Create Any Type of Form You Like on Your WordPress Site [con't]
As I mentioned earlier, one of the exceptional features in Formidable is "Custom Displays." It allows you to republish the responses on your site. A custom display is a lot like a form in that you give it a name and optionally some description. Both these fields are only for your reference if you need to make changes later on.
- Name/Description: These are simply for your reference.
- Show: There are three options under this: Single Entry, All Entries and Both. Single Entry is the simplest option; only one entry is displayed. The second, All Entries, will display all entries one below the other. The third option, Both, is the most tricky of them all. It is useful when you want to show a summary of the entries and clicking on any of them should take the user to its detail page.
- User Data from Form: This allows you to choose the form from which you want to display the data.
- Content: This select field will list the fields from the form you have chosen in the previous step. You will find two entries for each of the fields; one suffixed with ID and the other with Key. The two fields are synonymous, so you can use any of them. However, if you are likely to change the type of the field over time, it's better to use the ID because it stays fixed.
- Insert the Content: In this page, you are creating only the display. You will still need to place it on a certain page. In this option, you specify where the content should be placed: before the page content, after it, or whether it should be replaced. The best option is "Don't automatically insert," which gives you maximum control. You can insert the short code in the page wherever you want to display the results.
- Order: This allows you to choose in what order the results should display.
- Where: This is a very powerful field. It allows you to filter the results of a form. Suppose I have a form for customer feedback. One of the fields is the type of feedback that could be either a complement or a complaint. When I display the results, I want to have different pages for displaying the complements and the complaints.
- Limit: This allows you to restrict the number of entries that will be shown.
- Page Size: If you want to split the responses into multiple pages, with each page showing a fixed number of entries, then you should specify that number here.
This page gives you an overview and other statistics on the volume of the responses entered in a form. It displays the data in a graphical manner, which give a very clear picture of the data.
This page allows you to tweak the setting for the forms. It has a wonderful style editor (see Figure 5). You can define how the fields should look, the color of the labels and error messages, and a lot more. The nice part is that as you change a property, you can immediately see the effect in the live preview that shows up next to the editor. The style editor is so simple that it doesn't need any further explanation.
WordPress' Plugin Architecture
While WordPress is a tool primarily for blogging, over the years it has grown into a more general content management system (CMS) that people are starting to use for other website genres too. The feature that made this expansion possible is WordPress' amazing plugin architecture, and the WordPress community has exploited this feature in a very positive way. You can find plugins for almost anything -- from a simple "Hello Dolly" to a shopping cart plugin to one that can improve your site's performance by improving the caching system. Formidable is a plugin that creating almost any kind of form dead simple.