Building a web form of any kind can be confusing. Actually, it can be terrifying. The options and decisions seem endless, the software all looks strange, and you don’t even know where to start. However, in reality, it’s not as complicated as it looks. In this series of blog posts, we’ll show you how to use the Gravity Forms plugin for WordPress to create practically any form, starting with the basics. (If you want to learn more about the Gravity Forms plugin and how to use it, you can watch the webinar recording.)
Before you start building your form, you should ask yourself two questions: Have you created a page for the form to be displayed on, and how will the page be accessed when people visit the website? Once you have thought through these two things, you’re ready to start actually making the form.
First of all, to create a web form, after you log in to your WordPress account you can select the “Forms” tab on the left side of your screen. Click “Add New” form.
From here, you can select the fields that you want to include. Over on the right side, you’ll see different categories of fields: standard, advanced, post, and pricing. Standard fields include single lines of text, drop down menus, numbers, and check boxes. Advanced fields allow you to add fields for names, email addresses, and phone numbers. You can also add a special field for CAPTCHA. (Keep in mind that you will likely always want to add the CAPTCHA field, since this will protect your form from being spammed.) Post fields and pricing fields allow more customized features. By clicking on the appropriate category, you can see all the available options.
Once you have decided which fields you need on your form, you can start dragging and dropping them into place. This isn’t too hard, and we’ll talk more about it in the next post. For now, we’ll move on to what your viewer will see after they submit your form.
As you’re editing your form, click “Settings.” When the dropdown opens, select “Confirmations.”
Below you’ll likely see the automatically generated confirmation that will be displayed unless you edit it. Click “Edit.”
The confirmation is the notice that the form has been submitted. There are three ways to set this up. The most common option is a text confirmation. The form will disappear, and in its place a confirmation message pops up. You can easily edit this message and tweak the settings under the “Text” tab.
Alternatively, you could send your guests to a different page of your website once the form is submitted, such as your homepage. Edit these settings under the “Page” tab. You can also send guests to a completely different URL, in which case you can experiment under the “Redirect” tab.
One word of caution about using confirmation text: Although this usually works well, one possible glitch can occur when guests submit a form from their mobile device. If he or she doesn’t close the form window, the form can resubmit itself automatically, which causes repeated results from the same person. If you are having trouble with this issue, you can fix the problem by sending them to a separate page of your website through the “Page” tool that confirms the submission.
After your web form is complete, you need to find out what to do with all the information you’ve collected–how do you store it, where do you find it, and how do you want to be notified about it? For more information about these and other questions, check our blog next week for the next part in this series. Until then, have fun messing around with Gravity Forms!