How to Download Gravity Forms and Upload to WordPress Hosting Account
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either interested in exploring Gravity Forms or have recently started a business blog. If so, you’ve probably already set up a WordPress account and begun exploring the free form builder app. If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide on how to use and manage Gravity Forms across different hosting environments, continue reading.
Gravity Forms for Blogs and Websites
Gravity Forms is a free, open-source form builder alternative to WordPress that was initially designed for use on websites and blogs. As the name suggests, the tool was inspired by the idea of creating forms to collect and analyze data. With the ability to collect leads, orders, and feedback, it’s no wonder WordPress users choose to use this app over the typical CMS.
You can use Gravity Forms to create all sorts of different forms, including contact, buying, and subscription based ones. While the standard form will display a submit button at the end, you can also add other actions like email verification and delivery of documents through Action Mailer. If you’d like to learn more, including details on how to get started using the form builder, continue below.
Step 1: Sign Up For A Free Blog or Website
One of the first things you’ll need to do is register for a free, WordPress-hosted blog or website. To do this, navigate to http://wordpress.com and click on the big orange button that says Create A Blog. On the next page, you’ll see a short-code you can copy and paste into your website’s content to create a form. For example, [gravityform id=”1″ title=”Contact Form”].
This is the default contact form created by WordPress when you sign up for a new blog. If you’re planning to use this form to collect leads, click on Settings in the upper right-hand corner, then select Reading from the drop-down menu. This will make sure you have the capability to read and respond to emails sent to your address.
Now that you have a WordPress account, you can install Gravity Forms via the dashboard. From there, you’ll need to install the app’s necessary dependencies via a plugin. To do this, click on Plugins in the upper right-hand corner, then click on Activate next to the plugin named Gravity Forms. Restart your blog or website after this process to apply the changes.
Step 2: Determine Which Form Template You’ll Use
The first thing you’ll want to do is choose which form template you’ll use for your contact form. Since this is the primary form you’ll use for collecting leads, you should choose a form that has a single field for contact information. The options here are the Flat, Minimal, and Classic templates.
The Flat template, as the name implies, doesn’t have any frills, opting instead for a clean, simple look. However, if you’re looking for a little more visual interest, you can select the Minimal template.
The Minimal template is pretty self-explanatory. It opts for a stripped-down look with large, bold headings and subheadings, thin white text, and sans-serif fonts. The headings and subheadings are used to highlight important information like the email address and telephone number.
The Classic template gives you a more sophisticated look but doesn’t skimp out on functionality. This is the default option if you’re creating other, non-contact forms because it has all the necessary functionalities for those types of forms.
Step 3: Customize The Form
Now that you have your choice of form templates selected, you can start configuring the form. The first thing you’ll want to do is add a title to the form. Next, you can add a brief introduction text that appears below the title.
You can also add an image to the form to make it more engaging. When a potential customer or buyer lands on your website or blog, they’re faced with a variety of engaging content, often including text and images. So you want to make sure that your contact form stands out amongst all that content.
To add an image, click on Design in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, then click on Gravity Forms to pull up the form. On the next page, you’ll see four small boxes labeled Heading, Text, Image, and Buttons. You can add an image to any one of these areas to create a completely unique form.
Once you add an image to the form, you can resize it however you like by clicking on the four white corners of the image and dragging it to the desired dimensions. To add a button, click on Buttons in the upper right-hand corner of the form, then click on Add Another to add another button. Give each button a meaningful name and use the Submit button at the end as the default action for the form.
Step 4: Add As Many Forms As You Want
You can add as many forms to your website or blog as you want. To add a new form, navigate to http://wordpress.com/ and click on the big orange button that says Create A Form. On the next page, you’ll see a short code you can copy and paste into your website’s content to create a new form.
Each new form you create will have its own unique ID. This ID can be used to specify the form’s fields and other attributes in a WordPress post or page. To create a lead form, for example, you can enter [gravityform id=”1″] in the content area of a new post or page, where id=”1″ is the form’s unique ID.
Step 5: Test Your Form
Once you’ve created your form, you can test it out on your website. Head over to http://wordpress.com and click on the big orange button that says Edit Posts. On the next page, you’ll see a collection of posts published by the WordPress account you used to create this website. Scroll down until you see a post marked Contact. This is the post you’ll want to edit to add a contact form using the short code you created in Step 3.
On the Contact page, you can click on the four white corners of the image to open it up in a new tab. From there, you can enter the details for your contact form, including your email address and telephone number. Then, click on the big orange button that says Submit to create a new post. You can also add a short description of yourself in the About area below your name.
Once you’ve created a form, you can share it with others via social media. To do this, log into your WordPress dashboard and click on Tools in the upper right-hand corner. From there, you can select More and click on the social media icon for your account. You can now copy the unique URL for your form and share it with your followers.
Step 6: Hosting And Domain Names
One of the most important things to consider when setting up a website or blog is webhosting and domain names. Your website’s host dictates the space you’ll have to create content. Typically, the more expensive the hosting package, the more space you’ll have. The cost of webhosting alone can range from $2 to $20 per month. For comparison, the cost of a premium WordPress plan is around $5 per month.
Aside from the space you have, the next most important thing to consider is domain names. If you’re new to blogging, start with a free domain from one of the many reputable domain registrars like Namecheap or GoDaddy. You can also use a free hosting account with a reliable provider, like Bluehost, to get your website up and running.