Gravity Forms – How to Create a New Form

Here you'll learn how to create and edit a Gravity Form on your site.

Writing: better known as humanity’s greatest tool. Communication provides us with a way to convey thoughts and ideas over time and space. Ancient humans used charcoal and pigment to write stories, messages, and warnings. While humans did swap out the cave walls for social media feeds, the messages shared stay the same. Except for the messages saying ‘Caution: Giant Cave Bear,’ of course. That, and our ancestors didn’t have Gravity Forms to simplify communication.

A vicious cave bear

Pictured Above: A vicious cave bear

Regardless, the most important thing in today’s digital world is the ability to communicate with your users. A website needs to be easy to access and offer ways for users to contact you, provide information, place orders, or leave reviews.

When it comes to providing this via your WordPress website, it’s highly recommended that you utilize Gravity Forms. This plugin offers a wide variety of features and customizations, which makes it ideal for almost any purpose. Today, you’ll learn how to create and edit a Gravity Form on your site.

Using Gravity Forms

Naturally, the first step you’ll want to do is open the Gravity Forms tab in WordPress. To do this, log into the backend of your site and locate tab labeled ‘Forms’ in the left-hand sidebar. You’ll arrive at the main Gravity Forms page, where you can access and edit the various forms you have or will create for your site.

Pictured: The Gravity Forms main page, which does not contain cave bears

Gravity Forms Main Menu

Pictured: The Gravity Forms main page, does not contain cave bears.

Gravity Forms Home Page Breakdown

Let’s take a quick look at what the main Gravity Forms page has:

  • The first thing to take note of is the big friendly button that says ‘Add New’ at the top. This will, as it implies, create a new form.
  • Next up are the series of buttons beside the form titles. These green/gray switches are fairly simple and serve a singular purpose: they activate and deactivate your form. This makes the removal of a form that needs work as simple as flipping a switch!
  • ID column – This is one of the most important pieces of information you’ll need if you’re going to use Gravity Forms. This number is unique to each form and identifies your form from others. You can use this ID number to place the form to specific pages and locations.
  • Entries column – This value shows you how many times your form has been filled out. By clicking the number, you can view the entries list, and select and view individual responses.
  • Views column – This shows you how many times a page with your form has been viewed by users visiting your site.
  • Conversions column – The percentage indicates the number of users who viewed your form and also filled it out.

Creating a New Form

Go ahead and click the new form button. Once you’ve done so, a new screen offering a variety of fields to choose from will appear. This area is where you can add and remove fields, edit the contents of those fields, and set up the layout of your overall form. Here’s an overview of the different sections so that you can become familiar with them.

Select A Field Type

Simply move to the right side of the page and pick one of the multitude of field options under the different sections. Once you’ve picked one, simply click the button and your field will be added. You can add the different fields as much as you’d like to see what they do and how they function and remove them with the ‘x’ at the top right of the field box.

standard fields

Edit Field Options

The next step is to edit your field so that it displays and collects the information you want. To do this, simply click on the field’s box to expand it. In the light blue area of the field, you’ll be able to view a preview of what it will look like. Below that you will see three tabs, marked ‘General,’ ‘Appearance,’ and ‘Advanced.’ The General tab allows you to change the main features of your field, such as the display title, a description of the field, and the options to choose from inside the field itself. Additionally, your field can be set to ‘Required’ which means that that field must be completed in order to submit the form.

edit your fields

The ‘Appearance’ tab allows you to change your fields ‘placeholders’ which act as description aids for your different boxes. You can also alter where your description and sub-labels appear, as well as create your own error message for an incorrect field entry. Finally, the ‘Advanced’ tab allows you to set Default Values, which will auto-populate in your fields when it loads on your user’s screen. It also sets the visibility of the field itself.

Arrange the Fields

Once you’ve created your various fields, you can place them in any order you prefer simply by dragging them above/below one another.

Example of Gravity Forms field arrangement

Knowledge is power, but this form is missing a key question. Where and when was the cave bear sighted?

After you’re satisfied with your form, simply click the ‘Update’ button to save it.

How to Insert your Gravity Form

You’ve created your form, but where do you place it? This can be done one of two ways. If your pages and posts are formatted to have a Text Editor (this covers almost all pages, but some may be formatted differently), then it’s just as simple as placing some shortcode.

[ gravityform id=1 ]

The code above does several important things.
First, it calls Gravity Forms using the ‘gravityforms’ line. Next, it identifies which form to display using the ‘ID=#’ so make sure you change the ID number to the one listed as its ID on the list of forms.

The second way is to use the “Add Form” button at the top of the page. That will bring up a dialog box like this:

insert a form

Select the form that you’d like to display, and ensure that “Enable Ajax” is checked. If you’d like the name and description of the form to be displayed to your user, make sure that “Display form title” and “Display form description” are both checked. Click insert form and you’re done!

Congratulations on creating your first form. If you’d like to receive notifications when it’s filled out, then go ahead and read our guide on How To Update Admin Notifications In Gravity Forms.

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