Formidable Pro - A WordPress Plugin That Works

Formidable Pro Fast Form Builder for WordPressCredit: Javrsmith

Formidable Pro works as soon as it is installed. Installing either the free version or the site license gives WordPress an immediate boost in functionality. An administrator must learn a little in order to use Formidable Pro effectively, but a basic form can be created in seconds by anyone.

As a WordPress administrator, you likely have experienced the disappointment of installing a plugin, only to have it not work as expected. Sometimes they don't work at all. Formidable Pro installs and is ready to go. A new dashboard option is added to WordPress which contains the form control options. A new form can be created in seconds. The administrator can choose to build a new form from scratch or use a template. For the first form, selecting the "Contact Us" template is a good idea. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Get the plugin at the Formidable Pro site
  2. Click the "Get started" button and install the plugin
  3. Select the Formidable Pro option from the WordPress dashboard
  4. Select the "Forms" option
  5. Select the "Add new" option
  6. Select the "Contact Us" template and click "create"

A usable contact form is displayed which accepts name, email, etc from viewers. Save the form and it is ready to use. The total time spent installing Formidable Pro and building the contact form should be less than 10 minutes. The second form on the site can be built in seconds. To use the newly created form on a post or page, a Formidable Pro shortcode is used. For the first form, this would be "[formidable id=1]". The number increases for each newly added form.

The contact form template includes a CAPTCHA text field that helps ensure that spam form entries are minimized. To fully activate this feature, the Formidable dashboard must be updated with private and public keys. These are available free of charge. The Formidable Pro dashboard settings option includes a link to the CAPTCHA where keys generated. The process takes about a minute to complete.

Those WordPress site administrators using the free version of Formidable Pro can build basic forms using standard HTML input types. These include text,  , radio buttons, drop down select and paragraph input. The CAPTCHA option is also enabled with the free version. This version is limited with respect to the handling of user entered data. Form submissions are stored in the WordPress database and they can be emailed to any address. Administrators cannot create pages to display the submitted data without custom programming. Luckily, the premium site license does include extensive submission support, which requires no programming.

Site license users gain options to view the submitted entries for all forms. These may be deleted or modified as required. An option also exists that allows the whole set of form entries to be downloaded to a spreadsheet using a CSV file. Yet another nice feature is the ability to search any of the form fields for specific information.

Site license users can also create custom displays which allow easy viewing of submitted form data. A custom display can then be used on a WordPress form. This is a great option for such forms as testimonials. As entries are received, they can instantly be shared via the custom display.

Formidable Pro Site License ExampleCredit: Javrsmith

Of course, the best features added by the site license is the 18 additional entry field types that are available to forms. Such useful fields as numeric validation, dates, times, email and file uploads are easily added to forms via the builder tool. The "data from entries" field type limits selections to a preset list of values, say states or countries. Using these options, a very complex form can be created in minutes. Amazingly, there is no programming required with any of the advanced fields. Each works right away with no customizing. Should modifications be required, such as limiting a numeric field to positive numbers only, a simple field option box provides the necessary tools.

Using the full features of the Formidable Pro site licensed version, a WordPress administrator could develop a complex sales lead generation system as follows:

  • build a new WordPress landing page with a Formidable Pro user registration form to accept contact information
  • automatically redirect users to a confirmation page after they click submit
  • add users' contact information to a Mailchimp mailing list
  • add users to the WordPress system in the new customer role
  • respond to new customers with a custom welcoming email message, with personalization
  • build a new WordPress form that uses the Formidable Pro display system to report on new customer leads

All of the above steps can be implemented in WordPress, with Formidable Pro without any custom programming at all. If the landing page is used in a Google Adwords campaign and a Google sales conversion tracking script is added to the confirmation page, then the administrator gains the full power of Google Analytics and Adwords statistics to help monitor the performance of their customer lead generation system.

Formidable Pro support is available via a user forum and a help desk issue submission system. The developers of the plugin are quick to respond to issues with answers. A knowledge base is maintained that documents the available features, provides easy to understand tutorials and shows examples of Formidable Pro in use at various sites. A blog is also maintained which provides current news and tips to the users of the plugin. There is even a FAQ that addresses several issues that have been solved in the past. Formidable Pro support is extremely thorough and capable of dealing with any issue that might come up. They even have helped diagnose site issues that are unrelated to Formidable Pro itself.

WordPress site administrators who want a sophisticated form building tool that greatly extends the versatility of their systems should install the Formidable Pro plugin. Build "Contact Us" forms in seconds. Build complex sales generation systems, with full tracking and statistics, without any custom programming. Build user survey forms directly into WordPress sites with full reporting. Formidable Pro gives administrators the control over HTML forms that they have been lacking for years.