Forms

In this section:

  • Learn how to create and edit forms
  • Learn how to add fields to a form
  • Learn how to view submissions and reply to them automatically

Before we begin:

  • Make sure you are in the "Pages" section on the Navigation Tabs.

Creating and editing forms

To create a new form, first decide where in the site you want your form to be. If you would like your form to be a "subpage" of an already existing page, click on the parent page in the left-hand Page Tree in the Contents Pane you would like to create the subpage in. If you want your form to be in the top level navigation for your site, you should click on the root of the site - the first item listed in the Contents Pane.

On the top of the Contents Pane, you will find a button marked "Create." Click it, and a drop-down menu will show up. Select "User Defined Form" Then hit the "Go" button.

You will notice that a new page has been created, with the name of "New UserDefinedForm."

Simply click on the new page in the content page to bring it up in the editing pane.

Notes:

Don't worry if you create your page in the "wrong" place. Pages can be moved and re-ordered easily, and we will cover that under "Managing Your Site."

 

Combining forms and content

Much like editing any form page, you can add context, such as text or images, in the Main section of the Contents tab on in the Editing Pane. Form pages are slightly different, however. You will notice in a newly created form page, there is some text in the content of the editing menu to begin with: "$UserDefinedForm"

The purpose of this little block of text is to tell the website where in the page you would like to put the form. The form will appear on the website wherever the "$UserDefinedForm" appears in the editing pane, whether it is before text, after text, inside a table, etc.

If $UserDefinedForm is deleted by accident or on purpose, SilverStripe automatically puts the form at the end of all the content.

Editing options

Click on the "Form" tab under the "Content" tab in the Editing Pane to access the form options. You can choose to edit the text on the submission button by writing something in the "Text on submit button" field. You can also give your users an option to clear the form by clicking the checkbox next to "Clear Form Button."

Adding fields

To add a field to the form, click on the "Form" tab under the "Content" tab in the Editing Pane. Select the type of field you want to add from the drop-down menu and press the "Add" button. You can label any field by typing in the appropriate label field in the backend.

Field types

  • Checkbox Field - Selecting a checkbox field adds a single checkbox to a form, along with a place to store a label for that checkbox. This is useful for getting information that has a "Yes or No" answer, such as "Would you like to be contacted?" or "Have you understood the Terms and Conditions?"
  • Checkbox Group - Selecting a checkbox group adds a field for multiple checkboxes to a form, along with a place to store a label for the group. This is useful for getting information that has multiple discrete answers, such as "Which continents have you visited?" or "Which software programs do you use on a daily basis?" You will need to click on the "Show options" link to add user-selectable options.
  • Date Field - Selecting a date field adds a field for a date in a form.
  • Dropdown Field - Selecting a drop-down field adds a dropdown field to a form. This is useful for getting information that has only one answer among several discrete choices, for example, "What country do you live in?" or "What subject is your question about?" You will need to click on the "Show options" link to add user-selectable options.
  • Email Field - Selecting an Email field adds a textbox where an email address can be entered. Using the Email field, instead of a normal text field, to store email addresses, allows you to use that email address in many automated tasks. For example, it allows the CMS to send reply email automatically when a form is filled out.
  • File Upload Field - Selecting a File Upload Field adds a field where users can upload a file from their computers. This is useful for getting documents and media files.
  • Heading - Selecting a Heading allows adds a place where you can put a heading for a form, or for a section of your form. You can choose which level of heading to use (from 1-6) from the "Show options" link.
  • HTML Block - Selecting an HTML block allows you to add any HTML code you wish into your form. You can edit the HTML blog from the "Show options" link.
  • Member List Field - Selecting a Member List Field adds a dropdown field which includes various groups of website members (such as administrators or forum members) to the form. You can choose which group of members from the "Show Options" link.
  • Radio Field - Selecting a Radio field adds a field filed with "Radio button" options to a form. Radio buttons are similar to checkboxes, except that only one button in a radio field can be checked at a time. This is useful for getting information that has only one answer among several discrete choices, for example, "What country do you live in?" or "What subject is your question about?" It is similar to a dropdown field, but it is more useful for providing larger labels to responses. For example, a dropdown field may have one or two-word inputs, while a radio button may have choices that are paragraphs in length. You will need to click on the "Show options" link to add user-selectable options.
  • Text Field - Selecting a Text field adds a text field to the form. You can click on "Show options" to determine the size and the number of rows in a text field.

Put another way, if you'd like to create a question that...

Or perhaps you'd like to add informational content to your form?

Advanced options and custom rules

From any field, you can click on "Show Options" to either require that the field be filled out, by clicking the checkbox next to "Is this field Required?" and add custom rules.

For example, you may wish to hide one form if the answer to another form makes a difference. If a user does not want to be contacted via email, then there's no reason to get their e-mail address.

Custom rules allow you to only show the email field if and when the checkbox for "Contact me" is checked. Or you may wish to only show a dropdown box for US states if the user lives in the U.S.

Viewing submissions

You can view submissions to the field by clicking on the "Submissions" tab on the content page of the CMS. By default, all submissions are stored in the CMS. You can disable saving submissions to the server by clicking the checkbox labeled "Disable Saving Submissions to Server."

When the form is completed

You can create a "Form Received" or "Thank You" page by clicking on the "On Complete" tab in the Content tab in the Editing Pane of the form. This page will show to the user when the user successfully completes and submits a form.

Creating an email recipient

You can have submissions automatically emailed to an email address when someone submits a form, by clicking on the "Email Recipients" tab under the Content tab in the editing pane of the form, and clicking on "Add An Email Recipient." You can specify subject, from address, to address, and add text for the body of the form.

Using this form, you can set up an automatic reply to any submission you receive, or have the CMS email someone within your organisation to look at. You can even do both by setting up two separate email recipients.