Create Your Own Custom WordPress Forms

A big part of success is being able to do things easily, efficiently, and well. Long gone are the days of needing to know complicated html in order to get sophisticated forms onto a website. I don’t know about you, but I’m quite happy that this is the case.

Formidable Forms is a simple, WYSIWYG style form builder that allows you to drop and drag form elements to create custom forms. The plugin includes templates that let you avoid the customization process, if you only need a very basic type of form, such as a ‘contact us’ form.

The above form is just one of many forms that you can create and use. Do you need to plan meetings with professional colleagues? Having a form that lets them request meetings can simplify the scheduling process.

Available through the WordPress Plugin Manager, Formidable Forms is simple to install and even easier to use. Once installed, you can access it through the left-hand menu bar. By clicking on Formidable, you can access the forms you have already created, or you can create a new one.

Formidable comes with five common templates, but building your own is extremely simple. Just follow this short guide to learn how to create (and use!) your own template.

Step One: Create a Blank Form

The starting point of any Formidable Form is the blank form. Each form requires a title and description. Fill this in with whatever you want – you have the option to hide it from the public when you go to embed it into your post or page.

Step Two: Set Your Parameters

The Parameters of your new Formidable Form are what users fill in when presented with the form.

You can use a wide assortment of parameters in your new form, including Single Line Text, Paragraph Text, Checkboxes, Radio Buttons, Dropdown Menus, reCAPTCHA, request for Email Address, Website/URL fields, Phone Numbers, and many more options.

All you need to do to set your parameters is to click-and-drag options from the right-hand sidebar to the form and it will prompt you for more information.

Step Three: Adjust your Settings

After you’ve created your form, click Formidable in the left-hand bar and select settings. The Settings options allow you to adjust user permissions and determine how you want Formidable to function.

Step Four: Inserting into Posts

The beauty of Formidable Forms is how simple it is to insert into WordPress pages and posts. The icon for Formidable appears near the media button at the top of each post or page. Click the icon, select the form you want to use, and insert it into your post.

You have the option to Display the Title and Display the form’s description. Select the form, decide if you want to display these two fields, and click insert. This will automatically generate the appropriate WordPress shortcode for your post.

Reports

One of the things I love about Formidable is the ability to look over reports. I can see what forms work well, data from the forms, and even compare the form’s performance from month-to-month. The below screenshot is just one of many report options that you can look at once you’ve created your form.

Checking your Entries

What is the point of having a form if you can’t check the entries submitted? With Formidable, getting this data (thankfully!) is super easy. All you need to do is click Formidable and go to ‘Entries’. From there, you will have access to a list of your entries by specific form.

From the Entries section, you can export the data to XML or CSV. While the format types are limited, these two formats are standards and are easy to work with.

That’s it! Formidable is definitely a powerful tool for those who need forms, and it sports enough bells and whistles to be useful as a form analytics tool as well, which is exactly what I need when I’m trying to save time so I can focus on more important tasks.