Many people love Google Forms because it’s an easy-to-use, free online form builder that makes polling your audience simple. However, its simplistic design and lack of features can make it difficult to customize to your exact data collection needs. If you’re looking for an alternative to Google Forms that offers more flexibility without breaking the bank, check out these online form builders that are free to use.
1. Microsoft Forms
If the end goal of your online form is data analysis, then you may prefer Microsoft Forms over Google Forms. Whether you’re polling your coworkers on the theme of your next company-wide party or looking for critical customer feedback to enhance your products, Microsoft Forms can help you execute this task quickly. Microsoft Excel makes data analysis easy, and you can import your Forms data into Excel with just a few clicks.
Like most other Microsoft apps, Microsoft Forms is a free tool within any Office365 subscription. This means Forms easily integrates with all of the other Microsoft apps, including the video-sharing service Stream.
To build a Microsoft Form, simply log in to your Office365 account and pull up the Forms app. From there, create a form from scratch or use one of Microsoft’s provided templates – it’s your choice. Once you’re finished, you can share a link or easily embed it into your website.
Unfortunately, much like Google Forms, Microsoft Forms only provides a limited number of templates and formatting features. However, there are some additional choices that Google Forms doesn’t offer, such as Likert scale and Net Promoter Score formats.
Overall, if you want charts, automated reports, and the ability to quickly do an analysis deep dive with Excel, you may be willing to deal with the formatting limitations of Microsoft Forms for the sake of your end result.
There are several ways to use Microsoft Office for free, and Microsoft Forms is one of the included apps. However, some features aren’t available for free, so you may need to research it fully before making the switch. There are various pricing schemes available for Microsoft 365 starting at $59.99 per year or $5.99 per month. This includes one user account and 1TB of storage.
Jotform (Web | Android | iOS) lets you create online forms and fillable PDFs with ease. Its drag-and-drop system makes form creation a breeze. This means even those with zero background in coding can create a fully-customized, fillable form in minutes.
Furthermore, you can receive submission responses directly in your inbox, integrate them into a CRM, save them to your company’s cloud storage system, or easily import them into your brand’s email marketing platform.
Although Jotform offers multiple paid subscription levels, many of the online form builder’s most notable features are available for free. Once you sign up for an account, you can choose to create a form from scratch, use one of Jotform’s more than 10,000 pre-made templates, or even import an existing form from a URL or PDF. Additionally, you have the option to fully customize your form – something that isn’t available with Google Forms.
One feature that really helps Jotform stand out is conditional logic. Essentially, conditional logic sets specific parameters based on a user’s previous answers. This means that each respondent only answers the questions that are most relevant to their situation.
With conditional logic, you can set specific fields to hide or appear based on a previous answer, require users to elaborate on their answer with additional text fields, or even program your form to complete calculations or add up responses. Jotform includes conditional logic in their free version, whereas competitors like Typeform charge for this feature.
Jotform also boasts numerous integration tools, which really helps it stand out from Google Forms. In total, Jotform offers integrations with over 100 apps, including Dropbox, Google Calendar, and several payment collection systems.
Unfortunately, Jotform’s free version does limit you to a total of five total active forms and 100 responses per month. However, you can deactivate forms and create new ones at any time, and your 100-response limit resets at the beginning of each month, so both of these are fairly easy to work around. But if you need more, know that Jotform’s paid subscriptions start at $24/month. This bundle includes 25 forms, 1,000 monthly subscriptions, up to 250 fields per form and more.
If you use WordPress as your website platform, then WPForms is probably the best Google Forms alternative for you. Although WPForms is technically just a simple WordPress plugin, the drag-and-drop form builder works just like most of the other suggestions on this list. However, the biggest positive for this one is that you can easily integrate your forms into your WordPress website.
The free version of WPForms – WPForms Lite – allows you to create unlimited forms and receive unlimited responses, just like Google Forms. Additionally, WPForms Lite allows you to add reCAPTCHA to your forms, which can help you avoid spam submissions from bots.
The only drawback to WPForms Lite is the limitations related to receiving and storing your form submissions. Namely, you must use the paid Pro version (starts at $39.50/year) to store results in the WordPress dashboard or export your submission entries. While you can take the email results and manually add them to a spreadsheet or other location, the ability to export and print all of your entries at once may save you time.
Typeform helps users build aesthetic, conversational forms that are easy for respondents to fill out and submit. Many people say the single-question presentation Typeform uses makes your audience feel calmer and more engaged. This format also makes it much more mobile-friendly than Google Forms, which may net you more responses.
The Typeform workspace looks similar to that of a presentation app. The interface allows you to fully customize your online form as much as you’d like. In fact, you can completely edit the form design, choose a unique theme, and change the layout of each individual question with just a few clicks.
Unlike the other builders on this list, Typeform lets you set a survey time limit and a survey closing date. Additionally, you can receive email notifications for each response or simply integrate your responses with third-party tools, like Google Sheets, email marketing platforms, and more.
There are no limitations on the number of forms you can create with Typeform’s free version. However, there are limits on the number of questions you can create per form and the number of responses you can receive per month. By and large, though, these limitations are nothing in comparison to the features you gain. It’s possible to remove all these hurdles if you decide to go for a paid subscription, which starts at $25/month with a one-year plan.
5. Zoho Forms
Anyone who knows anything about Zoho knows the company offers an impressive software suite to help business owners accomplish everything involved in running their business. Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Zoho offers an amazing alternative to Google Forms, too.
Zoho Forms (Web | Android | iOS) boasts numerous form templates and many great customization options – even with the free version. Like many other form builders on this list, Zoho Forms offers a drag-and-drop builder that makes it easy for you to add, remove, and rearrange fields until you are satisfied with your form.
Furthermore, Zoho Forms includes conditional logic so that your respondents don’t waste time on questions that don’t apply to them. It also provides survey building in seven languages, which can be great for those who poll internationally.
Like most of Zoho’s other business tools, Zoho Forms integrates with many other apps your business may use, such as Salesforce, Zapier, Office365, and any of Zoho’s other business tools. To unlock Zoho’s full power, users can opt for one of the paid subscription packages that start at $10/month for a one-year plan.
6. Survey Legend
SurveyLegend helps users build engaging, custom surveys and online forms for free. These forms can include unlimited questions and unlimited responses, and SurveyLegend’s drag-and-drop creation tool makes it easy to arrange the questions any way you want. Additionally, you can create online forms with your computer or tablet, and the forms are formatted so that your respondents can easily complete them with any device (including their smartphone).
SurveyLegend includes many advanced features for free. It provides a total of 20 different question types, including slider scales, picture selections, and Likert scales, none of which are available with Google Forms. Additionally, SurveyLegend comes with several advanced logic and branching features, which can help you offer a fully individual experience for each respondent.
Unfortunately, the free version of SurveyLegend comes with some limitations. For example, you can only have three active forms at a time. While you can delete forms you’re no longer using, this three-form limitation may not work for everyone.
Furthermore, SurveyLegend’s free subscription doesn’t allow any type of data exporting. This means you can only view your results by logging in to your SurveyLegend account. Although a variety of analytic tools are offered, the inability to export may not work for everyone. Pricing for the paid version of SurveyLegend starts at $15/month with a one-year plan.
7. Form Designer
If you’re looking for a Google Forms alternative that works with virtually any website and integrates well with other online services, look no further than Form Designer.
Unlike most other form design programs, Form Designer is a tool specifically designed to embed custom forms into your website. You can paste the code for a page or turn it into a pop-up. If you use WordPress, there’s also a plug-in you can install.
The designer tool is fairly basic but gets the job done. There aren’t many fancy options, and the free templates are fairly limited as well. I didn’t like that you can’t see the live form view, as you are adding fields to the form, a feature that several other options on this list do offer. However, it is easy to navigate the editor, add the fields you want, and grab the code you need.
Moreover, although you can make as many forms as you want, you can only add up to 10 fields per form. You can also only receive up to 100 submissions per month on the free plan. If your needs exceed that, you’ll have to move to one of the paid tiers, which start at $5.18 per month.
Zenforms has a fairly sleek design, and the builder works fairly well. You have lots of options in terms of fields you can enter. You can also add your own drawings, audio files, or attachments to the form. I also liked the fact that it allows you to send out confirmation emails to anyone who completes the form.
Unlike most of the form builders on this list, Zenforms works on desktop and mobile devices. The free version allows you to have three forms at a time and collect up to 100 responses per month. However, it only let’s you have one designer/editor per session, meaning the main benefit of Zenforms – collaboration – requires you to fork over that monthly fee, which starts at $49/month.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need coding experience to use free online form builders?
Absolutely not! The benefit of free online form builders is that they handle all of the coding for you. Most of them use drag-and-drop systems that make it easy for you to build a form for anything.
Is the data collected from online form builders secure?
Yes, the majority of online form builders use encryption and other security measures to keep any data collected safe. Most of the time, you can read about the security features on the form builder’s website.
Can I collect payments through online forms?
As you may already know, Google Forms doesn’t give you the option to collect payments directly through your form. However, several of the options on this list do offer that service if you need it. Jotform, WPForms, and Zoho Forms all integrate with popular payment collection platforms, such as PayPal and Stripe.
Image credit: Pexels All screenshots by Megan Glosson
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