This JotForm review is from my personal experience using both the free and paid versions for myself and my clients over the last few months. I will be focusing on the free version of their form builder even though I’ve personally upgraded to a paid version for my own business needs.
I would consider the JotForm free form builder to be the go-to choice for any small business that needs to use web forms. While there are other good options available like Wufoo, I find that the amount of flexibility JotForm offers outshines other options. Of course, like any 3rd party application, JotForm won’t meet every need.
JotForm Pros & Cons
There are several great features about the free JotForm account that stand out to me.
1. No need for an account
When I first started looking into Jotform, I was impressed by how they offer the ability to create a webform without having to create an account. While I think having an account would be more beneficial, its cool that you don't need to have one to create a form.
2. Unlimited Forms
One of the features that attracted me to JotForm is that a free account can have an unlimited amount of forms. Most small businesses probably wouldn't need this, but its nice that they offer it without having to pay for the feature.
3. 100 Form Submissions a Month
Even though this is technically a limitation, most small businesses won't exceed 100 submissions in any given month so I still think its a generous number.
4. Collect Up To 10 Payments a Month
As part of the 100 submissions a month, free accounts can accept up to 10 secure payments a month. Compared to other solutions out there that only allow payments on paid accounts, this is a great free feature for a small business looking to collect online payments. Using this secure form shouldn't be in lew of having a secure certificate on your website, but it does protect the data that is transmitted.
5. LOTS of 3rd Party Integrations
One of the best features I found when using JotForm was the amount of integrations they offer. These integrations are all free and include payment processors like PayPal or Authorize.net, email services like MailChimp or Constant Contact, CRMs like Infusionsoft or Aweber and many more. There are hundreds of integrations for almost every situation.
6. Email Notifications
Email notifications are pretty standard these days, but what I found useful is that in JotForm I'm able to customize the message that gets sent out. If you leave it alone they have a nice standard email that goes out, but you're not stuck with it. You can make it say whatever you want and add in form field values within your text. I personally like to use this with the subject line. For instance, whenever someone fills out my contact form, I get an email that says "John Doe Filled Out a Contact Form at TheCMSGuy.com". John Doe in this instance would be the first and last name of the person filling out the form.
7. Custom Thanks URL
As simple of a feature as this is, I was amazed at how Wufoo only offered this as a paid feature. Thankfully, JotForm allows custom thanks pages as another option to their own thank you message. Having the ability to go to a thanks page on your own domain is huge for tracking conversions inside Google Analytics. I give a big kudos to JotForm for making this available to all accounts.
While JotForm does so many things right, there are some things that could be improved.
1. Poor User Interface
It took me while to get use to JotForm's interface. The form creator has two main tabs, one primary tab that shows the different settings for the form field, and another tab that lets you set the thanks page URL, create email notifications, set up integrations and generate embed code for your site. While this sounds easy enough, its actually hard to tell where the different tabs are. I find the overall design to be of a lower quality and not up to par with the aesthetically appealing interface of Wufoo.
2. Limited Secure Form Submissions SEE UPDATE BELOW While I do think its generous to limit payments to only 10 per month for a free account, I don't think that only allowing 10 secure form submissions a month is very useful to small businesses. All form submissions should be allowed to be secure. Since there is only a max of 100 submissions a month anyways, it doesn't make sense that they can't all be secure submissions. Transferring secure data has become more important than ever and with other services offering it without limitation, Jotform would be wise to change this.
**October 20th, 2015 Update: JotForm recently made a very beneficial change the security of their forms. As on October 06, 2015, JotForm has lifted the limitations for SSL forms on all free accounts. In addition, all published forms are secure by default. This is a very wise move on their part and makes JotForm an even better solution!
3. No Built-In Analytics
At least as of this writing, analytics is not a part of JotForm by default. They offer an addon that gave me some analytics but once I left the analytics screen I couldn't find how to access them again.
** UPDATE: JotForm has recently released a beta version of an Analytics feature. So far it seems be to really good. Once I've spent more time with it, I'll update this post again.
In spite of the few flaws I found with Jotform, I would recommend it over any other form builder. The benefits outweigh any negative aspects, and other 3rd party form builders (ahem… Wufoo) would be wise to follow Jotform’s lead on what it offers users in the free version.
If you’ve had experience with JotForm, I’d love to get your input on using the application in the comments below!