Creating a Form in Gravity Forms

The Gravity Forms plugin provides an easy way to build custom forms for your WashU Web Theme website. If your site is hosted on WashU Sites, you can build forms using Formidable Forms.

Talk to your Office of Public Affairs contact to add the Gravity forms plugin on your site. You can choose from a variety of form field types. Hover over the ? icon to view more information about a particular feature of Gravity Forms. The Gravity Forms website is also a good source for guidance creating forms.

Create a New Form

  1. In the dashboard, click on Forms > New Form.
  2. Enter the name of your new form and a brief description.
  3. Click Create Form.
  4. Gravity Forms provides a brief built-in tutorial to get you started on creating your first form; the tutorial appears by default with pictures and bright orange arrows in the field area. To read all of this information you may need to scroll down the page.
  5. In the form editor, the available fields are listed on the right side of the screen. These fields are grouped into four categories: Standard Fields, Advanced Fields, Post Fields and Pricing Fields. Clicking on the category name will show you the fields within that category. To add a field, click on the button with the field name and it will appear at the bottom of your form.
  6. To move a field, grab the title bar of the field and drag it to where you want it to go.
  7. Each field also has settings that you can define. You can see the properties of each field by clicking on the field. Important properties to note:
    • Field Label displays the label so that the user can see what kind of information can go in the field
    • Required checkbox – determines if the user has to fill out this field in order to submit the form.
  8. (Optional) If you only want the field to appear when the user has given a particular answer to an earlier question, click Use Conditional Logic, and use the drop-downs to create the statement you’d prefer.
  9. Click Update Form to save it.

More about Field Types

The Standard Field group contains basic fields and provides a way to add static content to your form.

  • Single Line Text Allows the user to fill in any data into a simple text box.
  • Paragraph Text – Allows the user to fill in multiple lines of text in a single box.
  • Drop-down – Allows the user to select a response from a list of existing options. One of the values will be selected by default. Note: You can avoid the default selection of option by selecting the show values checkbox and creating an entry with a label such as Select… and a blank value.
  • Multi Select Fields – Allows the user to select many values from a list. This option works best using the Enhanced user interface.
  • Checkboxes – Allows the user to select one or more options from a list.
  • Radio Buttons – Allows the user to select a single piece of data from a list.
  • Hidden Fields Will not appear to the user.
  • HTML Fields – Allows you to enter any text content with HTML on your form. This is useful for including instructions or descriptions for the user.
  • Section Breaks – Divides your form into sections using headings.
  • Page Breaks – Divides the form into multiple pages. You can select what you want the buttons to say on each page.

The Advanced Field group has fields that have useful validation. Please use these fields if you want to store data that matches this information.

  • Name field – Provides subfields for First Name and Last Name as well as a few other formats.
  • Date field – Creates a date picker with which users can select a date.
  • Time field – Creates fields with which users can enter a specific time.
  • Phone field – Creates a field in which users can enter a phone number. Multiple formats are accepted, such as ### / ### – #### or ### – ### – ####, though it will ask for (###) ### – ####.
  • Website field – Creates a field in which users can enter a website and validates that the data entered matches a website format (e.g., .com, .edu).
  • Email field – Creates a field in which users can enter an email address and validates that the data entered matches an email format (e.g.,
  • File upload – Allows the user to upload a file when submitting the form.
  • CAPTCHA field – Displays an antirobot test for your form. Do not use a CAPTCHA on your form unless you have a significant spam problem. If you are concerned about spam, Gravity Forms offers other spam-reduction options that are less obtrusive to users.
  • List field – Allows users to enter a list of data of arbitrary length. (Most of the time a Paragraph Text field is a better choice for this kind of data.)

Post Fields allow you to build front-end forms for building WordPress pages. Each field will create a new post draft on your site from the form. For most forms, you will not want to use any of these fields.

Pricing Fields are fields that associate prices with each value. When the user selects certain items, you can display a total of these prices as well as calculate shipping based on that total. These fields are useful only for e-commerce forms.

Put Your Form on a Page

  1. Navigate to the page on which you want the form to display.
  2. In the page editor, click on the content area where you wish the form to appear.
  3. Above the editor, click on Add a Form.
  4. Select the form that you wish to display.
  5. Uncheck the box for Display form title to remove the title.
  6. Uncheck the box for Display form description to remove the description.
  7. Click Insert Form. A shortcode, which will display the form in the browser, will appear in your page editor. You can move this shortcode to the location where you want the form to display.