The topic of building forms with Gravity Forms is so large that we created a video course that shows you how to use Gravity Forms like a pro and it’s called Learn Gravity Forms. But if you don’t have time for that right now, we’ve got some tips here that will get you up and running.
I’m sure you’ve seen lots of articles with titles like “Top Gravity Forms Tips” or “3 tips for using Gravity Forms”, well, what’s better than just three tips for using Gravity Forms? 44 Gravity Forms tips to help you get the most out of the best form builder for WordPress… Gravity Forms.
Form Editing Tips
1. Use placeholders to give advice
Entering in a placeholder value helps people understand what they should be entering in a form field.
2. Only include the most IMPORTANT fields in your form
People hate having to enter irrelevant information into forms… why do you need my shoe size if I am ordering pizza delivery? Stay on topic.
3. Check the Required box for important form fields
If you are following the above tip (above important fields) you can then make all the fields required (check the “Required” checkbox in each field).
4. Add a description to your complex / vague form fields
Use the description box in each form field to help the visitor know what to enter into the field and/or give them examples as to the types of information you re expecting.
5. Use Field Label Visibility to hide the field name
Sometimes it’s useful to hide the field name when you want to use placeholder values or you want to use a checkbox that only has a single checkbox option (like a “do you agree to the terms” type of checkbox).
6. Use a Custom Validation Message to get the information you need
Sometimes people just don’t “get it” and need some extra help. If the field description didn’t help them enough, enter in a custom validation message that will display if they don’t fill out the field.
7. Have a different admin label than what appears on the front end form
Sometimes it’s helpful for the admin to see a different label than what the website visitors see. In those cases you can use the Admin Field Label to change what the admin sees.
8. Sometimes you only want the ADMIN to have access to a certain field
If the admin needs to do some work on an entry BUT the website visitor does not need to see a field (like a “Status” or a internal tracking number) set the field Visibility to “Administrative”.
9. Use Conditional Logic to make your forms more logical
One of the most useful Gravity Forms Tips is how you can easily show and hide the visitor the form fields that they actually need by using Conditional Logic. For example, if the visitor does NOT select “Pizza” as their favorite food then the visitor does not need to see the “Favorite Pizza Topping” checkbox.
10. Use an Input Mask to get information formatted exactly how you need it
Some applications need the phone number properly formatted, some need a Social Security Number formatted exactly the same. Regardless of your needs try using the Input Mask, there are predefined ones and an option to create a custom Input Mask.
11. Ensure there is only one value in your database
Sometimes you need the visitor to enter a unique value that nobody else has ever entered into that form before. Maybe a raffle ticket number or a social security number. Use the “No Duplicates” checkbox to make sure a unique value is entered.
12. Give the user some privacy
When using a Single line box you can hide what the visitor is typing into the box by checking the box for “Enable password input”. Doing this will make ****** appear in the textbox and not the actual characters they are typing. This is great for personal information being entered in a public setting (think a new patient form in a doctor’s waiting room).
13. Stop people from rambling on and on and on and on
When using a Paragraph Text field enter in a number in the Maximum Characters box to stop people from writing a short story in your form that you’ll hate having to read.
14. Use Field Size to shorten things up
Some form fields (like Email and Paragraph Text) give you the option of changing the Field Size to Small / Medium / Large. This changes the visual layout of the field but not change what the visitor can enter into the field.
15. Use Bulk Add / Predefined Choices to save massive amounts of time
How long would it take you to type out all the countries in the world? How about all the states in the United States? Use this feature when adding in Drop Down menus to your form. BONUS: You can also save your entries as a new custom choice to use other forms.
16. Multi Select OR Checkboxes?
These two form fields are very similar. They both allow you to select more than one option related to thing however if you’ve got a LOT of option the Multi Select will keep the choices in a small area as opposed to checkboxes that will explode them all over the screen.
17. Get visitors to enter a number between 123 and 788
Using the “Range” feature available with the Number fields you can specify a minimum number and a maximum number.
18. Make a form that calculates
Number fields can calculate other number fields simple drag in multiple number fields and check the “Enable Calculation” box in one of them and enter in a formula using standard operators and merge tage that reference other fields.
19. Collect information you haven’t thought of
When using Radio Buttons you can enable the “other” option which gives the visitor a text field to enter in a unique option and have that option still be associated with the radio button (as opposed to using an additional Single Line Text field with conditional logic).
20. SSShhhh, don’t tell
Sometimes you need to pass information to the form WITHOUT the visitor knowing about it. Using Hidden fields does this just make sure you enter in the hidden default value!
21. Add a YouTube video or image to your form
Using the HTML field gives you a lot of flexibility to enhance your form. Using this widget gives you the ability to add any HTML element like headings, lines, YouTube videos, Google Maps, Photos, Embedded Tweets and more.
BONUS: You can also disable the default margins to help line things up in your form.
22. Group related fields using Sections
Help visitors understand the type of information the should be filling out by separating related fields into logic sections.
23. Have a HUGE form? Break it up into Pages
Large forms (like insurance forms) can contains over 100 form fields, help your visitors not become overwhelmed and break the form up into easy-to-fill-out Pages of related fields.
24. What’s your FULL name?
Using the Name field you can toggle additional fields like Prefix (example: Mrs., Dr, etc…), Middle Name and Suffix (example: Junior, Senior, etc…)
25. Make it easy to collect dates
The Date field has many options you can use such as enabling a calendar picker, drop down fields and even choose the data format that the visitor can submit.
26. Hey buddy, ya got tha time?
Giving people a Single Line Text field and asking them to input a time (like for an appointment) will lead to a lack of consistency in the times that are submitted. What if the visitor entered in “Sometime in the afternoon”… what exact time is that? OR maybe they’ll type “9”… is that 9am or 9pm? People are not precise in their communication so eliminate future problems and use a time field so they have to put in an exact time with AM/PM specification.
27. Save time and use the Address block
Sometimes you need to collect the city and zip but not the street address. Sometimes you need to collect the country and state… instead of using Single Line Text fields for all of those just drag in the Address field and unselect the fields you do not want.
BONUS: You can save your visitors time by selecting a default country or state if you know where most of your visitors will be coming from.
28. Confirm your email
There are no Gravity Forms Tips to stop people from entering in misspelled or incorrect information but sometimes people will accidentally type the wrong email address and when that happens you won’t have a valid way to get in touch with them. That sucks. Help stop accidental email typos by checking the Enable Email Confirmation box in the Email field.
29. Make uploading files easier (and safer)
Let’s say that you want someone to upload 6 photos from their recent vacation… you COULD add 6 upload fields or just check the box to Enable Multi-File Upload. Another problem with letting people upload files is that there are some people that will cause problems and upload viruses, gigantic movie files that kill your disc space and other not-nice things. Control what people can upload by only allowing certain file extensions (like only .jpgs) and enter in a file limit.
30. Prove that you are a human
Just like the mean people that might want to upload a virus through your form, other people create bots that SPAM form with ads for Viagra and offers to give you millions of dollars if you enter in your back account information. Help prevent this crap by getting a free reCaptcha key from Google and using a CAPTCHA block in your form.
31. Do you agree to these terms?
Using the Consent block allows you to enter in your terms and conditions right into that form field and when someone fills it out a copy of your terms and conditions is saved with their submission. This is useful to keep track of what people are agreeing to. #protectyourself
32. Share your story
One of the most UNDERused Gravity Forms tips if letting people add their own posts to the site. Imagine being able to let the public build out your website with content? Yeah, Gravity Forms can do that! Use the Post Fields blocks which include fields for Title, Excerpt, Body, Features Image and more to build a community driven website.
33. Sell a bunch of different ways
Depending on the scenario, the Gravity Forms “Product” field can let people select a product multiple ways. You can use a dropdown, radio buttons, user defined price (like a donation), a hidden field (everytime someone fills out the form they are buying one of the product) and it can even perform a calculation using input from other fields.
34. How many would you like?
Depending on how you chose to present the product (see above point) you might need to also give the visitor the ability to purchase more than one. Using the Quantity field you can connect (map) the field to an existing product field.
35. How much am I spending?
You can setup a simple ecommerce store with dozens of product that include variations with different prices so it might be hard for the shopper to remember exactly how much they are spending in this transaction. To solve this problem, add in a Total field and the total amount that the person will be charged will be visible (it figures this out by adding up all the product fields).
Gravity Forms Tips: Form Settings
36. Nice button you got there!
On the Form Settings screen you can change the button style from a CSS button to an image button. This is useful if you want to make a fancy button image in Photoshop and use that as a button.
37. Where did the submit button go?
Using conditional logic on forms fields to show/hide fields is really useful, did you know that you can also use that functionality on submit buttons? For example, you can hide the submit button from even appearing on the the screen if the visitor does not fill out a certain field.
38. Don’t worry, you can come back!
If you have a really long form and you want people to be able to take a break while filling it out, you can activate the Save & Continue feature. This saves what the visitor has filled out so they can close their browser and come back at a later time to complete the form.
39. Only 50 people can claim this free cruise!
You can limit the amount of entries a form can receive, so you can do something like “I am giving away 10 free game codes everyday this month, just fill out this form”. You can limit the form by total entries, entries per day, per month, etc…
40. Too busy to add your form?
You can schedule your form to appear at a certain time and date without you needing to add the shortcode at that precise moment. You can use the Schedule Form feature and give it a start date/time and an end date/time.
41. Who are you? Only members can fill out this form!
Some forms are only for registered users only and a quick way to protect those forms from UNregistered people is to enable the “Require users to be logged in” feature.
Gravity Forms Tips: Confirmations
42. After the form is filled out… then what?
That bold sentence is essentially what Confirmations is all about… what happens AFTER the form is filled out. You can display a message (example: “Thank you for contacting us”) or redirect the user to a different page on the site (example: a “Thank You” page) or redirect them to a completely different URL (example: “Fill this form out and we’ll redirect you to eBay”).
43. You are not limited to just ONE confirmation
Something that a lot of people overlook is that you can setup MULTIPLE confirmation based on conditional logic. Want to redirect users to Facebook if they like pizza? Want to display a YouTube video if they checked the “I like videos” box? You can do all of that with multiple confirmations using conditional logic.
44. NEXT LEVEL SKILL: Redirect Query Strings
Ready for one of the most an advanced Gravity Forms Tips: Let’s say that you are redirecting the user to a different URL (either on the current website or to another website) and you want to include a piece of information from the form into that URL… Redirect Query Strings is how you do it. For example, if you have a form that asks the person’s favorite laptop manufacturer, you can have the form redirect to Amazon and automatically search the name of the company. This is very similar how the submitted trigger variable works in WP Triggers (see it here).
Get Even Better @ Gravity Forms
If you want to really master Gravity Forms, we offer a 3+ hour video course that will walk you through the most basic Gravity Forms features to the most advanced. You’ll be able to charge more money and provide more value to your customers. The Learn Gravity Forms course has recently been updated to include the latest features.