Introduction to the Journey with Forms
I've been writing web forms for more than 15 years, but still can't figure out the "right way" to do it with WordPress. What am I missing? I'd like to
- Have input sanitized without doing extra (or my own) coding
- Have options to show form results after it's submitted - preferably on a page, not just in email
- Have a way that the user can "correct" the form if they notice errors when reviewing the results
- Whether this is two different form submissions isn't critical, but it'd be nice to have the option for "only submit after fields pass review"
- Have programmatic access to the submitted data after the form is submitted but before the "session" ends to craft a second form (e.g. transfer to PayPal)
I've explored the following plugins in an attempt to get to that point. My current solution involves using Contact Form 7 and transients to "maintain state" between the form pages. More info
Contact Form 7
- The de facto standard with over 6 million downloads
- Text based form layout with point and click support for basic features
- Can redirect output to show a confirmation page
- This is pretty ugly with custom code.
- Can't find any examples of doing this the "right way"
- See Support Ticket
- Database extension with option to download CSV results
- It's possible this could be used with custom shortcodes to show a response and connect to PayPal -- but it's still not clear how to connect the response page to the form data that was just entered
- Dynamic Text extension -- but not clear how that helps
- Form is cleared after it is submitted - would be nice if there were a way to present old results so they could be corrected
- Probably the current gold standard for pro plugins
- $199/year for Developers License that has !PayPal integration
- Can't see that there's a printable confirmation page, but there can be email confirmation
WordPress Google Forms
- Saves the data, but I don't know enough about the Google API to know if there's
- a way to display it back to the user
- a way to present a payment page based on the initial form data
WP Event Ticketing
- Really clunky user interface
- Needs a way to copy one ticket to another
- Needs a way to drag and drop ticket options to change the order for a particular ticket
- But seems to integrate with PayPal and perhaps can be coerced into solving at least a subset of our problems.
- Wrote to developer about these and got a response saying they were planning a major rewrite, but no ETA as of 2/27/2012)
- FormBuilder - seems full featured, not updated since Nov. 2011, hundreds of thousands of downloads
- CForms - had been standard, but had a GPL glitch so not in the plugin repository.
- Custom Contact Forms - claims to be "guaranteed" to be better than Contact Form 7
- Fast Secure Contact Form - 2M+ downloads; looks like good contact form with meeting scheduling option. But not sure that our "event registration" would be within scope.