Online forms are an efficient way to open the lines of communication with your site visitors.

Web forms can streamline all kinds of transactions, including contact pages, event registrations, program applications, award nominations and surveys.

Using the forms builder, you can customize  confirmation messages and set up email notifications so you never miss a submission. You can also bulk export entries or view them in your site’s admin dashboard.

In the WashU Web Theme, you create and manage forms through a third party plugin (tool) called Formidable Forms. We’ve pulled some of Formidable Form’s most useful tutorials and included them below. To view additional forms tutorials or search for something specific, please visit the Formidable Forms documentation website.

WashU Web Theme forms are not HIPAA-compliant and should not be used to collect protected health information (PHI).
See the guidelines to appropriate communication of PHI »

Activating forms (first time only)

The form building tool, Formidable Forms, is not automatically available. You must activate it.

  1. From your site’s dashboard, click Plugins in the left menu.
  2. Find Formidable Forms in the list of plugins, and click Activate.

Creating a form

Forms are created in a separate form builder, then added to pages. You’ll find the form builder in the left menu of your admin dashboard. (If it’s not there, check out the section above: Activating forms.)

These tutorials from Formidable Forms will help you get started:

Avoiding spam

Forms can streamline your incoming communications — but they’re also a target for spammers. If spam becomes an issue, you can add reCAPTCHA as a deterrent.

Forms that allow file uploads are particularly susceptible to spam. Avoid using this field unless necessary. If your form has a file upload field, you can add extra protection following these steps:

  1. From your site dashboard, go to Formidable and select the form you’re editing
  2. Click the Settings tab at the top
  3. In the general settings under Permissions, click “Protect all files uploaded in this form” — then remember to click Update

This is not a global setting, so it needs to be enabled for every form with file uploads.

Adding a form to a page

Once you have created and published a form, you can insert it onto any page of your site.

To insert a form:

  1. Add a Forms block.
  2. Select the form from the list of forms you have already created.
  3. From the forms settings panel on the right, your can select a different form, or toggle the settings to show meta fields like the form title or description.

Customizing the confirmation message

After someone fills out a form on your site, the confirmation message provides instant assurance that their submission went through. You can personalize this message, perhaps providing next steps or suggesting further reading. By default, the confirmation message appears on the form page after the person clicks Submit.

Customizing the Confirmation Page for Submitted Forms

Let users know they’ve successfully submitted a form and that someone will be in touch.

Related Formidable tutorials:

Sending automatic email confirmations

In addition to the confirmation message generated when someone submits a form, it’s helpful  to also send the submitter an email summarizing their form submission and outlining next steps. 

You can customize the notification email with a personal message, like “Thank you for nominating a distinguished teacher! Awards will be announced at our annual ceremony in March. If you have any questions, call us at 314-XXX-XXXX.” You can even set up conditional logic so people receive different confirmation messages based on their form selections.

Sending Email Notifications for Submitted Forms

Set up submission notifications for admins and confirmation emails for submitters.

Related Formidable tutorials:

Receiving and viewing form submissions

You can access form submissions two ways: through email notifications and in the Formidable Forms module of your site’s dashboard.

Email notifications let you know right away when someone submits a form,preventing the need to constantly check your site for submissions. You can set each form to send a notification to any email address, or use conditional logic to send form submissions to different emails based on form selections.

You can also view form data right within your site’s dashboard,  or export all entries into a spreadsheet.

Sending Email Notifications for Submitted Forms

Set up submission notifications for admins and confirmation emails for submitters.

Viewing & Exporting Form Entries

Look at your form submissions individually or export them as a spreadsheet.

Related Formidable tutorials: