One of the most frequent questions we get is “How are you different to your competitors?” It’s a fair question and an important one for us to answer well. While we kick ass at what we do, we might not be the best solution for everyone. Are you looking for a one-question-fed-at-a-time survey? Typeform is the boss at these. Are you looking to create web forms that beautifully reflect your brand (and can take payments) on mobile and desktop? Then yes, Paperform forms are perfect for you.
When people ask us “How are you different to your competitors?”, what they are really asking is “What is the best online form builder for me?”. So, to help answer this question well and objectively, here is the ultimate shortlist of online form builders, what they do best, their pricing, and live examples to help you decide what’s the right fit. Two things to note before you read the list:
- We won’t be addressing the downsides of any of our cyber-form-family.
- Form builders are in alphabetical order.
Great for creating: contact forms, surveys, registration forms, and quizzes.
Because: The name speaks for itself - 123FormBuilder are great for creating contact lists and lead generation. Their vision is “to empower you to collect, manage and communicate your data”. The majority of their forms are set up by default to capture customer or client details, so it’s easy to morph these into whatever form type you need (surveys, quizzes, rego forms, etc.). Embedding is easy as it directly integrates with Blogger, Joomla, Facebook, and Wix.
Pricing: Free Basic | $19/month Gold | $39/month Platinum | $349+/month Enterprise [annual discounts available]
Great for creating: Collecting payments, selling products, and raising money.
Because: True to their byline ‘easily create powerful forms’, they are all about payment forms and take a 1% cut on all sales generated through users on their Free or Pro tiers. So, if you are after a robust and pragmatic payment/sale form, Cognito is for you. Other pros include plugins for Wordpress and Windows, HIPAA compliancy, and PDF generation.
Pricing: (1% of charges) Free | $10/month Pro (+1% of charges) | $24/month Team | $99/month Enterprise [annual discounts available]
Live example: South Hill Farmers Market Vendor Application
Great for creating: mobile forms for operations and industry management.
Because: these mobile focused forms are offline, capture complex data, and are designed with logistical operations in mind. These forms are all about replacing administrational forms on and off site and automating workflows. One other great thing is that they integrate with just about everything, including SMS, Google Drive and Dropbox. If you work in a trade or industrial workplace, this is for you!
Pricing: $17/month/device Standard | $23/month/device Advanced | $28/month/device Enterprise [annual discounts available]
Great for creating: safe and reliable data heavy webforms, like personal surveys and online applications.
Because: FormAssembly emphasise the security of their forms and the reliability of data and are perfect for enterprise. They are HIPAA compliant, and integrate with Salesforce, Google Apps, LDAP, SAML and more. If you are an academic, work in government, or are a medical professional, FormAssembly is for you!
Pricing: $89/month Professional | $224/month Premier | $599+/month Enterprise | $1900+/month Compliance Cloud [annual payments only]
Great for creating: simple online forms for your website, that you can adapt with your own code.
Pricing: $9/form Personal | $19/form Professional | $49/5 Form Pack
Great for creating: forms that need an extremely powerful database, online service requests, expense claims, order tickets, and online support forms
Because:Formsdesk has a seriously powerful database. The backend, reporting, statistics, and workflow are complex and would render a CRM useless for most users. The forms also include very unique features, like barcodes, a PDF generator, autosaves for forms which aren't completed by the user. This is for anyone looking to capture/support and analyse detailed data from users, like tech and finance professionals.
Pricing: Free 3 Month Trial | €49+/year Standard | €1000/year Business
Great for: handling the backend of forms you have built yourself when you are time-poor, and also for static website development.
Because: FormKeep is an form endpoint tool that lets you use its backend to manage your data and integrate into apps for forms you have programmed.
This is great if you make a lot of static websites and are looking to have forms up and running without needing a backend at all. Integration is dead simple for standard HTML forms.
Pricing: $59/month Freelancer | $99/Agency | $199 Enterprise
Great for creating: order forms, quizzes, surveys, and polls.
Because: Formsite has a broad range of payment options for forms. As well as supporting PayPal, Stripe and Authorize.net payments, you can also directly take payments by cheque, making it great for online order forms. In addition, it also integrates with the big guns of marketing apps, like Salesforce, Mailchimp, Dropbox, API/Server Post, and Zapier.
Pricing: Free | $14.95 Deluxe | $24.95 Pro 1 | $49.95 Pro 2 | $99.95 Pro 3
Great for creating:forms that "manage information across your entire organization", like event, HR forms, or anything that needs a more detailed workflow.
Because: they cover all your business admin bases, with over 8 payment gateways, have over 40 app integrations, and Trello integration through Zapier, as well as having a kick-ass Conversion Kit. They are also customisable and make most branding fit into the form well.
Pricing: $39/month Silver | $99/month Gold | $249/month Platinum
Great for creating: Non payment forms on a budget, like feedback, school forms, and applications.
Because: While Google online forms come as part of the free Google docs suite, more advanced functionality is available as part of their business G Suite. They are great for non-payment and no-fuss forms and they are super easy and intuitive to build, and come with some seriously funky and fun backgrounds if you don't have your own image. These are great for fast feedback forms you can send as a link, and for community groups to capture details for events, especially school groups. G Suite is more suited to pop quizzes, polls, as well as surveys, all integrated directly with the rest of your Google products like Gmail.
Great for creating: Advanced forms for your WordPress site.
Gravity Forms is the go to solution if you live and breathe WordPress. While most form builders can be embedded with WordPress, Gravity Forms hold themselves apart by focussing purely on Wordpress.
The form creation process itself ties into the WordPress admin site, so for a lot of WordPress users this will be an intuitive and great way to go.
Pricing: $59/year Basic | 159/year Pro | $259/year Elite
Great for: fast form creation, including mobile.
Because: In a rush and need a basic form? Create a form for a smaller audience - just hop on to the creator, build your form, add your email address, and receive up to 100 submissions per month at no cost! Jotform has also recently introduced its 4.0 version, which allows you to quickly create online forms on mobile. They also have loads of themes to choose from at varying costs, making things even faster!
Pricing: Free Starter | $19/month Bronze | $39/month Silver | $99/month Gold
Great for creating: Pre-made lead generation forms.
Because: Leadformly does the thinking for you - if you're a marketer who wants to have the guesswork taken out of lead capture forms, and to have integration to CRM, email, and marketing automation tools, check Leadformly out. Enough said!
Pricing: Between $37/month - $149/month, depending on your leads
Great for creating: super fast, beautiful web forms that embody your (or your client's) project, business, or product brand.
Because: forms aren’t a just standalone set of questions; they can be surrounded with engaging and relevant copy and themed to match the brand of it’s creator. The Paperform editor allows you to create forms like a doc, by simply typing free-text, adding questions with logic, and adding payment/donation fields, etc. You literally type directly onto the page and insert fields, making it super fast. Forms are part of a larger page that can be formatted to your liking, and shared and integrated in various ways (including through Zapier, social media, email, and embedding). The Agency plan also allows you to add users/clients and set permissions accordingly, which is great for web dev/design.
Pricing: $15/month Essentials | $39/month Pro | $99/month Agency (5+ users additional cost) [annual, referral, and charity discounts available]
Great for creating: 'human' one-question-at-a-time forms, like surveys, quizzes, and lead generation forms, with easy mobile creation.
Because: these forms are aimed at personally engaging users one question as a time. Typeform is known for being innovative in it's flow and mobile first (they released their mobile form creator Typeform LITE over a year ago), so they are great for creating any forms that are more conversational and therefore are ideal for more personal surveys, quizzes, and lead generation. They are easy for end users to engage with, and have been used for some very effective lead generation campaigns. They have a unique and endearing playfulness in their culture to - play Form Invaders or check out their fun YouTube clips if you need a fun break from the trudge of life.
Pricing: Free Basic | $30/month Pro | $59/month Pro+ (1+ users additional cost for Pro and Pro+) [annual discounts available]
Great for creating: forms that require a powerful report generator, like contact forms, surveys, and heavy data collection.
Because: if you are looking to collect AND organise data without having to integrate with your own reporting system, Wufoo is perfect as it supports complex reporting and analytics. That's not to say that they don't integrate because they do (with TONS of apps, like Capsule, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Zapier). But it's no surprise that Wufoo forms are awesome at doing their own analytics, as their parent company is Survey Monkey.
Pricing: Free Gratis | $19/month Starter | $39/month Professional | $99/month Advanced [annual discounts available]
Great for creating: mobile forms that integrate with your other Zoho apps (business forms, HR forms, construction forms, etc.)
Because: well, it's made to integrate in Zoho's other apps like email really well! So, if you're amongst the 5 million people who use Zoho's CRM and are into their workflow offering, this is the form builder for you. They specialise in mobile forms, so this is a product for teams on the move.
Pricing: $10/month Basic | $25/month Standard | $50/month Professional | $100/month Premium [annual discounts available]
Because: this is a really cool conversational alternative to traditional forms, and it holds a special place in our hearts.
Choose to have a traditional form, or toggle conversation on and turn that form into a chat with your users! You'll have to be a little tech-savvy to use this. in thier words: "Conversational Form is an open-source concept by SPACE10 to easily turn any form element on a web page into a conversational form interface. It features conversational replacement of all input elements, reusable variables from previous questions and complete customization and control over the styling." The only way to fully explain this one is to see it in action, or read this fantastic Medium article.
That's our top 18 to kick you off for 2018, but stay tuned for updates and the new kids on the block in coming posts.
If you want to check out a few other form builders, take a look at Zapier’s guide to the 17 best online form builders. Zapier make a necessary distinction between ‘form apps’ and ‘survey apps’ that should be noted by anyone looking to create surveys in particular.