This is the second in a series of posts about Gravity Forms, a premium forms solution for WordPress. This post will look at the sometimes mysterious but always important subject of settings. Specifically, how to set up Gravity Forms and how to set the settings for individual forms.

We started this series with a post about creating a simple Gravity Form: Using Gravity Forms – How to Create a Simple Form. Why start by making a form? Well, it’s more fun and satisfying to actually build something useful. Even if it’s a simple form it’s something you can use to make your website more effective. And Gravity Forms comes with preset default settings. These are, in many ways, just fine.

This post will discuss the key settings, demonstrate how to change them and describing why you might want to change them.

Setting Up Gravity Forms – General Settings

These are the general settings that are specific to your install. You access them by going to Settings in the Gravity Forms menu. You only need to worry about is the first one. Gravity Forms is a premium plugin. You will need to add your license key.

If you add extensions to Gravity Forms they will be added to the list and will require some setup. More on this in a later post.

For the most part, these are set once and forget it. The defaults will likely be fine.

reCaptcha Settings

Follow the link in the instructions to secure your reCaptcha keys and add them to the settings.

Setting up Gravity Forms – Form Settings

This is where the fun is. (Can forms be fun?) Or said another way, setting up Gravity Forms starts to get some power when you start working with individual forms.

You access form settings by selecting Settings once you’ve accessed the form. In the left navigation area, you will see all the things you can control for an individual form. Don’t be intimidated, you won’t need to use everything in every form.

The Title and Description help you identify the form and they can be used when the form is displayed on a page. If you don’t have too many forms, then a simple descriptive title is all you need. If you have a lot of forms then some thought here is useful.

Form Layout and Form Button

The next two areas provide global control over how content is presented. These settings can be overridden within the field settings but getting them right globally will save you time.

Form Layout

Form Layout lets you determine where the label and the description will be positioned relative to the form field. I usually leave the label position alone, it works fine in most situations, but I prefer to position the description above the form fields. This way, if I need to provide contextual information, it appears before I’m asking users to enter content.

Form Button

This is where you determine what the button says. “Submit” is fine, but not very action oriented. Click Here, or Learn More, or… whatever you want to tell users to do, this is where it goes.

The balance of the settings are more advanced and in most situations the default settings are fine.