By Johan Lieu
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.
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.
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
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
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.