WordPress is at Your CommandCredit: Wordpress.Org
The WordPress content management system is popular because it works very well, it is free for all purposes and it allows easy modification. This flexible tool allows anyone to establish an authoritative web site with very little effort. Unfortunately, the initial installation of the tool works but it is lacking a few functions. Luckily, custom WordPress development can be easily accomplished in just a few steps.
Building Custom WordPress Forms
A new WordPress site is capable of organizing pages and posts on virtually any topic. Everything is stored in a database and content is loaded dynamically for each new site viewer. The standard installation, however, lacks robust form building capabilities. Users can leave comments via a web form interface but that is about it. More advanced forms such as customer surveys, user response trackers, etc, are not really possible without extensive customization. Luckily, Formidable Pro is available which easily adds custom form building to WordPress.
Credit: JavrsmithAvailable Versions
Formidable Pro installs as a free WordPress plugin that allows site administrators to accept up to 6 types of user input on HTML forms. You can set up user response pages that request a name, address, and similar data items. You can also present yes/no choices to users and more. This is with a free tool. The premium version increases the input options to 24. With it, a site can have a form that allows a visitor to enter a password. The form can display items from a reference database table such as a list of states. Fields can be designated as numeric only, email address or other administrator selectable types. The price of the premium version is only $47 which is far less than even a simple HTML form would cost if purchased from a person experienced in custom WordPress development tools.
Free Version Limitations
Those sites which require only simple forms may use the free version of Formidable Pro to build such forms quickly. Literally in minutes, a site administrator can build a form that allows users to enter their name, address and comments. This is similar to the standard WordPress commenting mechanism. The free tool, however, allows anti-spam techniques, such as CAPTCHA, to be added. I works well but sophisticated data analysis of entries is difficult.
Credit: JavrsmithFormidable Pro Premium Version Enhancements
The premium version of allows site administrators to use 18 additional input field types. The forms can automatically redirect users to other pages. Entries on forms can be reviewed with a database viewer. Templates can be created. Several optional extras are available free to those who use the premium version. These allow easy integration of payment handling, mailing list construction, address verification and more. Best of all, the advanced capabilities of the premium tool can be implemented on a site without any custom WordPress development at all. This is impressive. Custom programming is expensive, difficult or both. Formidable gives sites the capabilities of custom development without any coding at all. The premium version also includes excellent support from the people that wrote it. An advanced knowledge base of issues is provided and the developers are very responsive when difficulties arise.
Formidable Pro Saves Money
A WordPress site that uses the premium plugin tool saves countless hours of difficult customization on forms. A basic form developed in PHP for WordPress might ask for a few HTML fields, store these in a database table and send confirmation email messages when responses are received. A developer could several hours building such a form. Even using the free version, a normal site administrator can build the same form in a few minutes. If a PHP programmer was available for $30 per hour, about 1.5 hours of their time would pay for the premium Formidable Pro tool. Remember that HTML forms often require modifications. Even minor changes might take a half hour at a $15 programming cost. Truthfully, many PHP developers cost more than $30 an hour which improves the value of this plugin even more.
Custom WordPress Development Examples
Using Formidable Pro, premium version, a large data entry form was built for a real estate company. This form asked dozens of questions in order to profile future customer services. Some fields were restricted to text only. Some were numeric. Others were selections from a drop down list such as "choose the number of bedrooms". Still other fields asked the user to select the best response from a scale of 1 to 10. The entire multiple page HTML form was built without any custom WordPress development in PHP, SQL or other programming language. It was done entirely with the plugin.
Another custom multiple page form was built for a financial organization. This effort required users to enter field values for financial purposes. Absolute privacy and security were required. Values were selected from selection lists, (choose one of these types of investments: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc). Data entered was validated and automatic emails were created. Later, displays of the entered data was incorporated into management screens. When required, the entire set of data could be extracted into portable data formats such as comma separated value, ("CSV"), files. Again, all of this functionality was accomplished without custom development by expensive programming staff.
The Benefit of WordPress
The WordPress content management system is a fantastic tool that allows site administrators to quickly launch a workable web site. Much of the power of WordPress lies in the ability of administrators to add functionality via plugins. These utility programs extend the standard abilities of WordPress. One of the best, when measured by usefulness, value and flexibility, is Formidable Pro. This plugin allows custom WordPress development by normal site administrators without any PHP, SQL or other language coding at all. The plugin tool easily pays for itself with the creation of a single user entry form. Best of all, the plugin providers offer comprehensive support for any issues that a site administrator may encounter with their forms.