Tips and Tricks :
Custom Form Builder Features Overview
Custom Form Builder Features Overview
During the last user group session I covered the Custom Form Builder for a bit. If you have attended the user groups, you might recognize this as a recurring topic. I'm going to expand a bit on the overall concept of the Custom Form Builder here as a general reference.
The custom form builder is designed to allow site authors the ability to set up simple forms on their sites without the need to contact us and/or pay to have a form developed. Here is a list of things you can do using the Custom Form Builder:
- Send form submissions to one or more email addresses.
- Run a report to see all responses for any form and for any time period.
- Export a report for any form and for any time period into an Excel document.
- Enable, re-use and/or hide forms on single or multiple pages throughout a site.
- Use a form as a simple sign-up to get access to a piece of content or a download.
- Set an expiration date on a form, allowing it to disable itself with a friendly message when a date and time that you have selected come to pass.
- Act as a simple survey (using one or more screens).
- Gather information on one screen, or over the course of many screens.
- Import options when creating a list of choices for a user to select, saving you the time of typing them all into the system.
- Identify what fields should be required.
- Perform pre-defined validations (such as phone and email) on fields.
The Custom Form Builder, however, is not intended to support all scenarios out there. Sometimes you may need to do something more robust than just information capture or you need to produce special reports or you need to secure data. Things you cannot do with the Custom Form Builder:
- Change/hide/display a question based on the answer to another question.
- Allow users to upload files.
- Create aggregate reports.
- Securely store user data, such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) information or credit card details.
There are ways to still satisfy some of your goals, however. Some examples based on the list above:
- If you want to have users adjust answers or fill out different fields based on the answers to other questions, just use more explicit language such as this: "If you chose 'yes' to Question #1, please fill out the type of steak you prefer:"
- If you want to allow a user to provide you with files, include an explanation at the beginning of the form that he/she will need to send files to an email address provided when he/she has filled out the form. On the "thanks" page provide the email link.
- If you want to create aggregate reports, use the Excel export feature from the reporting tool to bring your data into Excel where you can create many kinds of reports, charts and graphs. Other spreadsheet applications support the Excel format, just in case you don't have a copy of Excel.
- If you want to securely store user data, you will need to reach out to us. Because the custom form builder sends all information out via email, even having a secure key (SSL) on the page won't allow you to meet HIPAA compliance laws or credit card transaction requirements. Given the potential liability involved, we ask that you talk to us first.
The Custom Form Builder is a great way to allow people to comment, sign up for events, pose questions, fill out surveys, and much more. If you think you have a use for the Custom Form Builder on your site, please don't hesitate to contact us and we can help you set one up.
Feel free to try it out on your own, too. We have a Custom Form Builder tutorial on the site that will walk you through everything you need to get one up and running on your site.