Top 8 Alternatives to Google Forms (Paid and Free)
Google Forms is one of the world's leading US-based online survey platforms. It’s used by millions of people every day to create, distribute, and analyze simple surveys, polls, and questionnaires.
Despite its global success, the simplicity and lack of a learning curve do come at the cost of functionality, which is one of the reasons why users are constantly looking for an alternative. Some other reasons why users look for an alternative to Google Forms include:
- It’s based in the United States
- There is no dedicated customer support
- Reporting and analytical features are quite basic
- Design and customization features are quite limited
- Question types are quite basic
Whatever your reason might be, it’s valid, and you shouldn’t settle for a survey software that doesn’t meet your exact requirements. In this 15-minute read, we’ll provide you with a detailed overview of the eight best alternative survey software to Google Forms.
But first, let’s take a closer look at what Google Forms currently has to offer. That way, when you gain a deeper understanding of all the different alternatives, you’ll know exactly how each of them compares to Google Forms.
What you get with Google Forms
Despite being free and available to everyone with a Google account, Google Forms allows users to create unlimited surveys, add unlimited questions, and get unlimited responses. This is one of Google Forms' biggest unique selling points, as hardly any free online survey tool can match this.
Aside from that, to create a survey using Google Forms, users are allowed to choose from 17 different survey templates. Alternatively, you can start with a blank survey and build it exactly the way you want it to be.
In terms of question types, users can add any of the 11 options available, including checkboxes, multiple choice, dropdown, and short answer. As for skip logic, though implementing it is possible to a certain extent, it’s quite a tedious process.
On top of those, Google Forms users can also take advantage of the following features:
One drawback to Microsoft Forms is that both the paid and the free plan have limitations. Some of them include the number of surveys you can create, the number of questions you can add, and the number of responses you can get. With the free plan, for example, users can create up to 400 surveys, add up to 200 questions, and get up to 200 responses.
And by upgrading to a Microsoft Personal account (it costs £5.99 per month or £59.99 per year), you’ll only bump up your response limit to 1,000. If you need more, you’ll have to opt either for the Microsoft Apps for Business or the Microsoft 365 Education plan.
SmartSurvey is the UK’s leading online platform for creating surveys, web forms, and questionnaires. Since 2010, SmartSurvey has won numerous prestigious awards and has been trusted by 500,000+ users worldwide.
Some of the most well-known businesses and organizations that use SmartSurvey include the NHS, BBC, Aldi, HSE, Royal London, Cabinet Office, and BAE Systems. The customer portfolio of SmartSurvey is vast, and it’s easy to see why.
SmartSurvey users, tech-savvy or not, can quickly and effortlessly create their perfect survey, distribute it to their target audience, and gather all the insights they need. It’s really as simple as that.
Top 8 features of SmartSurvey
The core focus of Alchemer (previously known as SurveyGizmo) is to help users create surveys that are more personalized and engaging. This is an area where Google Forms falls short, making Alchemer a great alternative for users looking to give their respondents the best UX possible.
- Advanced skip logic and branching
- A variety of question types
- Custom themes and branding
- Offline survey data collection
Unlike Google Forms, Alchemer is a paid survey software. As a result, users who want to use Alchemer need to pick one of the four different plans available. They include Collaborator, Professional, Full Access, and Enterprise. Each plan costs £45, £130, and £215 per user per month, respectively. As for the Enterprise plan, the cost of it will be based on your specific requirements.
Based on the pricing information above, Alchemer is one of the more expensive Google Forms alternatives, especially if you plan on paying monthly. If you pay annually, however, you can save up to 52% of the total price of your plan, which is a very decent saving.
If you want to create more engaging and visually appealing surveys, Typeform is a great Google Forms alternative to try out. And although the platform doesn’t allow users to automate their surveys, set reminder emails, or segment their users, it has plenty of features that millions of users have taken advantage of since 2012. Some of the software’s core features include:
- Advanced question types & skip logic
- Intuitive UX
- Great reporting and analytical tools
- Flexible survey design & customization
When compared to Google Forms, Typeform is a premium software and will cost you to use. Users can pick from four different plans: Basic, Plus, Business, and Enterprise. Each plan costs £25, £49, and £79 per month, respectively. As for the Enterprise plan, the cost will be bespoke to your needs.
That said, users can also opt for the platform’s free plan, but it’s quite limited. For instance, you can only add 10 questions and get 10 responses per month for each survey, which isn’t a whole lot.
If you’re looking for a more robust alternative to Google Forms, Qualtrics is a great choice. The US-based survey tool is perfect for complex research projects that require a higher level of flexibility and customization. Some of the software’s most prominent features include:
- Highly customizable in almost every aspect
- Advanced skip logic & branching
- Create and test surveys in real time
- AI-driven insights & predictive analytics
- Multiple users can collaborate on the same survey
Please note that unlike Google Forms, where you get all the features for free, most of the features that we mentioned above are locked behind quite a pricey paywall. That said, Qualtrics has a free plan, which allows users to create up to three active surveys at any one time, add up to 30 questions, and get up to 500 responses per survey. So, if you are conducting a smaller-scale research project, you may be able to take advantage of Qualtrics' free plan and achieve your goals without spending a penny.
With over 10 billion questions answered and 5.3 million users since 2005, QuestionPro is undoubtedly one of the most well-established Google Forms alternatives on the market. And it’s easy to see why, considering how robust the tool is. Some of the platforms’ key features include:
- Advanced conditional logic
- Multi-channel distribution
- A total of 52 different question types
- A library of over 350 survey templates
- Ability to create surveys in different languages
Though the features and functionalities of QuestionPro far outshine those of Google Forms, this does come at a cost. To use QuestionPro, users need to pick from one out of the four different plans available, which include:
- Essentials (free forever)
- Advanced ($99 per user per month)
- Team Edition ($83 per user per month for a minimum of 5 users)
- Research Edition (the price is custom to your needs and is for a minimum of 10 users)
It’s worth noting that none of the plans offer unlimited responses, meaning you will need to pay extra if you’re conducting a larger survey. Alternatively, you can choose another Google Forms alternative, such as SmartSurvey, which offers unlimited responses.
Jotform is another US-based alternative to Google Forms. According to Jotform, their platform allows users to go from busy work to less work thanks to their powerful surveys. Since 2006, over 20 million users have used Jotform and its many flagship features, some of which include:
- Integration with PayPal, Stripe, and other payment methods
- Flexible survey design and customization
- Drag & drop form builder
When it comes to price, Jotform does have a free plan with all features included. If you don’t plan on creating large-scale surveys, Jotform is a good alternative to Google Forms, as it will provide you with far more features and functionality.
With that said, if you need to create more surveys and expect to get more than 100 responses per month, you’ll have to pay to use Jotform. There are four premium packages you can pick from, including Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Enterprise. Each costs $39, $49, and $129 per month, respectively. As for the cost of the Enterprise plan, it will depend on your specific needs.
If you decide to pay for your Jotform subscription annually, the packages' cost drops to $34, $39, and $99 per month, respectively.
Since 1981, Snap Surveys has been at the forefront of helping users measure every kind of user experience - from customer satisfaction to remote working. As a result of that, its primary user base is research professionals who require advanced analytical capabilities and bespoke survey designs. Some of Snap Surveys flagship features include:
- Advanced question types, skip logic, and branching
- Customizable survey designs
- Vast integration capabilities
- Excellent data security
- Offline data collection
When compared to Google Forms, Snap Surveys is arguably the total opposite in regards to features, functionalities, price, and ease of use. It’s more advanced, expensive, and difficult to navigate in contrast to Google Forms.
As Snap Surveys is a premium survey software, unlike Google Forms, you’ll need to pay to use it. Currently, Snap Surveys offers users the ability to choose between four different plans, including:
- Researcher (1 user at £82 per month)
- Team (minimum 3 users at £63 per user per month)
- Corporate (minimum 15 users at £35 per user per month)
- Enterprise (bespoke to your organization’s needs)
Moreover, regardless of which plan you choose, you will be billed annually, which will cost you a decent sum of money upfront. Not only that but users also don’t get unlimited survey responses, meaning once you reach your plan’s threshold, you’ll have to pay extra. We’d also like to point out that Snap Surveys is a Windows-based application, meaning if you use MacOS or another operating system, you’ll likely run into issues.
Microsoft Forms is one of the most popular survey software alternatives to Google Forms. This is mainly because it’s free for anyone with a Microsoft account, easy to use, and fairly flexible when it comes to survey design, features, and functionalities. Some of Microsoft Forms’ flagship features include:
- Seamless integration with other Microsoft 365 products
- Access to several customizable survey templates
- Real-time collaboration
- It’s mobile-compatible
- Automated data analysis
- Decent branching and skip logic
- Easy-to-use interface
One drawback to Microsoft Forms compared to Google Forms is that there are limits to the number of surveys, questions, and responses you can get. With a standard free Microsoft personal account, users can create up to 400 surveys, add up to 200 questions, and get up to 200 responses.
If you want more responses (up to 1,000), you’ll have to upgrade your Microsoft Personal account, which will cost you £5.99 per month or £59.99 for the whole year. If you’re a business or an education institute, you can opt for either Microsoft Apps for Business or Microsoft 365 Education, which allow up to 5,000,000 responses.
How to choose the right survey platform (in 5 simple steps)
Choosing the right survey platform can be tricky. To help make the decision-making process easier, we’ve outlined five steps you should follow. They’ll help you gain a better sense of direction and find just the right survey software that fits your needs and budget.
Decide on your budget
Before doing anything else, you need to decide exactly how much you’re willing to invest in a survey software. Once you’ve done that, you can quickly and easily filter through all of the Google Forms alternatives that are not within your price range.
It’s also worth noting that if you plan on subscribing annually, some Google Forms alternatives offer users a discount for paying annually. If we take SmartSurvey as an example, users who choose to be billed annually can save up to 28.5% of their plan’s total cost.
Look for the features you need for your survey
If you want to create a basic survey, chances are that you can do that with almost any online survey platform. However, if you have more specific needs, you’ve got to outline what features you need and start checking if the Google Forms alternative you’re considering supports it.
That way, you can create your perfect survey, and your survey won’t be affected by the lack of certain features and functionalities that your survey platform doesn’t support. If you already know what features you’re after, check out every feature and functionality that SmartSurvey supports and see if it’s a good fit for you.
Take your respondents’ needs into consideration
If you’re conducting a survey with a target audience with more specific needs, you have to ensure that the survey platform you choose can cater to your audience’s needs. For example, if your respondents have any sort of disability or impairment, you need to use a survey platform that is WCAG-compliant.
As SmartSurvey is WCAG compliant, users can choose from a variety of accessible survey templates and question types that can be answered without the use of a keyboard and mouse. Only then can you guarantee that your respondent's voices will be heard fully.
Look for tools that offer free trial on their premium plans
You might know all the features and functionalities of a survey tool upfront, but you won’t truly know if a survey platform is right for you until you try it. To avoid spending a part of your budget on testing out different survey tools, we recommend looking for tools that offer a free, unrestricted trial on their premium plans.
At SmartSurvey, for instance, we allow all of our users to try our premium plans completely for free for 14 days. If you find our survey platform to be exactly what you’re looking for, great. If not, we won’t charge you a penny for giving us a try.
Make sure it’s easy to use
The last thing you want is to invest in survey software only to find out that it’s hard to use and that you’ll need to go through a steep learning curve. That’s why we recommend users looking for a Google Forms alternative to do their due diligence when it comes to ease of use, as some survey tools can be complex.
This is especially relevant if you are going for an alternative that is far more advanced and robust compared to Google Forms. With that said, please note that there are some survey tools, such as SmartSurvey, which are feature-rich yet easy to use - hence why you need to check for yourself before becoming a paid customer.
Conclusion — which is the best Google Forms alternative?
The best software is the one that best suits your budget and needs. As a result, what can be considered the best software for one user can be an unsuitable choice for another. With that said, if we had to pick one Google Forms alternative that stands above them all - it would be SmartSurvey.
SmartSurvey is not only affordable and suitable for everybody, but it’s easy to use and is already used by the biggest organizations in the world, including the NHS, BBC, Microsoft, Aldi, and Ofsted, to name a few.
Try SmartSurvey today for £0.00 and find out for yourself why over 500,000 users have trusted SmartSurvey to create, distribute, and analyze their surveys since 2010.