Contact forms are a common component in many RapidWeaver websites. However most services require a PHP 'backend' to process the form data and send it to where it is required. Although most better website hosting companies support PHP, some cheap hosts either charge customers extra for this service or have configured their PHP in such an astonishingly awkward way that it renders any contact form useless. We're looking at you, GoDaddy!
On the surface, Formulate looks and performs much the same as any other contact form. The key difference is that the message data is either sent via conventional email or goes through one of two mail handling services; Formspree.io or Formbucket.com. Both of these services offer a simple and smart method to receive data from a contact form. In some instances, it is even possible for yourself or a client to login to these services and view your form submissions as they come in.
You can immediately begin to see the benefits here - no complications with PHP, fast setup, secure forms that work with virtually any email or hosting service. You can even have your messages sent to a disposable email address - such as a free Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo address.
Spam protection varies, depending on the form processing service that you use. The 'mail to' option supports an obfuscated email address which has surprisingly good protection. Formspree does display your email address in the form action attribute, but a paid account solves this and you get 'honeypot' protection by default. Formbucket provides the options of both 'honeypot' and 'reCaptcha', within your bucket settings. Again you can use a free disposable email address with this stack, so if the spammers and trollers become too much to handle, just change your email address to something else. That's the reason why many companies use rather obscure email addresses.
Many simple form inputs are supported. Formulate provides all the regular form input options, plus a number of specialaity HTML5 options. Each option supports a label, placeholder text and optional 'help' text. Inputs can be dragged and changed into any order. Any number of inputs can be made mandatory. The 'submit' button at the bottom is only shown / activated when all mandatory fields are completed and the user gives their consent to your GDPR privacy disclaimer.
Formulate most defiantly is not a replacement for heavyweight form stacks, such as the excellent FormsPlus system from Chillidog Software. But if you need to publish a simple form and have it reliably delivery messages, then Formulate could be just the job.
For ThemeFlood theme users, Formulate remains a free stack for you to download and use with our themes.
Will Woodgate's new Comments stack is 100% GDPR compliant, it doesn't collect any personal data and a user can't post a comment until she/he has confirmed their awareness that the comment will be displayed publicly.
Comments doesn't require any server side setup, simply a single line of PHP in your page's Prefix. On-page setup is simple, but that doesn't mean to say that you can't spend time pondering the correct translation to localise field names and error messages, adding custom icons to your rating system, or adding a ist of objectionable words so that you don't have to ban Steve C from your site. And I haven't even mentioned the colour setup yet…
Spammers? No. A maths question is generated for each new comment. The question may be set to simple by choosing a range e.g. between 1 and ten, or complicated by setting a range between 100 and ∞.
Disadvantages? Yes, of course there are disadvantages to not collecting personal data, or using a system such as Disqus…
… your comments are saved to a flat text file in your page's subdirectory. If you wish to reply to the comment, you either need to compose a new post, or open the .txt file with a text editor and add your reply there.
And – due to the fact that you're not asking users to supply a mail address, they can't be notified when you write a reply.
Name Field – Checkbox
Name Error – When Name exceeds max length
Pre Populate – None (default), SiteLok Email, SiteLok First Name, SiteLok Name, SiteLok User Name
Rating Field – Ceckbox
Title Field – Settings as for Name Field
Comment Field – Settings as for Name Field
Reset Button [Label]
Submit Button [Label]
Write Button [Label]
No Comments [Label]
Cards – Checkbox
Card Background; Borders; Padding; Margin; Radius
Colour Settings for all the above fields and buttons
Email Notifications – Checkbox
Markup Ratings CSS
Maths Challenge – Min, Max
Bad Words List – Ask Steve C for a comprehensive list
Convert URLs to Hyperlink
Hide Write Button on Open
Compact Form is a lightweight contact form that is reduced to a bare minimum and will fit into almost any space – top-bar, side-bar, footer, or extra content zone.
Compact Form is restricted to a total of six fields, so once you have requested a visitor's name, email address, subject and message, you have two fields available to collect any extra details you might need (address and phone number, perhaps; or device and OS…).
Something that I personally like about Compact Form is the fact that the submit button doesn't appear until all of the compulsory fields have data centred into them. So there is no submit-and-read-the-error-message routine – you can't submit the form until you've answered the questions!
Other than the fields to be submitted, you will find options to set the text and the border colours, the send button colours and the send button text colour. Other formatting is determined by the site styles.
Compact Form uses a highly-effective 'honey pot' anti-spam system; so your form is protected against spambots without the annoyance of Captcha. The Compact Form can submit to multiple email addresses.
Compact Form requires php and once submitted a success page is automatically generated.
The ideal replacement for the built in RW contact form for use on stacks pages and in confined spaces.
DonateStack, as the name suggests, is a (free) stack that makes donations via PayPal simple. So simple, in fact, that once you've added the stack to your project, all you need do is add your [the recipient's] email address and publish.
However, before you publish, you might wish to take the time and inform your visitor what he is donating to. A Headline stack, or a paragraph stack may help relieve any confusion.
In its basic form, DonateStack simply displays an amount to be donated and a Contribute button. Check the settings panel and you'll find that you can also collect a donor's information – for a thank you letter, perhaps.
The first and probably most important setting is PayPal Account – the address that will receive the donation. Next is Reference – keywords that will help identify the payment.
Locale Code sets the language that visitors will see when they are passed on to the PayPal site. US, for instance, for English, or DE for German. Currency Code defines the base currency setting.
Confirmation Link will allow you to set a return address, once a donor has contributed – a Thank You page, for instance. And if you'd like to know more about your donor – activate Display Address Fields. Once activated, you will see The option Responsive Columns.
Amount Type may be set to Number Box (default), or Option Select Box. The latter will enable you to suggest various donation amounts.
DonateStack Localisation displays the address fields, which may be edited. DonateStack Styling gives styling options for all aspects of the stack with the exception of the Select Box Menu which is always white.
I work for a charitable organisation in Thailand and you may be sure that DonateStack will find its way onto the website alongside the next update.
A quick look at the new CalcStack from Stacks4Stacks led me to believe that this was going to be a quick review. A more comprehensive examination proved me wrong.
Take it from me, the examples on the Stacks4Stacks page don't do the stack justice. Not only is CalcStack proficient with the four basic calculations, plus modulus, it integrates seamlessly with FormsPlus and can pass on its calculations to other contact forms – even the default RW form – and to other web pages for further processing.
The very first option is Integrate With FormsPlus. Setting this option allows you to drop CalcStack into a FormsPlus field. It extends the FormsPlus code and becomes fully integrated. (Take a look at the demo project)
Next you'll find a choice of buttons that may be added to the CalcStack: Copy Answer, Mail-To, Reset/Reload, Submit Answer As Hash, Submit All Input As A Query (allows you to connect to an external page/site), Share To Twitter.
Extensive Style formatting options follow – too many to list here.
If you drag a CalcStack onto your Stacks page, you'll find it contains a child stack containing a one plus one calculation. You'll need to set a Calculation ID if you wish to use the results in further calculations – possibly something more recognisable than Calculation1.
Calculation Input settings start off with a choice of Input Types. The default setting is Number Box. Optionally, you can set Checkboxes, Fixed Value, Option Select Menu, Range Slider, Input or Answer From Another Calculation, or URL Query String.
Checkboxes will supply an array of checkboxes and associated labels. that provide a list of selectable items attached to a numerical value. Optional selection limits can be used to limit how many checkboxes a user can select. A selection limit of '1' gives the input a similar behaviour to radio buttons and permits only a single item to be selected from the list.
Option Select Menu provides an HTML select menu, allowing users to pick a single option. Not especially pretty (Will's own words), but extremely user-friendly and functional (especially on iOS and Android). This is a the input method to use if you need to be stringent about the values a user can choose from.
Both the Checkboxes and the Select Options are formatted with Markup.
Next – Input 1 Name, Default [value] and Steps. Steps allows you to define the incremented value displayed when the default Increase/Decrease buttons are clicked.
The Input Value can be hidden, but it will need a Operator – Add, Subtract, Divide, Multiply, or Modulus. Next follow the Input Values for the second numeral.
The Answer Settings give you the options Answer Decimals and Answer Name. The Answer may be hidden.
The Unit Settings will allow to to add both a prefix and a suffix to all three field labels – km/h, or ºC, for instance.
Once you have your first calculation, you can add a further child stack to take the calculated value and process it further. Will has provided a temperature conversion table as a simple example. E.G. Calculation1 – n minus 32 ºF; Calculation2 – Answer from Calculation1 multiplied by 5 (hidden); Calculation3 – Answer from Calculation2 plus 9 = n ºC
CalcStack is fully responsive, as you'd expect from a modern stack; will integrate with any theme and is a versatile calculation stack that will easily save you the costs involved with having a calculator specially programmed for your purposes.
If you need an online calculator and didn't already purchase the stack that I reviewed last week, I recommend that you check out the CalcStack demo pages (and 20 minute video) and download the demo version – Will is one of the few developers that offers demo versions of his stacks!
Links to the developers ® All trademarks cited on this page are the property of their respective owners.
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