The Contact Form Advanced widget was introduced with EverWeb 2.0 and has grown in to a fantastically rich and versatile widget. The idea behind this widget was to provide a feature rich but secure widget so that your contact form would be less liable to SPAM and malware attacks. But that’s not all as the Contact Form Advanced Widget has a lot of other great features that can make filling in a contact form the best experience possible, Here are our Contact Form Advanced Widget feature recommendations based on the latest version EverWeb, version 3.4…
- reCAPTCHA: This is a great tool, provided through Google, that adds security to your form. If you do not already have reCAPTCHA set up, just click on the ‘Sign Up for reCAPTCHA v2’ button and follow the instructions. At the end of the process you will get two keys: A Site Key and a Secret Key that you will need to copy and paste in to the corresponding fields in the Contact Form Advanced Widget Settings.
Once you have set up reCAPTCHA and published your site changes, when a visitor uses your contact form, they will be asked to identify like photos in order to send the form to you.
- Submission Confirmation Messages: There are two options available when a visitor hits the Submit button. The first is that the on-screen confirmation that the form has been sent. The message is automatically displayed and you can customize the message as you want. The second message is an Email Confirmation to the visitor that the form has been sent. For the latter feature to work, you need to enable reCAPTCHA in your form.
Note that whilst these messages tell your visitor that the form they have been completed has been sent to you, this does not necessarily mean that you will receive the form. It is unlikely that this will happen, but be sure and test your form before going live with it and also make sure to check the email address that you use in the ‘Email Address to Send Form to’ field in the Widget Settings to make sure that it is a valid email address.
- Remember Required Fields: Use this kind of field wisely. Too many ‘required fields’ may irritate your visitor and lead to them not completing the form. If there are too few required fields you may find that you have incomplete data, skewed data or an inaccurate overview of the data you originally wanted to collect. Finding the right balance of Required Fields may prove essential in your form.
- Validation Messages: When visitors have not completed the form correctly e.g. they have not completed fields in the form that are obligatory, EverWeb will send out a default message as per the Form Validation Error Message field. You may want to customize this message to better suit your form. It is also worth considering giving your visitors more information about how to complete the form which leads on to the next tip…
- Tips and Instructions: Creating a form is often straightforward, but there may be times where you need to add detail and complexity to the form which may require you to explain in more detail what parts of the form mean and how to complete them. This can happen, for example, if you use open ended questions in your form or if you are surveying people on their opinions. This is where using Placeholder Text and/or Control Instructions/Tip can prove invaluable. The Placeholder field is great for adding an example in the field e.g. in the email address field you may want to add e.g. Jane.Doe@mysite.com as an example of what to fill in. When your visitor types in the field, the Placeholder text disappears.
The Control Instructions/Tip field does exactly that. Add information that will be useful for filling in the released field. The instructions/tip will be displayed immediately below the field itself. You can customize the form field and Control Instructions/Tip field’s font attributes as you want.
- Forwarding Your Visitor to Another Page: Once your visitor hits the Submit button, you may want to take them away from the contact form page to another in your site. This could be e.g. a thank you for filling in the form page, or to a ‘what happens after you complete the form?’ page, or you may want to just return the visitor to your site’s Home page. Use the Forward to Page field to select the page you want the visitor to taken to.
Fine tuning the settings of the Contact Form Advanced widget can lead to an enhanced visitor experience and can help you collect the data that you require. Adding information to help visitors complete the form accurately will make form filling quicker, easier and more accurate!