Looking for a Gravity Forms Alternative? Formidable Pro IS IT!

An absolutely essential part of having a WordPress blog for Internet Marketing purposes is to have some way to get messages from site visitors, gather information from them and subscribe visitors to your email list. Gravity Forms was the clear choice with me for two years, but not anymore.

Up until May 2012, I was proud to proclaim my love for Gravity Forms. I was happy to shell out their yearly developer fee of $199 (and renewed it without thinking) all so that I could run their WordPress plugin on my multi-site WordPress multi-site installation and was just about to renew it again this year when it suddenly stopped working. I was having a hard time figure out what it was on my own and my subscription with them had lapsed, so I shelled out my renewal fee so that I could get support to fix a problem affecting all my clients sites…

Well, let me spare you the day-by-day back-and-forth… Simply put, they didn’t fix this problem for eight days (that’s about 200 hours that my customers had no forms!) and they blamed it on my webhost the whole time, blasted me in an email when I complained that I wasn’t getting help, canceled my subscription, blocked me from their site and left me right where I was eight days ago. They did, at least, refund my renewal fee when I told them how I had renewed just to get this thing fixed…but they didn’t even give me an option. Basically, they fired me as their customer for questioning their lack of response to my problem.

I searched high and low, found a Gravity Forms alternative, plugged it in and it worked fine. If only I had done that long ago!

Meet Formidable Pro: My Gravity Forms Alternative

I decided to test Formidable Pro for free and then upgrade if it worked OK and it did.

In fairness,I should at least give a thoughtful comparison beteween Formidable Pro versus Gravity Forms despite the customer service nightmare they put me through. Quite simply, Formidable Pro does what Gravity Forms does, costs thousands less and the support is responsive, polite and very helpful. But here’s a more detailed comparison…

The Cost Difference Is Enormous

Formidable Pro only costs $47 FOR LIFE to run advanced plugins on a single (or multi-site installation as in my case) compared to Gravity Forms which will run you over $1,000 in just 10 years (just under $200 the first year and just under $100 each year for renewal). I don’t know how long you plan on being in business, but I plan on being in business forever (that means thousands and thousands of dollars!), so that makes Formidable Pro almost free in my eyes. That’s a HUGE difference, my friends. Thankfully, Formidable Pro counts a multi-site installation as ONE installation. Gravity Forms doesn’t do that, so that’s another reason to go with Formidable Pro!

The Features Are Better in Formidable Pro, Too

I could go through a laundry list of features of both. They both will gather data which is their basic function. They both have a great deal of customization. They are both widgetized. They both have 3rd party plugins like PayPal and MailChimp and Aweber and several others. They both have email notification and can send the user to another page upon form completion. These are all hoped for and expected nowadays. However, there are two capabilities that belong to Formidable Pro that do not come with Gravity Forms.

  1. The first is the ability to edit data already collected. If a user is logged in, they can add or edit their form data and change it. That doesn’t exist in Gravity Forms.
  2. The second is that Formidable Pro gives you the ability to IMPORT data in CSV form. When I was with Gravity Forms, I had asked them if that could be done and they scoffed at the idea; it’s inexplicable to me why that would be. Let’s say that you wanted to migrate your data from one site to another. With Formidable Pro, you can export that data and then import it. You can’t do that with Gravity Forms. With Formidable Pro, you can also edit any of the forms that are filled out. I use this to display data from fields.
If you ask me, these two features make for a better product. It’s a better value than Gravity Forms no matter how you slice it. And then there is the support issue…

I’m Not The Only One Who Isn’t a Fan Of Gravity Forms

I’m not the only one who developed a dislike for Gravity’s “priority support.” If you read the comments at the link, you’ll see the head of Gravity Forms (Kevin) plus the guy who failed to provide priority support to me (Carl) defending Gravity and basically not listening at all and minimizing and defending instead of really trying to see where they may be at fault first and last. I’m sure that the last thing that this blogger Tom Léger wanted was to have problems with Gravity Forms and I felt that way for sure. I just want something that works and if it doesn’t then I want some tangible help. Instead of just going “OK, nobody’s perfect and we can make it up to you,” you can see all this back and forth trying to prove why Tom Léger is wrong and why Gravity Forms is right. That’s just useless and aggravating. And I also want to make one thing clear: I became such a fan of Formidable Pro that I signed up for their affiliate program, so I do earn an affiliate commission if you try it for free and buy if you like it. Just click here to try out Formidable Pro for free. I hope you will discover why I think that Formidable Pro is a superior Gravity Forms alternative. And please do let me know what you think in the comments below. I’m sure I won’t be the only one happy to jump ship on Gravity and get out of having to pay their annual fee for a plugin that just is not clearly better.


26 thoughts on “Looking for a Gravity Forms Alternative? Formidable Pro IS IT!”

  1. Hi,
    I read the article and it looks great.
    I use Gravity Forms and wanted to know if in Formidable Pro there is the possibility to use the hook like Gravity.



  2. omg! – after hours and hours of research I’ve finished the search for a plugin comparable to gravity forms.
    Now I can close dozens of google result browser tabs (or even no results). I finally have found what I was looking for. Thanks to you man.
    Formidable Pro IS IT!

    1. These “missing features” are still “missing features” from Gravity Forms. These are 3rd party plugins and are not supported or created by Gravity Forms.

  3. I was happy with the layout of gravity forms. I learned how to navigate around pretty simple. But I’ve hit two major roadblocks that I’m hoping Formidable is going to solve for me.
    I’m developing a simple site for a customer, However he needs it expanded across the US and down to a county level. So I was using the conditional formatting and creating all of my state county options based on the state selected. HOWEVER,

    issue 1: after about the 5th “Post Custom Field: Category” is selected the lag is almost unbearable. Thats with no other plugins, no special theme, nada. And I had to up my php.ini to 300 max_timeout just to get it to load after updating.

    issue 2: I have all of the states and counties in an alpabetical hierchy as well as the category ID’s sequentially placed. But whenever I go to the conditional section to show only if that state is selected, the state order becomes Montana, Alabama, New York, Missouri, etc. Order is all kinds of messed up and I just can’t get my head around it. So with that note, I do believe I bit thee Gravity GoodBye.
    Hopefully better luck with Formidable. I’ll be sure to report back 🙂
    Thanks for the heads up on this plugin.

    1. You bet. And please do let me know what you think. Using their design tool is a bit different but after using it, I think I’d be lost with Gravity if I ever needed to switch back (which I would only do if a customer needed it).

  4. Does Formidable have the ability to integrate with MailChimp the same way that Gravity Forms does?
    There does seem to be some advantages in terms of styling with Formidable that Gravity does not offer, and have not been able to find add-ons to help with either??


    1. Yes and I have dozens of my clients who depend on Mailchimp and the Formidable Pro forms. I even have the Math Captcha in place which does a great job of stopping spam and it’s a plugin from Formidable which comes with the license.

      I don’t know about the styling as I have had not problems with either Gravity Forms or Formidable Pro in terms of styling, but the HELP you get from Formidable on the issue of styling is really great. I found out there are some really cool hooks you can use with Formidable which will allow you to align your forms and parts of the forms in very cool ways.

  5. My story is almost identical to yours. I hate the fact that Gravity Forms won’t update unless you pay them another $100 every year. This means they own you since WP backend will surely have security updates that you have to do for your clients security. Once you update your WP backend and Gravity Forms stops working your clients are pissed and your stuck shelling out another $100. I was even considering just switching to SquareSpace.com sites but I’m going to try out Formidable Pro.

    1. By the way, the folks at Formidable Pro have also implemented a “premium support” on theirs after a year BUT STILL UPDATE FOR FREE and it’s not nearly as brutal as Gravity Forms.

      Here are the ways they do it:

      *No annoying upgrade prompts.
      *No automatic annual billing.
      *Your clients don’t know that your first year of premium support has expired.
      *Single site premium support is $24/year.
      *Unlimited license premium support is $57/year.

      Thanks for giving it a shot.

  6. Great post Joseph D..

    So are you saying in the pits above that Formidable Pro are now charging for support after the first year too? So that means you sums above needs to change too if it is so? What’s stopping them putting it up to 100$/yr in a few years or maybe next year… So they will be like Gravity?

    Not wanting to sound cynical. Just don’t want to be stuck like others have been with Gravity… Can I upload an XML file configured for a gravity form, into formidable pro Joseph D. No issue if you don’t know.

    Thanks again for such a detailed post… Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Yes, they do now charge $47/year that you need support. I doubt that they will ever charge as much as Gravity Forms. They didn’t charge at all for quite some time but I honestly can’t blame them. And for single blog owners, the plugin is still free, so you can’t go wrong there.

      My understanding is that if you want forum support, you can read what’s already in the forums at no charge, but if you want direct support then it will cost you.

      For most people, they will get the plugin free and will probably not need to pay the $47. However, if they do, I can’t say it’s going to cost them nearly as much as Gravity Forms.

      1. Formidable’s prices seem to have changed again.

        Purchasing standard (one install) is $47, and unlimited installs is $117.

        Renewal for standard is $24, and for unlimited installs is $54.

        You can upgrade from standard to unlimited for $70.

        I’d better provide a link in case the prices change again: http://formidablepro.com/pricing/

        1. Actually Tim, the plugin is free to use unless you need support. I found that if you are doing basic stuff that their documentation is sufficient for more complex things. Basic things are quite easy and intuitive; I think anyone who wants to test this plugin out will be able to do so easily without having to pay a dime first.

          So, again, “purchase price” is actually FREE unless you need support.

  7. Hi, I got interested in this plugin but before making my purchase,

    Can you please inform me that: Who is in full control/owner of the data my website visitors provide through the form made with Formidable Pro? and where the data is stored. If someone other than me shares the control of the data how do they make me sure that the data is safe and secure.


  8. We’ve recently integrated Stripe as a payment method on our site. Gravity has stripe as an add-on. Does Formidable Pro allow for the inclusion of stripe?

  9. Thanks for the post.

    I just realized that my form’s bcc field wasn’t working and I googled around to find the answer. I landed on their forum (their user forum!) and I have to pay $200 just to access the answer to a question that’s already been asked by 5 other people already.

    Complete robbery. I understand paying for updates and ‘premium’ support…but this is their freaking forum that has people’s previous questions & answers in it. Something that 99.9% of the rest of the world makes available for free.

    GF is a joke and incredibly expensive for what it does. Do they forget that their product is just a form maker? It’s like they think they invented electricity with their massive egos.

    1. So true, Mike! I think you’ll be really happy with Formidable Pro if you give it a shot! Very humble and hard-working people who really earn the small amount of money they charge!

  10. Hi Joseph,

    My music production site is still underdevelopment, but one of the functions I need it to have is for visitors/users to commission my services by way of a questionnaire. In short, I would like the potential customers to describe the type of music they need, and have the option of uploading files (i.e. mp3, or video files) with examples of the sound/mood they are going for. Can Formidable forms enable file uploads, or do I need more of a portal type plugin?


    1. Yes, they do allow file uploads. In fact, I have one company set up to upload PDFs and JPGs; they get emailed to an address and a plugin deletes them from the server. It’s awesome!!

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