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I've looked at lots of Web services that promise form design, delivery, and response handling but few of them deliver a complete solution. Some are simply not attractive (which is a huge problem if your Web site has any style whatsoever), some insist on presenting their branding, some are too complex, some not complex enough, and some are simply too pricey.
None of these are issues with the service I'm focusing on this week: JotForm.
Jotform's form builder offers all of the building blocks required to build a Web form including headings, text boxes, text areas, drop-down selectors, radio buttons, check boxes, and a submit button as well as a file upload feature that you simply drag and drop onto the form building area. The builder also provides "Quick Tools" that provide drag and drop form field groupings and functions such as a first and last name text field combination, an email address field, etc.
The builder also offers "Survey Tools" that include widgets for star ratings, grading, range picking, and so on, while the "Power Tools" section adds password entry, hidden boxes, CAPTCHA, image holders and autocomplete fields.
The final section of form features are "Payment Tools" that allow you to create forms for accepting payments using PayPal, Authorize.net, Google Checkout, and several other payment gateways.
All form components that have settings can be configured and you can select a look for your form from a small number of predefined themes (you can also create your own look and feel using cascading style sheets). The builder also allows you to define conditional fields (i.e. if this field is filled in show this field) and integrate your form with Facebook.
Other features include defining "Thank you" responses, setting up email delivery addresses, and a whole slew of embedding options including configurations for LiveJournal, Wordpress, Dreamweaver, Drupal, Joomla, and many other services and platforms.
The result is highly functional, good-looking forms without any JotForm branding that can be used in a huge range of online contexts. Once in service, you can examine, edit, download, and print the responses to your forms as well as generate performance reports.
An impressive aspect of the JotForm site is that it is a great example of Web engineering. Its interface is completely AJAX-driven and it works beautifully.
There are three subscription options. All options offer unlimited form designs with unlimited fields, and unlimited reports. The free option allows for 100MB of storage, 100 form submissions per month of which 10 can be SSL secured, and 10 can be payments. For $9.95 the Premium accounts increases the number of monthly submissions to 1,000 which can include any mix of regular, SSL, and payment transactions and 10GB of storage. The Professional increases the storage to 1TB, and a maximum of 1,000,000 mixed transactions for $49.95.
These guys have got it right! Very reasonably priced, great features, easy to use, and highly effective. Outstanding!
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.