A few weeks ago I wanted to create a form for our free website analysis service. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of extensions available. I should qualify this review by saying that I wasn’t in need of an overly robust solution and because it was only for one page of my site, I was only interested in free components. But I did take some time with a couple Joomla 1.5 compatible products.

The first forms component I tried out was the ever popular ChronoForms. For a free extension, I was very impressed, this is an incredibly robust form solution that can create pretty much any form you can imagine. The downside for me was editing the form. I had created the form using their very intuitive drag and drop interface and saved it. But to make changes to the form, I was forced to edit the code by navigating a separate set of tabs. While I am perfectly comfortable clodding my way through lines of code, I do not enjoy it and prefer a faster and less cumbersome solution – especially since I only needed it for one page of my site.

The next component that I tried was CKforms. Again, I was impressed. This one was not quite as robust as the ChronoForms but I liked that its back-end resembled the Joomla administrator template’s look and feel. For this reason, I recommend this product to Joomla newbies as it will be easier to differentiate between the forms and then drill down to the fields within the forms. The only downside for me is that I couldn’t get the Captcha field to display properly on my site (probably a conflict with my template). I’ll take a deeper look if I start to get an inordinate amount of spam coming through.

I also took a look at JForms and ArtForms but didn’t spend much time on them because I was happy with CKforms. And do be sure to have a look at Joomla.org website for the latest extensions as there are also some great commercial solutions to consider.