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Ninja Forms is a flexible WordPress form builder that you can extend with add-ons for email marketing, CRM, and payment processing. It has a refreshingly clean interface that is easy to use if you’re a beginner but also offers advanced tools for developers, too. It’s free to download and install, and paid plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
With over a million active installations, Ninja Forms is one of the best WordPress form builders available. Ever since its release, it is constantly being updated with new features and bug fixes.
It’s packed with features you can use for free – but the premium options offer even more tools for marketing, CRM (customer relationship management), and payments. You can choose a membership plan, which can be expensive, or select just the add-ons you really need.
Is Ninja Forms the right online form builder for you? Read on to find out what’s good (and bad) about this WordPress plugin.
Business-Focused Templates with Customization Options
Ninja Forms doesn’t have the biggest selection of templates – there are 16 to choose from, plus a blank form option. It’s fair to say that the majority of these templates are business-focused, with templates for contact forms, quote requests, job applications, MailChimp newsletter signup, questionnaires, and feedback.
You can add new form fields to the pre-designed templates, change the order of form fields, and add descriptions to form fields – for example, to give people instructions about the information you want them to provide.
However, in terms of changing how the template looks on your website, your options are more limited. That’s because Ninja Forms is designed to inherit the styling from your WordPress theme, including fonts and colors, to ensure that your form integrates seamlessly on your website.
If you know CSS and want to customize how your templates are laid out on-screen, you can enable developer mode in the Ninja Forms settings, which allows you to make some manual customizations – and Ninja Forms’ documentation has advice on what you can and can’t do.
To get a wider range of layouts and style options, Ninja Forms offers an add-on that you can purchase separately or access as part of the Personal Membership plan.
Unlimited Forms and Fields – Plus Tons of Tools for Developers
You can use Ninja Forms as is, but it is also designed to be flexible – you can use add-ons to extend its capabilities and customize the way you build forms. It uses a drag-and-drop editor and gives you simple tools for adding or customizing success messages. You can even use HTML in your forms to add custom blocks.
Add-Ons for Everyone
One of the best things about Ninja Forms is that you don’t have to subscribe to a membership plan to access its premium add-ons. More than 40 add-ons are available, including tools in categories such as Look & Feel, Content Management, CRM Integrations, Email Marketing, and Payment Gateways.
You can purchase add-ons individually – but if you choose the Agency membership, you get access to all the add-ons (including future releases). Of particular note is the Zapier add-on, which connects Ninja Forms with Zapier’s 1,500+ third-party integrations for automating your workflow.
For example, enable a Zap that automatically creates a new lead in Salesforce when a contact form is submitted via Ninja Forms, or create and update contacts in HubSpot CRM when a Ninja Form is submitted.
Beginners can use Ninja Forms with ease – but if you want to have more control over how your form works, you can activate developer mode to get access to more advanced settings and tools. There’s even a developer codex full of guides and tutorials for creating your own form functions.
Forms without Limits
Ninja Forms doesn’t restrict the number of forms you can have, or the number of fields on your forms, even with the free version. There are 28 form fields you can choose for your form – such as user information (name, address, email, phone, etc.), checkbox lists, paragraph text, ReCAPTCHA, anti-spam, and star rating.
Compared to other WordPress form builders, likeCaptainForm (which limits you to three forms on the free plan), Ninja Forms gives you the freedom to build forms without immediately forcing you to upgrade.
Ease of use
Possibly the Easiest WordPress Form Builder Around
The simple, intuitive interface with Ninja Forms means you don’t need any technical experience to be able to use it successfully. Customizing form fields, changing labels, and adjusting display settings is easily managed – and it’s possible to set up a form for your website without changing a single setting!
Not only does Ninja Forms have a clean, uncluttered interface, it also uses a fool-proof drag-and-drop editor. Rearranging form fields and adding new fields is simple – just click on the + icon on the lower right of the screen, select the form field you want, and drag it into place.
Advanced Settings Automatically “Hidden”
If you have the technical skills to manage more advanced techniques such as adjusting CSS classes, then you can do those things by activating the form builder’s developer mode. Ninja Forms hides these settings by default. That means if you’re not confident with advanced settings, you can’t accidentally change a setting that “breaks” your form.
Ninja Forms doesn’t overcomplicate your screen while you’re building a form. Settings are hidden until you click on them, and there are only three stages to publishing your form – creating the form fields, adjusting email settings, and publishing your form (plus advanced options you don’t have to use).
Ninja Forms has tooltips for some elements in its form builder, as well as links to its documentation, so even if you get stuck as you’re building your form, there’s help available. The most complicated aspect of building a form with Ninja Forms is adding it to your website, if you want to use a shortcode instead of the Ninja Forms content block in the WordPress editor.
Ninja Forms is incredibly beginner-friendly while still offering advanced settings if you’re more experienced. It’s unusual to find a plugin that really does cater to every kind of user.
Whether you’re a member, have purchased an add-on, or just use the free version of Ninja Forms, you can get customer support via a contact form (free users) or your account (paid users). It’s weekday-only support (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST), and if you’re a free user, you won’t necessarily get a fast response.
However, Ninja Forms’ support team is helpful and efficient with all customers – which is a bonus, since many form builders only offer community support for free users.
There’s also documentation to help you – but this isn’t the easiest to navigate, and the search function doesn’t always work.
With Ninja Forms, you can either choose a premium membership plan or purchase specific add-ons according to your needs. Its membership plans are pricey, however, and only the Agency plan includes all of Ninja Forms’ 40+ add-ons.
All paid plans (Personal, Pro, and Agency) offer a 14-day money-back guarantee. Personal and Pro plans include discounts (20% and 40% respectively) on future add-on purchases, and both plans give you a selection of add-ons within your membership.
Add-ons are also available separately, with different prices depending on the add-on and number of websites you want to use them on. If you only need a single add-on, then buying it separately is cheaper than opting for a membership – but if you need two or more, depending on the add-on, it’s likely to be cheaper to purchase a membership.
The free version of Ninja Forms doesn’t limit the number of forms you can create or the number of fields each form can contain, but it is relatively stripped back since it’s designed to be used with the Ninja Forms add-ons. You can’t, for example, create custom layouts or accept payments with the free version, or use conditional logic (to display/hide fields depending on answers to previous questions) without a membership or add-on.
Ninja Forms is a comprehensive WordPress form builder that enables you to expand its features according to your needs. The ability to purchase specific add-ons is a great asset, making it a flexible solution if you’re on a budgetand don’t want to pay for features you’ll never use. The membership plans are expensive – but if you’d use a lot of the add-ons, it can be a worthy investment.
Ninja Forms is easy to use if you’re a beginner, while at the same time offering developer tools if you’re more confident with code. If you don’t want to pay for premium features, Ninja Forms’ free plugin still allows you to create a variety of forms that you can place anywhere on your website.
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 (in vain) to train his three beagles (who are better at training him than he is them!)
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Support and upgrade compatibility is poor
I have had 3 websites go haywire after a ninja forms update. The upgrade process is horrible and untested. Have had numerous issues after upgrade:
1. Lost all form styling - had to rebuild the contact page.
2. Lost fields off the form - forms just dropped fields that I had to recreate
3. Forms disappeared - forms disappeared from the admin section.
Horrible experience -
Was optimistic at first, easy enough to use, but lacks serious formatting abilities that are easy. I'm giving a bad review because their pricing is so excessive. Should be free base and just charge $5 per addon without restriction. Tired of this sort of thing. All baiting and switching.
Bullcrap designed to extract money from users. I can't remove a search box from published pages. There is a huge search box on every page. It looks ridiculous. It seems I need to pay money to find out how to remove the unnecessary Boxes that were installed with the form.
Signed up for a free trial A YEAR AGO. I canceled before the free trial was over, but they still billed me $199. Last year, they issued me a refund. Guess what happened this year? THEY BILLED ME AGAIN for $199.
I wouldn't give this company your credit card information under any circumstance.