Gravity Forms Tips

Gravity Forms has been the most popular premium forms plugin for over a decade and the core team and third-party authors continue adding new functionality and extending its value.

It can be used for countless scenarios, and quite a few form templates are available to get you started right away:

  • Contact Us
  • Request A Quote
  • Donation
  • Survey
  • Job Application

There is an official Gravity Forms Facebook group, and hundreds of pre-built extensions to pull off pretty much anything you want to do.

GF core comes with these advanced features:

  • Accessibility
  • Email newsletter subscription connections (Mailchimp, Hubspot, etc.)
  • CRM and Help Desk connections (add new leads to Zoho CRM, Agile CRM, Help Scout, etc.)
  • Multi-page/step forms with pagination progress bar
  • Save progress with the Partial Entries add-on
  • Dropbox, Polls, Quizzes
  • WordPress User Registration
  • Trigger webhooks
  • Creating new Posts (including post title, post content, and taxonomy fields)
  • SPAM prevention via honeypot, reCAPTCHA, and/or disallowed keywords — such as GravityWiz’s solution plus a default list of banned phrases

These sites list hundreds of third-party extensions:

Looking Good

There are dozens of ways to visually customize your forms, including:

Getting Signatures

Gravity Forms offers its Signature Add-on that lets people draw in a signature box.

ApproveMe is a more robust solution that claims to be legally binding and that GF’s own Signature add-on may not be (we don’t offer legal advice, just passing along the message). Here’s an excerpt from their website:

Most WordPress contract plugins and signature addons out there are not legally binding not to mention UETA/ESIGN compliant (they don’t hold fast to the strict laws and regulations in the document singing industry). These non-compliant (and highly vulnerable) signature add-ons, simply “capture the signature information as it is drawn and then sends this information to your web server where this information is converted into an image file and stored forever on your ftp server.”

Using the ApproveMe solution you may not even need Gravity Forms if you’re wanting PDF generation and signature workflows, but it also has an integration with Gravity Forms with which someone would submit a form and then some or all of the entry fields could map to the actual contract to sign.

Generating PDFs

There are several ways to convert your form entries to PDF:

  • GravityPDF offers a lot of flexibility and meets pretty much any workflow but requires custom coding to map form fields to pre-built PDF documents
  • ForGravity’s Fillable PDFs is the only way to upload a fillable PDF to auto-create a new Gravity Form form with all the detected fillable fields. It’s also the only option that lets you visually map form field values to each fillable PDF field.
  • E2Pdf is a free visual PDF creation plugin that can integrate with many different forms plugins, including E2Pdf for Gravity Forms.
  • If already using GravityFlow they offer a PDF Generator to just dump the entry’s content to PDF, no significant benefits over the alternatives

Collecting Sensitive Information

Here are a couple tips if you’re using Gravity Forms to collect information for an IRS W-9 (SSN/EIN) or an insurance application (SSN, other PII to allow you to request a credit check like mother’s maiden name):

You may think storing data on your own site is not preferable, but each situation is unique. For example, if you’re subject to GDPR, HIPAA, or other regulations, any PDF or eSignature service you subscribe to that receives sensitive information on your behalf might need to be manually vetted by you and an individual data processing agreement signed. Just a heads up to consider all the business processes involved, as the technical side is likely able to be no sweat to the Gravity Forms plugin.

Performing Calculations

If you want to display a form that totals 2 fields into a 3rd field or adds 10% sales tax or does something more complex, you’ve got several options:

Mini eCommerce

OK, so now that we’re talking “calculations” you’re thinking you could sell stuff with Gravity Forms, including passing along the 3% payment processing fee… and you’re right!

There are a handful of payment processor integrations available within GF, including Stripe and PayPal:

Reporting

Each form you create details its number of impressions vs submissions, giving you a conversion rate percentage.

You can display individual or aggregated entries per form or across multiple forms:

Data in and out

Data Validation

Getting users to complete forms is hard enough… let’s make it easy on them to complete forms accurately:

Notice

I’ve been a long-time paid customer of Gravity Forms, as well as an affiliate. Links in this article may benefit me financially if you click them to purchase.

I’m also available to provide consultation and implementation services so share your wish list to me here:

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