The Wufoo Blog

Inaugural Edition - Back to Basics: Limit Activity On Your Form

By Johan Lieu · July 23rd, 2013

While many of you have been avid and loyal Wufoo users and customers for a long time now, lots of people sign up for Wufoo everyday and aren’t 100% familiar with the depth of features (there are TONS) Wufoo offers. So we thought it’d be fun and useful to reach back into history and create a series of posts dedicated to new Wufoo users.

WARNING: If you’re a seasoned Wufoo vet, the Back to Basics series might not be for you.

WARNING II: Actually, even if you’re a seasoned Wufoo vet, I’ll bet you a chocolate bar^ that you’ll still learn something new just because Wufoo has so many features that it’ll be impossible to know them all.

^chocolate bar is figurative and is not real. Also, there is no spoon.

To help set the mood of going back in time, I’ve embedded the best song, The Power of Love, from one of my favorite movie series, Back to the Future. You’re welcome.


The topic of our first Back to Basics post is about how to use Wufoo to limit the number of entries your form gets. But wait, why would you ever want to limit the number of entries your form gets? Don’t you want to get as many entries as possible? Sure. But sometimes it makes sense to limit the number of entries. When? Like when…

  • You’re running a contest and want to accept contest entries from when the contest starts at 7am and when it ends at 11am.
  • You’re having a vote and want to limit entries in the vote to one vote per IP address.
  • You’re selling a limited supply of items and need to make sure you limit the number of entries to the number of items you have.
  • You’re running a survey/poll and want to make sure each person can only submit an entry once.

Those are just a few use cases where limiting entries to a form makes sense. If you’ve got more, feel free to share in the comments.

Form Settings

So how do you limit entries to your form? While you’re editing your form, navigate over to the Form Settings tab and at the bottom there’s a module named Limit Form Activity. From here you’ll be able to enable the options to limit the number of entries you get. The options are:

1. Ensure Only Humans Submit Entries

Not mentioned in a use case above but if you want to ensure that the only entries you’re getting are from humans and not aliens, other computers (Skynet!), or other non-human lifeforms, you’ll want to enable Captcha. By default, Wufoo will detect abusive behavior and automatically enable Captcha to ensure you’re only getting valid entries. You can also opt to always show it or to never show it, totally up to you.

Perfect for: Making sure only humans submit entries to your form.

2. Limit The Number of Entries

Form Not Accepting Any More Submissions

If you want to limit the number of entries your form can accept the option named Turn Off Form After is your friend. Just enter in the maximum number of entries you want your form to accept, save, and that’s it. Once your form hits the maximum limit, anyone visiting the form from then on will see a nice message letting them know your form is no longer accepting entries.

Perfect for: forms with a limited supply of inventory, sign up forms for limited space events, contest/sweepstakes forms with limited prizes, any form that is tied to a limited supply of something.

3. Accept Only One Entry Per IP Address

To limit entries to one entry per IP address, you’ll want to enable the option named Allow Only One Entry Per IP. This will prevent users from filling our your form more than once. You should note that if your user gets onto another computer on another internet connection with a different IP address, they could fill out your form again.

Perfect for: one contest entry per person forms, giveaway forms to ensure one person doesn’t get all of the prizes, surveys and polls where you only want one answer per person, any form where you want people to submit an entry only once.

4. Turn Your Form On & Off Automatically

Form Scheduling

If you’re looking to have your form be available within a limited time window, navigate your way to the option named Schedule Form Activity. When you enable this option, start/end date/time options for your form will appear. From here you’ll be able to select when you want your form to become active or inactive based on the date and time you select.

Perfect for: sweepstakes/contest forms with a limited time window to enter, time sensitive RSVPs forms, event sign up forms, any form related to a limited time window.


That’s a wrap for the first post in the new Back to Basic series on why and how you’d limit the number of entries your form gets. This is an ever changing and evolving series so please let us know what you think below.

If you’re one of those seasoned Wufoo vets and have ideas for the next post in this series, suggest them below. And if you’ve got other uses for why you’d want to limit the number of entries a form gets, share below and we’ll try to highlight them.

This entry was posted 8 months ago and was filed under Tips & Tricks.

Comments

  1. This is great, but I guess it doesn’t really work for forms with limited inventory, if you want to give the customer the option of selecting more than one item, such as tickets for an event. It would be great if it were possible to limit the total entries to a field not just a form.

    Posted 8 months ago by Christopher.
  2. question-If I am offering three different workshops and need to limit the # of entries for just one of them how do I do that? Thank you.

    Posted 8 months ago by Nan.
  3. I might have suggested this before (as a comment on another blog entry) but it would be great if we could edit the message that appears when the form is no longer accepting entries.

    Posted 8 months ago by Susan.
  4. @Christopher: Thanks for that suggestion, that could definitely help if you’re limiting on only one field versus the entire form.

    @Nan: You could create three forms for each workshop and then limit the entries on form for the workshop with the limited space.

    @Susan: That’s a good one, we’ll see what we can do.

    Posted 8 months ago by Johan Lieu.
  5. I have used this feature in the past however the IP address of, let’s say a student house or company limits the form filling to just one person and excludes other inhabitants etc to complete the form … Is there anyway around limiting the form submissions to just one person and not the IP address? [hope this makes sense!]

    Posted 8 months ago by Michelle.
  6. @Michelle: yeah, that’s one limitation of using the IP address to restrict entries to your form. One possible solution is to use an email address field type, make it required, and select the “No Duplicates” setting for the email address field. This way your entrants have to enter in their email address, but it will only allow one entry per email address.

    Posted 8 months ago by Johan Lieu.
  7. I love Susan’s suggestion: I might have suggested this before (as a comment on another blog entry) but it would be great if we could edit the message that appears when the form is no longer accepting entries. Posted 3 days ago by Susan.

    We receive feedback from clients that are confused as to why the form is not accepting submissions yet, and it would be nice if we could tell them when it will be when they visit the form.

    Posted 8 months ago by Haley.
  8. I agree with Nan. We use the form to sign up participants for workshops and classes and it would be great to have the restriction set per field and not just per form. Please make this available in the near future. It would be a dynamic feature.

    Posted 8 months ago by Stephanie.
  9. I agree with Susan’s suggestion. We need to be able to edit those messages, and there should be a different one for the number & the calendar.

    Generic message just dont cut it. My client is so annoyed by this that she wants me to find another solution…This should be at the top of the list of things to fix imho.

    Posted 8 months ago by Steph..
  10. I may have somehow missed this, but is there anyway to organize forms into folders instead of having the entire list always visible? I know there’s a search feature that allows you to quickly find forms but I would like to organize the forms created into categorized folders.

    Posted 8 months ago by Sherelle.
  11. I would also like to see a field limiting option in addition to a form limiting feature. It would be very useful. Editing the message that is displayed when a form isn’t accepting submissions would be really cool too. At the very least, the closing or opening date could be added.

    Posted 8 months ago by Greg.
  12. What time zone is used for the form activity ON and OFF times?

    Posted 8 months ago by susanb.
  13. I am using my form for people to request seats for an event. Is there any finagling that will allow me to cap further entries once I’ve reached 56 seats reserved? I’ve found that the trickiness comes when one person requests 4 seats… since Wufoo doesn’t have a “total” function that will account for all entries.

    Posted 8 months ago by Tamra.
  14. This is probably not the correct forum to ask my question, but honestly this is the 1st time I’ve been able to read any of your newsletters. This is the 1st year we have used online forms for our festival and this is but one situation I came across while using the system…is there a way to copy or cut & paste entries into another form? I enter around 100 events & found out way into it that I really needed to remove half of what I entered & put it into another form (due to space/field availability issues). Needless to say, I was not going to re-type all I had already entered. This sure would help me out next year. Thanks!

    Posted 8 months ago by Judy.
  15. Hi Greg! Thanks for the feedback, we definitely appreciate it. Will fwd to our Product team.

    Posted 8 months ago by Kayte Korwitts.
  16. Hey Sherelle,

    We don’t have more advanced organization features just yet. But it’s something we’re actively concepting and working towards. While we don’t have a definitive roll out date at this time, stay tuned…

    Posted 8 months ago by Kayte Korwitts.
  17. Hi Susan,

    The Form Activity timezone is based on the time zone setting of the Account Creator log-in.

    Thanks!

    Posted 8 months ago by Kayte Korwitts.
  18. Unfortunately it’s not currently possible to perform quantity based limitations. Only limitations on the number of entries received. Sorry for the bad news.

    Posted 8 months ago by Kayte Korwitts.
  19. Hi there, Judy! While it’s not possible to move entries to another form, it is possible to export/import entries as .csv using the third party service CSV2Wufoo. More details can be found here: http://www.wufoo.com/2010/03/10/import-your-data-with-csv2wufoo-com/

    Hope this helps.

    Posted 8 months ago by Kayte Korwitts.
  20. Thank you for such a feedback form I plan to use on your website.

    Posted 8 months ago by Almazik.
  21. From what I’ve read above, it seems like there’s a big need among users for the ability to limit entries by field. I find this, too, to be one of the biggest problems I run into. There would be a lot less need for creating and manually monitoring several different forms. This would be so helpful! I hope you guys can find a way to make this possible. Really one of the few reasons we’ve questioned this being the right thing for us.

    Posted 8 months ago by Stephanie.
  22. I have a client who wants to disable the form each day at 10.30 - they’re using it for taking advance lunch orders and they only want to accept orders up to 10.30. The time zone scheduler doesn’t appear to handle this - or have I missed something? Any suggestions? Many thanks - Carol

    Posted 8 months ago by Carol.
  23. Thank You, really helpful!

    Posted 8 months ago by Jan Freire.
  24. This Back to Basics email/post is great! I’ve been using Wufoo for years, and even though it’s basic, this post highlights functions that were added AFTER I started using Wufoo so I didn’t even realize new ones were there. I really love that you can now limit the number of entries or have a start and end date.

    Thanks for making it short and sweet too!

    Posted 8 months ago by Susan Rubinsky.
  25. Johan, thanks a lot for some of these tips!!! Will use them while creating my forms!!!

    Posted 8 months ago by Christine.
  26. It’d be helpful is you could limit form activity for only some fields of the form, for example I am asking individuals to register for an event but only the first 15 who request it, receive travel vouchers…then I’d like to be able to remove that question on the general form for the remaining registrants.

    Posted 7 months ago by Maggie.
  27. Everyone needs a hug.

    Posted 7 months ago by Maggie.
  28. This question is somewhat unrelated (kind of) but I figured this was a good place to ask it.

    I’m trying to find a field (it can be any field) where I can add an actual URL in the description.

    Any idea how I can insert the URL that a person can click on while they are filling out the form? (I’m doing this so that they can reference a different page that is needed to fill out the form.)

    Posted 7 months ago by Bo.
  29. Our office would also like to see the ability to limit activity based on the count in a specific field. Because we give people the option to decline an event, the count of entries is not helpful. It also does not take into account the guests that are included in registrations. We have been creating reports to give us the counts based on the various fields but that still requires keeping an eye on the report to know when we’ve reached the limit.

    We would also like to have the ability to modify the generic message. We are going to try to leave the form open but create a message based on a form rule that will let the registrant know that the form is closed. This will allow us to customize the message. We also plan to customize the confirmation email. Hopefully, people will read these two communications!

    Posted 5 months ago by Toni.
  30. Field-based entry cap really needs to happen. I work at a non-profit museum that hosts fundraising events, films, tours, public programs, workshops and members events. Every dollar is crucial as well as every minute of staff time. It needs to be easy for our visitors to purchase multiple tickets at once, and we need to extend the same convenience to our members for RSVPs. Heavily monitoring the numbers on a spreadsheet is not something museum staff has time for, nor is it conducive to growth. Making the visitors/members fill out a new form for each ticket/RSVP isn’t something they have time for; hence, also not conducive to growth.

    Please let myself and those on the comment board who echo my concerns know if you working on this or not.

    Thank You.

    Posted 5 months ago by Elizabeth Murphy.
  31. I totally agree that field based entry caps would be ideal. A quick temporary fix which has additional benefit would be to allow us to edit the “Sorry but this form is no longer accepting submissions” page. This would allow us to at least pass the user to a new form such as a waiting list. Right now leaving them with the rejection page is unacceptable.

    Posted 5 months ago by Mike.
  32. @Elizabeth: “Field-based entry cap really needs to happen.” Yup. Not having this is a deal-breaker for most things we do. Sadly moving on to find a different solution for forms.

    Posted 4 months ago by Big Animals.
  33. This is great, but how can you limit the number of entries per day/24 hours?

    We run contests that requires users to enter or vote once per day per email or ip address.

    Is this possible with the current limits and rules?

    Posted 2 months ago by Travis.
  34. I have a similar scenario as Travis. The client can only have 15 entryies per day, but the next day the form should allow for another 15, and the day after that - to total 45 in a 3 day span. Is this possible or would you have to manual set total entries from 15 to 30 to 45?

    Posted 4 weeks ago by adam.
  35. Is the form based on IP-only or will it leave a cookie on the PC as well? If someone had a VPN or something so they can change their IPs as they want and therefore submit countless of entries?

    Posted 2 weeks ago by Marie.

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    The Wufoo Blog is the official online publication written by the developers of Wufoo about their online form builder, form-related technologies, and whatever else may fit their fancy—like robots.

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