A Formidable Gravity Forms alternative – Formidable Pro Review 14


I’ve been reviewing a number of WordPress plugins in the hope of finding one that will allow me to set up (easily) a form for guest posters to submit content.  I like to outsource content for a number of my websites so that I can have content rolling in, even when I don’t write it.  I have been using a plugin called Via Curation, but unfortunately the developer stopped supporting the plugin, and worse still, let the domain used for license checks expire.  That meant I could no longer update forms, or install the plugin on new sites.  In other words, it was useless.

As I looked for a plugin to replace that piece of digital junk, I had a list of things I needed the plugin to handle.  The list was quite short.

IMPORTANT: Prices were correct at the time I published this review (March 2014).  Prices do change, so please check out current prices.

The WordPress Guest Post Plugin needed to:

  1. Allow visitors to submit content.
  2. Content needed to be formatted, so it needed a WYSIWYG editor.
  3. Visitor could upload an image with their article.
  4. The visitor could select a category during the submission.
  5. The submission should create a draft WordPress POST with the image inserted into the post.
  6. There should be a facility to also submit a short summary of the post, which could be used as a WordPress EXCERPT.  I wasn’t too hopeful of finding one that could do this.
  7. There should be some bot protection built in.
  8. I should be able to create other types of forms, e.g. a contact form.

OK, that’s not too much to ask, is it?

The number one choice seemed to be a plugin called Gravity Forms.  However, I could not get past the cost of it.  I needed the plugin to work on multiple domains, and for that, it cost $199.  OK, I could stretch to $199, but then I saw the asterisk next to the price:

image

I looked to see what the asterisk meant, and here is what I found:

“All licenses require renewal after one calendar year. Discounted renewal rates available. See information below for details.”

Yes, that’s right.  You buy the plugin for $199 but that only lasts a year.  You then have to renew to keep it updated (I think you can cancel and just keep using your existing version, but WordPress is being updated all the time, and plugins often need updates to keep them working).  Renewal on this license is currently $99.50.  So $200 for the first year, then $100 every year after that?

That was not going to happen!

Despite doing pretty much everything I wanted, I was not about to tie myself into a plugin that kept taking money, year after year.  It’s a shame though, because it was perfect.

My “Gravity Forms Alternative” moment

I searched and searched for a cheaper option, but always came up short.  Then it hit me.  I wasn’t searching Google with the right phrase.  I must have been having a silly day, because I had been searching for “Wordpress forms plugin”, “guest post plugin”, etc.  What I really wanted was an alternative to Gravity forms.  In other words, one that could do something similar.

I searched for Gravity forms alternative, and found what I was looking for almost immediately.  It’s called Formidable Pro, and boy, is it ever!

First thing I did when I got to the site was check the price.

There are three versions of Formidable Pro.

  1. Basic – this is a free plugin that has limited functionality, but allows you to create basic forms.
  2. Standard – This one costs $47 and is good for 1 site.  It comes with lifetime updates, though support is only for 1 year.  The plugin is fully featured.
  3. Unlimited – This one is the same as the Standard version, but allows use on unlimited websites for $117.

If you start out with Standard, you can upgrade to Unlimited when you need to by paying the difference.

I needed the Unlimited version, so that is the one I bought.

I had seen a few videos on setting up the plugin, and it all looked intuitive, yet extremely powerful.  After spending 5 minutes installing, and looking around, I dove straight in.  I recorded a video showing you some of the main features of this plugin.

In the video, I deleted my copy of the Contact Form 7 plugin (which I used for the contact form on my site), and created a Contact form with Formidable Pro.  I then went in and set up a guest posting page which would allow visitors to submit content to chosen categories on my site, with an image that would be inserted into the post.

Here is the video:

NOTE: You can watch Formidable Pro – An Alternative to Gravity Forms on Youtube.

As you can see, Formidable Pro is a fantastic plugin for creating all manner of forms.  It’s intuitive, it’s powerful, and it’s a much cheaper alternative to Gravity forms.

Find out more about Formidable Pro here and compare versions of this plugin with pricing information here.

If you have comments on this article or video, please leave them below.  Thanks!


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14 thoughts on “A Formidable Gravity Forms alternative – Formidable Pro Review

  • Philip

    Sorry Andy but after all that I can’t see why anyone would want to submit a guess post if only to receive a nofollow link back to their website (when URL is in the post). Dofollow yes!… But nofollow? Did I miss something? As I see it. you get free content posted to your site but the guess poster gets less in return.

    • Andy Williams Post author

      Sorry Philip, but I think you misunderstand the point of my post. I am not telling you how to set up a Guest Post form on YOUR site. I am showing you how versatile the Formidable Pro plugin is, and that it is a great Gravity Forms alternative. That’s all. Having said that, if you are using guest posts just to get dofollow backlinks, you are on course for a Google slap. Guest posts offer so much more when done correctly, and while guest posting done badly will get you into trouble with Google, Guest posting done correctly will increase your rankings and traffic (both Google and non-Google traffic) for as long as the post is up. Maybe I need to write an article on why, in my opinion, dofollow links should not be your main goal for guest posts.

  • James K

    Thanks Andy
    You post came at a really good time for me as i was thinking about purchasing GF form myself for a site i’m working on.
    GF is good but the pricing is steep especially if you need the unlimited licence.
    Formidable Pro looks ace and the pricing for the unlimited version is very fair.
    Good find;-)

  • Gary Elley

    Nice find Andy. Tell me . . . have you written previously about the process you employ to outsource article writing for your sites? That would be something I’d really like to read more about. How do you go about specifying the parameters of what guest posters should write, where do you find them, how much do you pay them etc. What does your workflow and project management look like in this respect.

    Thx in anticipation.

  • Deanna

    Hi there Dr. Andy,

    This came at a perfect time as I was just going to start searching for something like this. Can you tell me, does this allow the guest poster to select the date that they would like to post to go live?

    Thank you for the awesome review and video!

    Deanna

    • Andy Williams Post author

      I am not sure if you can do that or not. You’d need to contact them and ask. Since I always approve anything submitted by a visitor or outsourcer, I would never use a feature that allowed them to select a date, but I can see why it would be useful to many.

  • Carthage

    I was looking for an alternative to gravity forms and wanted to see a review of formidable pro. You give a nice overview in the post but the video is outstanding. It is not often that I sit through an entire review video but I watched this from beginning to end.
    The worry that I have always had about paying for a forms plugin is that I would not have enough uses, beyond a simple contact form, to justify the payment. As I am looking at accepting guest posts, your post has given me another additional use but it has also shown me that with a little creativity, there are many uses for this form which would justify what is a small payment.

    Thank you for such an insightful review.

  • martin allman

    Thank you Andy, the video was very useful and informative. I have a custom post type on my website, will tFormidable be able to post to that? Or is it just standard wp post types.

    I notice that Gravity forms does not post to custom post types but somebody has come up with a plugin to extend it. For my use this is a critical consideration.

    Thanks Martin

  • Terence Pera

    Hi Andy.
    Thanks for the heads up on Formidable Pro forms, i too am looking for a forms plugin for my sites, i think i like the feel of this, any way the site looks great and keep up the good work.