Formidable Pro Extends WordPress Site Functionality
...without custom programmingCredit: Javrsmith
WordPress is a great content management system that allows web site administrators to publish articles quickly. All content is stored in a database and it can be rendered as needed. Essentially, WordPress allows the Internet to become what the original designers of the Internet wanted it to be. Unfortunately, while the system does allow easy publishing of information, it does not allow easy interaction with viewers, many of whom may be customers. Luckily, the Formidable Pro plugin adds sophisticated functions that are missing from standard WordPress.
This is a plugin that extends the capabilities of a WordPress site. With this addition, a site administrator can post a customer form that requests all types of information for later review. Customers can enter their name, address and other relevant information. They can respond to questions giving set answers, (yes/no), a choice, (1 to 10), or even their own text response. A drop down list of entries can be built from a reference table. This is useful when a list of states, provinces or countries is needed. In addition, the plugin allows complex form handling to be included with ease. A customer can be presented with a second form, if needed, or they can be directed to another web page. This is often used with landing page construction. After entering their data, the customer can be presented with a special offer page, a confirmation page or anything else that the site administrator chooses to show.
Credit: JavrsmithComplex interactions are possible with as well. After a form is submitted, the customer can automatically be given an account on the site, or they can be added to a relevant email list, or they can be imported into a customer relationship system, or other optional interactions as well. All form entries are stored in the standard WordPress database for ease of later retrieval. Best of all, no custom programming is required to accomplish advanced form handling.
Using Formidable Pro, a web site administrator can build a custom HTML form that integrates with WordPress and the system database in minutes. The advanced form handling features, (such as email list entry), can be added. Email messages can be sent to the administrator and the customer as confirmations. Special landing pages can be displayed. All of these features are implemented directly in the plugin without any PHP, JSON, XML or SQL programming at all. This represents a major productivity boost for any site administrator.
When you consider the cost of programming time to build HTML forms, you quickly realize that Formidable represents great value to an organization. To build a regular form, someone would have to build an HTML framework taking perhaps an hour, (minimum). A new database table, (or tables), would be needed to accept the data. A PHP program is needed to bind the HTML elements to the database table fields. When field validation is necessary, (uppercase letters only, numbers, etc), more PHP custom programming would be required. Such a custom form would be relatively easy to develop. It gets much harder when additional features, such as email list integration, customer relationship import and similar functions are needed. When such a simple form is custom developed, the performance can be excellent but the time required is at least 2 hours for an experienced developer. Future changes, such as field additions, would require more hours of effort. Time is money so custom forms always cost a fair amount.
A new form implementation is much simpler, faster and cheaper. A new form can be defined in a second. Fields can be added in a few seconds more. Automatic email responses are enabled with simple mouse clicks. Importing of data into a customer relationship system is just as easy. PayPal integration is simple allowing customers to pay for purchases instantly. All forms and user responses are stored in the SQL database. No programming is required at all to accomplish this rich set of functionality.
This useful tool is available as a free plugin, as a single site premium version and a premium enterprise version. The details of each are as follows:
Credit: JavrsmithFree Version
There is a free version of the WordPress plugin which is very useful for some purposes. This version allows site administrators to build custom HTML forms using up to six different types of input fields. This allows form viewers, (customers), to enter responses as a single line of text, a paragraph or they can use their mouse. Checkboxes, radio buttons and drop down list selections are provided in the free version. As well, CAPTCHA anti-spam functionality can be implemented on forms built with the free version of Formidable Pro. The free version does not provide sophisticated handling of user form entries and interfaces, such as PayPal and email lists, are not available.
Single Site Premium Version
Most WordPress site administrators will opt for the premium version. The purchase price of $47 represents less than the cost of a single HTML form developed by a custom programmer. This version has 24 field types for custom user entries. Rich text, password entry, phone numbers and more can be directly implemented. The full range of interfaces, PayPal, email lists, WordPress accounts and more, are active. Dynamic custom displays of form entries are easily implemented. In addition, excellent support is offered to premium version users. The cost is a one-time purchase and future updates are included at no additional cost.
Premium Enterprise Version
WordPress site administrators who run more than one site will want to consider the unlimited license. This version includes all of the advanced features of the premium version and it can be installed on any number of sites run by the administrator. The cost is very reasonable considering the range of features, and unlimited installation, that are included. Again, this version included excellent support and future updates are free.
While the WordPress site is excellent at content management, the standard platform is lacking sophisticated HTML form development. The Formidable Pro plugin extends the functionality of a WordPress site by providing an impressive set of features that allow administrators to build any style of custom HTML form in minutes, without any custom programming at all.