Development Speed is Key with WordPress and Formidable Pro

Formidable ProCredit: Strategy11

WordPress administrators know that the content management site installs a great amount of functionality with a minimum of effort. Once installed, the system allows content pages and posts to be created with ease. The standard WordPress installation, however, does not offer much help for those who would like to receive input from visitors. There is the ability for viewers to add comments to posts but not much more. Luckily, the Formidable Pro plugin effectively turbocharges the WordPress platform by enabling a wide range of features that can be built into forms.

A WordPress administrator often posts a topic page that includes a number of posts that expand on the theme. Getting visitors to engage with the site is an excellent way for the content to be improved and for the site to gain freshness. The standard WordPress comment fields are pretty trivial as a mechanism to engage viewers. They only can request a viewer's name, email address and a block of comments. Most administrators who enable user comments soon find that automated robot programs begin to fill the site with spam responses. With so little control of user input and spam, many administrators disable the comment feature on their site, eliminating the chance to have meaningful interactions with viewers.

The Formidable Pro plugin gives administrators control of their comment forms and expands the usefulness of WordPress by increasing the range of user input options. A standard comment form can be installed in under two minutes, with no programming. Formidable Pro gives the WordPress administrator a user comment template that can be used to create a high powered user response form. In addition to the viewer name, address, etc., the new comment form can include spam control with a Captcha block. It is also customizable. If you want to ask for "Member Name" rather than "First Name", a visual editor allows you to make the change to the Formidable Pro form in seconds. If you want to ask the viewer to categorize their comment by selecting from priority options such as "Low", "Medium" or "High", this ability is included in Formidable Pro. Like all features of Formidable Pro, the functions available to WordPress administrators require no programming at all.

Without Formidable Pro available to the WordPress administrator, consider the difficulty that existed when a site needed to obtain user responses. First, an HTML form would need to be written with a number of input field definitions. By itself, an HTML form accepts user inputs but can't do anything with them. A small program needed to be written, usually in the PHP development language. This program could organize the user responses and email them to an administrator's mail box. For maximum usefulness, the responses should be stored in a database. To do this, the PHP program would have to open the site database, manipulate the responses into valid SQL statements and execute a command to store them into the database. Of course, the administrator would have to define a proper table within the database in advance of the HTML form being used with PHP. All of these steps were complicated and time consuming. If a change was required, such as a new response field, the work involved would be nearly as time consuming as the initial steps taken to establish the form.

Formidable Pro frees the WordPress administrator from the drudgery of Internet form programming. An option to create a user comment form from a template is available from the WordPress dashboard. The template installs fields for user name, email, web site and comments automatically. A Captcha block is provided for spam control. Responses to the form are emailed to the address of the administrator's choice. Responses are also stored in the site database. The form is displayed in an active edit window allowing the administrator to fine tune options such as the labels on the forms. No programming is required. No database tables need to be defined. If a new field is required, the administrator clicks on the field type, gives it a new name and saves the form. The speed of Formidable Pro form development is amazing.

Formidable Pro is installed as a WordPress plugin. The utility comes as a free version and as a fully functional premium version which costs $47. The free version offers a number of useful features by itself. A standard user comment form can be used, with spam control. Additional fields can be requested from the site viewers. An administrator can use the free version to build a full survey in minutes. These are impressive abilities from a free version of a software utility. To fully experience the productivity boost provided by Formidable Pro, however, WordPress administrators should opt for the premium site license.

The full version of Formidable Pro provides many additional field types, allowing the WordPress administrator to highly control the input process. With it, document files can be requested from viewers. This is helpful in cases where viewers want to upload a screen shot. Fields can be designated as numeric only. This allows viewers to enter such items as "Quantity Requested". Similarly, email addresses can be provided and validated. The Formidable Pro system enforces data validation rules enabled by the administrator in easy to use select boxes.

The premium Formidable Pro version also offers data selection of categories that are stored in a reference table. This allows viewers to select their state from a drop down list of the entire set of states. The functionality ensures that viewers only provide valid entries, preserving the integrity of the customer address. This ability is given to WordPress administrators with no programming, naturally. There are several steps involved to enable the feature but they are not difficult and a good tutorial fully explains the entire process.

Modern technology has given organizations the ability to implement very advanced systems easier than ever before. WordPress content management systems allow site administrators to categorize information and to publish web sites easily and quickly compared to the technologies that were used only a few years ago. When coupled with the Formidable Pro plugin, WordPress sites become much more than an information display system; they become true visitor interaction centers. Such enhanced operations given to WordPress sites by the Formidable Pro plugin are amazing considering the facts that Formidable Pro is so powerful, so fast to use and is available at such a bargain price. Every WordPress site should install the Formidable Pro plugin to immediately enhance site functionality.