WordPress is blessed with a number of reliable and flexible form building plugins and one I like to use is Fast Secure Contact Form.
This form plugin has some great features and some helpful ‘help’ tips built in.
Here are five examples, including a troubleshooting tip, to help you get the most out of your forms.
- You can add more fields
- Help is a click away
- You can duplicate forms
- You can back up your forms
- You can play with display settings
You can add more fields
Fast Secure Contact Form opens up with four custom fields available for you to add to the four inbuilt fields, namely:
- Name (this can be selected as just one field or as First,Last in two separate fields)
Underneath the four custom fields is a box called Number Of Available Extra Fields. Simply add a number higher than 4 and then Save your form. I have pushed it out to 20 extra fields, so you have plenty of scope – just think about the poor person who needs to fill it in!
Help is a click away
Placed near all elements of the form is a Help link. Click it and you get relevant help details delivered right there, on the spot.
This week I had a client wonder why a form they added was not working.
They had entered the details for a dropdown list and a message was saying the ‘field had not been set up correctly’.
By checking the syntax instructions and looking at what they had entered, I quickly discovered they had used a comma in the general question field, which says you cannot do in dropdown configurations because commas have a particular meaning. I removed the comma and the form worked.
So, please, when stuck, click Help.
You can duplicate forms
Towards the bottom of any form building page is an option to duplicate your form into a new form sheet.
When you need to replicate any form I recommend this because it means all your email settings are correct.
My rule of thumb is to set up your first form and test it.
If emails arrive and data is captured, then duplicate away and create as many ‘unique’ forms as you wish.
You can back up your forms
At the bottom of any form building page you can choose to back up your form settings.
DO IT NOW.
This is invaluable should you ever need to rebuild your site.
Although good database backups are helpful, I like the added security of knowing you can recreate all your forms in a few seconds flat.
You can play with display settings
If your form looks too narrow or wide, the fonts too heavy or the size of comments boxes all wrong, you can set the size and other configurations in the plugin on any or each of the form building pages.
This can give your website a much more polished look, improving the user experience.
Ask your webmaster to set the settings if you wish but if on a budget, play with them yourself on a ‘hidden’ page and then test and duplicate as you require.