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Comparing the 5 Best PHP Form Builders (And 3 Free Scripts)

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If you’re using PHP to build a website, chances are that you’ll need to add a form to the site. 

The most common forms on the average website are contact forms. They enable visitors to contact you quickly and easily. But other forms can come in handy as well. For example, you may want to add a PHP email form as an alternative to the PHP contact form, or add a form to get feedback from your visitors on some aspect of your service or products. Whatever kind of form you need, you’re going to want to have one up and running quickly and easily. 

That’s where a PHP form builder script comes inalso known as a PHP form generator script. Today, we’ll take a look at the five best PHP form builders available at Envato Market and compare them in terms of functionality, flexibility, and aesthetic appeal. But first, let’s look at exactly what a PHP form builder is.

What Is a PHP Form Builder or Generator?

A PHP form is a form on a web page that allows visitors to the page to input information and send it to a server to be processed in some way. In essence, it’s an online version of a paper form where users fill out particular fields and then hand them in to be processed.  

A PHP form builder is a tool you can add to your website that enables you to create a variety of well-designed PHP forms quickly and easily. You don't even have to know how to code!

PHP Form BuilderPHP Form BuilderPHP Form Builder

Why Should You Use a PHP Form Builder?

The best thing about a PHP form generator is that it speeds up the job of creating and adding forms to your site. And the forms you create will look good and work well! The best-designed PHP form generators allow you or your client to create a variety of professionally designed web forms and add them to a web page quickly and easily.  

When someone fills out and submits a form, the form builder will allow the website owner to easily receive a notification via a computer or mobile device. It also allows the website owner to collect, browse, or download the data received from the form. 

Not everyone who needs to add a form to their website wants or needs the same functionality, so the right PHP form generator for you isn’t necessarily the one with the most bells and whistles. Instead, it's the one that best meets your needs.

PHP Form Builder Scripts on CodeCanyon

At the time of writing this article, there are more than 100 PHP form builder scripts available on CodeCanyon. Most of these form generator and form creator scripts give you drag-and-drop functionality to create your form.

PHP Form Builders on CodeCanyon

They also offer ready-to-use pre-built forms of various types that you can start using in your website right away. Once you purchase any of these scripts, you will get free lifetime updates and six months of free support.

Comparison of the 5 Best PHP Form Builders

1. PHP Form Builder

PHP Form BuilderPHP Form BuilderPHP Form Builder

A powerhouse among form builders, the PHP Form Builder allows you to create just about any type of form you need using simple functions. This form designer and creator also provides options for horizontal, vertical, and inline layouts to suit your page design and accepts any HTML5 form elements, including field sets, multiple selects, opt groups, and button groups. 

You can customise the HTML with wrappers, IDs, classes and attributes, JavaScript events, and custom code almost anywhere. The builder comes with excellent documentation suitable for both novice PHP users and experienced programmers.

Additional features:

  • build any form with any framework
  • validate posted values
  • send your emails using customisable HTML and CSS templates
  • connect your database and insert, update, or delete records
  • over 120+ pre-built templates included
  • and more

This script is also under active development, and the latest update added a lot of new features, improved old features, and fixed a few bugs. Here are a few of its new features:

  • signature pad to add electronic signatures in forms
  • a new lightweight date range picker plugin
  • the date range picker is now available in multiple form templates
  • the drag-and-drop form builder now has much better JSON support
 

2. Easy Forms: Advanced Form Builder and Manager

Easy Forms: Advanced Form Builder and ManagerEasy Forms: Advanced Form Builder and ManagerEasy Forms: Advanced Form Builder and Manager

Easy Forms PHP form builder checks all the boxes when it comes to the ideal form generator and is the perfect choice for the inexperienced developer. This form creator script uses a drag-and-drop system that allows you to create forms in minutes, right from your browser, with little coding knowledge. It also offers a good selection of themes and templates for a variety of tastes and branding needs.  

Easy Forms enables you to create the usual forms you’d expect—like contact forms, order forms, registration forms, and online surveys. But you can also create specialised forms like multi-page forms and multi-column forms.

Your forms can then be placed anywhere on your webpage and, once they're embedded, you can track views, submissions, geographical data, abandonment rates, and other important performance information. What’s more, Easy Forms offers form analytics to help you learn more about your data, the ability to create reports based on the analytics, and the ability to export the data that your forms collect. 

Additional features:

  • user management
  • geolocation
  • email notification
  • autoresponder
  • mobile friendly
  • and more

This plugin is being actively updated. The latest update adds a couple of new and useful features to the form builder. This includes things like:

  • upload multiple files with a single file field
  • evaluate maths expressions with multiple fields
  • generate QR code to share forms
  • auto-suggest to help users quickly fill out a form
  • and a lot more

3. Green Forms: Standalone Form Builder

Green Forms - Standalone Form BuilderGreen Forms - Standalone Form BuilderGreen Forms - Standalone Form Builder

Green Forms stands out for its flexibility and rich collection of features that make it easy for you to build simple and complex forms through its powerful and intuitive drag-and-drop interface—no coding knowledge required. All the forms are multipurpose and responsive to mobile devices. The forms have built-in antispam technology, so you don't have to use CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA, which only frustrate your visitors and make them go to your competitors. 

Some examples include payment forms, multi-step forms, and interactive forms. You can match the forms to the aesthetic style of your website, thanks to 20 customizable templates which let you adjust any element from the colors to the fonts, shadows, borders, and more. There's also a built-in theme manager, a full grid system, and thousands of Google fonts to give you plenty of scope for styling your forms. You can even add conditional logic to the forms. All the forms support RTL languages. 

In addition, you can easily embed the forms into third-party webpages as regular forms or popups. You just need to copy and paste JavaScript and HTML shortcodes. 

The cool thing about this form builder is its performance optimization, which is achieved by:

  • disabling assets that you don't need for your current project to stop the loading of unnecessary JavaScript and CSS files
  • native caching system to reduce server loads, so that the server doesn't need to build the form each time it's displayed

This is great for your Google page speed score!

Finally, you can integrate this form with a wide range of third-party providers and gateways: 

  • CRMs: HubSpot, fluentCRM, AgileCRM, ZoHo CRM, and many more
  • Marketing newsletters: AWeber, MailPoet, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and more
  • Payment gateways: PayPal, Stripe, Yandex, Razorpay, and more
  • SMS gateways: Twilio, BulkGate, Nexmo, Gatewayapi

4. Zigaform PHP Form Builder: Contact & Survey

Zigaform - PHP Form Builder - Contact & SurveyZigaform - PHP Form Builder - Contact & SurveyZigaform - PHP Form Builder - Contact & Survey

Zigaform: Contact & Survey enables you to build a range of forms for any PHP website in a matter of minutes. The builder uses a handy grid system into which you can drag and drop over 40 form elements to create whatever kind of form meets your need. You can use their Skin Customiser and over 700 icons, 650 fonts, and 80 animation effects to fine-tune every part of your form so that it fits nicely into the webpage on which it’s located. The forms can be embedded on popular platforms like WordPress, Joomla, PrestaShop, Magento, and more. 

Once a user has completed a form, they receive an acknowledgement email and you receive a notification email, both of which are completely customisable. All data submitted via Zigaform is stored in the admin panel, from where it can be exported in CSV or PDF format. The builder also allows you to filter and search submitted data, which can then be used to create graphic charts for trend and other analysis. 

Additional features:

  • extensive documentation
  • translation ready
  • spam protection 
  • cross-browser compatibility
  • form validation 
  • and more

5. Zigaform: PHP Calculator & Cost Estimation Form Builder

Zigaform - WordPress Calculator & Cost Estimation Form BuilderZigaform - WordPress Calculator & Cost Estimation Form BuilderZigaform - WordPress Calculator & Cost Estimation Form Builder

Zigaform: PHP Calculator & Cost Estimation Form Builder is the sister of the Zigaform Contact & Survey Form Builder mentioned above and specialises in helping you to build your own eCommerce and invoicing forms, summary estimate forms, and instant checkout payment forms to give your buyers a simplified checkout experience. 

Other than these specialised forms, the PHP form generator has the same great features as the Zigaform Contact & Survey Form Builder. You can drag and drop the numerous form elements provided into an organising grid and use the Skin Customiser, numerous icons, fonts, and animation effects to customise your form. The builder also offers the same great notification and data processing as its sister form builder.

Additional features:

  • advanced search for entries
  • import and export your custom forms
  • option to duplicate forms and fields
  • detailed entries report by form
  • mobile friendly
  • and more

The Best Free PHP Form Builders

You can also use some free PHP form builders if you don't want to spend the money for a premium script. However, most of these forms will not be as user-friendly as the scripts listed above. For example, you will not get a drag-and-drop interface with most of them. 

1. PHP Form Builder

This is a simple open-source PHP form builder class that will help you quickly create forms using PHP and output the required HTML. The script still works, but keep in mind that the source code was last updated six years ago, so the author is no longer adding new features. This script is great if you want to create forms using code, not with a graphical interface.

2. Laravel Form Builder

This is a free and open-source PHP form builder that is based on the Laravel framework in PHP. The UI of the form is styled using Bootstrap 3 framework. Again, this is a script for creating forms using PHP code, not using drag-and-drop.

3. Form

This form builder allows you to quickly create a form using PHP. It also comes with some useful functionality such as remembering old input for pre-populating the form fields and displaying error messages. This is an open-source form builder script, so you can get it for free and modify the code as much as you like. But be warned, this script is no longer maintained, so it may be out of date.

Tips for Creating PHP Forms

Here are a few tips that might be helpful when you create your own forms:

1. Sanitize User Input

It is very important that you validate and sanitize all input that you receive through a form. Some users might unknowingly provide data in the wrong format, while others with a malicious motive might try to do more harm using SQL injections. Even if your form is generated by a PHP form creator script, you still need to sanitize the results before using them in your code!

2. Show Informative Error Messages

Always make sure that you provide users with all the details that they need to fill out the form. If the username can only be between 4 and 10 characters long, you should mention it even before they start filling out the form. If the users do fill out something in an improper format, try to tell them exactly what they did wrong. This will create a much more user-friendly experience.

Choosing the Right PHP Form Builder for You

From the five PHP form builders covered here, you can see that form builders come in various sizes and functionality. For someone looking for a simple and reliable contact form, Zigaform: Contact and Survey Form Builder is the right choice. For someone who needs invoicing and e-commerce forms, Zigaform: PHP Calculator and Cost Estimation Form Builder is a better pick. For someone else who needs a large degree of flexibility in creating a variety of forms, Easy Forms: Advanced Form Builder and Manager is one of the best choices.

In other words, any of the form builders featured here would be a great choice depending on what you need.

The first step when choosing a form generator script is to be clear about what you want from your form builder. Once you’ve gotten clear, take another look at these form builders to decide which one’s right for you. If none of them are quite what you’re looking for, don’t worry—we’ve got more great PHP form builders at Envato Market, so head over there and check them out.

Other PHP Scripts on CodeCanyon

There are a huge variety of scripts available on CodeCanyon. These range from calendar, navigation, and form scripts to shopping carts and social networking.

PHP Scripts on CodeCanyon

The marketplace includes over 4,000 different PHP scripts that will help you add all kinds of functionality to your website.

Here are a few of the best-selling and up-and-coming PHP scripts available on CodeCanyon for 2022.

This post has been updated with contributions from Franc Lucas. Franc is a writer for Envato Tuts+ who enjoys exploring the world of SaaS.

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