We make a lot of website forms. And by a lot, I mean a whole freaking lot.
These days, just about every site needs a least 1-2 contact/sign-up forms just to get by, and although form-creation software has gotten somewhat easier, we’re still pretty much in the dark ages when it comes to this stuff (even most WordPress plugins are clunky at best).
Lucky for us, a few weeks back we stumbled across JotForm, and their new in-browser form designer. I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical at first – I’ve handled quite a few of these plugins, and they all seem to be lacking in major ways, but JotForm seems considerably different.
Instead of focusing on the back-end, JotForm is all about showing you the real, live experience your users will have when your site launches – and let me tell you, that kind of front-end thinking can be an incredible time saver.
In fact, we liked the tool so much that we decided to give a quick review:
Quick side-note: We’re not affiliated with JotForm in any way, we just like their product
Overall Grade: A+
1. For an in-browser tool, it’s pretty fast.
In-browser form tools tend to be very slow (especially when they’re based around WordPress). I spent over an hour inside of JotForm this week, and I’ve seen none of the performance issues that tend to be emblematic for this sort of thing, which is awfully impressive for me. I want the ability to create forms fast, and performance is a surprisingly big part of that.
2. Fantastic control
The typical form creator allows you to edit minor design elements (font-color, font, arrangement of input fields, etc.), but JotForm goes quite a bit further. You can directly edit background colors, error messages, label styles, and a host of other options all with a few clicks. This is an excellent time saver.
3. Excellent transparency
If you’ve ever tried to make an online form, you’ve probably experienced the frustration that is the “live form error debacle.” Sure, your form might look nice in the creator’s WYSIWYG editor, but when you put it out in the real world and add a series of error message styles, things look drastically different.
JotForm has a “show error state” button that allows you to quickly see how error messages will appear, and make some changes to their aesthetic. Needless to say, this is a really, really nice feature to have.
Cons (and we only have one):
The CSS area is effective, but could use a little bit of additional explanation.
When I first opened the panel, it took me a few seconds to understand that JotForm offers you the ability to directly input extra CSS, but doesn’t necessarily show existing CSS. However, after the quick learning curve, this is a great menu to have.
The Bottom Line:
JotForm is very possibly the best form creation tool on the planet right now, and is a must-have for busy developers.
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