Last modified: November 29, 2016

There was a time when if anything other than Gravity Forms as a powerful form builder came to mind, it was Formidable Pro or Formidable Forms. But as time went by, things changed. Some good form builders were developed and loved over time and and one such form builder was Ninja Forms. Ninja Forms, we should say, is capable of giving both Gravity Forms and Formidable Pro a run for their money.

Generally speaking, Ninja Forms is a free plugin, but its advanced features or in other words its premium features are available as paid add-ons.

Like Formidable Pro, The free version of Ninja Forms also offers database entry management feature.

In this article we are going to compare the features of these two plugins and at the same time will discuss the conditions where one plugin has an edge over the other one.

formidable-forms-vs-ninja-forms

History

Ninja Forms

If we talk about Domain registration, Ninjaforms.com was registered in May 2011 and according to web.archive.org, the above mentioned website started working in June 2011. On web.archive.org, we can see its first snapshot taken on June 16, 2011. The snapshot tells us that at that time Ninja Forms was available for $15 and you could use it on any number of websites.

During the next year the developers worked on an improved version of Ninja Forms and in 2013 they came up with a totally revamped version with lots of addons and frontend editing. Advanced functionalities in the form of individual addons were also added.

Now Ninja Forms is a powerful form builder plugin that stands side by side with Formidable Forms and Gravity Forms. Though the data from Alexa.com is not very accurate, still we can make some rough kind of extrapolation from it. So, if we compare the Alexa rank of these two sites, we find that NinjaForms.com has a little higher Alexa rank than that of FormidablePro.com. Does that mean that Ninja Forms is catching on with a faster rate than Formidable Pro? Either way, we cannot say anything reliable just on the basis of Alexa rank.

Formidable Forms

Formidable Pro which has been recently rebranded to Formidable Forms came into existence back in 2010. At that point of time, Formidable Pro was a quite simple form plugin that offered drag and drop form builder in addition to database submission of form entries. Formidable Pro was the second form plugin who worked like Gravity Forms. At that time it was failed to draw attention of WordPress community as Gravity Forms was way better and popular those days.

In 2011 they added frontend data display feature naming that feature “custom display”. It appeared to be a new dimension in WordPress realm which made possible to collect data via a form and display it in custom format on frontend pages. After the launch of this innovative feature Formidable Pro got popular ridiculously and did never look back. In 2013, Formidable Pro has revoked lifetime support access due to increased customer base but kept lifetime updates. The plugin got smarter day by day. They provided support several times better than that of other companies. In March 2016, they made huge changes in their pricing and licensing structure. They discontinued unlimited site license but it didn’t affect existing customers. I bought the unlimited site license only for $117 which went unavailable even when you were ready to spend $399. Yes, at that time, with $399 package, you could use Formidable Pro on maximum 200 sites and there was no unlimited site plan. In October 2016, the developer again changed his mind and removed the usage cap on $399 plan.

Now Formidable Pro is known as Formidable Forms and it is one of the most impressive and most powerful WordPress thing available in the market. Formidable Forms is much  more than just a form builder and it lets us build database applications at minimum cost.

So, let’s get to the point: A head-to-head comparison of different features of the two plugins

Site Design and Navigation

First of all, Formidablepro.com comes with a minimalistic design. On the other hand, Ninjaforms.com has been designed in a refreshing and more professional way. There’s no two ways about it that in terms of design, Formidablepro.com is awfully way behind than Ninjaforms.com and in this day and age when the only thing that matters is how you present your product, Formidable Pro’s design team really needs to make the website more attractive and presentable.

Ninjaforms.com has a sleek, smart and impressive design and the color use is not only delightful and soothing but also very creative and vivid. Fantastic as its front design is, its blog section is even more stylish.

Verdict – The website design of NinjaForms.com is cool and will really get them some extra buyers. As for Formidable Forms’ homepage design, all in all, it is good though, still sliders and some colors need to be added. But as far as their blog design is concerned, it leaves a lot to be desired. The blog should be given a better design.

Free version

Formidable ProNinja Forms
View EntriesYesYes
Edit filter EntriesNoYes
No. of Fields829
Email Notifications1Unlimited
Multi-column formsYesNo
Redirect after submissionNoYes
Access ControlNo Yes

Both plugins offer their free versions and can be installed for free from WordPress repository.

But when it comes to functionality, Formidable Forms Lite is no match for Ninja Forms Lite and the competition is overwhelmingly one-sided. Why is that? Let’s have a closer look:

Ninja Forms Lite has 29 field types, which include not only the basic fields like name, e-mail, but also the advanced fields such as anti-spam, star rating, shipping, price etc. Besides, Ninja Forms Lite lets you edit submissions, while the free version of Formidable Forms allows only ‘entry view’.

One thing where Formidable Forms Lite admittedly surpasses Ninja forms Lite is the creation of multi-column forms. With Formidable forms Lite, you have a layout panel, which makes it very easy to design multi-column forms. On the other hand, to create multi-column forms with Ninja Forms Lite you need custom CSS.

Verdict – As we earlier said, When it comes to availability of features in the free versions of these plugins, Ninja Forms is the clear winner and carries the day.

Form Builder

Formidable ProNinja Forms
Total Field Types without addons30+29
Conditional LogicYesYes
Dynamic FieldsYesNo
Data Lookup FieldYesNo
Submit Button FieldNoYes
Role based field visibilityYesNo
Frontend interfaceNoYes
Credit card fieldYes (with addon)Yes (with addon)
Product fieldNoYes
Star Rating FieldYesYes
Easy Multi-columnsYesYes
Individual CSS styling options for every fieldNoYes
File Upload fieldYesYes
Multi-Page FormYesYes
Multipage FormYesYes
Tabbed formNo (upcoming feature)Yes
Built-in Progress bar in multipage formNo (with 3rd party plugin)Yes
Inline repeating fieldYesNo

Regarding interface, Ninja Forms Form Builder is far more stylish and spectacular. With the launch of version 3, the form builder of Ninja Forms has got a facelift and comes with many advanced options. It has been designed on front-end. In contrast to other form builders, Ninja Forms Form Builder is very smooth, highly elegant, stylish and impressively fast.

Ninja Forms Form Builder comes with 29 fields on its own i.e. without the help of any add-on and with add-ons, number of fields may increase up to 35.

On the other hand, the form builder of Formidable Pro Form is very much like that of Gravity Forms, though a little bit advanced than the latter. This is a back-end form builder, which may look at first glance very simple yet it works efficiently. Formidable Form Builder comes with more than 30 fields, which include from simple text box and check box to advanced dynamic fields such as grid field, section field, data from entries field and lookup field. Grid field, Lookup field and data form entries (Dynamic Fields) are fields which help us create data management application with Formidable Pro.

Form builders of both plugins are quite fast. The performance of both form builders remains unaffected, even if you add more than 100 fields.

As for the features of form builders, in some features Formidable Pro excels, while in some Ninja Forms.

Winner – Tie

Conditional Triggers

Conditionally show or hide a field

Both Ninja Forms and Formidable Forms provide the option to show or hide different fields conditionally. If you buy the basic package of these plugins, you can still enjoy the conditional logic feature. Only the difference between the two plugins regarding this feature is this that the conditional logic feature of Ninja Forms needs to be installed as an add-on, whereas Formidable Pro’s core plugin has this function built-in.

Submit data in database conditionally

Formidable Forms is not yet equipped with this trigger and we cannot conditionally-stop any entry from database submission. Unlike Formidable Forms, Ninja Forms allows you to stop entries from slipping into database with the help of different form inputs.

Send emails conditionally

Both Ninja Forms and Formidable Forms support this this trigger.

Verdict – Ninja Forms is the winner

Display data on Frontend

It is the feature where Formidable Forms unequivocally rules. Currently there are three WordPress plugins which let us display form data on frontend; Formidable Forms, Toolset and GravityView (works with Gravity Forms). Out of these three plugins, only Formidable Forms and Toolset can display data in a custom HTML format.

When it comes to Ninja Forms, unfortunately, its functionality of displaying and managing data is pretty limited. They offer a separate paid add-on which enables frontend editing of content but as of now it is not compatible with the version 3. Additionally, this addon cannot display data in a custom HTML format.

Formidable Pro requires no additional paid add-ons for data-management as the core plugin comes equipped with this feature. Whichever format you want to display data in, you can display. Besides, frontend editing is possible of any data.. What’s important and of note is that this front-end editing is not just limited to posts, pages and custom posts and you can edit any data which is submitted via a form created with the help of Formidable plugin.

Verdict – Formidable Forms is the winner

Frontend Posting

Formidable Pro has a built-in feature to create posts (or custom post types) via a form and there is no need to pay additional charges for this feature. But it is not the case with Ninja Forms. You need to buy an add-on separately to create posts via forms.

Verdict – Formidable Forms is the winner

Advanced data search

Who can deny the importance of custom search/parametric search or multi-criteria search, especially when we are running a directory website or an eCommerce website? If there are diverse kinds of contents on the website, visitors can take advantage of this search feature to search the content of their use.

A form created by Formidable Forms can be used as a search form. Moreover, you can add custom fields as you like.

Ninja Forms as yet does not offer any such feature.

Verdict – Formidable Forms is the winner.

eCommerce support

Formidable Forms offers PayPal, Stripe and WooCommerce add-ons to create a payment form. You can also enable recurring payment feature with the help of a PayPal add-on.

In Ninja Forms, there are PayPal and Stripe add-ons, if you want to charge users after form submission. Recurring PayPal payment option is not yet available and there is no WooCommerce add-on either.

Verdict – Formidable Forms is the winner

Email Marketing

Formidable Forms offers AWeber and Mailchimp integration. Now have a look at the integration add-ons which Ninja Forms provides you with for email marketing services. For the sake of comparison we can say that the number of email marketing services Ninja Forms has integration add-ons for are more than double. At the same time, it is also worth mentioning that a lot of add-ons are not yet available for Ninja Form 3.0 such as GetResponse, CleverReach and iContact.

With the help of Autoresponder add-on of Formidable Forms, you can use even Formidable Pro itself as email-marketing software. Autoresponder enables you to send scheduled emails to users after the entry has been submitted. For example you can set an email so that it is triggered only after a specific time of form submission. You can schedule-send an email after XX time or on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.

Verdict – When it comes to integration to 3rd party services, Ninja Forms carries the day but as far as in-built email marketing function is concerned, Formidable Pro seems to be the only choice.

Form Styling and Layout

Formidable ProNinja Forms
Style TemplatingYesNo
Extensive Styling8 Points10 Points
Individual Field stylingNoYes
Import export stylingYesYes
Easy Multi-columnYesYes
Style Form WrapperNoYes
Style RowsYesYes

With regard to details and subtlety, Ninja Forms provides far more styling options and you can selectively style even a single field. From form container and row styling Ninja Forms offers easy options to customize almost everything to style.

Similarly, Formidable Pro too provides sufficient styling options but not as much as Nindja Forms does. The thing is with Formidable Pro you can’t style any form element individually. For example, if you style the input field, this style will automatically be applied to all input fields and not just that particular field.

But it is worth mentioning here that Formidable Pro gives you freedom to create style templates, which means you can create any number of style templates. Moreover, you are free to use any template for any form. Ninja Forms does not have templating system.

As far as multi-column forms are concerned, with Ninja Forms they are fun. You can create multiple columns by just dragging the field into a row. Creating columns in a row with Formidable is also easy but admittedly it requires a little bit understanding of how Formidable readymade classes work.

Verdict – There’s no denying that Ninja Forms comes with more styling options, but at the same time, we cannot ignore that Ninja Forms does not have any templating system. So in terms of form styling and layout, Ninja Forms is outplayed by Formidable Forms.

Technical Support

Formidable ProNinja Forms
Support response time2 hours to 24 hours8 Hours
Support availabilityAll days
(slow support during
weekend)
Monday to Friday
Support termsYearlyYearly

Ninja forms support page reads that your support ticket will be addressed within 8 hours and the support system is very much alike for all the paid customers.

In contrast, Formidable Pro provides three kinds of support:

Standard – Response time 24 hours

Priority – Response time 5 hours

Elite – Response time 2 hours

Its Personal ($49) and Professional ($99) package come with standard support, while Small Business plan ($199) promises Priority Support. Elite Support is exclusively for Enterprise Plan ($399) subscribers..

What is special about Formidable Forms helpdesk is that here you can create a public as well as a private support ticket. These public support tickets helps to answer the varying kinds of questions of other customers.

The detailed documentation of both the plugins can be found on their respective websites.

Verdict – Decide yourself

Plans and Pricing

Formidable ProNinja Forms
1 Site License$47$99
3 Site License$99n/a
15 Site License$199n/a
20 Site License$199n/a
Unlimited Site License$399$499
UpdatesYearly to LifetimeYearly
Support pricefree for one year and then
pay per year
Yearly

The basic package of Ninja Forms is available for $99, whereas the basic page of Formidable Forms can be purchased for half the price of the former i.e. only for $47.

Another pan is for $199 where with single subscription, Ninja Forms can be used on 20 different sites. As for Formidable Forms, with one subscription, you can use it on 15 different sites. On the other hand, in its $199 plan, Formidable Pro comes equipped with more than 16 add-ons, which is really amazing especially when compared to Ninja Forms which provides only 3 essential add-ons (Conditional Logic, Layouts and Styles and File Upload).

The unlimited site licence of Formidable Forms is better than that of Ninja Forms in all ways. It is not only $100 cheaper but also assures you of lifetime updates and fast support.

Verdict – Formidable Forms is the winner

Conclusion

One thing that is really promising and common about both plugins is that they are being worked upon and developed fast and we can expect that in the future these two two plugins will reach new heights.

If your form needs are very basic, you can make do with Ninja Forms free version because it is way better than the free version of Formidable Forms. But if you want to create stylish and vogue forms. You should purchase Ninja Forms. Among other things, add-ons are more in Ninja Forms.

But when it comes to overall functionality, Formidable Pro outstrips Ninja Forms by a wide margin. Two features namely front-end data management and email scheduler make Formidable Forms more than just a form builder. As far as my personal opinion is concerned, I do not think that any form builder can be a match for Formidable Forms (except for Toolset).

Detailed Comparison Table (Judge Yourself)

Formidable FormsNinja Forms
Free versionYesYes
Drag and drop builderYesYes
Number of fields30+30+
Conditionally show hide fieldsYesYes
Conditionally send notificationsYesYes
Conditionally submit entry to databaseNoYes
Display data on frontendYesYes
Display data in custom formatYesNo
Frontend form data editingYesYes
Multi-criteria searchYesNo
Data lookup fieldYesNo
Dynamic data fieldYesNo
Calculation supportYesYes
Detailed styling of formYesYes
Styling templatesYesNo
Multi-column formsYesYes
Frontend posting of all post typesYesYes (Addon)
Custom post type creationYesYes (Addon)
Multipage formsYesYes
Form templatesYesYes
View templatesYesn/a
Tabbed formsNoYes
Progress barNo
(with 3rd party plugin)
Yes
Ajax supportYesYes
Conditional redirect
after submission
YesNo
Save form as draftYesYes
(Addon)
Formidable FormsNinja Forms
ACCESS CONTROL
Limit form visibility based on user roleYesYes
Limit number of entries per userYesNo
Limit number of for entries per IP/cookieYesNo
Limit total number of entriesNo
(with custom code)
Yes
Limit frontend editing of entriesYesn/a
Access control for frontend displayYesn/a
Database display and control abilities
Formidable FormsNinja Forms
Display form entries on frontendYesYes (Addon)
Display form entries in custom format
(custom HTML and CSS)
YesNo
Edit and Delete data on frontendYesNo
Filter database with custom
parametric search
YesNo
Display created posts in custom formatYesNo
Retrieve database via lookup fieldYesNo
Conditionally display dataYesNo
Conditionally style dataYesNo
User Registration
Formidable FormsNinja Forms
Create user who submit formYes (Addon)No
Set role for registered userYes (Addon)n/a
Automatic username and passwordYes (Addon)n/a
Welcome email customizationYes (Addon)n/a
eCommerce abilities
Formidable FormsNinja Forms
PaypalYes (Addon)Yes (Addon)
Paypal recurringYes (Addon)No
StripeYes (Addon)Yes (Addon)
Authorize.netYes (Addon)No
WooCommerceYes (Addon)No
Email Marketing abilties
Formidable FormsNinja Forms
MailchimpYes (Addon)Yes (Addon)
AWeberYes (Addon)Yes (Addon)
GetResponseNoYes (Addon)
iContactNoYes (Addon)
SendyNoYes (Addon)
mailpoetNoYes (Addon)
CleverReachNoYes (Addon)
Constant ContactNoYes (Addon)
Campaign MonitorNoYes (Addon)
In-built automation systemNoYes (Addon)
Automatic Notifications
Formidable FormsNinja Forms
Schedule notification after certain days
of entry submission
Yes (Addon)No
Schedule notification periodically (daily, weekly, yearly)Yes (Addon)No
SMS Notification
TwiloYes (Addon)No
Other features
ZOHO CRMNoYes (Addon)
ZapierNoYes (Addon)
Help ScoutNoYes (Addon)
White Label formsYesYes (Addon)
Excel exportNoYes (Addon)
Zoho CreatorNoYes (Addon)
salesforceNoYes (Addon)
ElevonNoYes (Addon)
TrelloNoYes (Addon)
Batchbook Social CRMNoYes (Addon)
Submission as PDFNo
(3rd party addon)
Yes (Addon)
Insightly CRMNoYes (Addon)
Capsule CRMNoYes (Addon)
ZOHO CRMNoYes (Addon)
Modal formYesYes (Addon)
FreshbooksNoYes (Addon)
User TrackingYes (Addon)Yes (Addon)
HighriseYes (Addon)No

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

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