One of the great advantages of building your website in WordPress is the amount of plug-ins at your disposal. I use them for everything from contact forms to adding cool images to my sidebar.
As a rule, I use free plug-ins as often as possible on my websites. I recommend the same to my clients, many of whom are also on tight budgets.
But there are times when a free plug-in just doesn’t cut it. Creating a registration form that adds new clients to your email list and directs them to PayPal to complete their purchase is one such time.
Enter Gravity Forms
Gravity Forms is a form builder that lets you build contact forms, registration forms, or any other kind of form for your WordPress site. At its basic levels, the $39 or $99 one-time licensing fee is completely worth it simply for how easy it is to create cool, professional forms. Plus, they have outstanding step-by-step tutorials and an awesome support forum.
What I love best about Gravity Forms, however, is their $200 developers’ license. If you’re looking to create a registration or product check-out form that works with both PayPal and your email provider, Gravity Forms is your guy.
Aside from the cool form field options, you can link your registration form to your MailChimp, Aweber, or Campaign Monitor account, so that new clients are automatically asked to confirm their subscription to your email list when they click the form’s “submit” button.
Better yet, you can link your registration form to PayPal or Authorize.net, the two biggest ways to accept payments over the internet.
And there’s no coding required, at least on the PayPal end. You just set up your service or fee, tell the form how much you’d like to charge, and BAM! PayPal knows exactly what to charge your clients.
Now, is that cool or what?
Action Steps – Create Your Registration Form in 1 Hour or Less
Here’s a quick set of instructions for creating your own awesome registration form. I won’t go into a lot of details, since the Gravity Forms tutorials on linking your email provider & PayPal are extensive.
Note: if you don’t already have an email list set up, or a PayPal/Authorize.net account, you’ll need those first in order for this process to work.
- Purchase Gravity Forms developers’ license
- Install Gravity Forms on your WordPress website
- Install the add-on for your email system (MailChimp, Aweber, or Campaign Monitor) from the Forms -> Add-Ons screen on your WordPress dashboard
- Install the add-on for your payment system (PayPal or Authorize.net) from the Forms -> Add-Ons screen on your WordPress dashboard
- Create your registration form using Gravity Forms
- Register your email account by clicking on Forms -> MailChimp / Aweber / Campaign Monitor.
- Connect your registration form to your email list by following the “create a feed” instructions.
- Register your PayPal or Authorize.net account by going to Forms -> PayPal or Authorize.net
- Connect your registration form to your payment account by following the “create a feed” instructions.
- Test, test, test! Set the dollar amount to $1.00 and fill out your registration form as if you were a prospective client. Adjust any part of the process that doesn’t go smoothly and then test again. If you get stuck, be sure to submit a customer support query to the Gravity Forms folks or take a look in their support forum.
While I’m not usually a fan of paying for WordPress plug-ins, Gravity Forms more than makes up for the $200 licensing fee with its customization options, its integrations, and its excellent customer support.
There’s a time and a place for boot strapping, and then there’s a time to pay for the best. When it comes to arranging a quick and easy way for my clients to pay me, Gravity Forms is the best option there is.
[hana-code-insert name=’Felicity Fields Author Bio’ /]