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Gravity Forms vs. Contact Form 7

WordPress Plugins | May 28th, 2013

As a WordPress developer, I become familiar with a lot of plug-ins, but there are only a few I can say that I truly love. Gravity Forms is one of those plug-ins. Before I bought a developer license for Gravity Forms, I was mostly using Contact Form 7, which is still a handy contact form plug-in for those who don’t want to invest into Gravity Forms. If you’re deciding between the two, here are the biggest comparison points I’ve personally noticed:

Ease of Front-End Customization

Winner: Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is easier to theme on the front end because you can freely control the entire form layout and you place the individual fields within the layout using shortcodes. If you don’t know any code, you might not find controlling the front-end appearance as easy, however. This is not to say that you cannot control the layout in Gravity Forms, it’s just a bit more difficult to do certain things layout-wise. One thing that I’ve found beneficial with Gravity Forms is to turn their CSS completely off under Settings and just build up my own if I feel like I’m fighting too much of their inherent styling.

Ease of Creation of Forms

Winner: Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms has clear field options on the left that can be drag & dropped re-ordered within any given form. If you have no coding skills, the Gravity Forms method of form creation would likely be found as an easier method to Contact Form 7’s, which requires you generate the shortcodes for each field, copy & paste them into the form set up and also the notification below. If you don’t know any code, arranging the fields of a new form within Contact Form 7 would be more of a challenge.

Better Simplification of Complex Form Features

Winner: Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms is awesome in this area because of their built in conditional field logic. Granted, you can accomplish conditional fields in Contact Form 7 but it requires jQuery scripting to do so. On Gravity Forms, it’s a simple field option to tick and you can choose a condition or multiple conditions of previous fields that must be true or false in order for a field to show up (or alternatively, be hidden if certain options occur.)

Admin Options

Winner: Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms indexes all incoming submissions through the forms and makes them easily accessible (and exportable) through the WordPress admin area. Contact Form 7 simply emails the notifications. There is a database add-on that can be used with Contact Form 7 but the Gravity Forms interface with database entries is much, much cleaner.

Pricing

Winner: ???

Contact Form 7 is awesome because it’s free. A free vs. a paid option may be enough to make Contact Form 7 the winner here for you. However, I would say that Gravity Forms is well worth the investment and it is a steal for what you get at their price point. If you are a web developer, I’d recommend a developer license. The developer license gives you access to all of the Gravity Forms add-ons like PayPal hook up, various mailing list hook ups, poll options, user registration and much more, in addition to having the option to put it on unlimited sites. It’s well worth the investment, in my opinion.

Overall

Winner: Gravity Forms

If you are willing to make the Gravity Forms investment, it’s well worth it and I think it has a lot of advantages over free options out there.

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