Tool for Building Online Forms

Thanks to The Scout Report for bringing this one to my attention. If you’re interested in putting a form on your site, and don’t have an easy way to process forms, or you don’t want to learn the HTML to get a form up, try Wufoo at . Looks like a lot of effort has been made to make the site as easy-to-use and friendly as possible.

Wufoo is essentially a paid service with subscriptions ranging from $9 a month to $199 a month, but there is a free version that limits the number of forms, fields, and entries. Once you sign up (signing up requires a user name, password, and the URL you want to use to create your particular Wufoo-space) you’re prompted to create a new form. (I guess “Holy Tabula Rasa!” counts as a prompt.)

The form creator is not quite click and drag easy, but it’s easy. Form elements are on the left, while the form itself is on the right. You can add a variety of items including radio buttons, address, Web address, and even section breaks so you can space everything out the way you like it. Each field also has its own set of properties that you can change — for example, a text field can have a predefined value, be required, has an editable title and space for user instructions.

The form itself also has properties. You can have results e-mailed to you (and e-mailed to the person filling out the form.) If you have a paid Wufoo account you have forms password-protected and redirect the user to a different URL after the form is filled out (free accounts have to settle form confirmation text.)

Once the form is set up, you’re able to make it public or private and view its page. You also have the option to edit the form, get HTML to add the form to your site, and actually subscribe to a secure RSS feed that contains new entries to and comments on your form (very sweet!) A “statistics” tab shows you information about recent visits to your form.

A lot of effort has been put into making this service easy to use, but in case you do find yourself a bit lost, there’s a FAQ, documentation, and even forums.

If you’re looking for an easy way to put forms on your site and get the results in several different ways, this looks like a nice service. I have only one concern if you decide to use a paid account. If you look at the Terms of Service, you will see the following statement: “On paying accounts, if you exceed the maximum number of entries allowed for a given month, a fee of $0.05 USD per entry exceeding the limit will be charged to your account at the end of your billing period.” I can easily imagine a situation where your site gets Dugg, or something similar, and suddenly you have a lot of people using your form, and you end up owing Wufoo a lot of money. I see that with the free accounts your form is simply turned off once you reach your quota of submissions. It would be nice if the paid accounts had the same option.

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