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Formloom 4 for RapidWeaver

It has been exactly four years since Yabdab's Formloom 3 was released. There were minor updates in the meantime, but now Formloom 4 has hit the market. Was a major new release necessary? Apparently it was: there are numerous new additions. Is the new plugin worth nearly twice the price? Decide for yourself:

There's a long list of new features for Formloom 4. The list isn't as long as the new features introduced with version three, but still worthy of mention.
Here's what Mike lists as being new:

UNLIMITED Sites / Forms – Unlike other web form "services", you can use Formloom on all your web sites! There is no limit to how many forms or web sites a single copy of Formloom 4 will work with. (Ahem; that's not a new feature)
Multi-Step Forms – Got a super long form? Well now you can break it up into multiple steps.
Rules – Hide and show items based on the values of other items. Powerful conditionals are now in Formloom.
Data Tables – Built in support to view and filter through data submitted into MySQL.
New Input Types – A bunch of new input types , including...
Date Range
Time Range
Date-Time Range
WYSIWYG HTML
Signature
Star Rating
Range Slider
Currency
Security Question
Mail Preview – Preview how your emails will look directly inside Formloom 4
Better Email Design – Formloom's new Email HTML wrapper will make any email look like a professional designed it.
reCAPTCHA v.3 Support – Make sure humans are filling out your forms, not bots using the new invisible reCaptcha v.3
Font Awesome 5 – Complete Font Awesome 5 support for placing over 1400 different icons in your input fields.
Darkness – Formloom 4 supports the new Mojave Dark Mode in RapidWeaver 8.1+
Persist Data – Tell your form to hold on to input entries until the form is complete. Even when the page gets reloaded by mistake.
Included Formloom Helper Stack – Using the Formloom 4 Helper Stack, you can now include any Formloom 4 form into any Stacks page.
Added Style Settings – Design your form by choosing the colours, font and font sizes for your form.
Improved UX – Things are looking really nice with the addition of full-screen functionality, cleaner layout and retina optimised UI.
Plus much more... – There are just too many things to list them all here. (mike's words, not mine).


So let's be honest. I never used Formloom before. I tested the beta version of V4 and was impressed. Then, after seeing Yabdab's demo page, I decided that yes, Formloom beats the trousers (pants for those on the wrong side of the pond) off FormSnap and have purchased the plugin.
Why? Because the feature list is way longer (read: 'better') and I was impressed with the new page break feature for longer forms.

Formloom is a plugin. A Formloom Helper Stack is included with the plugin which allows you to add your completed form to any stacks page. The UI, even though the forms themselves can get very complicated, is easy to understand.
More complicated forms can be divided into 'subpages' and navigation dots are automatically added so that the user can see how many pages there are. Moving backwards or forwards within a form, or accidentally refreshing the page does not delete any information that was previously entered.

If you use Formsnap, there is a special crossgrade price available for Formloom. You might find it useful to check the demo out!

Comments

Formulate. An HTML Contact Form For RapidWeaver

Formulate was released free of charge several weeks ago, exclusively for ThemeFlood customers. A paid version that could be used with other themes was requested and has been released through the Stacks4Stacks website. This paid version includes additional code and testing to improve the compatibility and styling with theme frameworks like Foundry and Foundation. You'll need this version of the stack if you wish to use Formulate with a non-Theme Flood theme.

Contact forms are a common component in many RapidWeaver websites. However most services require a PHP 'backend' to process the form data and send it to where it is required. Although most better website hosting companies support PHP, some cheap hosts either charge customers extra for this service or have configured their PHP in such an astonishingly awkward way that it renders any contact form useless. We're looking at you, GoDaddy!

On the surface, Formulate looks and performs much the same as any other contact form. The key difference is that the message data is either sent via conventional email or goes through one of two mail handling services; Formspree.io or Formbucket.com. Both of these services offer a simple and smart method to receive data from a contact form. In some instances, it is even possible for yourself or a client to login to these services and view your form submissions as they come in.

Formulate – Stacks4Stacks

You can immediately begin to see the benefits here - no complications with PHP, fast setup, secure forms that work with virtually any email or hosting service. You can even have your messages sent to a disposable email address - such as a free Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo address.

Spam protection varies, depending on the form processing service that you use. The 'mail to' option supports an obfuscated email address which has surprisingly good protection. Formspree does display your email address in the form action attribute, but a paid account solves this and you get 'honeypot' protection by default. Formbucket provides the options of both 'honeypot' and 'reCaptcha', within your bucket settings. Again you can use a free disposable email address with this stack, so if the spammers and trollers become too much to handle, just change your email address to something else. That's the reason why many companies use rather obscure email addresses.

Many simple form inputs are supported. Formulate provides all the regular form input options, plus a number of specialaity HTML5 options. Each option supports a label, placeholder text and optional 'help' text. Inputs can be dragged and changed into any order. Any number of inputs can be made mandatory. The 'submit' button at the bottom is only shown / activated when all mandatory fields are completed and the user gives their consent to your GDPR privacy disclaimer.

Formulate most defiantly is not a replacement for heavyweight form stacks, such as the excellent FormsPlus system from Chillidog Software. But if you need to publish a simple form and have it reliably delivery messages, then Formulate could be just the job.

For ThemeFlood theme users, Formulate remains a free stack for you to download and use with our themes.

Comments

Comments in RapidWeaver

It's simple to add comments to a RapidWeaver page, there are stacks, widgets and code available for Disqus, Facebook and GooglePlus etc., but those of you that are concerned about GDPR compliance might like to look at the new Comments Stack from Stacks4Stacks.

Will Woodgate's new Comments stack is 100% GDPR compliant, it doesn't collect any personal data and a user can't post a comment until she/he has confirmed their awareness that the comment will be displayed publicly.

Comments doesn't require any server side setup, simply a single line of PHP in your page's Prefix. On-page setup is simple, but that doesn't mean to say that you can't spend time pondering the correct translation to localise field names and error messages, adding custom icons to your rating system, or adding a ist of objectionable words so that you don't have to ban Steve C from your site. And I haven't even mentioned the colour setup yet…
Spammers? No. A maths question is generated for each new comment. The question may be set to simple by choosing a range e.g. between 1 and ten, or complicated by setting a range between 100 and ∞.

Disadvantages? Yes, of course there are disadvantages to not collecting personal data, or using a system such as Disqus…
… your comments are saved to a flat text file in your page's subdirectory. If you wish to reply to the comment, you either need to compose a new post, or open the .txt file with a text editor and add your reply there.
And – due to the fact that you're not asking users to supply a mail address, they can't be notified when you write a reply.

Stack settings
General settings
Database Name
Time Zone
Comment Count

Field Settings
Name Field – Checkbox
Name Label
Name Error
Name Error – When Name exceeds max length
Name Length
Pre Populate – None (default), SiteLok Email, SiteLok First Name, SiteLok Name, SiteLok User Name
Date Stamp/Permalink
Rating Field – Ceckbox
Title Field – Settings as for Name Field
Comment Field – Settings as for Name Field
Verify Field
Verify Label
Maths Label
Maths Error
Reset Button [Label]
Submit Button [Label]
Write Button [Label]
No Comments [Label]

Style Settings
Multi-Column
Cards – Checkbox
Card Background; Borders; Padding; Margin; Radius
Colour Settings for all the above fields and buttons

Advanced Settings
Email Notifications – Checkbox
Email Address
Email Subject
Email Body
Ratings
Markup Ratings CSS
Maths Challenge – Min, Max
Bad Words List – Ask Steve C for a comprehensive list
Convert URLs to Hyperlink
Hide Write Button on Open
Read only

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Comments

BFS4 – Compact Form for RapidWeaver

Most Black Friday Sales continue until today, so if you need a simple contact form, you can still grab Compact Form from RWEXtras. It's available for half price until the end of the day.

Compact Form – RWExtrasCompact Form is a lightweight contact form that is reduced to a bare minimum and will fit into almost any space – top-bar, side-bar, footer, or extra content zone.
Compact Form is restricted to a total of six fields, so once you have requested a visitor's name, email address, subject and message, you have two fields available to collect any extra details you might need (address and phone number, perhaps; or device and OS…).

Something that I personally like about Compact Form is the fact that the submit button doesn't appear until all of the compulsory fields have data centred into them. So there is no submit-and-read-the-error-message routine – you can't submit the form until you've answered the questions!

Other than the fields to be submitted, you will find options to set the text and the border colours, the send button colours and the send button text colour. Other formatting is determined by the site styles.

Compact Form uses a highly-effective 'honey pot' anti-spam system; so your form is protected against spambots without the annoyance of Captcha. The Compact Form can submit to multiple email addresses.
Compact Form requires php and once submitted a success page is automatically generated.
The ideal replacement for the built in RW contact form for use on stacks pages and in confined spaces.


Comments

Donate Freely

One Mr. William Woodgate is currently hyperactive and is publishing stacks on an almost daily basis. It's getting difficult to keep up with him. His latest product, released via Stacks4Stacks is DonateStack.

DonateStack, as the name suggests, is a (free) stack that makes donations via PayPal simple. So simple, in fact, that once you've added the stack to your project, all you need do is add your [the recipient's] email address and publish.

DonateStack

However, before you publish, you might wish to take the time and inform your visitor what he is donating to. A Headline stack, or a paragraph stack may help relieve any confusion.
In its basic form, DonateStack simply displays an amount to be donated and a Contribute button. Check the settings panel and you'll find that you can also collect a donor's information – for a thank you letter, perhaps.

Settings panel.
The first and probably most important setting is PayPal Account – the address that will receive the donation. Next is Reference – keywords that will help identify the payment.
Locale Code sets the language that visitors will see when they are passed on to the PayPal site. US, for instance, for English, or DE for German. Currency Code defines the base currency setting.

Confirmation Link will allow you to set a return address, once a donor has contributed – a Thank You page, for instance. And if you'd like to know more about your donor – activate Display Address Fields. Once activated, you will see The option Responsive Columns.

Amount Type may be set to Number Box (default), or Option Select Box. The latter will enable you to suggest various donation amounts.

DonateStack Localisation displays the address fields, which may be edited. DonateStack Styling gives styling options for all aspects of the stack with the exception of the Select Box Menu which is always white.

I work for a charitable organisation in Thailand and you may be sure that DonateStack will find its way onto the website alongside the next update.

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