I for one happen to associate forms with a mundane exercise that usually needs me to provide information which will then be stored somewhere for future reference. So any kind of legal forms, inquiry forms, registration forms or contact forms….simply put, all formal paperwork is something I would segregate into the ‘mundane activities’ bucket.
When I first stumbled upon Gravity Forms I liked it. No! wait, I really liked it. I am sure my reason to like Gravity Forms is much the same as many others – Gravity Forms now made it possible to simplify the tasks I just added to the mundane bucket. So now you do not have to be a developer to be able to take your paperwork online. All you need Gravity Forms and a slight learning curve.
But all this is not what I am here to talk about. It’s good use of Gravity Forms, agreed.
Today however I am going to talk about the many unconventional ways of using Gravity forms. These unconventional ways might definitely need some amount of expertise but if you manage to get it there is lots you can do with Gravity Forms apart from using it as a form builder
Here’s a sneak peek of what you can do!
5 Unconventional Ways of Using Gravity Forms
1. Gravity Forms as an eCommerce Store
An eCommerce store arrangement is one of the most unconventional ways of using Gravity Forms to fulfill the purchase process of products in your shop.
While right now an eCommerce store with Gravity Forms might sound absolutely bizarre, it will seem very obvious to you once I tell you how you can use it. (Yes that’s how you will feel believe me)
Here’s how you can use Gravity Forms in an eCommerce environment.
Imagine you specialize in selling only a single product like wristbands on your website which can be personalized.
A logical process for the purchase of such a product would be choosing the wristband, personalizing it by choosing the color and texture, adding the text you would like to see on the wristband, choosing the font and color of the text that you would like to see on the wristband, and providing the quantity and size of the product.
This entire process can be done using a Gravity Forms and will be something similar to the image below.
Just by using the provided form fields like text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, drop down boxes etc you can set up an entire eCommerce store.
Interesting, isn’t it?
2. Online Admission Process with Gravity Forms
The drag and drop option of the plugin is the most obvious feature that makes the plugin suitable to fulfill the online admission process requirement without much development knowledge.
Apart from that, the availability of various fields such as text field, checkbox, drop down box, radio button, email field, date field etc simplify the form creation process allowing you to source specific information from the applicants.
The two most important fields in the online admission process context would be Page and File Upload.
The Page field would mainly allow you to divide the application form into logical sections such as Personal Information, Professional Information, Educational Information, Residency etc thereby saving the applicant from being bombarded with request for information in a single go.
The File Upload option is another important field because it allows you to take information such as transcripts, as attachments from the applicants.
3. Job Application System with Gravity Forms
I asked a room full of developers at WisdmLabs which plugin would they use to develop a job application system in WordPress. The standard reply I got from each one of them was that they would use the WP job Manager plugin or similar plugin.
Well, because obviously that is what the plugin is meant for – a job portal website. If that is the case then why would anyone want to use the Gravity Forms plugin?
Let us assume that you do not have to build a job portal website. Instead, you are just another business person who wants to put up the available positions and provide a way for probable candidates to apply for the positions using a form on your website. This is the kind of scenario when Gravity Forms comes into the picture.
Not only can you use the form builder to design the application form for the jobs available in your organization you can also use it for other purposes such as an inquiry form, contact form etc.
Bottom line – many types of forms, one plugin.
Also, you do not have to be restricted to the forms provided by WP Job Manager plugin. You can add as many fields as required and source as much information as you want from the job applicants helping you evaluate their profiles better.
However, if you want to build a job portal you might want to consider a plugin like WP Job Manager. Here’s a detailed post on building a job portal on a budget with the WP Job Manager plugin.
3. Gravity Forms as a Quiz/Survey Plugin
Surveys form an important part of market research for businesses to understand the requirements of the customer. Apart from the traditional survey methods, online surveys have become very popular as they are less intrusive, they cover a larger audience and the most economical in terms of cost and manpower.
An important aspect of surveys though is that you need the information provided by the end user to be stored in the database.
If you want to create such a survey, quiz or questionnaire then Gravity Forms is your go to plugin.
It allows you to create any type of questions that you want using the various fields. So you can allow users to select multiple options as answers using the checkboxes, a single option using radio buttons, or if you want a detailed description then a text box.
Further, it saves the information submitted by a user to the backend.
Lastly, you save using one extra plugin as Gravity Forms can be used for multiple purposes such as an inquiry form, contact form and many others including the ones mentioned in this article.
5. Gravity Forms as a Front End Posting Plugin
Letting individuals from diverse backgrounds write for your blog is often considered as a good idea. Not only does it help bring in a mixture of ideas to the blog but it also helps you increase traffic on your blog.
Now there are three ways in which you can accept these posts. The first is as a simple text format using email which you can later set up by yourself at the back end and publish it. This option while viable is tedious.
The second is create and author account for the guest bloggers using which he can set up the article at the back end. All you’ll have to do is review and publish the article. While a relatively easy option, not everyone might want to use this option for security reasons.
If you have abandoned the first two options then you can read on, as the third method as it involves one of the unconventional ways of using Gravity Forms. Here you design a Gravity Form to allow guest authors to post articles from the front end. (Hint: Link the blog post fields with the Gravity Forms fields)
Just like with posting blogs you can also use Gravity Forms to allow users to post events on your ticketing website, products on your eCommerce website, courses on your online learning management system so on and so forth.
So these were the five lesser known ways of using Gravity Forms in your WordPress website that I came across. I am sure though that there are many more and I am just an inch away from discovering them. I’ll update this article as I do. In the meanwhile let me know if there are any unconventional ways of using Gravity Forms that you can think?
Images by freepik