sets of fields when they’re filling out your forms)
Multi-page forms with a progress bar (ideal for longer forms, such as application forms)
Save and continue for logged-in users
Chart and graph creation from form results that can be displayed on your website
Fully accessible forms that meet A11Y accessibility compliance rules
With the paid plans, there’s no limit on the number of forms you can create.
Powerful Calculated Fields
If you run an e-commerce website, offer price comparisons, or regularly provide quotes for customers, you’ll appreciate Formidable Forms’ powerful calculation tools. It’s incredibly easy to create calculator forms that can automatically produce quotes, discounts, and comparisons instantly. Your customers simply have to supply the required information and they’re instantly presented with the results – without you having to do a thing.
Smart Forms with Conditional Logic
Formidable Forms offers a smart form feature on the paid plans that uses conditional logic to increase conversions. Conditional logic means your visitors only see the questions that are relevant to them once they have started filling out basic information. It’s really easy to configure, so you can use conditional logic on your forms even if you’re a complete beginner.
Formidable Forms offers up to 18 add-ons, including multilingual tools, mailing list tools, and payment processing options. The number available depends on the plan you choose, with the full 18 only available on the Elite plan.
You also have the option of using Zapier on the Elite plan, which enables you to create automation integrations between your forms and other apps – such as creating a new customer entry in HubSpot CRM when a new form is submitted.See full list of features
Ease of use
Simple Interface Makes Building Complex Forms Easy
Considering the number of advanced features Formidable Forms offers, it’s surprising how simple it is to use. Even if you’ve never built an online form before, you won’t have any problems getting started.
The plugin uses an intuitive drag-and-drop editor that makes customizing your forms a matter of dragging form fields into place and editing labels, options, and other settings just by clicking on the form field. All the form fields are in one handy panel, though the fields are limited on the free plan.
Simple Styling Settings
Rather than offering style customization options in the form editor, Formidable Forms allows you to edit the style for all Formidable Forms on your website via the plugin settings. You can change colors, fonts, sizes, backgrounds, and borders for form fields, buttons, text, and more.
What’s more, the instant preview panel on the right of the screen allows you to see exactly how your forms will look. Once you save the options, the style is automatically applied to existing and new forms.
If you want to set up automatic actions for your forms – such as adding people’s details to mailing lists or CRM (customer relationship management) software – you can do it in a couple clicks on the form settings tab. Select the action from the panel, input the necessary information, and Formidable Forms will take care of it. The actions panel is really user-friendly, too.
Formidable Forms’ simplicity works well if you’re a beginner, but there are also more advanced settings you can easily access if you’re experienced with coding. For example, you can access the HTML for your forms in the form settings panel and customize it.
Unlike some form builders, Formidable Forms doesn’t have any kind of built-in tour of how to use it, nor are there tool-tips. There are “Pro Tips” that appear around the editor and settings panel, but, although helpful, you soon realize that these are really just links that take you to the upgrade page if you’re on the free plan!See if Formidable Forms is Right for You
Formidable Forms only offers ticket support, and it’s not 24/7 (there’s no live chat or phone support available). Support is available on the free plan – which is a bonus since many plugins only offer support for paid plan users.
There are different levels of support depending on your plan, but response times during business hours (Monday through Friday) are actually pretty good. Even standard support aims to give you an answer within 12 hours.
When I tested out the support for the free plugin, I was surprised to receive an answer within 10 hours – although obviously this depends on when you submit your support ticket (as support is only available during the hours listed below:
How does Formidable Forms match up to the competition?
Formidable Forms has three Pro plans – Basic, Business, and Elite – which are paid on an annual basis. You can pay using all major credit cards or via PayPal – and upgrading is simple, just click the red Upgrade to Pro button in the Formidable Forms plugin and select your Pro plan.
The Basic plan includes use on a single site and only offers four add-ons. Some advanced form features, such as signatures and user registration, aren’t available on the Basic plan, and some automation functions are limited to the Business or Elite plans (which are significantly more expensive!).
All paid plans come with a 14-day no-risk money-back guarantee – and you don’t even have to explain why you want a refund. Two weeks is a pretty good amount of time to test out some of the features and add-ons to see if they’re worth it for your business.
Formidable Forms’ free version is significantly less impressive than the paid version. While you can create unlimited forms, you can only use the contact form template and a blank form, and form fields are also restricted to the basics. If you just want a contact form for your website, then the free version would work fine – but if you want to use Formidable Forms to its full potential, you will need to choose a subscription plan.
It used to be a great product at a good price. It is now very clunky. I think it has been overworked given that for the majority of the time you just need to build a quick form. The free version misses some absolutely essential options which are a real shame. Also, find when you try and update an older version it stops working.
My clients won't pay $99 a year for a form. I would pay $35 for a free version+ some essentials.
Formidable Forms has a lot to offer if you’re looking for a form builder that’s capable of more advanced calculations and functions. It’s aimed particularly at people who need to produce quotes or offer calculators for generating payment plan estimates – so if that’s what you do, then Formidable Forms is a great choice.
If, however, you’re looking for something to grow your business through marketing rather than giving customer quotes, then the advanced features in Formidable Forms aren’t going to be of much interest to you, so you’d be better off choosing another WordPress form builder like CaptainForm or Gator Forms.
Ari is passionate about web hosting and design, and has been building websites with WordPress for over ten years. When he’s not testing web hosts, you’re likely to find him trying to train his three beagles.