CaptainForm – A Hero Form Builder
CaptainForm is a five-star WordPress plugin that takes form building to another level. Forms were never a top priority for CMS developers. Basic functionality exists in most content management systems, however, implementation is limited. Other than basic subscription or contact forms, you are limited in what you can do with built-in functionality. Even the almighty “Captain” WordPress, has some basic forms superpowers. But that’s why superheroes need sidekicks.
CaptainForm is available in a free tier, and it’s more than enough to help you quickly design the forms you’ve always wanted. Download the plugin or use the WordPress plugin installer, install it like any other plugin, activate and you are all set.
You may want to take a look at the quick tour video to get started, but CaptainForm is one of the most intuitive and straightforward plugins I’ve encountered.
Easy to Use Editor
It’s amazing the freedom you’ll enjoy when designing forms. The drag and drop form creator works across any scenario. Create a form from the plugin dashboard, preview the form and adjust the form according to your needs.
You’ll never experience any glitches. No matter how many elements and components I’ve thrown in, the builder did not slow down my browser at all.
Before CaptainForm, I’ve used a rather nice form plugin, but I had to install additional add-ons for certain features such as payments or analytics. And that’s bad from a user experience standpoint.
CaptainForm needs no additional extensions to save the day. No inconsistencies, pure, streamlined user experience. I like that!
Ready in Less Than 10 Minutes
It took me less than 10 minutes to install the plugin and create a new form from a predefined template. The intuitive interface is fluent and consistent.
All the options are there where you expect them to be. In addition, handy tutorials will help you build some of the most popular types of forms.
Create a new Form
It’s Not Who I Am Underneath, But What I Do That Defines Me. – Bruce Wayne
But enough with the small talk. Real heroes don’t talk, they act. Click the “New Form” button, and you’ll be presented with a variety of choices. Start with a blank form or choose from a list of preset templates that cover everything from basic contact forms to polls, quizzes, surveys, registration forms and more that cover various needs and industries.
This is a useful feature for casual bloggers who want to spend as little time as possible designing forms and for entrepreneurs or marketers who need extra refinement.
Start with a blank template and drag and drop various fields, checkboxes, radios, etc., and some advanced components such as pictures, price, maps, upload fields and more, and arrange them the way you want. The form builder cleverly divides basic and advanced fields, boosting your productivity without overwhelming you with the plethora of options (superpowers) available.
If you are in a hurry or looking for inspiration, start a form based on one of the available templates. Inside these two tabs, you will find everything you will need to create the perfect form.
Click on a field, and, depending on the field type, you’ll get various customization options, specific to that field type. You can access special options from the advanced tab.
The overall experience is fluent and straightforward. The options are intelligently grouped in basic and advanced sets. Additionally, convenient tooltips will guide you through the process.
You can create complex forms with multiple pages, by using CaptainForm’s pagination options. Various options are available, starting with simple numbers to fancy numbers or percentages. A progress bar will assist users through the process of filling out a multi-page form.
You can have a look at your form by clicking the preview button. Switch back to editor to add retouches or, click on the settings button to add some unique and powerful features to your form.
Here you’ll be able to enable notifications on form submission. You will need to configure the email address to receive the submissions from your form by pressing the edit button to change the email. To keep things tidy, you can customize the email header and subject.
You can configure multiple recipients to deliver notifications upon form submission.
Further, you can add an entry ID to help you better manage your entries and additional user information such as IP, country or browser at the end of the message. Bonus features like attaching a pdf file of the submission or SMS notifications are available for paid tiers.
For a touch of personality, you can enable auto-emails upon form submission, redirect your users to a page of your site or show them a nice thank you message. In my opinion, using this option is a must, so, it’s good to have them.
The theme builder has predefined color themes for your forms. Each theme can be customized, including custom CSS.
Additional customization for buttons, backgrounds and alert messages can be tweaked with a few clicks. On the right side, a live preview of your form will reflect your changes on the go. It’s convenient and useful.
3rd Party Apps
CaptainForm works great with other apps, including various email marketing apps such as ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, VerticalResponse and iContact.
You’ll also be able to integrate the plugin with CRM apps like SalesForce, Top Producer, Zoho CRM, Pipeline Deals or Marketo and event with file management apps such as Dropbox, Google Drive and even project management tools like Smartsheet and Evernote.
You can also use CaptainForm with Google Calendar for event management. Zendesk also supports CaptainForm, so, with this plugin, you’ll cover any scenarios. Developers will absolutely enjoy the integration with WebHooks.
You can use CaptainForm to sell products and services through the order form. You can also add taxes and discounts, and there is an advanced calculator to help you get the numbers right. The plugin supports more than ten payment processors including PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Sage Pay, Braintree, Sisow and more. Use them simultaneously so that you won’t lose any customers. Another great feature is that, in addition to fixed payments, you can also enable recurring payments for your products or services.
As for discounts, you can assign as many coupon codes as you want to your order form. Obviously, you can name the discounts any way you want. Discounts can be fixed or percentage based.
To secure your form from external threats, CaptainForm comes with SSL encryption by default. Additionally, you’ll also get a broad range of security features such as:
- Password protection
- Anti-spam protection
- Country filters
- IP limitation
- Submission limits
Built-in Captcha support will keep spammers away.
Here you can set-up conditional rules for your forms. For example, you can use conditional logic on forms to hide or show different elements of a form based on the user’s input. It’s a feature that the power user will enjoy a lot. With a little patience, you can set-up an admission form for a university. (Guess what, I am already doing that!)
In the rules section, you can also trigger autoresponder on a particular user action. It’s convenient for onboarding, purchases, enrollments and anything that warrants an autoresponder. Just please, add a little bit of creativity to automatic e-mails. We all hate blank emails.
An excellent feature that will allow building multiple language forms. You can add as many languages as needed and customize everything from field labels to error messages or system messages.
Users will get the option to switch from the selection field in the top-right corner of a form, allowing users to select their preferred language.
Publish Your Form
Once you are happy with your form, save it and click the “Publish” button where you have four options for displaying the form on your website. Most of the time you’ll use the shortcode option. Forms are responsive, so they will look great anywhere you need to fit them in. Still, if you’re going to place your form in a widget, don’t forget to optimize the form for this particular position.
- Shortcode: Put generated code in a specific page or a post
- Widget: Add the form in a widget section
- Function call: Copy and paste the code into a theme file
- Popup: Make your forms popup on a trigger event
CaptainForm is also pretty good at analytics. All form submissions are securely stored in the Submissions section, where you can review, edit, export and print. You can also generate charts for a graphical presentation of data.
One thing to note is that you can opt to store your data on CaptainForm storage server which is hosted on Amazon Cloud or host them on your server.
Great support is essential for any plugin. The developers behind CaptainForm have it covered well with chat and e-mail support. Additionally, they provide support through the Plugin Directory and even by Skype. While they advertise a 16/5 support guarantee, they had no problem assisting me during a weekend, when I had issues with payment configurations. Anyway, keep out of trouble during the weekend. Even heroes need a rest.
You shouldn’t run into any trouble with plugins, unless you do something blatantly wrong. There is also an extensive knowledgebase covering all functionality, so, you shouldn’t worry about running out of options.
CaptainForm is free to use forever, thanks to the generous free tier, which comes with three forms, 15 fields, 500 secure entries and 100 MB of storage space.
If you need more, get ready to enroll in the superhero academy to become an apprentice. The Apprentice tier is $35/year, and you’ll get unlimited forms and fields, 5,000 secure entries, 500MB storage, five app integrations and more.
With the Master tier, priced at $95/year, you’ll get three site licenses, 20,000 secure entries, 2GB storage and 14 app integrations.
The Hero level comes with unlimited site licenses, 100,000 secure entries, 10GB storage, integration with all 24 apps available, payment integration and more for $195 per year.
All plans come with SSL encryption and super-fast support. Taking into account the multitude of features and options that are bundled in the plugin, you have a powerful tool to build a subscriber list for your marketing needs, subscribers to your email marketing lists, generate leads or contacts and manage your projects efficiently.
Usually the heroes get all the praise, but sometimes the sidekick is doing the hard work. That’s why CaptainForm is a must-have addition to WordPress when you need more than a basic contact form. It’s a powerful plugin, with tons of features, excellent support and bulletproof code. Pricing is appropriate, and you won’t feel robbed or coerced into switching to a superior plan.