I’m about to purchase FormSnap 3 or Formloom to replace an older product which has issues with the forms appearing in Spanish. Are there any other product that people suggest I look at, from a styling and functionality PoV?
I have used FormSnap 3 quite a few times and found it to work as advertised. Once you figure out how to create the email templates, it is straight forward to use and has loads of input types. Also, it just had an update, so it is being actively developed.
I love, love, love MachForm. While not a RW or Stacks product, it is extremely easy to drop into any Rw site (just export a couple lines of text and drop it into an HTML stack). The admin panel is so easy to work with; the formatting is nice, the emails that both the client and visitor receive are beautiful, and beyond initially setting up a MySQL database (the guys at MachForm will even do it for you for free, if it’s not your thing), you never touch it again (MachForm does all editing to the db on the backend). And, it works in a dozen different languages, including Spanish. I have an unlimited self-hosted license, and have over 75 instances of it running. My clients have never, ever complained of missing notifications, either.
MachForm (not a referral link- just the homepage): https://www.machform.com
You can see the form in English and Spanish in one of my sites here (click the EN/ES button in the navbar to see the difference): David Kennedy & Associates, Attorneys at Law, PC | Contact Us
Thanks Gary, the active development is very important. I’m curious too about Formloom and suggested to them that a comparator may be helpful for anyone looking at these products
Very interesting Dave, thank you. I’d not heard of it previously but looking very closely right now. The database puts me off slightly after previous bad experiences, but I’ll dig deeper.
@Nick I don’t know what bad experiences you’ve had before … but I’d say haviing a database is a big advantage. At least for how I use it. MachForm also will integrate with Google Sheets so that provides 2 levels of backups. The ability to sort, filter, export messages based on various criteria has been quite valuable for me. May be different (i.e. not that big a deal) for you and how you use forms.
And, as mentioned, if you go the self-hosted route, the MachForm team will log into your C-panel for you and set everything up. You literally never have to touch the MySQL database if you don’t want to. I haven’t used a Stacks-based form solution in a long time (other than Foundation 6, which works quite well), but in my past experience, if you add a new field to an existing form, you also need to add a corresponding field to the database. With MachForm, you don’t have to - MachForm handles all of that in the background automatically.
2nd what Dave said about Machforms. It was he who put me on to it. Beyond basic contact forms or really basic data gathering forms Machforms is my go to.
The best thing about it is that for the completed form to appear in the database there is no reliance on PHPMail, which seems to be pretty flakey at the best of time: If someone completes the form on the site the results WILL be in the database.
The logic feature in Machforms is brilliant and far easier to deal with than anything else I’ve ever tried. The form on Template Repo is Machform, and by putting in some logic steps I’ve cut right down on unneeded support requests: Template Repo support
I appreciate your thoughts Matthew. I lost a 150 post blog after a database corruption a few years back; I’ll never go near WP again, so DB are something I do my best to avoid, as I do with all google products…
@Nick Wow, so sorry about that situation! But similar have happened for a few folks with RW. (The mechanics were different, but result the same.) As with anything: backup, backup, backup.
Many hosts offer up to 30 day backups. In addition there are some great backup products (some free) for WP. I know that doesn’t help you now … but from what I understand the problem probably lay with a new WP version or with a plugin you had. Put differently, it wasn’t the database that created the problem per se.
Very useful thoughts from @Dave @TemplateRepo @mitchellm Thanks to you all.
There are some fairly compelling arguments for MachForm (although the .php mail on the previous stack only generated one error in 150 form submissions).
Reading for tonight!
It was a plugin Matthew, I did eventually recover some posts, but the DB backup never helped. I’ve moved on: love Stacks, sometimes even RW ;)
Yep, I love Stacks also! Simpler and more intuitive for me relative to WP setups.
Not one I have or use but the conditional/dynamic display option in FormsPlus sounds very interesting.
I have used FormsPlus and it forces you to use an odd Steps process whereby you might start at Step 1 and enter your name and address and then go to Step 2 to enter your email, Step 3 etc…
Just as an aside, I have some a couple of MachForm forms that have well over 20,000 submissions now - and to the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever missed an email on either end (my client or the people who submitted the forms). It’s rock-solid. Both of these forms utilize logic on the client’s end since we have multiple locations spread around multiple states. So, for example, if a form indicates Asheville, then emails go to our Asheville-based employees (only); if the form indicates Durham, the emails go to our Durham-based employees (only).
It’s now at version 2 and the Steps restriction has been removed. It put me off buying the original version, so good to see its now optional
Just backup everything regularly on the assumption that anything that existes on a hard drive can go at any moment whether it is in a database or not.
There was a great deal of anti database propaganda generated in the RW community around the time that non-database solutions were being promoted. Setting up a database is very very basic these days with cPanel DB Wizards, i.e. simple choose a name and password stuff.
As far as forms go, Foundation 6 forms are a very comprehensive suite with lots of great features and work outside of Foundation, as Joe recently confirmed. Add his Pi to them, and they offer the ability to do very sophisticated logic. Otherwise 1LD’s Superforms Plus is a good set of stacks with some nice features and styling options to do the usual contact form stuff.
On the database side, Jürgen Barth’s recent ‘Datably’ is a brilliant product to integrate a server-side SQL database with a RW/Stacks site.
I used to love Joe’s stuff, used them for 10 years and probably owned 90% of his stacks, but those long training videos…😩 Ironically I’m replacing FormsPlus; it’s solid but quite inflexible.
I think I’ll be using be FormSnap, FormsPlus or MachForms, yet to be finalised, so thank you to everyone for their thoughts and input