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About Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms is the WordPress plugin used for web form development and management. Build and design your WordPress forms using the visual form editor located in the WordPress Dashboard.

Gravity Forms are used to collect user data through contact forms, online surveys, registrations, and more. User data is stored in WordPress, and site admins can export the data to other formats (such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets).

Workflow functionality for Gravity Forms is not supported. The additional plugins required to support automated workflow functionality (such as sending data to a third-party application or requiring multiple approval steps) risk creating conflicts in Boise State’s WordPress environment.

Ecommerce Forms

Gravity Forms should not be used for eCommerce, and forms should never collect sensitive information like identification, student transcripts, or credit card numbers.

The University’s officially-supported system for all eCommerce services is Marketplace.

Learn about using Marketplace for payments

Choose the University Forms Platform That’s Right for You

The University is committed to supporting an Information Technology (IT) environment that is accessible to all, and in particular to people with disabilities.

Regardless of the solution used, all forms published on the Boise State website must meet accessibility compliance requirements per University Policy 8140: Information Technology Accessibility.

If you have any questions about the accessibility of your forms, please contact

Visit the Project Management Office to learn about supported university forms solutions:

Supported University Forms Platforms

Security Issues

Create and Manage Forms in Gravity Forms

Best Practices

Do Update Notification Settings

This is Very Important

For each form published, ensure the form’s notification settings (under Settings > Notifications) are correct. Specifically, the “Send to Email,” “From Email” and “Reply To” email address fields must only contain active email addresses.

Do not use the default {admin_email} value in any of these fields.

If these fields do not contain addresses, your notification may bounce.

Do Not Enable ‘Require User to be Logged In’

Within your form’s settings will be an option to require users to be logged in to access the form. This feature conflicts with our layered authentication and VPN. If you have a need to restrict access to a form, please use Google Forms.

Do Not Enable ‘Enable Ajax’

When you add a form to a page, there will be a checkbox to ‘Enable Ajax.’ Do not use this feature, as it directly conflicts with the web standards styling that forms utilize in the Boise State environment and causes varying visual problems.

Do Not Enable 'Anti-Spam Honeypot'

Within your form’s settings will be an option to use an anti-spam honeypot. This feature should not be activated, as it occasionally conflicts with your form’s confirmation messages. Instead, please use the “CAPTCHA” field on each form, located under “Advanced Fields.”

NOTE: In general, these fields can be difficult for screen reader users. To assist, we recommend adding the following description: “Please check ‘I’m not a robot’ to verify CAPTCHA.”

Do Not Collect Sensitive Data

Do not collect SSN, passwords, transcripts, or financial data. For more information, visit the Information Security page.

Do Use Field Labels

Each field should include a field label, typically the first item on the general tab of each field. Without a field label on each field, a form is not considered web accessible.

Form Settings

Configure Form Settings

The following setting recommendations are to improve overall accessibility of your form. Changing these settings before you add any fields to your form will ensure each field added to your form is following the default settings. Otherwise, you will need to change settings for each individual form field.

  1. Select Settings, then select Form Settings from the menu at the top of the page.
  2. In the Form Layout section, change Label Placement, Description Placement, and Sub-Label Placement to Top aligned or Above inputs.
  3. Toggle on the Validation Summary
  4. For Required Field Indicator select Text (Required)
  5. Toggle off the Enable Legacy Markup option at the end of the settings list

New Form

Create a New Form

Before you begin, we recommend outlining your form content and determining the types of fields you’d like to use to collect your information. Some field types are not recommended because they are currently inaccessible by screen readers.  Other fields require an additional accessibility statement. See Field Descriptions and Form Accessibility for more details.

  1. Locate Forms, then select New Forms.
  2. Fill in the Create a New Form pop-up with Form Title and Form Description, then click the Create Form button.
  3. Select a field type from the Fields panels on the right. See “Field Types” section for more information about fields.
  4. Once you’ve found the field type you want, click to add it to the form editor on the left side of your screen.
  5. Click on the edit link to configure the various field options.
  6. Drag the fields to arrange them the way you prefer.
  7. When your form fields have all been added, click on the Update button to save.

Field Types

There are several types of fields available in Gravity Forms to collect information:

  1. Standard Fields provide basic form functionality and include fields like single line or paragraph text, checkboxes, and radio buttons. For more details and field descriptions see Gravity Forms Standard Fields.
  2. Advanced Fields are for specific uses. They enable advanced formatting of regularly used fields such as Name, Email, Address, etc. For more details and field descriptions see Gravity Forms Advanced Fields.

Field Descriptions and Form Accessibility

We have completed accessibility testing on all the available fields and have the following recommendations. Use the following information as a guide for the types of fields available for use. Please make note of which fields are recommended for accessibility.

Regardless of the type of field you use on a form, always include a brief field label to describe the purpose of the form field. Leaving the field label blank results in accessibility errors and in some cases can make the form completely unusable for your users. To filter table content, use the search field.
Field NameUse or Do not useNotes on Accessibility
Single Line Text UseThe input mask option may introduce barriers to users with screen readers if they are using certain browsers. Recommend adding accessibility notice to beginning of form.
Paragraph Text UseAt this time there are no known accessibility concerns with the Paragraph Text field.
Drop Down UseAt this time there are no known accessibility concerns with the Drop Down field.
Multi SelectDo not useThe Multi Select field requires users interact with the form using a combination of keyboard and mouse to select the multiple options. For screen reader users, this also requires additional keystrokes to complete. We recommend using other fields, like checkboxes, to accomplish this task.
NumberUse - with cautionThe Number field functions, but it doesn’t alert users of an formatting error until after the form is submitted. If using this form, include explicit directions on how users should enter their information into the field.
Checkboxes UseAt this time there are no known accessibility concerns with the Checkboxes field.
Radio Buttons Use - with cautionSome of the radio buttons may have misplaced labels. In particular, be cautious when using the "other" option.
HiddenUseAt this time there are no known accessibility concerns with the Hidden field.
HTMLUseAny content presented in an HTML field must meet Boise State web accessibility standards.
SectionUseNot including a field label will introduce barriers to users with screen readers. As long as you include a field label, this option can help to add structure to your form by breaking your content into different sections with headers.
PageUseAt this time there are no known accessibility concerns with the Page field. Use this when you have a long form and you need to break up content into more manageable chunks. NOTE: Use Steps instead of Progress Bar to provide users with information about the different pages required on the form.
NameUseAt this time there are no known accessibility concerns with the Name field.
DateUse - with cautionAt this time there are known accessibility concerns with some of the Date Input Type options available on the Date field. When adding this field, select the Date Picker from the Date Input Type. For the sub-label options, please add MM for month, DD for day, and YYYY for year. The other options are not currently accessible by all users.
TimeUse - with cautionThe Time field is functional. However, by default, the associated field labels are blank. Use the Custom Sub-Label field to add hour, minute, and AM/PM labels to the field.
PhoneUseThe input mask option may introduce barriers to users with screen readers if they are using certain browsers. Recommend adding accessibility notice to beginning of form to alert users.
AddressUseAt this time there are no known accessibility concerns with the Address field.
WebsiteUseAt this time there are no known accessibility concerns with the Website field.
EmailUseThe Email field functions, but it doesn’t alert users of an formatting error until after the form is submitted, particularly if the Enable Email Confirmation option is selected.
File Upload UseAt this time there are no known accessibility concerns with the File Upload field.
CAPTCHAUse - with cautionThe CAPTCHA field is currently accessible, but in general, these fields can be difficult for screen reader users. To assist, we recommend adding the following description: "Please check 'I'm not a robot' to verify CAPTCHA."
ListDo not useThe "add/remove" additional row is completely inaccessible by keyboard navigation or screen readers. Contact Web Accessibility Team to discuss options if you require this sort of functionality on your form.

Create a page for your form

After you finish and save your form, there’s still one more step. You have to insert the form into a WordPress Page. The address you’ll use to direct people to the form will be the address of this new page you’re creating.

  1. Create a new page.
  2. Give this new page an appropriate title (maybe similar to the name of your form).
  3. It’s a good idea to provide some brief instructions for users so they know what to expect and if they need to retrieve any additional information prior to completing the form. You can add this as a brief paragraph immediately before your form. For example, let users know what fields are required, if they need any non-standard information like an ID number or payment details, how to submit the form, or an expected timeframe for follow up.
  4. Insert your form into the page. To do so, click the Embed button and then click on the Copy Shortcode button that appears on the next screen under “Not Using Block Editor“.
  5. Once the embed code is copied paste it into the WordPress Editor.
  6. Unless you need them to display, uncheck the Display form title and Display form description options. This avoids adding duplicate information to your page.

Note: Forms should not be used in the subheader section of the Section Main Page template because there is not enough contrast between the background and the form field descriptions. Forms should go in page content areas only.

Link your new form page

Finally, create a link (or button) on your production site that will take the user to the page you’ve created. This page is the address for your form.


Create a Form Confirmation

Create a text confirmation that will replace the form on your WordPress page once the user has submitted the form. The confirmation text should let the user know the form was successfully submitted and can point them to next steps if needed.

  1. Edit the form you want to add a confirmation to.
  2. Select Settings, then select Confirmations from the menu at the top of the page.
  3. Edit the Default Confirmations.
  4. For Confirmation Type, select Text (recommended), Page, or Redirect. Hover over the help tip to help you decide.
  5. Enter text or select a page or enter a URL.
  6. Click Save Confirmation to finish.


Setup Form Notifications

You have the option of setting up one or more custom email notifications, which will automatically send an email message when a submission has been received.

  1. Configure notifications within a form by selecting Settings, then select Notifications.
  2. Edit Default Confirmation or Add New
  3. Enter Email(s) that you want the entry sent to. Note that using “admin_email” as the “Send To” email for the Notification will send all form notifications to the primary, default email address for the site (“Email Address” in Settings / General for the WordPress site). We don’t recommend this. Use the actual email address (or multiple addresses) that will receive notifications.
  4. When configuring email notifications, be sure the From Email field contains a valid Boise State email address. This will ensure your notifications are received correctly.
  5. Set up the Reply To field with the email address you would like to be used as the reply to address for the notification email. This should be a Boise State address; you should not use the form submitter’s email address in the Reply To field. If your form has an email field you can select that field in the drop down Merge Tag menu. This allows the notification to dynamically populate the information that is filled out from the form entry.
  6. Ensure you are following Boise State web accessibility standards when drafting your email notifications.

Troubleshooting Form Notifications

Your form notifications are emailed from your WordPress site to the recipient via a service called WP Mail SMTP. This tool provides auditing tools to enable you to validate and troubleshoot emails being processed through the service. If you are noticing or suspecting issues with form notifications being sent to you or your users, you should review your email logs to verify what emails have and have not been sent, and for what reason. You can access the WP Mail SMTP logs in the left-hand toolbar within the backend of your site, or contact the Help Desk for WordPress Support to troubleshoot your issue.

Form Testing

It’s a good idea to test out your form and make sure it works correctly. Navigate to your form’s page, fill out the form, and submit it. You should be redirected to your confirmation page and, as the administrator of the form, receive an email at the address you entered into the configurations.

You should also be able to complete every step of your form using the keyboard alone. If you experience difficulty completing the form without a mouse your users will as well.

You can also check the accessibility of your form by using either the Monsido or WAVE browser extensions. Questions about form accessibility can be directed to the OIT Web Accessibility Team at

Manage Entries

In addition to sending an email to the administrator when a form is submitted, Gravity Forms keeps a record of the submissions as Entries. You can access these entries by selecting the form you’re interested in and then clicking on the Entries option.

Depending on what information is useful for you, you can add, remove, or sort by fields in the list of entries.

Forms Cleanup

When a form is no longer in use, we recommend deleting it along with any related entries.

If a form is going to be used again but has finished for the moment (e.g. an annual conference registration), you may want to delete the existing entries to avoid confusion. You can also deactivate the form using the green toggle in the Forms screen or selecting “Mark as Inactive” in the Bulk Actions drop down menu. When it’s time to make the form available again, simply reactivate it and make sure users can find a link to its page.