I am a WordPress blogger and as a rule I am in the habit of comparing WordPress related things. For some time what I’ve observed that on searching the alternative to Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms or Formidable Forms, a website Bitrix24 always pops up on top among search results and claims its CRM service to be the substitute for the said plugins. .

Bitrix24 is a CRM service provider which in different posts on its website has been described as a good alternative to a number of services. The thing which was perplexing me most was that the claim encompassed all the big names in the world of WordPress plugins such as Formidable Forms, Gravity Forms and Ninja Forms.

So I decided to give its form builder a try, wondering whether there was something really substantial about its claim of being alternative to already so well-known and time-tested powerful form builders.

When I signed up I found that Bitrix24 is mainly a CRM service. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and basically means a web based system which helps you manage your business, reach out to your customers, add them to your contact list, sort the contacts into segments as per customers’ preferences (email or SMS) and send automatic offers and deals to them, provide the customer care service etc. At the same time, it comes with an easy-to-use website builder that doesn’t require the knowledge of coding to create a custom layout.

So let’s come again to the point: How is Bitrix24 a real, and viable alternative to Formidable, Gravity or Ninja Forms?

As soon as you sign up, without any email verification, your dedicated control panel is ready to use. Believe me, it is no less than a wild goose chase for a new user to find out where the form builder is.

So the first thing is that Bitrix24 is not a dedicated drag-and-drop form builder service.

Now when you look for a form builder in the control panel, you come across an option by the name of CRM forms, which seems very complicated for creating a form. The form builder altogether lacks advanced form building elements and layout customization.

I was totally aghast at the thought that it was the same Bitrix24, which was not only advertised as an alternative to so excellent form builders but also topped the search Google search results. It made me think that maybe I had not yet laid hands on the real form builder of bitrix24. But all the suspense ended in disappointment when Youtube video tutorial confirmed that there was no other form builder than that scrappy piece of software.

So, is that it? Seriously? It was really disheartening that such companies are even manipulating search engines to get to the top of search results. These companies are trying to compare themselves to such big names which by no stretch of imagination can never be on the same level. On the whole, it is nothing but a gimmick to attract the traffic to their website by using the name of good services.

Let me put it this way, suppose I’m bored of Gravity Forms or not satisfied with their service and now desperate to give something else a try. At least one thing is taken for granted and for sure in this matter and that is I’ll look for a better service rather than a service which is in no way even on a par with Gravity Forms. Now I search Google with keywords ‘good alternatives to Gravity Forms’ and find Bitrix24 on the top of the results. What I would say after using it? Misleading? Waste of time? Disappointing? Sick?

Self hosted WordPress vs managed cloud hosted services like Bitrix24.com

First of all, no doubt it may be a matter of choice or preference.

There’s no denying that self hosted WordPress is less secure compared to cloud services. But at the same time it’s also true that with proper security implementation, WordPress may also be made as secure as other cloud based services.

Aside from securite point of view, WordPress comes with all the plugins which are needed for running a successful online business such as:

  • E-commerce website
  • Customer management,
  • Business directory
  • Online custom data management
  • Multi Vendor ecommerce websites like Amazon, eBay
  • Email marketing,
  • Form building,
  • Membership management
  • CRM
  • Drag-and-drop website building

And that is only the tip of iceberg. WordPress has really so much to offer. A company like Bitrix24 will charge you thousands of dollars per month for similar services.

That’s not to say that Bitrix24 is not a good company. It may very well come handy to those who do not have a good knowledge of WordPress web hosting but need a dedicated CRM or an easy site builder? What irritated me was its mean way of comparing its service to the products of well-known companies and having a nerve to claim that it can be an alternative to so good services.

A comparison is reasonable, justifiable and useful only when the compared products and services are on par and able to give each other a run for their money or at least services or products in one way or another should be comparable.

It’s ok to compare Bitrix24 with WordPress but never with a WordPress form builder plugin. The comparison of form builder of Bitrix24 with Ninja Forms, Formidable or Gravity Forms is baseless and nonsense as the former doesn’t hold its ground.

Formidable Forms VS Bitrix24 comparison table

Formidable $2.7/month
(10 year cost $399)
(20 year cost $399)
Bitrix24 Free Bitrix24 $39/month
(10 year cost $4680)
(20 year cost $9360)
Number of users Unlimited 12 24
Number of form admins Unlimited 2 1
Storage Unlimited 5GB 24GB
Custom form layouts
(multi-column/hybrid columns)
Yes No No
add custom HTML to Forms Yes No No
Easy color scheme builder Yes No No
Drop down field Yes No No
Repeating fields grid Yes No No
Lookup field that pull
data from any other form
yes no no
Email marketing Yes,
Unlimited customers,
No Sending limit
Yes, limited customers
strict daily sending limit
Yes
SMS marketing Yes, Twilio,
carrier charges applicable
No Yes,
carrier charges applicable
Multi page forms/multi step forms Yes No No
Calculations Yes No No
Payment Forms Yes Yes Yes
User Registration with forms Yes No No
Custom Branding Yes No —-
Building frontend database
applications
Yes No No
Full source code access Yes No No
Lifetime access Yes No No
Technical support Yes (free for one year) No Yes
Use on unlimited websites Yes Yes Yes
Winner FORMIDABLE FORMS PRO
What it all boils down to is that presenting Bitrix24 as an alternative to hundreds of services and writing dozens of articles ‘alternative to’ can never be justified.

About Shams

Shams, a professional blogger, has expertise in WordPress and Web Hosting. He is used to playing around with WordPress plugins, themes, web hosting services and some other innovative stuff regarding web design. He sifts out good stuff for web designers and reviews it to help them choose what they really need.

Being an energetic tech enthusiast, he regularly pens down breaking news and tutorials related to technology particularly Smartphones and other gadgets. Sometimes writes tech tips too. It was the dawn of Internet age when he started dabbling in it and has since been delving into the realm of the internet. He occupies a permanent burrow in virtual world.

He can be reached at.- here