TL;DR: Pirate Forms has been acquired by WPForms. All Themeisle Membership users are now eligible to get a one-year license of WPForms Pro for no extra pay. Read the full story below.
Pirate Forms has been in many ways revolutionary among the competition in the “contact form space.” Where most of the other plugins aim at “mega functionality” with tons of customizations, add-ons and whatnots, Pirate Forms has made a bet on simplicity.
In other words, it just works(ed) right after the installation, with no particular setup required (other than adding your form to a contact page). This was a nice refreshment compared to the usual “get through tons of onboarding wizard screens before you can use the plugin” -approach.
The community has appreciated this simplicity – the plugin has gathered 300,000+ active installs and 3,000,000+ total downloads from WordPress.org.
And there’s a big but; the market has shifted quite a bit from back in 2015 when the plugin was first developed, and, right now, simplicity isn’t as much of a goal in itself – at least not on the surface. As much as we expect all products to be good to go right out the box, we also want them to be powerful under the hood, and be able to reveal their features gradually as we grow to use them more and more.
Pirate Forms simply could no longer be that. Or, at least, not with the resources we could invest into it. Here’s what I mean:
We’ve done a lot of market research and competition analysis to plan out what the next step for Pirate Forms should be. However, it has become clear that the plugin isn’t the most optimized solution for this market anymore, and, at the same time, we are not able to commit sufficient resources to change the situation in the next 12 months. So, with this in mind, we’ve decided to look for other solutions for our users.
We wanted to make sure that our existing pro users and users on eligible packages could get access to a better solution, without paying anything extra. This is where the work started towards selling Pirate Forms to someone who could take better care of it.
The reason why we couldn’t put more resources into the plugin was that we’ve decided that instead of working on a big number of products that are all kind of okay, we want to work on fewer solutions and make them all excellent.
This move is essentially what has allowed us to release Hestia 2.0 and also introduce a faster release cycle.
Overall, it just seemed fair to pass the plugin onto someone else and let them deliver a better experience to our users than to stop developing the plugin altogether.
We also wanted to make sure that the migration process is going to be more than easy.
To say things simply, WPForms is the plugin that shares our vision of what a good contact form plugin for WordPress should be, what features it should offer, and how beginner friendly it should be.
And since WPForms – the company – is run by our good friends in the WordPress space, it made sense to try figure out how we could work together on the Pirate Forms’ future.
WPForms is a very interesting solution in the “form builder” realm of WordPress. It has one single mission that we resonate with very much. That mission is to create the most beginner-friendly WordPress form plugin in the market. The idea is basically the same as the one we originally had for Pirate Forms.
As you’re reading this, Pirate Forms is now part of the WPForms family. Here’s what this means for you:
“I’m a Pirate Forms user. What now?”
If you’ve been using either the free or pro edition of Pirate Forms, you can now migrate to WPForms via a cool migration helper.
Just update the plugin to its latest version, and you’ll see this prompt:
Clicking on it will trigger the migration tool. It basically does the work for you.
If you want to keep using Pirate Forms, you can. But keep in mind that the WPForms team only promises to maintain the plugin for any major security issues for the next 6 months. There will be no feature updates apart from that.
Migrating your forms to WPForms is a lot better idea.
Compared to Pirate Forms, WPForms offers a modern form building tool and loads of integrations with outside services such as email marketing tools, payment gateways, and more. Most importantly, it does so while not making the main contact form feature difficult to grasp.
One more thing I should add is that all of our themes, including Hestia and Neve, are fully compatible with WPForms, so you don’t have to worry about your forms looking off once you make a move to migrate them.
If you’re a Pirate Forms Pro user, you will also be contacted by the WPForms team separately by email, and you’ll receive a one-year license of WPForms Pro.
Thank you for using Pirate Forms and for your support of everything we do here at Themeisle! 🍾 We believe that Pirate Forms is in great hands now and that our users will receive a better overall product as a result of the acquisition. 👏