WS Form Review: Enterprise-Level Features, But Is It Worth It?

Authored By: James LePage
Published On: November 15, 2020

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I was recently introduced to WS Form as an alternative to the crowded and mature WordPress Forms Plugin scene. After running through the website, it became clear that this was an enterprise level solution, but because of that, it commands an enterprise level price tag.

In this review, we're going to take a look at all of the features, functionality, and then compare it to competition such as WP Forms or Formidable Forms to see if it is worth its steep price tag.

WS Forms: An Introduction

WS forms is a brand new addition to the market, launched in mid 2020, making some users skeptical if it can compete with other offerings out there which has been around for years.

We were the same, until we began to see whisperings of the form plug-in in various Facebook groups and decided to try it out for ourselves. The features list that it boosts is incredibly long and impressive, and it’s clear that this is a solution built for enterprise use. If you have a website that gets tons of form entries, and needs a bulletproof solution, this may be a good solution for you.

At the same time, the pricing is also enterprise level, making this a stretch for some small businesses and website creators. If you’re reading this review, we’re going to try to answer the question of “ are the features worth the steep price or should I go with an existing competitor?”

WS Forms Main Selling Points

 The main selling point of this form plug-in is that you have a no code dragon drop form development tool that’s robust enough to take on anything that you throw at it. There were tons of features in one plug-in - In fact, WS forms claims that other word press form plug-ins charge around $450 per year for the features that they have. From the following checklist, that’s a pretty believable claim.

In fact, WS forms claims that other word press form plug-ins charge around $450 per year for the features that they have. From this following checklist, that’s a pretty believable claim.

The form comes with a drag and drop builder, where you can adjust field sizes, create sections, and more. The builder automatically creates responsive layouts, and you can visualize the forms on any screen size.

WS form also integrates with Beaver Builder, Divi, and Elementor. Also, because you can insert it as a short code, this is virtually compatible with anything running WordPress.

All form submissions are saved into a database, and this database is very easy and powerful. You can print and export all submissions, resend acknowledgment emails from the dashboard, and review tracking information. 

You also get access to conditional logic, which is a feature that is missing on pretty much every single free form offerings out there. This makes forms interactive and personalized. To personalize further, WS forms pro comes with a ton of variables that you can use to dynamically insert data. 

 WS form also is easy for developers to expand upon. There’s an advanced debug console, configurable HTML5 compliant form elements, and automatic support for Bootstrap and Foundation. 

A big drawback, and one that will discuss in the pricing section of this article, is the fact that you need to purchase add-ons to extend some functionalities. Of course, this is standard with other foreign plug-ins out there, but it’s a big drawback as it can seriously increase your annual cost.

If you choose to go for the $249 per year all access license, this isn’t an issue, but from any this is well out of their price range. Extensions include stripe payments, will commerce integration, salesforce forms, Google sheets syncing, submissions and exports as PDFs, and more.

The add-ons are incredibly powerful, and will get into some of the individual ones in a bit, but each of them cost anywhere between 19 and $30 per year. 

Now that we’ve summarized the main features that come with WS form, let’s take a look at the actual plug-in itself and run it on the back end of a weird press installation. Here, we’ll take a look at the user interface, features in real life, and applications to various requirements.

WS Forms On Site Impressions

After loading the form plug-in and poking around for several minutes, my first impression is that this is the best form plug-in that I’ve ever used in my career. Let’s take a look at everything that has to offer and see if my initial impression is correct.

First, you have the standard structure of any form plug-in. You can view all of your existing forms, create a new one, use the submissions, set the global settings, migrate forms from one website to another, and access the add-ons.

WS forms comes with an impressive library of over 100 separate forms that are pre built. This will seriously speed up your workflow because even if you don’t have a template that works perfectly for you, you’ll be able to find one that almost fits your needs and then customize it from there. Other plug-ins out there have the template libraries, but I have yet to see one as robust as this one.

To test out the form builder, I chose to use “order form” template. First, I preview the template on the front end, and then click the used template which brought me to the editor which was pre-populated with the order form fields.

The editor is very similar to existing ones out there, like gravity forms and WP forms. However, it’s definitely more fully featured, and in my opinion it’s a bit easier to use. You build forms like you build pages in many of the popular page building plug-ins. 

First, you add individual sections, the columns, then fields.

Everything is Drag and drop, and you can easily resize fields by dragging them horizontally. To the right of the form builder, you have all of the fields that you have available to you. There’s a vast selection spending everything from your basic email input form to color pictures to signatures to messages to buttons to repeaters to e-commerce to calculated fields.

You can also set up repeatable sections.

Also, if you have any additional add-ons, fields will display for them as well. For example, we have access to the will commerce add on, meaning that we have fields like quantity, add to cart, and subtotal.

You can also add multiple tabs to your form, if you want multiple steps. For example, you may need to collect information first, and then have a client sign a PDF form. This is what you would use the tabs for.

Each field has options specific to it. If you hover over the individual field and gear icon will appear which you can click and access the settings in the right panel. as stated before, settings different between field types, but you have a ton of options. For example, for the simple text field, you can turn on all the complete, set up placeholders, add help text, add ARIA labels for accessibility, and more. 

And that’s only the basic options tab. 

Under advanced, you can assign classes, set up restrictions such as maximum words or an input mask, add a Regex pattern that the value is checked against, and even set mobile breakpoints specific to the field. 

The final tab is called data list which is used to dynamic and populate the field with data. You can also use it to match this field to specific WordPress field, advanced custom fields, and more.

But wait, we're not done here. At the top, there are a collection of buttons that toggle further options on the right hand builder.

Toolbox is the builder options -- but you have so much more.

Here, you can set the conditions, actions that happen when the form is submitted, access the knowledge base directly from the form builder, and send the global form settings such as spam blocking, Google analytics tracking, and WooCommerce actions. 

On the frontend, you get access to a super powerful debug tool -- nobody else on the market has something like this.

Submission management is great too:

You have tools built for high submission volume, like the ability to print, export, sync and more.

As of now, my initial impression stands. This is by far the most robust and impressive form builder plug-in that I’ve ever used. At the same time, we have yet to take a look at the pricing of the tool. 

WS Forms Pricing Structure

We’ve now established that this is an incredibly impressive plug-in. However, the beginning of this article I warned you that the pricing structure is enterprise level, just as the features are. Let’s take a look. 

 Since I was introduced to this plug-in, the following pricing has been live. For a single sale license with all features except add-ons, you will pay $59 per year. A five site license costs $149 per year.

The unlimited sites license comes in at $249 per year, but also gives you access to all of the add-ons, which you’ll probably end up needing a few of.

Hopefully they do not raise the pricing to match the slashed out numbers (though they haven’t in the past couple of months). Even if they do, you're grandfathered into whatever annual price is applied to your purchase on year one -- even if the price raises, you're on the initial payment figure for life.

This differs from competition (discussed below) who typically raise prices after year one.

While on the pricier side, if your business depends on its forms, then this could be a great investment. Where things become expensive is if you’re looking for a basic form functionalities but require additional features that only add-ons can provide.

Then, you’d end up paying $59 for a single site license, and then about $30 per additional add-on. Addons are designed to connect the form the third party services. WS Forms has 27 of them ranging from $19-$39 annually.

These are all of the available addons and the pricing. As you can see, there’s a robust library that fits most people‘s needs, but at the same time it’s fairly pricey. Addons can cost up to $49 per year, and if you’re in the ecosystem of another service (something like Zoho), you’re stuck paying for that addon to connect WP to the service. 

WS Forms Competitors

The three closest competitors to WS forms, the newcomer to the WordPress form plug-in industry are WPforms, Formidable and Gravity Forms. Let’s take a look quickly at the features and pricing of each, and compare to WS.

Screenshot taken during a 50% off promo, but they're always running these, so we'll use the prices listed.

WPForms has a comparable top tier plan coming in at 299 -- if you're looking at that, the $249 WS Forms wins every day of the week.

The comparison becomes a lot more nuanced when you’re looking at the basic and plus plans, especially if you’re planning on grabbing a couple of add-ons. This really boils down to how you’re going to implement a form Plugin into your website. If you’re just looking for a basic, premium solution, WPforms wins on the low end of the price range. However, if you’re in the middle and need functionality that comes with add-ons, WS forms offers a more powerful builder, better database management system, and will probably be a little bit cheaper.

Formidable comes in at $399 for a comparable plan to WSForms' $249 all access license. We've used Formadible in the past, and unless you need frontend views (without messing around with ACF), WS wins.

Gravity Forms has a similar top tier price to WS Forms, and it too offers access to all addons. This is a close call, but WS is a bit easier to use, the builder is more modern, and it's a breath of fresh air for us -- we've been using Gravity since we got started.

WS Forms - Is It Worth It?

After using probably around 10 different form plug-ins in various projects over the years, the newcomer WS forms seriously impressed me in terms of functionality, as well as price when compared to other solutions.

The builder is incredibly easy to use, yet super powerful. If you take a look at the knowledge base, there are dozens of examples of super advanced integrations, such as by directional relationships with advanced custom fields, processing submission data with a WordPress hook, and creating multi faceted WooCommerce check outs with WS forms.

It’s almost as if the company behind the product decided to go above and beyond everything else on the market. Because there are so many plug-ins out there, this is really the only way to be successful - Beat everybody at absolutely everything including price.

In my opinion, WS forms did that, especially if you’re looking at the mid to upper tier pricing range when it comes to your form plug-ins.

Where else do you get access to advanced conditional logic, on submit events, tracking, a simple yet powerful builder, great submission management, and more? 

Others Love It Too

These are screenshotted from the WP Repo, where there's a lite version of WS Forms (limited, you're probably better off with Fluent Forms if you want something free), so I'm not sure if they 100% apply to the pro version. Even so, there's a 5 star rating with reviews raving about the quality of the development team and support.

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James LePage is the founder of Isotropic Design, a digital agency that builds WordPress websites. I read, write and design constantly!

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