Top 5 Formstack alternatives

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Formstack is one of the most popular options when it comes to online form builders. Its diverse collection of templates, seamless data collection process, tons of integrations, and mobile-friendly interface make it extremely easy to use and reliable. 

Like every good thing, Formstack has its downsides as well. For starters, it’s not the most budget-friendly. Plus, it lacks a few essential features like 360-degree data analysis and robust workflow automation that some of its competitors are catering to. Needless to say, there are definitely some better options. 

However, in a sea of choices, how do you find the right one for your needs? My team of experts and I at TechRadar have tested dozens of online form builders across multiple criteria to bring you some thoughtful choices if Formstack doesn’t seem to do the job for you. Read on to find out the top five form builders that make up for Formstack’s shortcomings.

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1. Typeform  

Typeform is a popular online form and survey builder that stands out for its ease of use. If you compare Formstack’s cheapest plan with Typeform’s most basic plan, you’ll notice that it’s the latter that allows for unlimited forms with unlimited questions. Formstack, on the other hand, limits it to 20 forms a month.

Typeform also provides a free plan, unlike Formstack, which only has a limited-period free trial. Another benefit of using Typeform is the variety of pre-built form templates. While both platforms offer 300+ options, Typeform has more variety in terms of purpose and category. 

Typeform boasts 30+ form categories with 10-15 options in each. These templates are further divided into categories like signups, customer feedback, client onboarding, and much more, making it easier for you to find the template you’re looking for. 

Formstack is quite limited – just 16 form types (not to be confused with the industry-based categories). Furthermore, Typeform provides a few templates under “other forms," consisting of a simple form design that can be customized according to your needs, but Formstack has no such template. You’ll either have to build a form from scratch or pick one from the distinguished categories and make heavy changes.

Typeform’s features extend beyond just form building: you can also create quizzes and polls on the platform – another feature lacking on Formstack.  

Reasons to use:

+ User-friendly

+ 500+ integrations

+ Comes with a decent free plan

+ Lets you create quizzes and polls alongside forms

Reasons to avoid:

-  No offline forms  

2. Microsoft Forms 

Microsoft Forms' biggest benefit over Formstack is form analysis. While Formstack only provides you with data on the responders and their response rate, Microsoft Forms is able to churn a pie chart representing the percentage of users who selected a certain option. 

If you’re using this form for research or data collection purposes, finding the majority or minority for any parameter will require no additional calculation.

For those not too adept at analyzing forms, Microsoft has another unique feature called Form Ideas — your virtual data analyst. For example, let's say you have an affiliate marketing program, and you want to check how satisfied your affiliates are with the earning. In this case, you can ask two questions — one regarding their satisfaction level and the other asking them to get a referral code for your friend. 

What Form Ideas does is tell you what percentage of the people who claimed to be extremely satisfied with the program have actually clicked on the referral code section to invite a friend. In simple terms, you can use this tool to understand the relationship between the responses to two different questions. And that’s just one of its many features.

Next up, Microsoft is significantly cheaper than Formstack and comes with a bunch of extra features, not to forget that it also has a free forever plan. For example, consider the cheapest plan on both platforms. Microsoft Forms’ cheapest plan is $6/user/month, whereas Formstack starts at $50/month. 

However, Microsoft Forms is not a separate product, and you will actually have to buy the entire Microsoft 365 suite, which isn’t bad at all if you think about it since you will get more at the same price, including premium Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and whatnot. 

Reasons to use:

+ Super affordable 

+ Offers detailed analysis of each question 

+ Shares important metrics about visitors 

+ Comes with a bunch of extra tools under Microsoft 365

Reasons to avoid:

- Microsoft Forms is a part of Microsoft 365 and cannot be purchased separately

3. Google Forms  

Google Form’s biggest USP is the brand itself – it's reliable, as simple as it can get, and easily accessible. Everyone has a Google account to their name, so unlike platforms like Formstack, you won't have to create a separate account for access to a form builder. Also, Google Forms is completely free to use.

Like Microsoft Forms, Google Forms too, creates pie charts and provides analytics on respondents to simplify interpretation. Instead of manually checking the number of people that have selected an option, you can directly spot the difference through a graph. 

In addition to that, you can also connect your Google Forms account with Google Sheets and automatically import the responses to create a database of the form respondents. It's a clutter-free way to organize user data for long-term use. 

The best part about using Google Forms is its interface — super simple to use. Even the options and features on the menu are so basic that you don't need any help navigating it. Formstack, on the other hand, is slightly more advanced. When I tried creating a new form to test the platform, it took me a substantial amount of time to go through all the options (there are so many!) and understand them. 

Reasons to use:

+ Swift setup

+ A feature-loaded free version 

+ Simplifies data analysis with auto-generated pie charts

+Connects with Google Sheets to simplify data interpretation 

Reasons to avoid:

- Limited customization opportunities

4. Cognito Forms  

Cognito Forms is another popular Formstack alternative that provides a generous free plan, just like Typeform, and is best known for its data management features.

Formstack talks a lot about how it helps you collect mass data and automate parts of the workflow, but it doesn't necessarily give too much away as far as post-data collection is concerned. Cognito Forms, on the other hand, lets you quickly import bulk data to a different system or platform.

Sorting bulk data with Cognito Forms is quite simple, thanks to its smart filters. You can sort categories and columns to quickly find what you need instead of going through the entire list of entries manually.

I highly recommend Cognito Forms for large businesses and organizations. Unlike Formstack, where you can only have 1-2 users at a time, Cognito Forms lets you add up to 20, depending on your chosen plan. So instead of having one employee take care of all the research and user interaction duties, you can have an entire team dedicated to it. 

Furthermore, Cognito Forms provides a decent amount of storage to every user, starting from 100MB and going all the way up to 100GB, depending on the plan you choose. While third-party sources claim that Formstack provides up to 2GB of storage to its users, it's still far below Cognito in this regard. 

Reasons to use:

+ Comes with a generous free plan

+ 100MB to 100GB of storage for users

+ Simplifies bulk data import and export

+ Excellent data management features 

Reasons to avoid:

- The self-help material is inadequate  

5. Zoho Forms 

Zoho Forms is ideal for users looking to create an automated workflow with their online forms. Let's say you have sent out forms for an internship opportunity, and you don't have the time to reply to every eligible candidate manually. In that case, you can just add keywords, such as a qualification level, that would deem a form response eligible, and Zoho will automatically send an email to those respondents about the next step. 

Automated emails or SMS can also be used to notify your team whenever a new form is submitted. Instead of going through a massive pile of responses at the end of the day, Zoho helps you sort them as they come, ensuring faster responses and less backlog.

Also, unlike Formstack, which provides Document Merging under a different plan, Zoho provides the feature on the same plan as the forms. This feature helps you extract information from your forms and create them into documents. For example, once you have collected responses from everyone regarding the internship, you can use the Document Merging feature to create personalized interview letters for each candidate.

Zoho is all about customization – it lets you create custom validation messages that are displayed under a field when the respondent types in an answer in the wrong format. Although Formstack definitely allows customized messages, you need to use Javascript to do so. Zoho Forms, on the other hand, has made it simple with a step-by-step, no-code process. 

Reasons to use:

+ Seamless payment integration 

+ Helps you create automated workflows 

+ Intelligently routes responders to the right question 

+ Document merging feature automatically extracts data from the forms and creates documents 

Reasons to avoid:

- Some users don't find the mobile version of the website friendly enough


Formstack is a solid package with an easy form-building interface offering tons of customization options. And with over 300 templates, you’ll surely find one that suits your needs. However, the high monthly subscription cost of $50/month is a dealbreaker for most individuals and small to mid-sized businesses. Formsack’s support is also quite underwhelming, especially for its price.

You could get much more done with some other form builders, such as Zoho Forms and Typeform, at much lower costs. And for a completely free service, consider Google Forms and Microsoft Forms.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.