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Coming to terms with Forms

  • # December 10, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I think this is a question that goes out to anyone who builds sites regularly or has needed to build quite a few contact forms.

    I’ll start out by saying I’m not an expert in PHP. I get by probably like many of you designers, by learning as much as I have to for making WP do my bidding (muhahahaha) but things like complex forms frustrate me because invariably when I get done there are script errors, problems, etc that just take time to figure out since I’m "franken-scripting".

    So that kind of leaves a few of options:

    - Man up and learn PHP
    - Pony up and buy a Wufoo sub
    - Buy some downloadable software
    - Make programmer friends

    Honestly, I’m not a fan of learning PHP. Just don’t enjoy coding QUITE that much :) Maybe I’m just making too much of a deal about it and it really would only take a week or two to get proficient enough to competently make my own forms from scratch.

    Wufoo makes sense, but I’m just curious – what would be the advantage of getting a Wufoo sub for $24 a month instead of buying some visual GUI that produces HTML/PHP form scripts for a 1-time cost of $39.99?

    The other issue I have with Wufoo is the few times I’ve used it in the past, I get this really weird lag when going to the contact page. Its like it takes a second or two to bring in the form from Wufoo. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but I feel like I tried the available methods of including a form to someone’s site, and it still persisted (example of one is here: http://www.dawnbuckelewphotography.com/contact.php).

    Lastly, maybe it really is worth it to get plugged in with some developer friends who can do that kind of stuff and spread the wealth a little. Would you say that complex forms might be worth just passing that cost on to someone else and hire a developer to take care of it for you?

    # December 10, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Humm, are you specificially asking about contact forms in WordPress or about forms in general?

    For forms in general, knowing php is going to serve you well. Once you’ve built a few forms, you’ll have a toolkit of code that will let you build them quicker.

    For WordPress…. that’s jumping into the deep end of the pool depending on what functionality you need. If it’s just a contact form, then it seems like Contact 7 has a lot of flexibility.

    # December 11, 2009 at 12:36 am

    These are for static sites that I’m referring to. The WordPress sites are not so much of an issue for the reasons you mentioned. More than a few times, I’m unable to sell the idea of a full CMS and end up doing a re-design, or a static site to reduce costs and in some cases they want more complex forms build for a variety of reasons.

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