The majority of contact forms begin to look daunting as soon as they request more details than just your name and address. I know – I have built a couple of booking forms for clients: What? Where? When? How many etc. etc.?
In fact, I just recently spent a couple of days simplifying the contact forms on my own web pages. Currently, I'm working on a client site and just finished a contact Form. That was before FormsPlus from Chillidog Software flattered into my inbox. I might just have to start over!
After a year of development, Greg has just removed the wraps from FormsPlus, a stack that allows you to build multi-step contact forms for RapidWeaver. Ideal for questionnaires, feedback forms, and more. But there is more to FormsPlus, much more.
FormsPlus offers so many possibilities – many more than any other forms suite of stacks and so much easier to use. Drop a FormsPlus stack into your RW project and you get a stack that offers you the options: Add Form Steps; Add Template; Success and Error Messages.
If we begin at the top, you need to add a Form Step by clicking the + button to add a child stack, then click the new + button to add a Form Element. Other Form Suites come with a set of stacks – one for each option available. FormPlus delivers 19 Child Stacks instead. You can view a list of them on the left.
Now you have two elements to set up. First, the Form Step and second the Form Element. If you look at the stack settings for the Step, you'll find that you're requested to add a Name for the step and a Step Description. You'll need to give a little thought to the Name, as it appears in the navigation bar above your form. You can, of course, simply choose Step 1; Step 2 etc. or add a step description as in the screenshots above.
You may add a Header and/or Footer stack to your Form Step. These can be any stack you choose; a help text, perhaps. Next you can decide how many columns the Form Step should have at each of four breakpoints and the gutter width or Column Gap between the columns.
Next you should format the Form Element. The stack settings are, of course, different for each stack. If, for instance, you added an Email Input Child, you must add a name (for use in the Templates) a description for your Form Element and a Placeholder; john.smith @someserver.com, for instance. Then you can add an optional Help Text to let your visitor know what you want him to add to said element. Finally, you should decide if the Element is a Required field or not.
You can add as many Form Elements to the Form Step as you feel are needed for said step.
NOTE: It is by no means obvious, but country and state selectors are also available – when you add a Select menu, you may choose 'Custom' and then add the selector you require from the stack's settings.
When your visitor has filled all the required fields in the first step he/she can click the next button and move on to the next step.
You can add as many steps as you need to FormsPlus, each one with different Child Elements. If you have a questionnaire or opinion poll you can add sliders (Range Input) to each element to gauge a user's satisfaction. The values from each Form Element will then be automatically added to the Template that you create when you are finished.
You can add multiple Templates to FormsPlus. A Form Receipt, which will be sent to the visitor, lets you set a Subject and a Reply To. In the Reply To, you need to add the name of your Email field. A Form Submission will be sent to a list of comma delimited email addresses that you enter, using the Subject that you set. The Reply To field should once more contain the name of the Email Element.
An Online Record will be saved as a text file to your server and could be imported into an CSV file.
Once you've added all the necessary Steps to your Form, you can take a look at the FormsPlus stack settings. They contain everything you will need to configure your form to match your website theme. There is even a choice of eight different transitions for moving from one step to the next or back. You'll also be able to position your form buttons (Top; Bottom; Left, or Right), set the wording on the buttons to your own language and (did I say already?) much, much more.
FormsPlus doesn't add personalised text to the Form Elements and it can't diverge from a set path of steps, but it does make a complicated form look a lot less overwhelming; it does allow you to define a user questionnaire that allows you to collect numerical results and it has a phenomenal set of Child Stacks.
Oh, there is one more feature: FormsPlus intelligently breaks uploads into small pieces before uploading. This allows you to upload files up to 2GB without you having to change any server settings.
Note: FormsPlus currently doesn't add a Sender to the mails received and the Reply To is your own address, not that of the sender, but we can expect those to change in version 1.1.
Any questions? Ask them with FormsPlus; the best way to ask them of your audience!
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