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:
- Allow visitors to submit content.
- Content needed to be formatted, so it needed a WYSIWYG editor.
- Visitor could upload an image with their article.
- The visitor could select a category during the submission.
- The submission should create a draft WordPress POST with the image inserted into the post.
- 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.
- There should be some bot protection built in.
- 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:
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.
- Basic – this is a free plugin that has limited functionality, but allows you to create basic forms.
- 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.
- 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.
If you have comments on this article or video, please leave them below. Thanks!