Gravity forms is a leading premium contact form plugin for WordPress with lots of customization options and 3rd party integration. It is the best contact form plugin for WordPress until Ninja Forms launched. Ninja forms has become a tough competitor of Gravity forms with the ability to create advanced, multi-functional contact forms. The best part is all this features come for free.
Unbelievable Huh !! If you still can’t believe that there are no free alternative like Gravity forms available in this universe, checkout our contact page, which is done with this plugin. Once you start using contact forms made with this plugin you will forget about other free contact form plugins like Contact Form 7 or Jetpack.
Features & Installation
You can easily install “Ninja Forms” as its available in the WordPress repository, just search the name and hit install link. After activation it adds a new item in the WordPress admin panel sidebar titled ” Forms”. Under the title several options available to create your first contact form and customize it. Like Contact Form 7 and Gravity forms it has no pre existing form templates available. To get started you have to create it manually from “Add New” option under “All Forms”.
To create a form you have to go through two phases 1) Form Setting (Set up the back end options), 2) Field Setting ( Setup form fields according to purpose). There is no need of pasting form shortcodes to display them on the pages, you can directly select it from “Form Settings” page.
Form Settings Page
The form setting page contains the basic options like Form name, From email settings & type of email, Administrator email settings, User email settings and Basic form behavior settings. Form email settings let you give a name of the form, setup the email address where you want to receive email about submission and select the formatting email will be sent to the form address. On Administrator email settings you can select which of the blog admins will receive email notifications about form submission, whether to send the full contact of the message or not etc.
Under the User Email Settings you can create a response for the form submitter. There is also an option to include what the message the user sent for their records.
With Basic form behavior settings you can control who can view the form, where the user will be redirected after successful submission of the form, success message, submission limit, Ajax submission, limit reached message and more.
After setting have been defined, its time to build up the form with field settings tab. On this tab four categories of field sections and a favorite section available. The basic form fields are categorized as template fields, layout elements, user information and payment field. Interface of field settings seems like a drag and drop one, but its not, you have to click field buttons in an arrangement they will appear on page and wait to load it on the right side of the page. There are lots of styling options available on each field and you can also drag and drop the fields if you want to rearrange them. Slow loading of fields after clicking the button is the one thing that bothers me very much. There is a star on each field element to tag them as favorite for quick access in future use.
After saving the field settings arrangement you can preview the form by clicking preview the form tab . The form will be displayed below the page you have selected on the form settings page. If you want to display the form within the text or create a custom page template with a form you can use form shortcode/template tag for All Forms pages.
Other Ninja Form Options
There are some other advanced features available on Ninja Forms like submissions, import/export, setting, system status and premium extensions. Under the submission tab you can check form submission stats of all forms directly from admin panel with date range filter.
With the import/export option you can easily transfer forms and settings to other websites, it saves a lot of time for web developers. On settings tab you can set up a currency sign, date format, edit default form field labels to give them a personal touch. System status reveals all the server details and details of currently active plugins on your blog.
Ninja Forms has a variety of premium extensions to make the forms more powerful. Some of the current extensions are saved user progress, text message notifications, layout & styles, paypal express, file uploads, Aweber, mailchimp for ninja forms, campaign monitor and more.
Standard Features of Ninja Forms at a Glance
- Ajax based form submission without page reload.
- Import/Export form details and settings.
- A large variety of form fields and admin options.
- Pre included anti-spam fields.
- Custom input masks for restricting submission data.
After watching the features and functionalities it can be said that Ninja Form is a gift for bloggers and small business owners who cannot afford Gravity forms( $199) but want similar features. All the features packed into free version are very helpful, especially the confirmation message sending, storage of form details in the WordPress database, form field restriction etc. On other side premium add ons are available individually so purchasing them will be a budget friendly deal. Now its your turn to give this awesome plugin a try and share your experience.