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Setting Up Forms on Your Website

Information Required for Setting Up a Form on a Website

Your website can have various forms on it like a Contact Us type of form. There are some things we need from you in order to set up the forms. Also, this page explains our procedures regarding forms to make sure they work properly once your website launches.

Which Kind of Form Do You Want?

There are two benefits to having a form on your website:

  • First, people that use webmail (like GMail) can easily fill out a form instead of having to switch over to GMail (copy and paste your email address, etc.).
  • Second, you can ask for specific information. You can ask a question or make sure you get their phone number and the like.

One thing we need to know is which kind of form you would like.

If you do want a form, then we have 3 sample form layouts with fields to help you:

  1. https://projects.webstix.com/forms/sample_form_1.html - 3 fields and a comments area
  2. https://projects.webstix.com/forms/sample_form_2.html - 6 fields and a comments area
  3. https://projects.webstix.com/forms/sample_form_3.html - 12 fields and a comments area

You can choose one of these sample form layouts or else you can specify your own form.

What We Need From You

There are then some things we need. You can copy what's below into a Word document and send it to us or else just put what we're requiring into a Word document:

  1. The name of the form (like "Contact Us").
  2. Any text that goes on the page above the form.
  3. List every field that will be on the form.
    1. If there is a drop down list, then put that list in parentheses with commas separating each choice.
    2. If you're asking for an address, make sure you include all the fields like: address, address 2, city, state, ZIP, country, etc.
  4. Mark the fields that will be required by making them bold or add an asterisk.
  5. When people send/submit the form, a few things happen. An email gets sent to you (or the website administrator) and the web visitor sees a "Thank You" page. We need:
    1. The email address(es) that should receive the information that people send.
    2. The subject line of that email (like: "From the Website" or something like that).
    3. The "From" line of the email - so who the email is from. This is usually the same email address that gets the information but there can be only one email address here, so please specify this.
    4. The text that people should see after they submit the form (like: "Thank you! Someone will contact you shortly.")
  6. If you want the person that filled out the form to receive an email as well (this isn't too common), then we need this information:
    1. The subject line of that email (like: "Thank You For Your Comments" or something like that).
    2. The "From" line of the email - so who the email is from. This is usually the same email address that gets the information but there can be only one email address here, so please specify this.
    3. The text that should be in the email.
    4. Do you also want people to see the information that they submitted (yes/no)?

Whew!

You can put all this information in a Word document if that's easier for you or else just put it in an email. We'll use what you put in your document quite literally (except for doing a spell check), so please make sure it's EXACTLY how you want it to look on the final, live website - so pay attention to capitalization, etc.

We will need all of the information listed above for each form that you have on your website, so please get it ALL together for us. If you miss something, we will come back and need to ask you for that information, which will delay the launch of your website. Again, please send us all of this information.

Let us know if you have any questions or if we've missed anything here.


Once Your Website Launches - How to Deal With Forms

Right when your website has launched, we will do a test submission of every form on your website. It'll come from our Testing Department. We will need you to forward those emails to us to confirm that forms work properly. We will tell you the subject line of the email and the email address it came from and when.

We put two backup measures in place when your website launches

First, there is a backup copy of everything that people have submitted through your website forms on your website. It's in the Administration / Dashboard area. You will get instructions on where to find this. This is always in place and we never delete anything from it except our test messages. It's for you to manage.

Second, we use the GMail account you've provided to use for Google Analytics and we send a copy of all notifications to that email account. Once you've confirmed that email works for you, we can remove this extra email notification if you like. You can also decide to keep it there if you want - just let us know.

IMPORTANT: It is a very good idea to login to your website daily or even weekly and just check what has been submitted. You do not want to completely rely on email notifications. Email can fail. Messages can get lost or be marked as spam or something. This is just part of owning a website - you need to do this kind of double checking.

If, for some reason, you are not receiving emails from the website, there are a number of things to check. First, you need to let us know so that we can double check the settings on our side. Next, we'll ask you if you have any spam/junk email filters in place. If so, you should go into that repository or quarantine area and look for emails from the website and then white list it or specify that these kinds of emails should be allowed. These emails are server generated (versus from a human) and it is somewhat likely that they could end up looking like spam. We have the procedures listed here in place to help prevent this.

Please also see:

SEO / PPC
Get found, increase conversion!
Website Marketing
Get your website noticed and get results.
Design Portfolio
Result driven design makes your website work 24/7 for your business.

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2820 Walton Commons Ln.
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Madison, WI 53718
608-277-7849 608-661-8529
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