About the “Forms” Section in WordPress

This is a post intended for clients of ClickNathan.com who have purchased some type of forms functionality. While non-clients may find the information below useful, as it generally applies to WordPress, there may be information involving customized aspects of WordPress or the Gravity Forms Plugin that aren’t out-of-the-box features. It was written for WordPress v. 3.4 and Gravity Forms v.

This section will give you control over your forms, however please note that you can seriously break your forms by not following the instructions in this section very carefully! If you end up deleting something you shouldn’t or otherwise flubbing your site’s forms up, please be aware that their is an additional charge for fixing things. If you stick with these instructions, though, you’ll be a-okay.

Creating and Editing Forms

Let’s begin by creating a form.

  1. Go to Forms > New Form in the WordPress navigation menu.
  2. Hover over the box that reads Untitled Form. It will turn blue. Click on it to edit it.
  3. Give the form a Title and Description in the appropriate fields.
  4. Click the Advanced tab in this box.
  5. Limit number of entries allows you to set a maximum number of times the form can be submitted, so if you only have 20 slots available for an event, for example, and you’re using this form to handle registrations, you could enter 20 in the space provided.
  6. Schedule Form allows you to set a beginning and end date for when the form will be visible.
  7. Require User to Be Logged In will only show the form to logged in users, if your site allows registrations.
  8. Now click the Confirmation tab.
  9. Here you can determine what the user will experience after the form has been submitted. Text means they’ll stay on the same page and be shown the specific text that you enter into the box below. You can use the Insert Merge Tag dropdown to add specific types of data to the text box, which will be shown dynamically within the text. Page will redirect them to a specific Page on your website, as has been created via the Pages navigation element. Redirect also sends them to a new page, but you can manually enter it instead of needing to choose it from the dropdown (so you could redirect them to another website, a blog post, etc.).
  10. Now, look to the right column. This is where you can access all available form fields. We’ll review them each in turn below.
  11. Standard Fields
    • Single Line Text is a normal form input field, one line long. Useful for short simple inputs like “What’s your favorite color?”
    • Paragraph Text is a multi-line form field, good for example, for when you want a user to leave a comment or send a message.
    • Drop Down allows you to present the user with a limited number of options from which they can only choose one. Say you want to ask them what county they live in, this might be an excellent choice.
    • Multi select presents the user with an array of choices as defined by you, and they can select multiple answers by holding in command or control and clicking.
    • Number is a single line text field that will only accept numbers, in case you want to have a field where only numbers should be accepted.
    • Checkboxes creates a list of entries that the user can then check off multiple boxes, good for, say, if you want to ask them what their hobbies are from a select list and allow them to choose more than one.
    • Radio Buttons are like check boxes except the user can only choose one. So if you want to ask them what their favorite hobby was, and only allow one answer, this might be appropriate.
    • HTML allows you to enter actual HTML code into the form, perhaps if you want to show a banner ad or an image or just have some other type of content part way through the form. You’ll need to be proficient with HTML to use this feature.
  12. Advanced Fields are used primarily to gather specific types of data, often to be used in the confirmation emails (more on those below).
    • Name allows you to specifically mark an input field’s data as a Name, so that you can then use it later in other places (such as defining the name of an email recipient in the Notifications screen (more on that below).
    • Date fields attempt to restrict information entered to a specific date format, and can be configured to show a calendar popup interface.
    • Time is similar to Date but with regards to hours and minutes vs. days, months and years.
    • Phone allows you to specify a certain phone number format.
    • Address provides multiple fields for correctly processing an address.
    • Website will require the user on the front end to enter a valid URL, such as http://something.com or https://somewebsite.com/page.html
    • Email will require the user on the front end to enter a valid email address, which can then be used to send them Notifications.
    • File Upload will allow the user to upload a file, and you can specify the types of files allowed (ie, jpgs, pngs, pdfs, docs, etc.)
    • Signature will insert a special field that allows users to sign a form, either with their mouse pointer on a desktop or their finger on a touch device. This feature may or may not be supported on your site.
  13. Pricing Fields give the ability to add prices to a form, which can then be tied to PayPal (more on that below).
    • Product is the most basic pricing field, and must be present for any of the other fields to work. Here you define a product, it’s price, and whether the user can purchase more than one. So a ticket or registration fee would be defined by this product field.
    • Option allows you to further define options for a Product field, which can then have additional fees related to them as well, changing the total price of the initial product.
    • Shipping allows you to define if a product has a shipping cost associated.
    • Total allows you to show the user the final price with all options included.
  14. Individual Field Boxes (the blue boxes where you edit a field after clicking the button to add it to the form) have various settings. We’ll cover the terms you’ll see in those.
    • Field Label is the text shown next to a field, describing what goes into it.
    • Description is a field shown to the right or below a field, where you can add additional information for the user, such as hints or requests.
    • Maximum Characters allows you to set a limit on how many characters the user can input.
    • Required will make this particular field required to be completed. If the user doesn’t complete it, the form will not submit and they’ll get an appropriate error message.
    • No Duplicates prevents the field from ever being completed with the same data twice (that is, no two users can ever enter the same data into the field form).
    • Validation Message allows you to change the message shown to a user for this field, if they’ve done something wrong or entered invalid data, such as not using a proper email address format.
    • Visibility determines whether the field exists on the front end or just within WordPress.
    • Default Value allows you to enter some text that will appear in certain fields. The user will then overwrite that text when they type something into the field.
    • Range allows you to define a minimum and maximum value for Number inputs.

There you have it, feel free to create new forms and get comfortable with the system. It’s best not to edit existing forms unless you know what you’re doing, FYI! You can duplicate a form via the Forms > Edit Forms menu though, and play with them there.


You can set up to two email notifications to go out when a form is submitted, typically one of these will go to a website administrator or someone else on your staff, and one will go to the user who completed the form, however with some creative imagination, there are a ton of things this area can be used for.

  1. Click Notifications after saving a form.
  2. In the first area, Notification to Administrator, we’ll walk through how to send an email to yourself when someone submits the form.
  3. Make sure the Enable email notification to administrator is checked. You can uncheck this to turn off emails being sent to admins altogether, but in most cases you’ll want to leave this checked.
  4. Send to Email allows you to specify a single email address for the form to be submitted to, or set up Routing, which allows you to send the email to various people depending on the input by the user who submitted the form. So for example, you might have a form with a dropdown that has two options: General and Technical, where if they chose General it would email you, and if they chose Technical, it would email your IT person.
  5. From Name allows you to set who the email will appear to come from. If your form has a Name field, you can select that, otherwise enter whatever you’d like or leave this blank.
  6. From Email allows you to set which email address the email will appear to have been sent from. If your form has an Email field, you can select that.
  7. Reply To allows you to set a different email address for the automatic “Reply to”, so when a user clicks reply they’ll send the email to that person instead of whomever you specified in the From Name field.
  8. Subject asdf
  9. Insert Merge Tags allows you to automatically add the input from fields into your subject or content. Use {all_fields} to simply display a table with all input entered in the email, or you can use the Insert Merge Tags dropdowns to add specific content.
  10. Notification to Users Check this box to setup a second notification to the user, as long as you’ve specified an Email field in the form.

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