We get this question every so often. Only it’s usually more like, why should I use Ninja Forms instead of plugin X.
The person asking this question usually wants us to tell them why we’re better than the other guys, helping them justify their decision to use our plugin. While the question is definitely valid, it’s challenging to answer. We are completely aware that Ninja Forms might not be the best solution for every single use case; the answer has a lot more to do with what the user needs now and in the future than with the features of each plugin.
So I’d like to share a few reasons why I think you should use Ninja Forms. Please keep in mind, some of the other WordPress form plugins available may have some of these in common, but not all of them. This post is solely about Ninja Forms and in no way tries to claim what another plugin may or may not offer.
Why Use Ninja Forms
1. Ninja Forms is completely FREE
Yes, we sell add-ons to extend Ninja Forms, but core plugin is very robust and completely free.
We love the WordPress community and want to give back to the community that has given so much to us. One way we are able to do this is by offering a very flexible form creation plugin. For many users, this is all that they will ever need and it’s an honor to provide an easy to use plugin for them.
2. Ninja Forms is completely Open Source
Now you may be thinking that all WordPress plugins are open source. While that may be technically true, some are more open than others. For instance Ninja Forms is completely open to contributors; our entire core codebase is available on GitHub. You can view the code without downloading or purchasing it, and you can make pull requests to contribute to the progress and future of Ninja Forms.
We’re proud of this fact and love the growing Ninja Forms community.
3. Ninja Forms has dozens of talented developers contributing
Speaking of that growing Ninja Forms community, you can check them out here. On that page you’ll find all the people who have contributed code to make Ninja Forms what it is today. Several of them are third party developers who sell Ninja Forms add-ons on our site, while some are listed as consultants in case you may ever need some custom Ninja Forms development done.
More developers means more eyes on the project and more opportunity for rapid development of new features. It also means there are plenty of developers with extensive knowledge with Ninja Forms, if you ever need more complex solution developed on top of Ninja Forms.
4. Ninja Forms has dozens of add-ons and dozens more on the way
Ninja Forms has a huge assortment of add-ons built by the Ninja Forms team and the community. It also has dozens more being built or in the planning stages. This means that no matter what you need, it’s probably available. Better still is that Ninja Forms can grow with you. Get exactly what you need as you need it. Start with just Ninja Forms. If a year down the road you find you need a little more functionality, you don’t have to worry because it’s here waiting for you.
5. Ninja Forms is supplementing the income of other developers
While Ninja Forms has dozens of add-ons, less than 30% of them are built by the Ninja Forms team. That percentage is getting smaller every month as more extensions are being released. Every other add-on has been built by a talented third-party developer that earns additional revenue with each sale. For us, the community around Ninja Forms is something that motivates our every action. We want to create great products for our users, but we also want to create an opportunity for other developers to become even more self sufficient with the products that they build. Paying commissions each month is one my favorite monthly tasks.
6. Ninja Forms is being adopted by popular WordPress companies
Just recently we wrote a post about how StudioPress theme demos are adopting Ninja Forms for their contact pages. In case you don’t know much about them, they are probably the largest and most popular WordPress theme company around. Another one of their projects, the new Rainmaker, is also using Ninja Forms. Everyday more and more themes and companies are adopting Ninja Forms which at the very least means it is becoming a very trusted product by other respected developers.
7. Ninja Forms and all add-ons are fully supported
Most products probably offer some kind of support but I wanted to highlight ours because I’m very proud of it. We believe very strongly in offering the best support possible. Ninja Forms is completely free but it is also the base of our extension business so we provide support for Ninja Forms for every user regardless of whether they’ve purchased one of our extensions or not. I’m sure it’s no surprise that some requests fall outside the realm of what we can provide for free support, but we still believe every request has a right to be heard and taken seriously.
8. Ninja Forms is extremely easy to extend
One of the things we love to hear is how people have extended Ninja Forms to do something completely unique for their own business or project. Developers and users alike have repeatedly told us that Ninja Forms is easier to extend than any other form plugin they’ve used. That’s music to our ears because we specifically developed Ninja Forms with that in mind. With our Developer API there is practically nothing you can’t do. Our huge assortment of add-ons is proof of that.
It’s so easy in fact that we’ve taught just basic WordPress users who’ve never written a line of code before to create their own plugins and extend Ninja Forms for themselves.
9. Ninja Forms has a rapidly growing user base
It would be poor form from me not to mention how humbled I am at the growth of Ninja Forms. A little over 3 years ago we launched this little project and it wouldn’t be here today if we didn’t ignore the initial responses we received. We were told repeatedly that WordPress didn’t need another form solution. We are so grateful we didn’t listen.
By the end of 2012 and Ninja Forms has only been downloaded 22,000 or so times. That’s an entire year of downloads and isn’t very much. In January of 2013 we launched Ninja Forms 2.0 under the extension model we currently operate under. in 2013 we had a 189,794 total downloads. In just the first 7 months of 2014 we have had 220,193 downloads and expect at least 100k more. We’re projecting about a half million downloads or more next year. You can see some of our download stats here.
Ninja Forms is growing and growing fast. With this rapid growth we are making decisions that will ensure that Ninja Forms is here for a very long time which brings me to reason number 10.
10. Ninja Forms is focusing and expanding our team
It took us an entire year to build 2.0. We had been working on 3.0 for 6 months before we realized we needed to change how we were doing things. There are a lot of great things that we have planned but those plans require some infrastructure changes in our code. We wanted to get that all in place in one major release of 3.0 but that was causing all improvements to be delayed. Instead we are rolling out more frequent and focused releases like our recent 2.7 release. In that release we focused completely on improving the submissions management and it has been really well received so far. Next up is notifications.
We’re also expanding our team to handle the increased popularity of Ninja Forms. Just this month we hired Zach Skaggs as our Happiness Ninja. He’s starting by focusing on support and documentation, which will be a huge win for all of our users.
There are a lot more reasons to use Ninja Forms…
We have some things in the pipeline that will make Ninja Forms even better, but we’ll leave it with our top ten for now.
We would love to hear from you: Why do you use Ninja Forms? What is your favorite part of Ninja Forms. What’s the one things that’s missing that you wish we would add?