The Wufoo Blog

Archive of Tips & Tricks

3 Common Error Messages & How to Fix ‘Em

By Joss Unzicker · December 5th, 2014

Season’s Greetings, dear Wufoo-ers! It’s the perfect time of year to heat up a mug of hot cocoa, grab your softest blanket, and snuggle up at your desk for a cozy day of form-building. But don’t get too comfy just yet. Today, we’re going to dive deep into three common error messages that users occasionally run into when getting down to form business. While the following three errors may throw off your form-building groove at first, we’ve got in-under-a-second changes for each one that’ll get you back to building in no time.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

1. Required Drop Down fields and Default Answer Options

Scenario: You’ve just completed building your form and so far things look great. The time has come to run a test through. When you click the Submit button you’re looped back around with a big red !error! around your required drop down field. “But there’s a legitimate answer there,” you protest.

Chances are that your legitimate answer choice is the default answer option for your field.

Why am I getting this error?! Well, when you make a Drop Down field required, the user must select a choice other than the default answer. When a user selects the default option (the one that is selected when the page loads), Wufoo will consider that as not making a choice and will display the dreaded error.

Fix - You have a couple of options here to clear this up. You can:

    Remove the Required validation from the field settings, since it will submit a choice anyway OR

Add a blank answer first

Add a choice with Choose One as the default answer. That way, the user has to select something other than blank or Choose One to complete the submission.

2. HTML errors and “NaN” in the form builder

Scenario: You’re making the final edits to your form in the form builder and suddenly you realize that you can’t use Wufoo’s awesome drag and drop functionality to rearrange fields on your form. You also see this cryptic NaN message in place of the field number when looking at some of the field settings.

Why am I getting this error?! Both of these “symptoms” indicate that you have an HTML error in the content of one of your field labels. Even the tiniest of errors can make the form builder go a bit loopy. Typically our users run into this when an HTML tag isn’t closed all the way.

Fix: To resolve this, you’ll want to first locate the error in question. You can easily do this by taking the following steps:

  • Open up your Form Builder
  • Click on each of your fields in the form design to open up their field settings. Find the first field with NaN. displayed instead of the field number.
  • Click on the the field directly above that one in the builder. This is likely the field with the HTML error. As mentioned above, typically the issue is the HTML tag being left open.
  • Make edits to the HTML as needed
  • Save Form
  • Once you save you’ll be able to use the drag and drop and those pesky NaN messages will be replaced with the field numbers again.

    3. Exclamation Points in the Rule Builder

    Scenario: You’re getting fancy with a registration form and have decided to use field rules to dynamically SHOW fields depending on the number of registrants the user has. Here is your vision: If the user would like to register 4 people, 4 name fields will display. If you a user would like to register 1 person, 1 name field will display. When you go to save your fabulous rules you get a bunch of glaring yellow exclamation points!

    Why am I getting this error?! Our rule builder can’t SHOW or HIDE the same field in multiple different rules.

    Fix: To patch this up, you’ll want to add multiple conditions to a single rule, by using that grey plus sign next to the first condition.

    Instead of a separate rule for each registration, you’ll want to set it up so that a single rule reads:

    “If how many campers would you like to register?” is 1 OR “If how many campers would you like to register?” is 2 OR “If how many campers would you like to register?” is 3 OR
    “If how many campers would you like to register?” is 4 SHOW 1.) Camper Name

    Whenever you see those exclamation points in the rule builder, you’ll want to ask yourself, “How can I consolidate multiple rules into a single rule with conditions so that there aren’t any conflicts?”

    Using multiple conditions will ensure that your form rules work as intended and will eliminate those big exclamation points when saving/editing in the rule builder.

    There you have it! Hopefully these tricks make some of Wufoo’s more daunting errors more approachable. Of course, if you run into any error messages that you’re unfamiliar with and can’t find info in our docs, feel free to reach out to our support team at any time.

    Two Quick Tips to Optimize Your Time with Wufoo

    By Johan Lieu · December 2nd, 2014

    If you’re anything like us here at Wufoo, as the end of the year approaches, it seems like you’re getting busier and busier and there’s less and less time to get things done. Luckily, you run your business on Wufoo and we’ve got you back. Here’s two quick tips you should do now to save time each and every day.

    Setup Email Notifications

    This is the most important Wufoo tip you’ll ever read. Turn on email notifications and you’ll automatically get an email notification whenever someone submits an entry to your form. I can’t stress this enough and how important it is to help you save time.

    Now instead of worrying whether or not you’re getting any submissions to your form, you can instead rest easy knowing that when a potential customer fills out your form, you’ll instantly know about it and act on it. The email we send you also includes all of the form data so you can easily view the info and decide if you need to act on it right then and there or if it can wait. If you’re using Wufoo to run your business, you know that the slightest delay could cost you a customer and sales. So, please, for me, turn on email notifications for your most important forms. You won’t regret it.

    Integrate Your Form with Other Apps & Websites

    The second best way to save yourself some time and effort is to simply integrate your form with any one of our numerous integrations. Tons and tons of apps and web sites have integrations with Wufoo and help save our customers tons of time every day.

    Have users or customers uploading files (say photos for a quote on painting a room)? You should definitely integrate with Dropbox and have your files automatically sent to Dropbox where they will sync to all of your devices.

    Using a Wufoo form on your web site to receive leads from customers or clients? Make sure you read our blog post about the most popular CRM’s that Wufoo integrates with. Coupled with email notifications, you’ll automatically know when a lead comes in and your CRM will track your entire lifecycle with that customer.

    Have you setup a mailing list sign up form so that your users and customers can get more information about your services or receive updates about deals or sales you’re having? It’s time to integrate that form with any of our email integrations like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, ActiveCampaign, Sendloop, or INinbox. New email address comes in? It’ll automatically show up at your email integration of choice, ready to be acted on.

    The possibilities are endless. You can combine any number of our integrations with your forms to help you create a powerful and time saving workflow (like a sales lead form that sends your lead information to Salesforce, sends the lead’s email address to MailChimp, and sends any uploaded files to Dropbox). And you’ll also instantly receive an email notification (because you set that up already, right?) when the lead comes in which includes their phone number so you can call them right away.

    By using email notifications and any number of Wufoo’s great and easy to use integrations, you’ll be saving time in, uh, no time. And you can get back to running your business and living your life. Got a tip on how you use Wufoo to save yourself time? Share it below, we’d love to hear about it!

    How to Use Wufoo in the Field: Kiosk Mode

    By Zachary Ralson · November 7th, 2014

    Hey there, Form Builders! Get ready to be enlightened on one of the most frequently asked questions from you, dear customers—“How do I create a form where people can take it over and over again?” Sound familiar? Picture it. Say you’re at a live event like a conference or a concert or even if you’re at a business meeting and need to let people fill out your form repeatedly. If this is you, you’re in luck! By making a few quick changes to your form settings, you can have this sort of “kiosk” set-up using any of your Wufoo forms.

    In short, what we’re going to do here is link the form back to itself to create an endless loop of that form. This is possible on any of our paid plans.

    1. Once you’ve created the form you want to use, navigate over to the Code Manager to find the link to that form. We always recommend using the Short Link URL in case you want to change the name of that form.

    2. Copy that URL and head back to the Edit screen for your form.

    3. Place the URL in the Redirect to Website field in the Form Settings. This will link the form back onto itself. Every time a person hits the Submit button at the end of the form it will reset and load up a blank form ready to receive another entry.

    Pretty nifty, eh? This will even let you utilize any other features you want on the form, so it won’t interfere with confirmation and notification emails. You can send a confirmation email to anyone who submits the form. Check out this example.

    Now, suppose you want to set up something like this on a tablet and you’re sending someone out to collect signatures or take inventory of something in the field where they won’t have access to a wifi connection. In that case, you can use an integration created by Device Magic to save information on the device and upload to the Wufoo database later.

    We’ve got tons more information on our integration with Device Magic here.

    Let us know if you have questions of course and Happy Repeat Form Building to you!

    Use Wufoo & sendwithus to Track Your Net Promoter Score

    By Wesley Yu · October 17th, 2014

    Sendwithus lets you easily and painlessly create transactional emails for all of your applications. Wesley Yu from Sendwithus.com walks us thought their recently released collection of free open source email survey templates and how you can use them as a free & easy way to measure your Net Promoter® Score with Wufoo. Take it away Wesley!

    Here’s a Net Promoter® Score (NPS) program that you can launch today to grow your product or service. It’s easy to implement on a limited budget, and it’s a great place to start when you don’t have a lot of resources to invest.

    Wait, What’s a Net Promoter Score?

    The Net Promoter Score is one of the most recognized ways to measure customer loyalty. It’s used figure out the lowest cost of keeping current customers and the best way to acquire new ones. To measure your NPS, all you need to do is ask one simple question:

    “How likely is it that would you recommend our company to a colleague or friend?”

    email_survey_likert_scale copy

    One question.

    That’s it. And, calculating your Net Promoter Score is easy:

      nps_explainer Net Promoter Scores allow you to:

    • Predict where your customer behaviour is headed down the road
    • Engage & learn from the customers that really care about your product
    • Stop customer churn

    For more info on NPS and how it works, watch this video.

    The Problem with NPS

    The trouble with NPS programs is that gathering and storing Net Promoter Scores can be difficult (and/or expensive). Luckily, we have a free hack that you can implement in about 20 minutes to start gathering and storing your NPS data.

    The Solution

    In this tutorial we will:

    • Gather NPS responses using an open source email template
    • Store and track the results using Wufoo’s online form management.

    Customers Receive an NPS survey -> They provide feedback -> You get data BOOM! Let’s get started!


    Step One: Download a Responsive NPS Survey Template

    • Head to the Sendwithus.com’s Open Source Email Project
    • Choose a theme
    • Download an NPS survey template You’ll use these HTML email templates to gather your NPS data. You can edit the template directly or you can import it into your email template manager to brand the email for you own company.* *If you don’t have an email template manager, try Sendwithus.com – it’s free!

    Step Two: Create a Wufoo Form for your NPS data

    We’ll be using Wufoo manage our NPS data. If you don’t have an account, sign up for free at wufoo.com. When you get to the Wufoo dashboard, hit “Create a New Form,” under the “Forms” tab. That should bring you to the form builder. Create a form with these 4 elements:

    • Title Message
    • Paragraph Box for Additional Feedback
    • 0 – 10 Multiple Choice Field
    • Email Address Field


    Step Three: Create Custom URLs to Pre-populate your Wufoo Form

    In order to connect click data from your NPS survey to Wufoo’s database, you’ll need a way to pre-populate your Wufoo form. You can do this using custom URLs. The basic URL of a Wufoo form looks like this:

    http://username.wufoo.com/forms/form-name

    If you click that URL, you’ll go to a form with no predefined values. But, if you add some custom values to the end of the URL, then the form will pre-populate with the assigned values. Like this:

    Wufoo allows you to populate forms with whatever data you like. In the example above we’ve passed in an email address variable, but it will accept any variable you throw at it – name, date, location, marital status, whatever. To write your custom URLs for you own Wufoo form:

    • Head to the “Forms” tab
    • Find the form you would like to pre-populate
    • Click “Code”

    Then, Click “API Information” (in the top right corner)

    Each Field Title has a corresponding API ID. The API ID is the number you use to reference a field. So, a field with an API ID of 5 will become:

    Field5

    The custom URL for a pre-populated form that includes a customer’s email and an NPS response of 5 might look like this:

    http://username.wufoo.com/form-name/def/field6={{ customer_email }}&field1=5

    Step Four: ****Create Custom URLs for each NPS Survey Response

    That might look something like this:

    0 = http://username.wufoo.com/form-name/def/field1={{ customer_email }}&field2=0
    1 = http://username.wufoo.com/form-name/def/field1={{ customer_email }}&field2=1

    Etc. Etc. You get the idea…


    Step Five: Map your Custom Wufoo URLs to the NPS Email Template

    Okay, time to dive into the HTML of your NPS email template* that you downloaded in step one. Each response (from 0 – 10) is a separate image, so enter the corresponding Wufoo URL as a link in the HTML.

    Now, when customers click their response in the email they get a pre-populated Wufoo form, like this:

    *Template management can be pain. For a simple and intuitive email template management system, try Sendwithus.com – it’s free!


    Step Six: Hide the Pre-Populated NPS Fields in your Form

    Because we’ve pre-populated the multiple-choice and email fields with the data gathered through our NPS email, let’s hide those two fields. To hide a Wufoo field:

    • Click “Field Settings”
    • Select the field you would like to hide
    • Type the word “hide” in the “Add CSS Layout Keywords” field.

    Now, after a customer clicks a response they get this:

    Voilà!

    Now you have fully functional NPS Email that takes advantage of Wufoo’s analytics and reports.


    Step Seven: Sending your NPS Survey

    NPS surveys tell you how customers feel about your company. They’ll tell you which leads to nurture and where to improve your product to reduce churn. But, when should you gather NPS data? Mass emailing customers with NPS surveys once or twice a year will give you an annual or biannual Net Promoter health check, but NPS surveys are most effective right after a customer has had a meaningful interaction with your company. Important points to gather NPS data are:

    • After a Purchase
    • After a Free Trail
    • After a Blog Signup

    Gathering data at these points will give you a constant measure of your Net Promoter Score as customers interact with key parts of your product. To automatically send an NPS survey after a customer has taken an action, head to Sendwithus.com and start a Drip Campaign. You can trigger a survey email after your customers have received an email or after they’ve triggered an API call.


    That’s it - now go and measure your Net Promoter Score for free. Export the .CSV (or if you want to send it straight to sendwithus, using Zapier let us know beta@sendwithus.com) manage your customers, and make sense of your data!

    PS - We’d love to hear how this works out for you. Leave us a comment, shoot us an email at Hello@sendwithus.com, or hit us up on Twitter.

    Avoid These 3 Pitfalls When Embedding Forms

    By Michael Lim · October 10th, 2014

    Ever have someone nudge you and whisper—Psst, Buddy. You can do better. Well, pretend that’s us. We’re here to help you do better. And specifically here in form land today, we’re going to talk about embedding forms. What pitfalls to avoid well, falling into, and we’ll share tips on how to make sure you’re embedding those forms like a real pro.

    3 Pits. Don’t Fall Into ‘Em.

    1. If you’re already using a certain background image or texture on your own website, chances are you’ll want your form’s background to match. But sometimes aligning images and copying color codes can be a hassle. No worries. To make the whole process go a lot smoother, we automatically make form backgrounds transparent when they’re embedded with one of our provided codes. That way, any existing background you have set on your website will “show through” and your form will blend right in.

    2. We’re going to make a wild guess here and assume that you probably already have your own logo or banner added to your website. And we’re also assuming that you don’t necessarily want the Wufoo logo that’s automatically included at the top of your form’s theme (it’s ok, we don’t hold it against you). If you do want to add an extra logo to the top of your form, you can always add something directly to your page, above where the form is embedded.

    3. A Wufoo form also has some standard borders around it to give it a little more definition when viewed on its own. Of course, if you’re embedding the form into an existing page, you’re probably using a sidebar, or some other containing element. Rather than having two sets of conflicting borders, and needing to do a ton of CSS tweaking to get them both to play nicely, we make it easy by leaving out our border. The good news is that this lets you control all the border styling from the CSS on your own page.

    And there you have it. In just 3 quick steps, you’re on your way to pro status when embedding forms. And remember, we’re always here to help you do better. Don’t forget to check out our handy Guides for even more expert tips like these. Form on, friends.

    Theme On! How to Use Our Theme Designer (in 6 Simple Steps)

    By Michael Lim · September 9th, 2014

    Themes, baby. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, themes are all around you. It might be health and fitness month at work, parents and teachers still have Back to School on the brain and the holidays (yep, that’s right) are just around the corner. Themes aren’t just a predictable part of modern life. They lend structure to and help us organize our busy lives. Just like our online forms do, eh? Now imagine having the ability to customize your forms to match the theme of your life—whether it’s for work or for play. Now stop imagining, and welcome to reality—the Wufoo Theme Designer.

    Thanks to our Back to Basics and Newbie Series posts, we hope you’ve gotten a handle or at least a running start with the basics of Wufoo. High-five. So let’s move on to the world of custom themes. We know you’re ready. Sure, we already know our forms are fast, easy to make and pretty great without any bells and whistles…

    But maybe you’re looking for something that will help you stand out from the crowd like this fancy form…

    Cool, we definitely dig that. So the good news is that Wufoo’s Theme Designer makes customizing the look and feel of your form a breeze. If you were building your own forms from scratch, you’d need to decide on a design, and then spend quite a bit of time writing and re-writing custom CSS to get your design looking the way you want. With our comprehensive Theme Gallery and Designer, you can find a template that works best for your needs and then tweak it using a series of simple drop-downs.

    Ready for some awesome basic how-to steps (plus some cool add-ons) in the Theme Designer? Good!

    How to Create/Apply a Theme—in 6 Simple Steps

    1. Click on the “Themes” tab at the top of your Wufoo page. Make sure the Theme Menu dropdown is set to “Create New.”
    2. From there, set the different properties you want for your theme from the two menus in the middle of the page.
    3. When you’re done designing, click on the “Save Theme” button in the upper right hand corner.
    4. Give your new creation a name.
    5. After you’ve saved your theme, you can apply it to a form by going to the Form Manager (click the “Forms” tab) and finding the form you want to add the theme to.
    6. On the right side of the page is a drop-down menu where you can select the name that you want to use for that form. Use the same method to apply themes to your reports from the Report Manager.

    And as promised, cool add-ons!

    Fonts: Modifying your font and font size can have some big payoffs. Maybe you’re making an employment application form, so you want to be extra sure that your users pay attention to your Field Instructions. Why not use a more powerful font, and make that text a little bigger?

    Or maybe you’re making a wedding RSVP form, and you’d like it to look a touch more traditional, and handwritten by using a cursive font like this?

    If you need more options, and you don’t mind working with custom CSS, check out how to use Google Fonts with Wufoo. Are you a little pickier when it comes to typography? No worries, we also support adding your own Typekit fonts to a Wufoo theme.

    Backgrounds: To provide some contrast with the new fonts you just picked out, you’ll probably want to try changing your form’s background next. You can choose from one of the built-in patterns, choose a solid color, or even go transparent. For you adventure-seekers out there, you can even upload your own image to use. One thing to note is that the image you upload won’t stretch to fit the form.

    Button: One more quick add-on/modification you might want to consider? Customizing your form’s Submit button. You can change the text to match what you’re using your form for, such as “Register Now” for an event registration, or “Sign me up!” for a mailing list. You can also substitute an image if you want something a little fancier.

    Logo: The Wufoo logo at the top of your form can be changed to any image you’d prefer. You’ll need to host the image yourself, and for best results you’ll want it be hosted using SSL. More on this to come.

    There you have it, form fans. Now you’ve got everything you need to start making some really creative ones. Stay tuned to the blog where we’ll be sharing even more tips on how to use and maximize our powerful Theme Designer. Theme on!

    Psst! Don’t forget to take advantage of our brand new Wufoo Guides resource page.

    3 Ways to Make Sure Your Wufoo Surveys Aren’t Terrible

    By Johan Lieu · September 4th, 2014

    Fast. Easy. Fun. That’s Wufoo for you. But not so fast. We’re also flexible. There are many ways you can use a Wufoo form. Take our Contact Form for example. Or the handy Newsletter Sign Up Form; the list goes on.

    An even more useful (and flexible) way to use Wufoo? Create surveys. That’s right, with Wufoo you can easily create a survey and start gathering quality feedback from your customers, right away. And the more high quality feedback you receive, the more you can optimize the success and growth of your business. We’re big fans of making your lives easier and our Form Template gallery was created to do just that. Be sure to visit and get started with these pre-built SurveyTemplates designed to give you a jump- start on whipping up a truly sweet survey.

    With that said, there are a couple of things to keep in mind—three quick tips to be exact—when creating a survey to ensure you’re collecting that high quality information from your customers.

    1. The Likert Scale: Use Words, Not Numbers

    “On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst ice cream you’ve ever tasted and 10 being the best, how much did you enjoy our ice cream?” “Three.” Wait—what does “three” mean? People tend to think in words, not numbers—so you should ask them to express their opinions with scales that use words.

    Rating scales (also known as Likert scales) are methodologically-sound sets of answers that help you measure the frequency, intensity, amount, quality, and probability of your respondents’ attitudes and behaviors.

    img

    Sure, you could use a rating scale based on a number from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 4 (Strongly Agree), but when you put answers in words, you reduce the ambiguity between what a 2 means to the respondent versus a 3.

    2. Know When To Use Closed-ended vs. Open-ended Questions

    Now depending on the type of feedback you’re looking for, you might find yourself having to make the “difficult” choice between using a closed-ended question (e.g. specific answers) or an open-ended question (e.g. a text area field where a customer can write a longer answer).

    If you’re looking for results that you can easily quantify, using closed-ended questions are generally your best bet. Asking people to choose from pre-specified answer choices will allow you to easily parse the results and give you data in simple percentages (e.g. “62 percent of customers are extremely likely to eat our ice cream again!”) that are more actionable and simpler to share.

    However, if you’re looking for more nuanced responses and can afford to spend some time analyzing your results, an open-ended question might be the way to go. Opt for a text area field and you’ll give your customers the added advantage of sharing insights in their own words. It may take more time to parse through these answers since they’re free-form but because your customers were freely expressing themselves, chances are you’ll find more insightful and thoughtful answers than you normally would’ve collected using a closed-ended question type.

    3. Be Cautious When Using Yes/No Questions

    Another thing to watch out for when creating closed-ended questions is to cautiously use strict Yes/No answers. For example, say you have a question that looks like this:

    Will you visit our ice cream shop again?

    • Yes
    • No

    Depending on a multitude of things, people might answer the question differently. Now, if you had a question that looked like this:

    How likely are you to visit our ice cream shop again?

    • Extremely likely
    • Very likely
    • Moderately likely
    • Slightly likely
    • Not at all likely

    Then you’re in business. Avoid asking Yes/No questions when you’re dealing with shades of gray. Phrasing your closed-ended question like this gives respondents the ability to more easily and accurately answer the question when it isn’t a black and white one. It also gives you as the decision maker, even better data that you can act upon.

    Now that’s not to say you should never use a Yes/No question. You should definitely use a Yes/No question if it’s measuring something absolute. For example, it’s totally fine to ask a Yes/No question if you’re asking someone, Have you ever eaten ice cream in their lives? There’s really no gray area there (and obviously the answer is “yes” because who’s never had ice cream?!) Just be sure to have all your ducks in a row and that you’re factual when planning to use a Yes/No question.


    So with these 3 quick tips, we hope that you create even more awesome surveys with Wufoo, collect truly high quality information, get the feedback you need from your customers and make your business even more, well, awesome.

    To help you get started, here’s a quick link to one of the most useful survey templates you should be using right now: the Customer Satisfaction Survey Template.

    Have opinions or tips for your fellow Wufoo customers? Share below!

    Totally New to Wufoo? Welcome To Our Newbie Series (Just For You!)

    By Michael Lim · August 6th, 2014

    Heads-up, all. We’ve got a new addition to the Wufoo family to introduce you to—Mr. Michael Lim. You’ll be seeing a lot more of Michael on this humble blog of ours so be sure to read. And read closely!

    Hi there, form fans! I’m Michael, the newest member of the Wufoo support team. Although I’m originally from Kailua, HI, I graduated from the University of Puget Sound in May and immediately moved down to California. Since then, when I’m not catching up on some sorely missed sunshine, I’ve been learning what Wufoo is all about. I figured this would be a great chance to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work with Wufoo as a brand new user and share my tips along the way.

    (Like our Back To Basics series, if you’re an experienced Wufoo user this post could be a little repetitive for you. But if you’ve got the time, you may want to stick around. You might just learn something new)

    Here we go!

    When I first got started with Wufoo, the most difficult thing for me was keeping track of all the different features and their terminology. But once I had some time to get used to it, I found that it all started to make sense. For those of you who—like me—are just starting out with Wufoo, here’s a rundown of some of the most often mixed-up terms and phrases:

    Words in Wufoo AKA Terms Cheatsheet

    Entry: Simply put, an Entry is a single submission of a form. It’s what we measure for your monthly limits, and it’s also how your data is stored for later viewing. In other words, when someone fills out your form, and hits the “Submit” button, that creates an Entry containing the submitted information. This is what gets stored in the Entry Manager the page that shows when you click the “Entries” button under each form.

    User: This is a pretty commonly used word, so it’s important to understand what it means in Wufoo. Generally, this refers to someone filling out your form. Whether they used one of the public form links, or your form was embedded on a site, people who fill out your forms are considered users. However, on paid plans, multiple “users” can be created on a single account. To simplify things, it may help to think of these same-account “users” as sub-users, since they have access to the account “under” the main user who created the account.

    Account Creator: Technically this refers to a special user on each account. Usually this is the account belonging to the person who first made the Wufoo account, and on Gratis accounts, it’s the only user for the account. However, the Account Creator may be updated after the initial creation, for example if an employee leaves a company, they may pass the account to their successor.

    Form Manager: The heart and soul of Wufoo. Sometimes referred to as the “main” page. The Form Manager is what you see when you first login, and it’s where you can access all of your forms, as well as the Entry Manager, Rule Builder, Notifications, and other settings for each form

    Form Builder: This is where the magic happens. This is what you’re shown if you click the “Edit” button under a form on the Form Manager. With the Form Builder you can add fields, modify existing fields and their settings, and adjust the Form Settings.

    Notifications: These are emails that can be sent to any address that you pre-define in the Notifications menu (via the Form Manager), or in the Form Rules section of the Rule Builder. They are usually used to send a copy of an entry to a relevant party. For example, if you have a Vacation Request form that your employees fill out, you can use Notifications to send a copy of their submission to an HR rep for verification.

    Confirmation: The Confirmation email can only be sent to an email address that is part of a form entry. Only one address can receive the Confirmation for a particular entry. You can also choose to send a copy of the entry as part of the email body. Perfect for any situation where your users may want to retain the information they submitted for their records. Private: You can set a form to “Private” by unchecking the “Public” box next to the form in the Form Manager. This means a form will only be accessible through your account. You (and any sub-users on a paid account) can still submit entries from within the Entry manager for the Private form, but the form can not be submitted using a link or embed code.

    Protected: Clicking the “Protect” button under a form in the Form Manager allows you to restrict publicly available forms so that they can only be accessed by individuals with the password. This allows for a somewhat semi-private form, in that others unassociated with your Wufoo account can submit entries, but they first need the password. This can be useful if you’re running a private giveaway on your site, and only want users who were emailed a promo code to be able to submit an entry.

    Fun Feature Time in Wufoo

    So far in my brief time with Wufoo, I’ve discovered a few features I’m particularly fond of. And some fun little surprises along the way.

    Template Gallery: It wasn’t until after I had already started making a few forms that I took a look at the Form Gallery. This collection of ideas and examples is a great place to start when designing a new form. Chances are, there’s an existing template that you can use for almost any kind of form you could need. Browsing through the Gallery has also given me some ideas for things Wufoo can do that I would have never expected.

    CSS Keywords: Wufoo has some nifty CSS Keywords that make some rather complex layouts achievable with just a few words, no selectors or tags required. Some of my favorites are: hide: Probably one of the most useful. Allows you to make a field invisible to users. Great for including internal information like tracking codes.

    hideSeconds: Hides the “seconds” portion of a Time field. I’ve found that I rarely need to collect this level of detail in my forms, so hiding it can save some time.

    altInstruct: Moves a field’s instructions under the field, instead of to the side. The altInstruct setting also ensures that instructions are constantly showing. I found this was useful for particularly important instructions that I wanted to always be visible, since the standard “pop up” box on the side can be overlooked. I generally use the standard instructions setting as more of a “tool tip” function, for advice or suggestions on how to fill out a field.

    Make new fields (but keep the old): One thing to watch out for is modifying or deleting old fields on a form. Data in existing entries is tied to the actual field that was used on the form, so if you make any changes, or get rid of that field, then the data in your previous entries can be affected. To avoid losing your collected information, try to avoid removing fields from your form once you’ve received entries. Instead, set them to Admin Only or hide them using CSS Keywords to preserve the data in old entries but hide them from on your live form.

    Forms Gallery: In college, I often found a need to collect basic information for group projects, club meetings, or just managing my to-do list. More often than not, I used a simple spreadsheet to gather and organize my data. Sometimes I would use Google Form if I needed a little more structure, but I never considered trying a full featured form builder. After using Wufoo for just a short time, I’ve realized I was missing out. Using a template from the Gallery, I can have a form up and running in minutes plus I get the added bonus of built-in Reports, customizable themes, and so much more.

    Zapier: I’m always looking for ways to organize and automate my life. Wufoo’s integration with Zapier, a gateway to connecting with dozens of other services, opens up a world of possibilities. Got a booking form, and you want reservation entries to be added to your Google Calendar? Done. Using a form to gather bug reports? Let Zapier automatically create a JIRA Issue. Still not satisfied? Check out the hundreds of other possibilities. (Note: You’ll need a paid Zapier plan to use their “Premium Services.” We don’t have any sort of deal with them, we just appreciate their awesomeness)

    And there you have it. Just a few tips to help guide my fellow Wufoo newbies along their way to becoming Wufoo masters. For those of you more advanced readers who stuck with us, thanks for hanging in there! Have advice of your own? Share it with us in the Comments below.

    Until next time, friends…

    Everything is Gonna Be ModiFINE: How to Modify Your URLs

    By Kane Stanley · August 1st, 2014

    Don’t you think it would be fantastic if you could open up a form and a load of it was already filled out? It would be like your computer just knew who you were and could fill out forms for you. Not in the scary “Computer’s are taking over the world” kind of way, but more of the “I don’t want to have to fill in all of this information and it already being filled out is pretty great” kind of way.

    Fortunately, that’s most definitely possible with Wufoo and some URL modifications. You may have seen the help document we have on URL modifications, but what if you want to see it in action? I’ve got some spare time on my hands, so I’ll take you through how to use URL modifications to pre-fill your form for that special someone who may or may not think computer’s are taking over the world as a result.

    Let’s say you have a monthly manager feedback form about each employees job. You want your employees to fill it out about their specific manager each month, but you don’t want them to have to fill out their name and details and also their manager’s name. That would take them time that you’d rather they spend doing something else. Besides, why have them fill out the form in full each month when you can send them a link to the form that’s already filled out for them? That would just be a bit silly.

    Firstly, let’s have a quick peek at the feedback form:

    Look at that. The form is so lovely and nice, but none of it has been filled out. Now let’s say that there’s an employee called Ryan Irwin. He takes this form loads and he’s sick of having to fill out the first few fields all the time. He always has the same email address, he works in Marketing and his manager is Sally Eastwood. It’s not changing for him, so why give him a blank form all the time? Instead we can edit the URL to fill it in for him when he receives the form. Let’s get started.

    Firstly, we’ll have to find out the API Id’s of each field that you want to pre-populate. To do that, we just have to click the ‘Code’ tab on the form and then click ‘API Information’ in the top right corner of the page. Here’s mine:

    Right, so now we can see all the API Id’s of each of the fields that we want to pre-populate. Now, all we have to do is plug it into the URL to the form. At the moment, the form will show up blank with this link:

    https://kanestanley.wufoo.com/forms/manager-feedback-form/

    If we want to fill in all of Ryan Irwin’s details we just have to change the link to:

    https://kanestanley.wufoo.com/forms/manager-feedback-form/def/field217=Ryan&field218=Irwin&field219=support%40wufoo.com&field221=Sally%20Eastwood&field213=Marketing

    “Phowahh!” You’re probably thinking. “How did he get there?” At first look, it can be a bit scary, but the breakdown should make it easier.

    /def/ - When you edit a URL, you have to start defining the additions with /def/ field217= - This is just the API ID of each field followed by an equals to define what you want the field to say. & - If you’re filling in more than one field, you have to separate each one with &. %40 - Now this is a bit confusing. There are some characters that URL’s aren’t cool with so you have to essentially code them in. %40 will create an @ in the field. %20 - Similarly, you can’t put a space in a URL. So %20 creates that space for you! There’s a bunch of these characters that can’t be used in URL’s and the URL modification help article gives you the cheat for all of them.

    Now let’s see the finished product:

    Sorted. All we would have to do is send Ryan that modified URL and he could use it every time he wants to fill out the form. Simple as that. And there you have it. Next time you want to prepopulate a form, just throw in some modified URL’s and you’ll be off to the races.

    The Dos and Don’ts of Form Fields

    By Jen Bjers · July 8th, 2014

    Hey there, form fans! We’re back again to share more form-building best practices with you—the Dos and Don’ts of form design if you will. Today, I’ll go over the Dos and Don’ts of the fantastic Form Field. Being the forward thinker that you are, intuitive form design is clutch for a positive user experience, but the types of fields you use to collect that data is crucial when it comes to reporting and compiling that information down the road.

    Recently, Johan shared 3 Things You Definitely Should NOT Do On Your Forms. I’ll expand on that by highlighting some best practices when choosing field types to collect your data. This guide will cover a handful of Standard and Fancy Pants field types along with tidbits of insight on Field and Form Settings.

    Ready? Let’s do this.

    I’ve created a form to collect registration information for this summer’s Dino Camp for kids (aka Jr. Archaeologists). This form uses various field types in a way that negatively impacts the user experience as well as potentially skews your data on the backend.

    Click on the images below and check out the pointers called out in the field examples:

    A few additional resources to help build excellent online forms:

    Using Section Breaks to Make Your Forms Easier to Fill Out!

    Dynamic Fields for Allowing More than One Camper to Signup per Form

    The Science Behind Field Label Placement and Why Top Aligned is Suggested

    How to Accept a Terms of Service Agreement

    Additional questions for Jen? You know where to go, dear readers.

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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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