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Expensive but Worth It: a Gravity Forms Review

by Ben Cook on January 10, 2012

Update: I figured it was probably time for me to update my review of Gravity Forms, the premium plugin for WordPress forms. You see, when I wrote this the first time, Gravity Forms had just been released & I’d only played around with it on this site.

In fact, I didn’t think the developer license would be worth the added cost.

This is one of those times, I don’t mind admitting how wrong I was.

Two days after publishing this post, I ran into an issue that I realized Gravity Forms would make 10x easier. I had been searching for months for a method to make user generated content easy, without requiring users to log into WordPress. Just a few tweets to @carlhancock (one of the partners at Rocket Genius, the creators of Gravity Forms), and presto! Gravity Forms allowed automatic publishing of user submitted posts in their next update.

Now I’ve spent quite a bit of time online, and I can tell you it is RARE to find interaction & service like that on a product. I upgraded to a developer license the same day & couldn’t be happier. Gravity Forms has joined an elite group of plugins that I install on every single WordPress site as part of the initial set up.

On one site alone I’d estimate I’ve saved 15 hours so far.  For me, that’s well worth the $199 price of a developer’s license.

But, if you have only one site, or aren’t quite sure that you’ll love Gravity Forms as much as I do, give it a shot with the single use license. It’s only $39 and you can always upgrade later.

I’ll leave my original review for you to read below. I just felt like I’d be doing you guys a disservice if I didn’t update this post to completely rave about such a solid plugin.

Enjoy!

When a plugin has hundreds if not thousands of competitors, you instantly know two things: there’s a HUGE demand for the functionality it provides, and it’s going to be tough to rise above the crowd.

Such is the case with Gravity Forms, the newest premium plugin to tackle the form issue. If you do a quick search for “form” in the plugin directory you’ll see over 800 results shown. If you narrow that down to “contact form” you’re still left with well over 150 different options.

However, if you keep tabs on the WordPress community, you’ll know that Gravity Forms hasn’t had much trouble getting noticed, despite the crowded plugin landscape.

How’d they manage to pull that off? Amazing functionality.

Now that’s something that’s a lot easier promised than delivered but even with my sky high expectations from the hype that’s been surrounding the plugin, I wasn’t disappointed.

Gravity Forms (yes, that’s an affiliate link for all of our FTC friends out there) basically allows you to create a whole host of different forms with just a few clicks of the mouse with no coding required. The interface (as seen below) is extremely intuitive and I had no trouble finding my way around. If you want to add an element to your form, simply click which field you want to add & drag it where you want it positioned.

gravity-forms-edit

In about 10 minutes time I was able to reproduce the contact form that I had been using via Contact 7 plugin as well as create a brand new Guest Post Submission page.

Not only does the form allow any fan of WordPress to submit a guest post for my consideration (including post images), it automatically turns that submission into a draft within my WordPress dashboard!

gravity-forms-entry

It’s the Flexibility, Stupid!

The Thesis theme disrupted the market by offering incredible flexibility from your theme. Gravity Forms has done the exact same thing. The incredible functionality makes blogging life easier and the unprecedented flexibility eliminates the need for any other form plugin.

The features I’ve highlighted really are just the tip of the iceberg but thankfully you can check out all the different features, take a video tour, and even play around with a demo installation over on the Gravity Forms site.

It Costs WHAT?

As I’ve already discussed, I love the functionality offered by Gravity Forms. But the one aspect of the plugin that I pretty much hate, is the pricing structure.

A single use license is $39, a 5 site license will run you $99, and an unlimited use license will cost you a wopping $199.

I mean, it’s a plugin for crying out loud!

If you’re a web designer or make your living with your websites, $199 might be well worth the time you’ll save using the plugin but I bet your jaw still drops a bit from sticker shock.

Now will I end up breaking down and forking over the money at some point down the line?

Probably.

But, when a plugin is more expensive than two of the most popular (and expensive) themes on the market right now, Gravity Forms is going to have a long way to go convincing people that a plugin’s developer license should cost more than the developer license for their premium theme.

Would I Recommend It?

Given my obvious misgivings about Gravity Forms’ prices, would I still recommend the plugin?

Absolutely.

Most people are never going to need a developer’s license. And, at $39, the plugin doesn’t need to save you much time at all before it’s well worth the small investment.

User Feedback?

Have you used Gravity Forms? What did/do you think of it? What kinds of interesting applications have you found for the functionality offers? Or, do you know of other plugins (premium or free) that you like better?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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