Online submission forms

craigForo

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Jan 14, 2016
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I'm not sure if this is the correct place for this post, if not please move to where it should go.

I need help!

I manage a website that has several online submission forms. These forms were designed as "Contact Us" forms by Solutions4Websites, which I've modified for my site's needs. They have worked flawlessly for several years, and support has been fantastic, however. They are no longer supported or in development and are outdated. The problem I have is now my hosting site has enabled some PHP functions that have disabled the form and made them non-functional.

One of my sites forms is here: https://apco-atlantic.org/TrainingInitiative

I need to find an alternative solution that is reasonably priced and works independently of my forum, yet resides within the web directory. I'm not a coder and cannot design/build one myself.

Does anyone know of a similar product and/or can recommend one.
 

Mysti

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Feb 5, 2021
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23
Forms is one of those things with many solutions. Here are a few different solutions you can use.

Acrobat Pro:
I have a site where people need to fill out forms by hand. I just make a pdf and use Adobe Acrobat Pro to make the boxes and other form elements typeable. This lets people fill out the form and send it via email or print it out and send it in the regular mail. This is an RV crowd, so older users, and they do not have any issues doing this. That may be one easy solution for you. Just checked pricing in case you don't have it and you can get it for $25 for one month to make your forms, or free for seven days. Anytime you want to make changes, you could get the subscription again for one month. That should keep costs reasonable.

HTML/JavaScript:
You can create a xenForo HTML widget and put your form code there, along with some custom JavaScript to have it open the user's mail program and send you the form data that way.

I found an example that uses javascript with jQuery at Stack Overflow (HTML button to send email). Scroll down to the answer from bjornte which has a working code example. This one is free.

Here is another example of a basic contact us form at html.form.guide that uses the php mailer and jQuery form validation. If you want to code it yourself, this site and javascript-coder.com both have a lot of good information.

Form Software:
Simfatic form making software is mentioned many times as a quick alternative at the javascript-coder website. It is the most expensive option, but still reasonable at $69. It has a drag-and-drop form builder, then it outputs the code for you to put on your site. It should work within a xenForo HTML widget. I have not used this software, but it looks like it will do what you want and make it quick and easy. They do have a free full-working trial, so you can make sure it works for you first.

Edit to add:
WordPress:
Just to mention it as an option, but it would require installing WordPress on your site. There are many form plugins you can use with WordPress. I have used Ninja Forms free version on one of my WordPress sites and it is easy to setup the forms and will email the data to you. If you want more features, such as accepting payments, they have annual subscriptions that are $99/yr for a single site. There are many other form builders out there for WordPress. A lot of drawbacks to this option - including maintaining two pieces of software and not being able to use your XenForo permissions on your forms as you have it setup right now.
 
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craigForo

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Jan 14, 2016
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179
Thanks for the ideas. I have heard of some but not all. Worthy of reviewing.

Yes, it is a vb site (unfortunately) but the customer enjoys it. I'll shy away from vb addons per se, and opt for something standalone that does not interact directly with vb, yet resides within the web directory.

Thank you!
 
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Mysti

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Feb 5, 2021
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I registered an account so I could take a better look. I think perhaps combining the Acrobat .PDF with a forum post might be your best bet. I see that they have to print before they hit submit, and that would make it so they could print before or after. The file uploads could be taken care of with file attachments. If your client ever changed to another forum software, the process would still work the same. That would make it so it doesn't require any custom code on the forum itself.
 

craigForo

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Jan 14, 2016
Messages
179
I registered an account so I could take a better look. I think perhaps combining the Acrobat .PDF with a forum post might be your best bet. I see that they have to print before they hit submit, and that would make it so they could print before or after. The file uploads could be taken care of with file attachments. If your client ever changed to another forum software, the process would still work the same. That would make it so it doesn't require any custom code on the forum itself.
The HTML print button was a haphazard fix for those who wanted a way to print their filled form before they submitted it. It looks gawdy. Some arent as savvy as others as a right-click would give them a print option which they could print or save as pdf.

Unfortunately, that form doesn't have a print function to add directly to the form from the form builder, so it's added outside the form tags.

Another option the customer would like is the ability for the applicants to be able to save their work, and come back to it. Adobe has this feature.

This sounds promising.

I like a few others you mentioned, worth digging into.
 

Mysti

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Feb 5, 2021
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I looked at that and it sounds very nice. Being in a Gartner review means it is likely to be a bit more than you were looking to spend. Best of luck to you!
 
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