Build Great HTML Forms On WordPress Sites

Add the Formidable Pro Plugin

Formidable Pro Plugin for WordPressCredit: Javrsmith

WordPress is a great content management system that allows administrators to organize information into various pages and posts. It allows easy categorization of the content, design of the site and handling of optional extras. What WordPress doesn't do well is interact with users. It does allow basic user comments to be entered and user accounts to be created. In order to enhance the user experience, such as providing a custom survey to visitors, modifications must be made to the standard WordPress platform.

Luckily, WordPress plugins can be installed to extend site functionality. A plugin is a series of program utilities that are linked into the core of the WordPress engine. They provide specialized functions to site administrators through menu additions and modifications to some operational screens.

The Formidable Pro plugin is installed to greatly enhance the ability of WordPress administrators to implement HTML forms on their sites. With the plugin, a simple user survey can be installed in seconds. A more complex user survey, with optional questions, email response and statistical reporting, can be added as well. Formidable Pro provides a form build editor that supports the use of all standard HTML input elements. The plugin is available as a free version that comes with six form input types or the premium site license which adds 17 more.

Formidable Pro Free Version Input Fields

  • single line of text
  • paragraph text
  • check boxes
  • radio buttons
  • drop down select box
  • CAPTCHA spam control
Formidable Pro Free Version ExampleCredit: Javrsmith

Formidable Pro Premium Site License Input Fields

  • Numerical input
  • Phone number validation
  • File upload
  • Section header
  • Multiple pages
  • Email validation
  • Website URL entry
  • Rich text
  • Date
  • Time
  • Scale, (1 - 10 choice)
  • Image URL entry
  • Tags
  • Custom HTML blocks
  • Hidden user identification fields
  • Hidden fields
  • Data selected from reference tables, (IE: state of residence)

The list of supported HTML input types is truly incredible, especially when the premium site license is installed. All user supplied information is automatically stored in the site database for ease of use.

Formidable Pro Site License ExampleCredit: Javrsmith

Despite all of the functionality added by the Formidable Pro plugin, each of the HTML input types can be used on custom forms with no programming. Ordinarily, such forms would require a sizable block of HTML code that defines the form and fields. A series of programs would be needed to preload any information, validate user responses and save these to the database. Still more coding or SQL design work would be needed to set up the database in advance. If changes were ever required, extensive rewriting of program code would be required. Formidable Pro does all of this without any programming or SQL design.

These functions added by Formidable Pro extend the usefulness of WordPress sites. Site administrators will be amazed at the speed at which they can develop HTML forms. From a bare form edit screen, a custom system can be assembled in seconds. Formidable Pro even comes with templates to help speed the development process further. The user comment template, for example, allows administrators to create a standard type of form, with fields for name, email address and comments, in seconds. It even includes an anti-spam CAPTCHA block. Once the form has been built with the template, it can be modified immediately. If an additional field is required, such as address, the WordPress site administrator can just click on the text entry field. If the email field is not needed, it can be deleted with one click. This is major productivity boost compared to the steps that were required in years past.

Basically, every function added by the Formidable Pro plugin eliminates many, many hours of programming work for the WordPress administrator. Take numerical validation of a field, for example. If the form prompts for a number, such as age, it is possible for the user to type anything into the field. When the form is processed, the system must check the supplied value and reject anything that is not a number. In the past, the site administrator would have to hand craft such a program. It would have to check the input to make sure that no letters or symbols were entered. In the case of a user's age, a check would have to be made to ensure that no negative numbers were given. Perhaps the age should be at least 13 or 18 years. More checks would be required, all requiring custom code. With Formidable Pro, you put a numeric field on the form and all checks are performed automatically. You even get to specify a range so that data will only be accepted if the number falls between values such as 0 to 100, or greater than 12. Whatever is required of the field is quickly entered using the Formidable Pro form editor, with none of the usual programming.

Another very useful feature of Formidable Pro is the ability to selectively present fields based on user responses already received on the form. This allows certain fields, to be entered only if certain conditions have been met. For example, the form could ask for country of residence. If the USA was entered, the list of states could then be displayed. If a foreign country was entered, the list of states could be omitted. Similarly, a separate list of provinces could be displayed if the user enters Canada as their country of residence. These actions are enable by simple clicks within the form building editor, not with complicated programming language instructions.

WordPress is a highly successful content management system that is used by millions of Internet web sites. It provides great flexibility to site administrators who want to control their informational pages. While it doesn't really support user interaction well, such capabilities are easily added with the Formidable Pro form handling plugin. As shown, this set of utilities gives the WordPress administrator the HTML form building tools that are missing from the platform.  Now sites can have sophistocated user interaction forms such as surveys, comment forms, inventory update forms and much more in minutes. The Formidable Pro plugin takes an ordinary content display system and turbocharges it into a complete development platform.