Online forms are versatile tools that help you capture leads, better understand your audience and collect meaningful data to help your business grow.
Unless you're a thirteen-year-old. In that case they're just a fun way to find out what Harry Potter house you belong to and what Oreo flavour matches your personality.
No matter your goal, Google Forms is one of the best online form builders you'll find. The interface is responsive, the forms are reliable and, music to any small business owner's ears, it won't cost you a cent.
But things get tricky when you try to embed your form on your website, share it in an email or add it to WordPress, especially when you've never heard terms like iframe or HTML before.
With that in mind we've put together this step-by-step guide on how to embed Google Forms to help you out. Along the way we'll outline some of the tool's limitations and show you how a dedicated platform like Paperform can help you create forms that are versatile, beautiful and easy to embed.
Google Forms is a free tool for creating basic forms and surveys you can embed on your website. It's not the most powerful solution out there, but that's like saying KFC isn't fancy enough - it's not trying to be.
The form building process is intuitive and includes all the question types you would expect, from check boxes and short answers to multiple choice. You can insert images and videos, add paragraphs and make limited changes to colors and fonts.
As with other G Suite apps like Google Docs, you can store Forms in Google Drive and collaborate with team members thanks to the baked-in sharing features. With a bit of Google Sheets magic you can export data to a spreadsheet and get insights into your form responses too.
If you want to create very simple forms that you can embed on your website for free, Google Forms is the choice for you. Just keep in mind because it's a free service there are a few limitations, especially when trying to embed forms on your website.
A professional form builder like Paperform is the way to go if you need a powerful, unique form that looks slick when embedded on your website, in emails or anywhere else on the web.
With Paperform you can easily create and embed a form. You don't want to waste time wondering why your form looks out of place on your website – you want to delve into the data and start using your form for what it's intended for.
Thinking about embedding a form before you've created one is putting the chicken before the egg. Let's quickly run through the process of making a Google Form.
Before you do anything you'll need to make sure you have a Google account. If you've ever used any of the Google apps, which most people on the planet have, the chances are you'll have one.
Once that's sorted head over to Google Forms. Scroll through the gallery and pick out a template, or click the '+' button to start fresh.
Then it's up to you to create a form by adding the fields you want. Enter questions, pick your response types and fill them in using the text editor.
The questions you ask will differ depending on what kind of form you make. When you're happy, use the visual editor to make some basic changes to your theme.
When you're ready to show your masterpiece to the world, hit the send button at the top right of the page. You can't miss it.
That big, purple button is your ticket to sharing your form via email, direct link or by embedding it on your website.
To do this in Google Forms, click the send button and select the icon with two pointed brackets (<>). This gives you access to the embed HTML. We'll explain what that is in a second.
Beneath the embed code you'll see an option to change the dimensions of your form. Make sure you're happy with the size, then copy the code and paste it wherever you want on your website.
You could make a dedicated page for your contact form, or post an event registration on the bottom of your latest blog post. The choice is yours. Doesn't sound bad, does it? Well the process isn't, but the end result can be, thanks to issues that pop up when using the embed code.
The embed HTML is what's called an iframe, a bit of code that you put in a webpage to insert things like videos, ads and in this case, forms. Pretty much all form builders use these to embed their forms.
The problem with iframes is they give an awful user experience. This is partly because they’re fixed in size, so if the content inside the frame is too big, your form gets cut off and users have to awkwardly scroll to see what’s inside.
They also behave differently depending on the browser – a form that looks good in Google Chrome might look like something from a kindergarten art project in Safari. This also affects the mobile experience, meaning Google Forms isn't the most mobile friendly form builder.
Paperform forms are mobile-friendly, consistent no matter what browser you use and even resize automatically to only take up the space necessary to display the form - no separate scrolling required.
We built Paperform to make creating gorgeous forms easy. That includes embedding it where it needs to go. With our builder you can customize your form to your heart's content and trust you'll be able to embed it to your site in a way that preserves your unique aesthetic.
There are plenty of excellent WordPress plugins that make it easy to add new forms to WordPress sites, but Google Forms makes the process almost as simple.
Just click the send button, set your dimensions and click 'copy' on the right corner of the window. Then head over to the dashboard of your WordPress website and navigate to the page or post you want your form to appear on.
The next steps differ depending on what editor you use. If you use the Block Editor, you'll have to add a Custom HTML block. When you've done that paste the HTML code into the block and you're done.
Things are easier with the Classic Editor. Just make sure you switch from the Visual to the Text Editor, then paste the embed code where you want it to show on the page. In text mode you'll only see the code, but once you switch back to the Visual Editor you'll see your form.
You might find that once it's live, your embedded Google Form probably won't look or feel the way you thought it would. It's kind of like meeting someone in a dark bar and thinking they're attractive, only to realise once you're outside they look like The Predator.
If you want to avoid that feeling, try Paperform. Not only will your fancy new form look just how you want it, you can choose from multiple embedding options. We've got everything from full and inline embeds to pop-ups and oEmbeds, making sure there are plenty of ways to display your form on WordPress, or any other site.
Getting people to answer your form is half the battle. You can add it to your website, or share it on social media, but there's no guarantees that people will fill it out.
Google Forms makes it easy to embed your form directly into your email so recipients can fill it in right from their email client. From the Send menu click on the envelope icon and enter the email addresses you want to send your form to.
Easy, right? It is, but there's an important step you don't want to miss. By default the form will be sent inside the email with a link to the hosted form, which isn't exactly what you're looking for.
To actually embed the form within the email – so respondents can complete it from within the email itself – you need to tick the box that says 'include form in email'. It is easy to miss, so make sure you're careful not to pull the trigger early.
Once that's done all that's left is to hit send, put your feet up and wait for responses to roll in. (Hopefully you have a good email open rate.)
However, problems start to arise when it comes to embedding. Thanks to iframes, Google Forms are inconsistent, difficult to complete on mobile devices and at times can look plain ugly. The 'U' word doesn't exist in Paperform's vocabulary.
Few things hurt your brand more than an ugly or unprofessional website. The last thing you want is for your form to look like one of your competitors inserted it on your page to sabotage you.
Avoid potential frustration and embarrassment by using Paperform to quickly create and embed beautiful forms without the hassle. Why not get started today with our 14-day free trial? No credit card required.
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