Making and handling forms can be a bit of a pain, if you only need the occasional one you’re down to dusting off tools to see what you can put together. If you need loads, well, you’re probably a dab hand at it but dead bored. You may be working in a standardised CMS, such as WordPress, so maybe you can pay for a nice helpful plugin and go from there. Though with WordPress the downsides to this are perhaps a little too much choice and the potential to introduce an extra attack vector.
So it’s with that in mind that I’ve decided to take a look over JotForm’s Form Designer to see if it can’t save me a bit of time and annoyance!
Getting started is easy enough, simply go to www.jotform.com and you’re straight into the form designer. No nagging about payment, signing up or other distractions (though obviously if you do sign up it’s easier to manage your forms).
The left hand menu opens up with a set of tools to provide elements common on many forms: text, text fields, drop down boxes, submission buttons etc. Handily it can even handle CAPTCHA for you.
Below: a basic form I put together in 2 minutes:
You can apply themes to improve the appearance. Some are free but most are around $5. A word of warning here though, I don’t think I saved properly before going to the theme store as when I returned I was presented with a slightly earlier version of my form. Not a major problem when demoing the system with a short form but could be much more frustrating with a long form that you actually need to use.
Beyond generic form elements there are some interesting additional tools you can use. Want to collect some feedback of some kind? Open up the “Survey Tools” and add a star rating or a scale rating. If you want to take a payment with the form you can add Paypal, Stripe, WorldPay and more. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to test this right now, but it’s easy to see how it could be handy.
Once you’ve put the form together it’s time to embed it. Here are the many, many options:
All in all it’s a handy, stress-free way to create forms for your website. Certainly worth trying as an alternative to plugins!