Fed up with having to ask your website developers to create or update your website’s forms for you?
Struggling to create the exact form fields you need on your website?
Tired of not having full control over what happens to submitted forms?
And I bet you’d love to easily browse and search through the data submitted or download it in Excel or Google Sheets?
Even if you only answered ‘yes’ to one of the above, it’s worth reading on.
And if you didn’t answer ‘yes’ to any of the above, it’s still worth reading on.
In this post, you’ll learn about Umbraco forms and what it provides for you and your business.
If you’re familiar with the Umbraco CMS, you’ll know editing content is incredibly intuitive. Haven’t heard of Umbraco? Here are 10 reasons why it’s crucial to your business, and here’s an overview of Umbraco’s main features.
Umbraco Forms is added functionality that’s fully integrated with the Umbraco CMS. It enables you to easily create and edit bespoke forms for your website. And, like the CMS, Umbraco Forms is dead easy to use.
You might be thinking ‘I only need a contact form’. But there are other types of form you may not have thought of.
Using a variety of online forms can capture valuable information that feeds into your business decisions and customer service strategies. And using Umbraco Forms means you can create any popular form type you like.
So, let’s take a brief meander through some of the most used web form types, and you’ll also see just how easily you can create them.
Here are some popular forms plus some you may not have considered using before.
Hopefully, they’ll get your data capture juices flowing, if there are such things. They certainly weren’t mentioned in my biology lessons back in the day.
Just make sure you follow GDPR guidelines when asking for user information, especially around acceptance tick boxes, and ALWAYS be completely transparent with what you’ll use the data for.
And remember to use language that engages the user, language your users can relate to. Forms are by their nature pretty dry, so make them as friendly and as human as possible. Use them as opportunities to show off how much you appreciate your users. Tips, explanations, reassurances, clarity – these will all encourage your users to engage more.
Encourage users to receive news and offers before anyone else.
Give them an idea of how often to expect an email from you.
You’ll want an email address from the user, but don’t make too many fields mandatory – it’ll put users off.
You might just want to get an idea of numbers ahead of your event or exhibition, or you might require a more formal registration process with more attendee details.
This could be placed in multiple locations on your site e.g., after a purchase, after delivery, etc.
This is normally part of your e-commerce workflow and package.
Might initially be a simple email address and password form, but may require a larger form depending on requirements e.g., address, preferences, settings, etc.
Similar to the customer feedback form. Could be used at the bottom of an article, blog post or on an FAQs page, for example.
You’ll probably want to make this type of form very quick and easy to fill in to encourage as many entries as possible.
This type of form will need plenty of well-thought-out information to persuade the user to donate e.g., why donate, where the money goes, different options for donating, etc.
Make this as quick, friendly and as easy to use as possible.
Could tie in with a special offer, prize or competition to encourage entries.
It’s very straightforward. Ask your developers about unlocking Umbraco Forms. Once the Umbraco Forms functionality has been unlocked, there’ll be a Forms section built into your Umbraco CMS.
If you want to create a new form, you have the choice of starting a form from scratch or starting with a template that will already have some fields set up. For example, there will probably be an Empty form template, a Comment form template and a Contact form template ready for you to use as-is or to adapt.
Whether you’re creating a new form or editing an existing form, you use the same intuitive editing screens.For example, to add a new form field you simply select ‘Add question’.
This then opens a dialogue box similar to the the image on the left.
The ‘Question’ is the name of the field e.g., Name, Message, Email address, Quantity, etc.
You can add some help text so your users fill in the field.
‘Answer type’ is how you want your user to answer the question i.e., fill in the field.
For example, answer types include fields like:
Short text answer
Long text answer
There are then other settings you can apply to the field, such as whether the field is mandatory, add placeholder text to help the user, validation options (there are predefined and custom validation options available) and set conditions for the field e.g., “only show this field if the user answered ‘yes’ to field A”.
When you’ve entered all the questions or fields you require, you can then easily reorder them by dragging and dropping – simple eh?There are also options to add a ‘Recaptcha’ field and other permission and consent fields.
Finally, an important feature is that you can customise the workflow of your form. For example, the form could send you an email, go to a particular page after submitting, update a report file, become stored in your CMS and an awful lot more besides. Once saved, you then go to the Content section of your Umbraco CMS and choose the content page where you want your form to sit. You then select to add or insert macro. Depending on how your CMS has been set up there might be a couple of ways of doing this.
You’ll then see an option to add and select the form you want to insert. And that’s it. Done.
So, hopefully by reading this article, you can see why you need Umbraco Forms. You can easily build responsive forms for your website. From simple contact forms to complex data capture forms, sign-up forms, surveys, feedback forms and much, much more. And like the rest of Umbraco CMS, it’s dead simple to use.