WordPress welcomes you if you are looking forward to building database workflow applications.
So far there have been only two WordPress plugins with which you can create database applications in WordPress. These plugins are very powerful and the word plugin in its literal meaning seem too diminutive for them as the word plugin as such is used for a small piece of code that adds some additional features to some already featureful software. But these plugins add so many features to WordPress that they would rather be called ‘suite’.
Formidable Forms and Toolset are two of them. For a developer they are no less than Pandora’s box as advanced to advanced applications can be built with their help. On the other hand, even a non-programmer can make PHP applications without the knowledge of coding using these plugins and feel like a virtual developer. A person who is expert in WordPress can definitely write database applications just by harnessing the power of these two plugins. The most basic example of a database application is an application that collects data through a form, displays it on frontend pages and edits and searches this data. Now to escalate this application from basic to advanced level, we need some customizations such as:
- Different users have different access rules to the submitted data. For example if someone submits a form entry, only he or she can view and update that entry (admin is always an exception)
- Pulling one form data to another form. For example if a form is being used to gather cities’ data then we can populate cities name in the field of any other form.
- Copying a form entry to any other form using a link
- Printing data on the frontend
- Conditionally show or hide data on frontend display
- And many other customizations
Apart from Toolset and Formidable Forms, there is one more plugin that allows us to display, edit and search the data collected by Gravity Forms. The developers of Gravity View have primarily zeroed in on displaying, updating and searching the entries and this plugin as yet does not have lots of customizations to offer. But at the same time, there is something that makes it stand out. Gravity view is far easier to use compared to Formidable Forms and Toolset. You may have hard time creating an advanced search form (parametric search, which is used for searching form entries) with Formidable Forms but you sail through the same job with Gravity Forms.
The most important and attractive thing about Gravity View is that every feature has been designed in a user-friendly way so that a user do not have to worry much about code customization which constantly nags with Formidable Forms and Toolset view. For instance, if you want to publish an exam result, you will want to show only result search by default and keep the results hidden until someone performs a search. For adding this functionality, you need to add custom code in case of Toolset (no doubt custom code is premade and very easy to insert). Contrastingly this feature comes out of the box in Gravity View. So, let us explore in this post what these plugins have in store for you and which suits your needs best.
When Gravity View is preferable to Formidable Forms And Toolset:
- If you don’t like heavy customizations or are not able to do the same, Gravity View is made for you because it requires little effort on your part for front end data display setup.
- Contrary to Formidable Forms Pro and Toolset Views, Gravity View comes with a native drag and drop layout builder, which, admittedly not very advanced, yet lets you build frontend data view without any specific need to look for plugin documentation and within few minutes a searchable data directory is ready.
- Most of the actions in Gravity View are readymade and the user just have to drag and drop them into View. Take for example, ‘Edit Entry’’ link. If you want to add ‘Edit Entry’ link to Formidable Forms Pro or Toolset Views, you first have to add shortcode to layout editor and then add the id of the page (to which form belongs) to shortcode. In case of Gravity View it is different as you have to add just one ‘’Edit entry’’ block. This block comes with pre-configured options. Similarly “Delete entry” link can also be added.
- With Gravity View, you have three different-ways to build a layout. One of them is ‘table layout’, that means your form entries will appear in form of a table and to furnish this table with CSS styling, you may need to invest a lot of time because this table is already in a professional look. Second layout is listing layout. Listing layout is a two column layout and its two columns can be used to show the data of any form field in whatever way you want. With Formidable Forms Pro, you need custom HTML and shortcodes to create a layout and though part of their developer roadmap, at present there is no drag-and-drop View builder available. As far as Toolset Views is concerned, it is a little different in this regard. They have integrated top class layout builders, ‘Divi Builders’ and ‘Visual Composer’ with their ‘View Creator’. It means if you have license of ‘Divi Builder’ or ‘VIsual Composer’, you can create any desired layout with Toolset Views.
Do Not Go For Gravity View If:
- If you want to create something more than a simple, plain frontend data management.
- You have to buy Gravity Forms along with Gravity View and it means it will cost you double. Gravity view on its own is pretty expensive and Gravity Forms does not come cheap also. So in case you have a tight budget, you better go for either Toolset or Formidable Forms Pro and go through their documentation. They have a very competent and customer-friendly staff. Using the plugin documentation, any of two is not much difficult to use.
Formidable Forms is Tailored Just For You If:
- Any data collected by Formidable Forms Pro can not only be displayed, edited and search but also made advanced such as data from many forms can be connected, data can be collected and displayed in a tabular form, users can be registered and their profiles can be moved to frontend and even users can be deleted. There are many features which you may not find anywhere else.
- If you are a feature enthusiastic and seek a plugin which is being developed with leaps and bounds and progressing at an exponential rate with newer and newer features being added to it everyday. If so, Formidable Forms Pro is for you.
- If you are an advanced user and want to fathom WordPress but are not very much familiar with PHP.
- If you know how to implement readymade HTML and CSS
- Sometimes a WordPress plugin’s development is discontinued and the users are left twisting in the wind. But Formidable Forms Pro is on a roll and is being developed in full gear keeping abreast of the fast growth of the parent company. If you are a Formidable Forms Pro user, you never need to bother about its discontinuation.
- The form builder of Formidable Forms Pro is sufficiently advanced and using it you can create high quality forms very easily.
- This plugin is equally handy for both types of users i.e. developers and non-developers. It provides so vast array of features and whole gamut of extensive functionalities that a list of its individual features will be remarkably long.
Formidable Forms Pro may not be for you in the following conditions:
- If you are not comfortable with the use of HTML and CSS for displaying the form entries on frontend.
- To implement advanced search with Formidable Forms Pro is not very straightforward and you may feel lost.
Toolset Is Tailored For You If:
- If you are an advanced WordPress user.
- If you have time and patience to get the hang of the plugin documentation. Toolset is more advanced than Formidable Forms Pro and at first you may have hard time understanding and using it.
- If you want to create advanced portals like real estate, custom ecommerce sites (based on woo commerce), business directory websites, classified ad websites or any other database driven portal.
- If you need to design custom post templates(loop designing), category templates or some other archive templates with Divi Builder or Visual Composer. Toolset allows you to design a dynamic page element such as post title, post metas, custom fields etc.
- Toolset is an economical and budget-friendly plugin and you get best service, paramount technical support and regular updates for one year at a price that everyone can afford
You may be requesting a refund for your Toolset purchase if;
- It is very important to point out that Toolset does not come with a drag-and-drop form builder. To that end, you need to customize form HTML. If you are looking for a drag-and-drop form builder, you must pick either Formidable Forms Pro or Gravity Forms with Gravity View.
- If you are new to WordPress, do not have an exhaustive knowledge of it and are not familiar with the implementation of readymade HTML, CSS and PHP.
|Formidable Forms Pro||Toolset||Gravity View|
|Form Builder||Yes||Automatically generate form using
what custom fields, taxonomies are used
in a post type.
To customize form appearance you need
to customize HTML and CSS
|No. It relies upon Gravity Forms
for Form building
|Display Form Entries
on frontend pages
|Edit Entries on frontend||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Advanced search to filter
|Hide all entries by default||Yes||No||Yes|
|Easy layout building||Requires editing HTML and
|Yes. With Divi Builder or Visual Composer||Very easy to display form entries
on frontend. Rearrange fields in View.
But there are limited options to cue layout
with easy view builder.
|Free style layout editing
using HTML and CSS
|Yes||Yes||Yes (with addon DIY)|
|Conditionally show hide data||Yes||Yes||Yes (with gvlogic)|
via custom code
|Create advanced portals
like WooCommerce, classified,
real-estate, city directory
|Create layouts for posts||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Create layouts for categories
and other archives
|Relating data between forms||Yes||Yes||No|
|Calculation in View||it support calculations
but cuurently there is no readymade
way to calculate field values in a
|Graphs and charts||Yes||No||No|
|Display WooCommerce product
in a custom layout
|Filter entries by distance||No||Yes||No|
|Ajax filtering in advanced search||No||Yes||No|
|Aurtomatic setup of advanced
|Show entries in grid||requires custom CSS||Automatic||requires custom CSS|
|Value for money||High||High||Low|
|Current user only Entry||Yes||yes||Yes|
|Allow users to edit entries||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Independent data management
|Yes||Yes||No, depends on Gravity Forms|
|Show entries on a map||Yes (with a free plugin Mappress)
No additional cost
|Yes, Native, Not additional cost||Yes, with addon, quadouples your total expense|