The Form Builders

There have been a lot of new tools for building web-based forms appearing lately, thanks to dynamic HTML and AJAX technologies. This is a good thing, as it’s often one of the most confusing things to take on for an individual web developer. Inevitably, a client wants a survey or an email form, and creating these by hand is a surprisingly lot of work!

JotForm was the first around, and is nice and solid. Right now you can use it for free, either to generate the code to put it on your site, or to let them collect the form responses (within limits). If you just want to generate the code for a form, you won’t even need to log in. You can automatically receive notification emails and view reports on the filled-out forms.

The Form Assembly is a similar offering, with a lot more of a focus on styling the forms with CSS. JotForm doesn’t really worry about this, leaving it up to you as the designer, but The Form Assembly even offers a gallery of CSS templates to choose from, or you can submit your own. There is also a library of pre-made forms for you to browse and use. They also offer an excellent list of web developer resources relating to forms on their site.

Finally, we have the not-yet-released Wufoo from ParticleTree, which also looks the most interesting. This will no doubt be a paid product, but the demo is nothing short of amazing. The interface is Flash and it’s beautiful. If anything could make generating web forms fun, this would be it! We’ll be sure to keep and eye on this for a final product to review.

Raymond Brigleb

Creative Director, dreamer, partner, father, musician, photographer. Has been known to ride the rails. Pulls one heck of a shot.