Make powerful online forms easily with Wufoo

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I didn’t think that a service to build your own online forms sounded very exciting, until the creators of Wufoo walked me through the system last week. Wufoo is so flexible, usable and has such good reporting that it made me want to create some forms just so I could use it. The service launched publicly just minutes ago. It crashed after initial coverage here, but is now back up. It looks like there may be a little kink in the system here or there, but it’s already very usable.

Founded by Kevin Hale, Chris and Ryan Campbell, Wufoo is funded by two angel investors and the VC firm Ycombinator. That funding added up to $118,000, for all you bubble heads out there, and the project is as solid as the funding is sane. The team’s other work includes ParticleTree.com and Treehousemagazine.com. Wufoo is made under the name Infinity Box, Inc. and is based in Tampa, Florida.

Here’s a sample survey about coverage of enterprise software on TechCrunch – hopefully the server is back up for good! I would post the form itself here, but I think that was a big part of the load. Here’s the results of the survey so far.

Wufoo makes great use of ajax to create a very nice user experience on the admin side of things. You can place your finished form in either an embedded iframe (as I have in this post) or on a dedicated web page. You can receive new responses by email or RSS, response data can be filtered and displayed in a variety of ways in the reports section and there is easy control over the look and feel of the forms your users interact with. There are more functions available than I’ll go into here, but the system is still very easy to use.

Free accounts include let you create 3 forms with 10 fields, 100 submissions and 10 reports. Premium accounts bump up these numbers, allow respondents to upload files and be redirected to a URL of your choosing after the form is completed. Four service levels are available at between $9 and $199 per month. Wufoo also supports all UTFF characters, so forms can be multilingual.

Competitors include Form Assembly and WyaCracker.

Wufoo forms are easy to integrate gracefully into other pages and the system is set up to handle large numbers of responses. (Or so it seemed before the server crash.) Form creation is an important function and the team behind Wufoo has leveraged some of the best in contemporary technology. I think this one’s a winner.

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