WordPress developers Zack Katz and Luis Godinho launched GravityView this week, a new suite of products that makes it easy to display Gravity Forms entries on your site. The idea was born when Katz decided to rewrite his popular Gravity Forms Directory plugin, which has received more than 87,000 downloads on WordPress.org.
The new Gravity Forms API enabled the duo to create their own templating system that allows users to edit Gravity Forms on the frontend of their websites. GravityView is launching with a number of preset views that can be customized to display profiles, resumes, a job board, an issues tracker, business listings, and more. The plugin packages a drag-and-drop UI which allows users to fine-tune the view layout, and add/remove field entries and widgets.
I spoke with Carl Hancock, creator of Gravity Forms, who said that the GravityView team asked for his input from the beginning. “We think it’s great for our ecosystem just like all the free 3rd party add-ons,” he said, but noted that this product goes beyond a simple add-on:
GravityView is more of an App for Gravity Forms than an add-on. We view Add-Ons as plugins that provide integration with 3rd party services or add simpler enhancements and features to Gravity Forms vs. more of an app that adds a wide array of functionality.
Viewing form entries on the frontend of a website has been one of Gravity Forms’ most requested features for a long time. Hancock has considered creating something along these lines in a much simpler form. “We did have plans to develop an add-on that allows you to display form entries on the front end of your site and we may still pursue that, but it would not go to the level that GravityView does,” Hancock said. For more functionality he would point customers to GravityView, in the same way he currently does for other third-party add-ons.
“We encourage developers to create 3rd party add-ons because there are so many feature requests and 3rd party integration requests that it is just impossible for us to create them all in house,” Hancock said. In fact, the very existence of GravityView is the result of Gravity Forms’ developer-friendly architecture. “From the beginning we’ve designed things to be extremely extensible with a huge array of hooks, filters and a complete API,” Hancock said.
Gravity Forms users can expect even more apps coming their way in the future. “I know there will definitely be other commercial plugins designed to work with Gravity Forms that are apps and not merely add-ons because that is precisely what we plan on doing ourselves,” Hancock told the Tavern. Building an API for Gravity Forms has helped spur the plugin on to further success, and GravityView is just the beginning of a new wave of apps designed to work with it.