Here at Solspace, at regular intervals we rethink our products, approach and process from the ground up. Each time we do, our creative impulse is to return to first principles. Our first principle is to serve you as you serve your client. Our first principle is to make your job of creating websites easier and more rewarding. Our first principle is to stay out of your way while helping you do good work.
Freeform was our first ExpressionEngine add-on, first released about 7 years ago today. I wrote the first version myself for a client gig where we needed to capture contact information and retain it in the site’s database. It only took a couple of successive client jobs and uses of Freeform to tell me that it was highly flexible and useful for a variety of purposes. I thought that other EE developers would benefit from it so I made it available from solspace.com. It was free. It’s been free for 7 years. Today we release version 4. It’s been completely rewritten from scratch. It’s still free. But now, there’s also a pro version.
Freeform 4 / Pro is the brilliantly conceived, beautifully designed, finely crafted product of our lead developer, Greg Ferrell @gregferrell. Designed by Eric Miller Design www.ericmillerdesign.com, the user interface is at once lean, simple, elegant—while also powerful, reliable and feature rich. Greg stripped our process, coding standards, toolkits and methods down to the ground. Then he built everything back up by hand.
Freeform is now based on field types. Each type of data you might capture from a submission is collected by a specific field type designed to fit that exact need. These field types are easy to create and resemble EE field types. In fact, one can take an existing EE field type and easily adapt it for use with Freeform where appropriate. Freeform ships with the standard text, textarea, mailing list and file upload field types while the pro version includes many more very useful and flexible field types with more to come.
Freeform Pro includes a composer interface which allows you or your client to manage the structure and layout of forms through an intuitive drag and drop interface. It includes a field type which allows you to fold composer forms into channel entries. The pro version allows submitters to edit their submissions. As well, with Freeform Pro you can build complex multi-page forms. And through the field type interface, those multi-page forms can collect a wide variety of data for a wide variety of purposes. And finally, with Freeform Pro you gain XML and JSON data export capabilities in addition to the free CSV export.
For those of you who have been using Freeform for years, there is a handy migration script that converts your existing submissions, fields and collections. We have greatly improved the level of intuitiveness and simplicity in using Freeform in templates. Some adjustments to existing forms are necessary, but rather painless.
With Freeform 4 / Pro you are getting our best work to date. As you have come to expect by now, that means stability, reliability, security, craftsmanship and excellence. I hope that you find Freeform 4 / Pro as useful as we do for client work. And I hope that through it, we can continue to serve you well for years to come.
Have a look at a short video preview of Freeform or download it now and try it out.