Fast & Secure vs Gravity Forms

I’ve used Fast and Secure forms for more than three years.  I loved the interface and flexible functionality the first time I used Fast & Secure.  It has improved over the years.  I continue to use it for all my forms and most of my client sites.

Recently I decided to purchase a developer licence for Gravity Forms.  They had a special coupon and I’d been reading (On Facebook no less) where a lot of people were recommending Gravity Forms for simple contact forms.

I bought it, installed it on a new site and went to work building a very basic contact form.

Name
Email Address
Subject
Message

Using Fast and Secure this is the basic form configuration from which all other forms are built.  If this is all you need a simple shortcode on a page and you are good to go.

Gravity forms, well, that’s a completely different story.  There is not basic form.  You start from scratch and after spending 45 minutes trying to build this basic form I gave up.  Why, because I found with GF you did it their way or you spent a lot of time bending it to your will.  Every step of the way it bucked.  Ex.  The Name field.  I wanted a simple name field with the label Name above the field.  Oh, No, we don’t do it that way with GF.  You have to put the label under the field.  That’s the way it is, period.

Format the form.  Oh sure, you can write special css into your theme.  Fast and Secure, there’s a section at the bottom of each form where you add your custom styles for that form.  Quick and easy.

Nothing with Gravity Forms is quick and easy.

To me using Gravity forms for a quick simple contact form is like using an Excavator to plant a flower.

You will spend more time setting up, configuring and styling your form than should be necessary.

It is the right tool for big, complicated forms demanding pagination, conditional branching etc.  But you better have a lot of time to set it up.

I tried to use it on a larger form for a client with a charter jet service.  Again, I turned to fast and secure.  Gravity forms wouldn’t handle the column layout I wanted, not the way I wanted it handled.  Yes, I could get it to layout in columns, but when the form was submitted and the email sent the layout of the email was the same as the form on screen.  While this made sense visually, it wasn’t even close to intuitive to the client receiving the form by email.

There is a difference between a plugin doing something that is intuitive with an easy user interface and a plugin that you have to bend to your will or live with the way “IT” wants to do things.

If you need a simple form, that does not include conditional branching, newsletter submissions, Posting to your site from the form or receiving payments then I’d forget about Gravity Forms and chose Fast & Secure.

While you are at it, send the author a donation.  Fast and Secure is an amazing forms plugin.

You don’t need an excavator to plant flowers.

Comments

  1. I’ll definitely check these out. Thanks for the review! I love reviews it saves us all time. Hope all is well in AZ.

  2. GravityForms has got to be the best forms plugin I have ever found. I especially like the conditional logic, as well as the hidden fields.

  3. Mike I’m curious. What site are you using Gravity forms and SEO plugins on?

    Dave

  4. Hi Dave,
    I was thinking the same thing. I find gravity forms very complicated and difficult to use. If you do not know css good luck because the form is very very boring and unattractive. I will check out your suggestion. New to the web so these reviews help us newbies
    thanks Gerri

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