If you have heard about Google Forms, and have been wondering if it’s the right tool for you to use, then this is for you!
Recently, I’ve started seeing Google’s Forms gain popularity, which prompted me to write this post to explain what that does and how it compares with other WordPress contact forms.
If you have a Google account (for any Google services, like Gmail, Google Calendar, YouTube, Google+, etc.), you already have access to Google Forms. While you are logged into your Google account, click on the Google apps icon on the top-right of the screen (the icon with 9 squares), and scroll down to find “Forms.” Once you click on the Forms icon, you are ready to use the Google Forms. Just follow the on-screen instruction to create your first form.
(Or, if you are a Google Drive user, you can also access your Forms from Google Drive, too.)
How are Google Forms Different from Popular WordPress Contact Form plugins?
You can find many WordPress contact form plugins with a variety of functions. Most of them are available for free with an option to upgrade to the premium versions with even more functions. Here are some popular WordPress plugins to create contact forms:
- Jetpack’s Contact Form (really easy to use)
- Ninja Forms
- Caldera Forms
- Gravity Forms (a Premium Plugin)
With these WordPress plugins, you can create not only a simple contact form, but also more complex questionnaires, surveys, conditional display, and more. I personally use the premium plugin Gravity Forms on my sites because it’s very intuitive, easy to learn, and it gives me the power to do almost anything with it.
OK, so then why would you want to check out Google Forms?
Here are two major advantages with Google Forms:
First, it’s amazingly easy to use. Google Forms provides basic templates (categorized by the purpose), and it’s interface so beautifully simple, there is no learning curve. The chances are, you won’t even need to look at their tutorials to learn how to use it.
And secondly, it’s FREE to use! Considering what you can do with these Forms (read more on this below), it’s such a great deal.
Watch this video to get an overview of Google Forms.
Google Forms Features
Here are some of the things you can do with Google Forms:
- Collect contact information (simple contact info, job application, etc.)
- Get feedback from event attendees
- Receive orders/work request (without collecting money)
- Use them as company forms (like time off request)
- Take registrations/RSVPs for an event
- Conduct survey
- Give out quizzes
- Ask for evaluation/assessment
- Find a meeting time that works for attendees
- Take a quick poll
(and you’ll find ready-made templates for each of these)
And these are just some of the key features of Google Forms:
- Lets you see and analyze the collected data easily in a visual way.
- Also creates a google sheet with collected data.
- Provides variety of question formats (text, radio buttons, drop-downs, etc.)
- Allows you control how responders can submit the form (limiting one response per user, allowing the user to change their answers after submissions, etc.)
- Lets you send a copy of the responses to the respondents, if preferred.
In the video below, you will get an in-depth view of different ways to view the collected forms data people give you, plus Google Forms Add-ons that can add even more functions. You’ll find how powerful Google Forms can be:
(and if you want to geek out even further, Zapier also offers many zaps are available to integrate Google Forms with other applications)
Incorporating Google Forms in Your WordPress Site
Just like embedding a Google Calendar, embedding a Google Form in a WordPress Site is just a matter of copying the code and pasting it into the text view of a page or a post! Once your form is ready, just click on the Send button at the top, and in the next screen, go to the “<>” tab to grab the code.
If you are not comfortable dealing with HTML code, this Plugin Google Forms WordPress Plugin will make it easier for you to add the form to your WordPress site.
With this free plugin, you can do more than what Google Forms alone allows you to do, such as specifying a “thank you” page. If you decide to use Google Forms, I recommend that you check out that plugin.
Want more on forms and opt ins? Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post entitled the “Difference between Contact Forms & Opt-in Boxes” to explain how a contact form differs from an email marketing opt in box, and when you want to use one or the other.
Great article, as always, with tons of useful information. I can see many uses for Google Forms and the plug-ins. The one part I didn’t pick up on was when it’s better to use Google forms and when it is better to use a WordPress plugin.
The decision to use Google Forms vs. a WordPress plugin is just personal preference. It’s if you want to dive into the world of Google Forms and have that be the method you use. I personally use Gravity Forms because I find it intuitive and easy to use, and I like the look of it. So just check them all out and see which works for you 🙂