Searching for a free WPForms alternative to handle user registration on your site?
WPForms is a very flexible WordPress form plugin that’s more than capable of creating a custom WordPress user registration form.
However, the WPForms User Registration add-on is only available on the $399 Pro license, which means creating those registration forms won’t be cheap.
Profile Builder is a WPForms free alternative that lets you create WordPress registration and edit profile forms with just as much flexibility as WPForms – if not more, in some areas. All without needing to open your wallet…
Below, we’ll compare Profile Builder vs WPForms to help you understand how the two stack up and whether or not Profile Builder might be able to do what you need for free.
Both WPForms and Profile Builder let you create custom forms on your WordPress site, but they have different focuses in terms of the types of forms that you’ll create.
WPForms is a multipurpose WordPress form builder.
That means it aims to help you create pretty much any type of form, including contact forms, user registration forms, login forms, email optin forms, payment forms, frontend content creation forms, and more.
To help you do that, you get a drag-and-drop form builder interface, 500+ premade form templates, helpful built-in features like conditional logic, and lots of integrations with other tools.
For example, if you want to set up a payment form, you can integrate with Stripe or PayPal to process the payment.
Where WPForms stands out is in how many different types of forms it helps you create.
However, if you’re just looking for a specific type of form – e.g. registration and login forms – you can find more affordable options by looking for a plugin that’s optimized for that use case.
Enter, Profile Builder…
Rather than trying to create every type of form like WPForms, Profile Builder focuses on one specific use case for forms – forms that have to do with the user registration and user management process on your site.
Profile Builder helps you create and customize three main form types:
- User registration forms – you can map fields to the default WordPress profile fields and also add custom fields to collect additional information.
- Edit profile forms – you can give users a frontend dashboard area to edit some/all of their profile information using a custom form.
- Login forms – you can add a custom login form anywhere on your site, rather than relying on the default WordPress login page.
Profile Builder also integrates with a lot of other popular WordPress plugins to help you enhance those plugins. Here are some examples…
- WooCommerce – if you have an eCommerce store, you can use Profile Builder to create a custom WooCommerce registration page and also add custom registration fields on the checkout page.
- bbPress – if you have a forum, you can use Profile Builder to let users register for your forum and manage their forum profiles.
- BuddyPress – if you have a BuddyPress social network, you can use Profile Builder to let users register for your communities and manage their profiles.
Here are some other notable features that Profile Builder offers:
- Integrate with email marketing services to automatically subscribe users to your lists after they register.
- Create multiple registration forms, including assigning different roles to users based on the form that they used.
- List users on the frontend of your site, including showing users on a map.
- Use conditional logic to show/hide certain fields.
- Require admin approval for new users.
By focusing on one specific area – user registration and profile management – Profile Builder is able to offer much lower prices than WPForms. It could even be free, depending on your use case.
In terms of pricing, Profile Builder has a lot of advantages when it comes to custom WordPress registration forms.
Most notably, even the free version of Profile Builder lets you create a custom user registration form and edit profile form, whereas you need the $399 WPForms Pro license to create a custom registration form with WPForms.
Let’s take a deeper look at the pricing for each tool so that you can see why Profile Builder makes a great WPForms free alternative.
Profile Builder vs WPForms Free Versions
Both Profile Builder and WPForms have free versions listed at WordPress.org.
Even with just the free version of Profile Builder, you can still create a custom WordPress registration form, along with a custom edit profile form and login form.
Again, Profile Builder focuses specifically on these form types, which is why it specifically makes a great WPForms alternative for registration forms.
In contrast, the free version of WPForms is pretty much just for contact forms or other basic forms.
If you want to access other form types – such as registration forms, email opt-in forms, and so on – you’ll need one of the paid WPForms plans.
Profile Builder vs WPForms Premium Versions
Both Profile Builder and WPForms also offer premium versions that add more features.
With both plugins, you’ll get access to different features depending on which license you choose – Profile Builder offers two different licenses while WPForms offers four different licenses.
Again, if you want to use WPForms for registration forms, you’ll need at least the $399 Pro license. You can usually get a first-year discount that brings that price down to $199.50, but any renewals will still be at full price ($399).
Here are the Profile Builder pricing plans:
Here are the WPForms prices – pay special attention to the “Normally $X” because that’s the price that you’ll pay after the first year:
Form Builder Interface
Both WPForms and Profile Builder offer easy-to-use, code-free form builder interfaces. No matter which plugin you choose, you will not need any technical knowledge to set up your forms.
WPForms offers a drag-and-drop form builder that looks like this:
You can drag fields over from the panel on the left and also use drag and drop to change the order of fields in the live preview.
To customize a field, you can click on it to open its settings in the sidebar. This is also where you can set up conditional logic and other more advanced settings.
Profile Builder also offers a drag-and-drop form builder to help you set up your forms, though it doesn’t offer a visual preview like WPForms does.
You’ll see a list of all the fields in your form and you can change the order by dragging them around.
To add a new field to your form, you can use the drop-down at the top.
The free version lets you use all the default WordPress profile fields and the paid version lets you add custom fields using a ton of different input types.
To customize an individual form field, you can click the Edit button in the list.
This will let you change the label, description, default value, and whether or not it’s required. You can also set up conditional logic, which lets you show/hide certain fields based on how the person has answered other fields.
User Registration Options
Both WPForms and Profile Builder give you the option to create custom WordPress registration forms.
Again, Profile Builder lets you access much of this functionality for free, while WPForms requires its $399 Pro license to access the User Registration add-on.
Let’s take a look at the various user registration options that both form builders give you…
To access WPForms’ user registration settings, you can go to the User Registration tab of the Settings area in the form editor.
Here, you get several different options:
- Field mapping – you can map fields from your form to WordPress user profile fields.
- User role – you can choose which user role to assign to people who use this form.
- User activation and log in – you can require users to activate their accounts by clicking a link in an email, automatically log in users after registering, and/or hide the registration form if a user is already logged in.
- Email notifications – you can send email notifications to admins and users. More on this later.
- Custom field mapping – you can map form fields to custom fields that are associated with the user’s account (beyond the default WordPress user profile fields).
It’s a solid feature list that gives you a lot of options for controlling user registration behavior.
Because Profile Builder focuses on user registration and edit profile forms, it gives you tons of options to control registration behavior – even in the free version of the plugin!
First off, there’s no need to set up field mapping manually because Profile Builder automatically handles that for you, including storing custom fields in custom meta (if applicable).
From there, you get tons of options to control user registration and login behavior:
- User role – you can choose what role to apply to users, including letting users choose a role as part of the form. Or, you can create different forms that automatically add users to different roles.
- Require email confirmation – you can require users to confirm their emails before creating their accounts.
- Require admin approval – you can require admins to approve an account before the registration process is completed. Admins can approve from the WordPress dashboard or by clicking a link in a notification email.
- Automatic log in – you can automatically log users in after they register.
- Redirect user after registration/login – you can redirect users to a certain page after they register and/or login. The premium version even adds a custom redirect manager that lets you set up more advanced rules, such as redirecting users to different pages based on their user roles.
Here are some of the many options in the Profile Builder settings area:
Again – most of these features are available in the free version of Profile Builder, though a few (such as the custom redirects manager tool) require the paid version. The free version still lets you set up basic after-login/registration redirects like the $399 WPForms license, though.
Both WPForms and Profile Builder will try to automatically style their forms to match your existing theme. So in most cases, you won’t need to manually change the design of your forms.
However, you might have situations where you want to further customize the forms according to your preferences. Here are your options for doing that…
WPForms doesn’t offer a form styler inside the WordPress dashboard, but it does let you add custom CSS and the WPForms documentation offers tons of pre-made custom CSS snippets to customize different parts of your forms.
If you feel comfortable working with custom CSS, you can read the WPForms guides on styling forms in general and styling specific form fields.
To make it easier for you to choose a design that you like, Profile Builder gives you access to preset form styles (in addition to using the default styling that inherits from your theme).
This lets you quickly get up and running with a stylish design without needing to rely on any custom CSS.
If you do want more control, Profile Builder also lets you fully customize your forms using CSS, just like WPForms.
For user registration forms, email notifications are especially important. You can use them to welcome new users, ask users to activate their accounts, notify admins of new users, require admins to provide manual approval, and more.
Both WPForms and Profile Builder give you tools to customize the emails that are part of your WordPress registration forms.
Let’s take a look…
In addition to letting you set up notifications at the form level, WPForms includes three special email notifications for registration forms:
- Email to user with their account details
- Email to the admin to notify about new user
- User activation email (only if user activation is enabled)
You can customize these emails using a basic text editor, with smart tags to insert dynamic information.
Profile Builder lets you send a variety of different emails to both users and admins.
You can also create different emails for different situations, including the following:
- Default registration email
- Registration with email confirmation required
- Registration with admin approval required
- User approval or rejection (if admin approval is required)
To customize the content of these emails, you can use a simple text editor with merge tags to dynamically insert information, such as the confirmation link that a user needs to click to activate their account.
Try A WPForms Free Alternative Today
If you’re searching for a way to create custom WordPress registration, edit profile, and/or login forms, Profile Builder offers a much more budget-friendly way to get the job done – without needing to sacrifice flexibility and quality.
For basic registration forms, Profile Builder makes a great free WPForms alternative that can save you the $399 you’d need to pay for WPForms’ Pro license tier (which is what you need to create user registration forms with WPForms).
If you want to access some of the premium features in Profile Builder, Profile Builder is still a cheaper WPForms alternative because its plans will cost you just €69 or €149, depending on the features that you need.
If you’re ready to get started with the best WPForms free alternative for user registration forms, you can install the free version from WordPress.org today and then upgrade to the premium version if you want more functionality.
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