Jotform vs. Wufoo: battle of the free web form builders

Although we are totally in love with Gravity Forms as our #1 choice for creating forms, you can only use it with WordPress. Therefore, when a client came to us with a landing page in html, we had to start looking for other options and here’s what I found:

Wufoo

Wufoo’s fun and clear user interface

I wanted to love Wufoo – it’s probably the most popular online form builder – and how cute is their logo?  The user interface is so amazingly user friendly and easy to use. The free plan gets you up to 100 submissions a month but there are some major features that are lacking. I know we internet peeps expect almost everything to be free these days, so it’s hard to complain about their amazing free product missing a few features. But for me, these features were huge and meant not being able to use the free version. Here are the 2 major drawbacks of the free Wufoo plan:

  1. The “report abuse” link in the form.  After I filled out the form and published it on the client’s site, I was surprised to see that there was a “Report Abuse” link next to the submit button.  Ummm.. what? I tried searching for a way to remove the “report abuse” link but discovered that there wasn’t one and I would have to wait until it just disappears after a “reasonable amount of time”.  Well, I didn’t have the luxury of waiting around for Wufoo’s algorithm to determine whether or not my form was spammy or their vague definition of time. Of course if you upgrade your plan, the link magically disappears.

    I was glad to see that I wasn’t the only one upset by the intrusive link. In fact, I enjoyed reading someone’s comment in the Wufoo forum about how she planned an event with Santa and the “report abuse” could be misconstrued to be reporting child abuse!! That’s no good.
  2. No option for a “Thank You” page: Our client wanted people to fill out their form and then be taken to a Thank You page. But that option isn’t available in the free Wufoo package which was upsetting.

I think Wufoo’s website should be clearer about the limited features on the free plan.

 

JotForm

Another online form builder, Jotform, came up very high in my search results. This is a great alternative to Wufoo because I was able to set up a normal form (without a report abuse link) and enter in a URL for a Thank You page. However, here are the problems I had with Jotform:

  1. Although Jotform’s interface loads really fast and you never even have to click save, there is not enough distinction between the tabs in the editing area. I was never quite sure which tab I was in and kept clicking around a lot.
  2. I had to do some fancy CSS footwork to get the form to look right. There was a big margin to the left of the form which was really problematic since it made half the form was hidden from view. Also, I wanted to create a dropdown select box that only listed countries so I had to use the Address field and hide all the other fields (street address, city, state, zip code) except for country. In order to fix all the CSS, I had to go into Jotform’s editor under Preferences > Form Styles.
  3. There was a javascript conflict on my site so I had to switch from the javascript embed to the iframe embed code and then it ran smoothly.

In conclusion, Wufoo and Jotform are both great services, but if you’re looking for a more complete free solution, Jotform is the way to go.

Responses (11)

Fanaxidiel

October 26, 2012 11:06 am

I wonder why there aren’t some “free – ads supported” services like these: the storage space required for a form submission is really little and I don’t understand why it is so expensive to obtain more than 100 free monthly submissions, especially considering that Google grants 100% free forms, which have anyway low graphics and lack of some functions.

Alex

December 22, 2012 4:04 pm

We were test driving a lot of different form builder services like FormSite, FormStack, PandaForms and etc but stopped at PHPForms because of good features/pricing ratio

Nathan

January 11, 2013 1:05 am

In regards to this portion of your review of JotForm: “Also, I wanted to create a dropdown select box that only listed countries so I had to use the Address field and hide all the other fields (street address, city, state, zip code) except for country. In order to fix all the CSS, I had to go into Jotform’s editor under Preferences > Form Styles.”

If you just choose add a drop down field you will find a list of special options to assign to the drop down. One of those options is a list of countries. So if you go with this option then you don’t have to use the Address field and edit the CSS to only be able to use the country field. There are also quite a few other special values that you can assign to a drop down, such as State, State Abbreviation, Canadian Province, etc…

mark

January 16, 2013 5:11 am

Hi! I’ve also been test driving Wufoo and JotForm and feel the exact same way! I wanted to LOVE Wufoo it’s so warm and cuddly and easy to use – but I think what happened was that as Wufoo got started and began to grow and entered into discussions with SurveyMonkey about being acquired they stopped ALL development until the transition with SurveyMonkey was complete.

In addition to the issues you raise about important features missing from Wufoo and which ARE present in JotForm – well there is another BIG one:

—> The ability to print out ALL form entries with a single click – in Wufoo is you want to print a form entry for a paper record of the form a user filled out, you can only do it one record/form at a time! In JotForm, there’s a dedicated PDF button to generate a complete printout.

FYI – The Wufoo Blog has a posting today (1/15/2013) that they have are hiring a programmer and product manager and are going to take Wufoo to the next level – so it looks like the SurveyMonkey transition is over and I may be able to actually give some and get some Wufoo love later this year!

Ij888

April 15, 2013 9:36 am

Can I use the free account wufoo offers to receive emails from a feedback back form on a coming soon website?

Sugar

May 3, 2013 4:28 am

My only HUGE issue with Jotforms is that I keep getting form submissions that are NOT being emailed to me. I happened to log in one day to find 9 NINE unintentionally ignored inquiries in my form. I was beyond not happy. lol. I am switching asap.

joe

May 8, 2013 8:05 am

Hey,
In jot form you dont need to add the address field and then remove other ones.
If you want countries in the dropdown then try the special tool from the toolbox. It populates the dropdown automatically.

laura

May 15, 2013 2:07 pm

Hi there! For me, the power of an online form builder resides in its usability; if it lacks a user-friendly interface (the case of Jotform), it only chases me away. As of Wufoo, they lately became quite restrictive in policy and in the storage space they offer, as someone mentioned above.

The best web tools imho are the intuitive semi-automatical ones that also give you a lot of flexibility to customize the output if you wish.

I find 123ContactForm to offer the best combo in this field: professional forms that you build really easy and with plenty of features at hand. They have top graphics, largest storage space on the market (plus they integrate with Dropbox!) and pricing is fair.

Bill Thomas

May 16, 2013 4:20 pm

Hi! As a web designer I get asked this question (not this exact question) of which form builder is best all the time I’ve tried all the usual suspects of Wufoo, FormStack, 123ContactForm, FormAssembly there are hunderds of these things then I came across FormMule which let me create Unlimited forms with unlimited fields for free. It looks nice and just works I’m 10 days in so I’ll let you guys know if I run into any issues.

Tim

January 24, 2014 4:34 pm

I use JotForm because of the reliability and whats more they have a API Directory so you can get more features. For example with JotForm you can receive SMS notifications when someone fills in your form using the jotText app, which is incredibly easy to use.

http://jottext.eighttwentydesign.com

Sri

February 25, 2014 8:34 am

I too wanted to create free surveys and was surprised to see the free versions limiting to 100. That’s a very low! Being frustrated I started working my own solution a year back. I am almost done. Right now I am making the marketing website and giving finishing touches. Being a tech person I am finding it very hard doing wordsmithing :). All I want to do is make form building free, simple and quick. Let’s hope my endeavor helps others like me…

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