100% Free but Full of Features
Part of Google’s G Suite of applications, Google Forms is a simple way to gather information from your customers or get responses to your personal event invitations (among other things). You can use Google Forms with personal Google accounts and with Business accounts – and, unlike many form builders, you won’t have to pay extra to get access to different features. Google Forms is 100% free to use.
Unfortunately, Google Forms doesn’t have an option for multiple languages – but you will be able to use it in your native language as long as it’s a Google-supported language.
Can a completely free form builder really give you everything you need for your business or personal forms, or should you consider a premium option like Ninja Forms or Formstack? Keep reading to find out!
Limited in Templates, but What Do You Expect for Free?
Google Forms offers 17 pre-designed form templates – a limited selection compared to other form builders. The templates available are a mixed bag, suitable for business and personal use.
Google does separate templates into personal, work, and education categories, so you can scroll to the section you need. Templates include:
- Party Invite
- T-Shirt Sign Up
- Find a Time (though this would probably be better suited to the Work category)
- Event Feedback
- Order Form
- Customer Feedback
- Course Evaluation
- Blank Quiz
All templates are fully mobile responsive.
Everything You Need – Almost
For a completely free form builder, Google Forms has a great set of features. It’s likely to meet most of your needs for basic business or personal forms, but, of course, it’s not going to give you the full set of advanced features like you’d get with JotForm or Cognito Forms, for example.
There’s no direct way to offer Google Forms in multiple languages – form respondents who don’t speak the language will have to make do with the “translate this page” option.
Form fields (or question types) include short answer, paragraph, multiple choice, checkboxes, dropdown, file upload, linear scale, and date. There’s no limit to the number of questions you can add to your forms, and you can arrange your questions in sections, too.
Google Forms has an interesting feature where you can convert your form into a quiz and enable auto-grading, so respondents will receive a “grade” according to the number of points they score.
When you want to share your forms, you can share a link, send in an email, share via social media, or embed your form into your website by copying and pasting the HTML code.
Google Sheets Integration
When someone submits a form created with Google Forms, a new entry is automatically saved into a Google Sheets spreadsheet. Not only does this save you the time of manually managing your form submissions, it also makes it easy for you to share submissions with others. This is particularly useful for managing your customer relationship list and keeping track of event registrations.
With some form builders, conditional logic is a feature that’s only available on paid plans. Google Forms offers basic conditional logic as part of its feature set, so you can automatically have respondents skip sections of your forms depending on the options they select. This makes filling out a form more intuitive for your visitors – meaning they’re less likely to abandon the process.
As with other products in G Suite, Google Forms supports add-ons. These are mostly third-party apps that add extra features to the form builder. Apps are free to install but some require you to subscribe to a plan with the third-party provider. Available add-ons for forms include formLimiter (which puts a limit on the number of times your form can be submitted) and Form Notifications (to customize email notifications of form submissions).
Ease of use
Simple and Intuitive
If you’re already familiar with other Google Editors like Docs or Sheets, then using Google Forms will be incredibly easy for you. Even if you’re not, the intuitive editor is user-friendly (and beginner-friendly, too). Because it’s free and doesn’t include a lot of advanced features, there’s nothing really complicated to learn.
Easy Theme Customization
Google Forms has a super-easy customization menu where you can change the colors and fonts of your form in seconds. Just click on the paint palette icon in the top right of the editor to bring up the menu.
As Easy as Creating a Document
As well as using drag-and-drop for rearranging your form questions, Google Forms simplifies the form creation process by working like a document. Click Add question on the toolbar and just type in your question. It really couldn’t be simpler.
Google Forms doesn’t have tons of settings that you need to adjust each time you create a form. You simply activate (or deactivate) settings just by checking the appropriate boxes. Want to add a progress bar to your multi-section form? Just check the box.
Building a Form with Google Forms
I love how user-friendly Google Forms is. It only takes a few minutes to build a form, and the options for sharing your forms are easy, too. If you’re a complete beginner, you won’t struggle to use it – and there are links to help articles (click on the question mark icons) if you do get stuck.
Even the more complex features like conditional logic are simple and intuitive to use, making Google Forms one of the easiest form builders around.
Since Google Forms is a free product, it makes sense that there’s no one-on-one support via email, phone, or chat with the personal version of Google Forms. There are support documents, however, and step-by-step guides to getting the most out of Google Forms.
If you’re using Google Forms as part of a G Suite Business plan, you can access Google’s 24/7 business support service (chat, email, and phone). This is, however, only available to account administrators.
With Google Forms, there are no subscription plans to commit to, and you can create unlimited forms and receive unlimited responses, all for free. You will need to have either a Google account or a G Suite email address (for business plans) to use it, however.
The business version and personal version are exactly the same, it’s simply offered as part of the G Suite plans. Although you do have to pay for G Suite, there is no additional cost for Google Forms.
The only real cost involved with Google Forms is if you choose to use a third-party add-on that requires you to subscribe to use certain features. For example, the Form Approvals add-on has plans you’ll need to subscribe to if you receive more than 20 form submissions per month.