Whether you want to build a contact form, a sign-up form or a survey, there are tons of form builders out there (of course, you want to know what the best online form builder is).
What’s great is that these tools take out the complicated coding aspect, meaning that you often only have to drag and drop a few elements in order to get it exactly how you want. Most tools even offer ready-made forms where you hardly have to touch a thing.
Why use Online Form Builders?
Forms are an essential tool in any marketer’s toolbox as you can use them to:
- capture leads
- learn about industry trends
- do market research
- get customer feedback
- sign up subscribers to your newsletter
- and more!
As you’re looking for the best online form builder for your business, this article outlines all the pros and cons of each solution.
As everyone is on a different budget, this article looks at everything from free form builders to those with starting monthly fees of $35. Remember, just because a software is more expensive, doesn’t mean a cheaper tool couldn’t do what you need just as well, or even better.
How to Create an Online Form
Depending on the form builder you decide to use, the process may be slightly different.
WordPress users might find it makes more sense to install a form builder plug-in, keeping everything within the WordPress backend. Alternatively, it’s also possible to use a cloud-based solution and embed the form directly onto a page on your website.
Those who don’t have a website might simply want a contact form to share with their social media followers or through email marketing.
In any case, you’ll be better off with a drag and drop editor that gets the balance right between having enough options and an overwhelming amount. It’s also good to choose a tool that provides you with a nice range of templates as this will only speed up the process.
Read on to find the best online form builder for your business.
Tools: What’s the Best Online Form Builder?
This is our list of the 10 best (easy to use) form builder options:
1. HubSpot: A complete package that’s free and easy to use
I love HubSpot. Their clean interface and ready-made templates make setting up a contact, registration or newsletter signup form really easy! As well as a regular contact form, you can also set up pop-up forms that show up on particular pages.
It uses a drag and drop editor, which has all the options you need, including GDPR options. You can also set up a simple follow-up email. Note that if you are on HubSpot’s Marketing Starter plan then you can create an automation workflow to nurture leads.
In terms of reporting, the data is easy to read and, if you’re on a higher-tier plan, you can customize your dashboard to your needs. What’s great about HubSpot is that the contacts generated through the forms all go into their sophisticated CRM where you can create tasks, add notes, set a lifecycle stage, etc.
HubSpot’s offering is so much more than an online form builder. In fact, because it’s primarily a CRM (which also comes with email marketing), both your sales and marketing team will find it invaluable when it comes to generating and keeping track of leads. What’s more, it’s completely free!
If you find you need more features then you can upgrade to their Marketing or Sales Hub plans for $50 a month.
2. 123FormBuilder: Excellent customer support
123FormBuilder is a popular online form maker, known for its clean interface and very helpful live chat support. It allows for infinite customization, offering a number of predefined themes or the option to code your own in CSS.
When it comes to sharing, I liked that it provides you with exactly what you need to embed your form on all the main website platforms like Shopify, WordPress and BigCommerce (see screenshot below).
On higher-tier plans, you can use autoresponder rules to trigger different autoresponders based on the input provided by your form visitors, which is a really helpful automation feature. Payment processing is also supported, though quite pricey.
Businesses looking for an easy to use software with good customer support. Though the forms aren’t difficult to set up, it does help to know that an agent is there if you need them.
Plans start from $24.99 a month and include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. PaperForm: Forms that look like landing pages
PaperForm, an Australian company, provides you with tons of form and survey templates, and the designs aren’t bad. What’s nice about their templates is that the forms are basically landing pages.
Editing templates is simple and their customization options mean that you can add images and videos to make your forms more engaging. More advanced users can play around with the HTML & CSS.
There are direct integrations with hundreds of apps!
Prices start at $15/month for unlimited forms, 10,000 views and 1,000 submissions. If you’d like everything unlimited then you’re looking at paying $39/month. There is no free plan available, but you can try the product free for 14 days (link below).
Accept payments through Stripe, PayPal, Braintree or Square. It’s also possible to upload files.
Small-to-medium-sized businesses looking for a form builder-come-landing-page-builder.
4. Moosend: Simple, free form builder
What’s so great about Moosend’s form builder is that it’s free and easy to use! You won’t have to mess around with any code and the builder feels pretty intuitive, even for beginners. Moosend is an email marketing tool (and a great Mailchimp alternative), so you also benefit from unlimited, unbranded emails.
There is a nice selection of modern looking templates that are easy to edit and you can choose who you show/hide the form from by adding conditional rules. For example, you can choose to show the form only in certain countries, on specific URLs or only on mobile or desktop. The only thing is that the templates are all for newsletter signup forms. We’d like to see some other examples like order forms, event registration or job application forms.
Publishing options are the following: publish on your website by connecting it in Moosend, embed the form or share the link.
Entrepreneurs and small-to-medium-sized businesses looking for a free online form builder to help them collect subscribers. If you need a more complex form for taking orders, job applications, etc. then you should look at 123FormBuilder.
5. Ninja Forms: Best solution for WordPress
Ninja Forms is a plug-in for WordPress that allows you to easily create any kind of form for your site. They have a number of templates you can use – these are nice-looking, though not overly concerned about design and branding.
Installation is fairly easy to do, just go to Plugins (in the WordPress backend) and add new. You can get started with Ninja Forms immediately by using their ready-made contact form or build your own. The Personal plan ($99/year) allows you to connect your forms to an email marketing service like ActiveCampaign or ConvertKit. You will also be able to accept payments through PayPal Express. If you need more add-ons, you can purchase these on top of your yearly plan.
If you have multiple sites then you’ll benefit from their Professional plan ($199/year), which allows for up to 20 sites and the ability to integrate your forms anywhere through the use of webhooks.
When compared against Gravity Forms (the other form builder plugin for WordPress on this list), I found the Ninja Forms interface to be much cleaner and therefore easy to navigate.
If you want to create a popup, you’ll need to install another plug-in called Popup Maker – not ideal.
I’d recommend Ninja Forms for those operating on WordPress. You can get your forms up and running in no time and embed them on your site using shortcodes. You can also generate a shareable link that you can use in email marketing and other channels.
6. Typeform: For the design-conscious
Typeform, which specializes in forms and surveys, has gained increasing popularity since its conception in 2012.
Typeform has quite a young, hip look, which is reflected in their range of form templates. What’s nice about the way their contact forms are set up is that the whole experience of filling out a form is very personalized and feels rather human. The way they do this is by giving you various options and using if/when logic to jump to the next question.
It might sound complex, but they are actually really simple to set up and edit.
You’ll need to connect your account to your email marketing provider or CRM as Typeform doesn’t include this in their offering.
Business owners wanting to give their users a personalized experience through the use of modern, fun contact forms. This solution is really for those who want to convey a strong brand and really speak to their users.
It’s free to get started but you’ll only be able to collect 100 responses before you need to upgrade to one of their paid plans. These start at $35 a month, so it definitely isn’t cheap.
It’s important to note that the forms created with Typeform are not like standard contact forms and some users may find it a bit long-winded having to go through a series of questions to submit their details. For this reason, they’re not for every business.
7. Gravity Forms: Another WordPress plugin
Gravity Forms is a plug-in for your WordPress site, and will feel familiar to anyone used to using the WordPress backend. That said, setting up your contact forms from scratch is a bit fiddly and definitely not as user-friendly as other online form builders on this list. This is because there are a number of options available to you, allowing you to create fairly advanced forms that include file uploads and CAPTCHA to prevent spam.
Their example forms show everything from product order forms to job applications to a custom pizza order form (see screenshots below).
Within the form settings, you can control what happens when a user submits a form. You can redirect users to show them a custom message, send them to a confirmation page, or redirect them to any other link you want.
The only thing I didn’t see was the ability to set up pop-ups or banners.
If you’re operating on a WordPress site then the Gravity Forms plug-in could be a good option for you, though the learning curve could be a little steeper for people with little tech experience.
Also, bear in mind that you’ll have to configure an email service in order to send notifications.
Licenses start from $59 a year.
8. JotForm: Comes with email autoresponder options
JotForm definitely has the largest selection of form templates of all the form builders I’ve seen; they have 10,000! Although, I wouldn’t say they were particularly exciting. In fact, a lot of them look quite dated.
A cool feature of JotForm is that you can set up a series of basic autoresponder emails to be sent to those who sign up. Or, if you want to integrate it with your existing email marketing provider, they have plenty of integrations available.
Editing the forms is very easy, so if you’re looking for a basic template that you can use to get up and running quickly then JotForm isn’t a bad option.
When it comes to sharing your form you have plenty of options: Embed it as an iFrame, pop-up or lightbox or share it through email or social media.
Those looking for an easy to use software who aren’t too fussed about design. They offer a free plan with limited features and JotForms branding and paid plans start from $29 a month.
Though JotForms customers generally like the product, some have found customer support to be a bit slow and, at times, unhelpful.
9. Cognito Forms: A form for every scenario
Cognito Forms offer tons of templates for every scenario, but the designs are all the same, the only things that change are the fields.
Cognito Forms offer unlimited forms for free, setting a cap at 500 entries. If you require more entries, you can move up to one of their paid plans, which aren’t too expensive ($10 for 2,000 entries; $24 for 10,000; $99 for unlimited).
Even on the free plan, you can accept payments, though only through Stripe – PayPal and other payment methods are reserved for higher paid plans. Data encryption is also unlocked on the higher tier plan.
File uploads and conditional logic are included on all plans.
Cognito Forms is definitely not for the design-conscious. However, if you are looking for a cheap (or even free) form builder then Cognito Forms will do the job.
10. Wufoo: Accepts payments
Wufoo has over 400 customizable templates, which will get the job done. I’d recommend using a template as the number of options available in the editor could be slightly overwhelming for some. I was surprised to see that the option to set up a confirmation email was so hidden, perhaps because it’s not included in the free version – the plan up will cost you $19 a month.
With Wufoo you can also accept payments via PayPal or Square, although this is a little expensive at $39 a month. All in all, it’s not a bad product, but it’s a bit surprising that they haven’t done a major editor design update in at least 7 years. Maybe their users are just happy with what they got.
Those who aren’t looking for anything too fancy design-wise. Starting at $19 a month, it is cheaper than some of the other tools and has enough features to do what you need it to do. They also have a host of integrations available.
Conclusion: The best online form builder goes to…
Though there are tons of online form builders out there, I didn’t want to overwhelm you with too many options. Hopefully you’ve found one in this top 10 that covers your needs.
For me, the top choice is definitely HubSpot for ease of use, price and features. Their powerful built-in CRM, email marketing and pop-ups/banners make this the best online form builder. It’s a good option if you’re not tech-savvy as the clean interface guides you through every step with just the right amount of options. That said, if you’d like a wider range of templates and don’t mind paying a bit more then 123FormBuilder is a good solution.
Though you can use HubSpot with your WordPress site, some might prefer to keep their contact forms within the same WordPress backend. In this case, a plug-in like Ninja Forms is a good option.
I hope you found this helpful! Let me know if you have any questions or comments below.
17 March 2020 – Added Moosend, PaperForm and Cognito Forms
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