In this guide, we will explain the basics of getting started with Gravity Forms on your CloudCanvas WordPress website. We will cover the creation of a basic form and how you can embed it into a page or post on your site.
1. Gravity Forms
You will need to activate Gravity Forms first, you can do this from the plugins page. Once active you can open the Gravity Forms settings from the new ‘Forms’ menu item on the main WordPress menu.
Click ‘Forms’ and then select ‘New Form’.
2. Creating a basic form
In this example, we will make a basic contact form with a name, email and message field.
Give your form a name and description then click ‘Create Form’.
Gravity Forms makes it very easy to get started with a form, you will see basic instructions on what to do now. We will begin by clicking ‘Advanced Fields’ and clicking or dragging the the ‘Name’ field into the form builder area as shown below.
Now that we have added the first field we can click the field to open the field settings, we will simply adjust the name field so only the first name is required and that the field is required to submit.
- Form Label – This can be changed to something like “Your Name” or “Your First Name”, this will be displayed to users when they are filling out the form.
- We can uncheck the last name field so only the first name is required.
- Check ‘Required’ this ensures that this field is filled out and won’t allow the form to be sent if it’s not complete.
Now let’s add another field, this time we will add an email field so you can respond to questions. Simply click the blue bar at the top of the current field to minimise the settings. Now we can click or drag the email field into your form.
Now you have two fields, you can simply click the email field and then check ‘Required’ and you can leave the rest of the email settings as they are unless you want to adjust them.
We will now add our last field, a paragraph field so a message can be left. You can click or drag the ‘Paragraph Text’ field from the ‘Simple Fields’ section into your form.
You can now open the settings for the Paragraph text and give it a label and check ‘Required’.
Now you just need to click ‘Update’ to save your new form.
3. Form Settings
Now that you have built a form we can adjust the form settings to prevent some spam and also configure the email notifications so you are notified when someone submits a message on your new contact form. While on the form editor you can hover over ‘Settings’ and click ‘Form Settings’.
Once on the form settings page, you can simply scroll to the bottom of the screen and check the following boxes, ‘Enable anti-spam honeypot’ and ‘Enable animations’.
The anti-spam honeypot will prevent most spam by placing a hidden field that most automated spambots will check and automatically get marked as spam. Humans can’t see this field so you don’t have to worry about real entries getting marked as spam.
That’s all we need to change on the form settings page, you can now go to the ‘Notifications’ settings page from the ‘Settings’ menu at the top of the page.
4. Email Notifications
Now we can configure your email notifications, these are the emails you will receive when someone submits a message on your form. You can leave these as they are for the most part but you may want to change the email title and the ‘from’ name.
By default there will just be an ‘Admin’ notification setup, this means that just the site administrator will get an email notification when a message is submitted. You can configure many different notifications to go to different staff members and even the original sender giving them a confirmation that their message was sent. For now, we will keep this simple and just configure the ‘Admin’ notification.
- This is the email that the subitted message will be sent to, this should be your own email or whoever should receive messages from the form.
- The ‘From Name’ is the name that the email will appear to be from in the recipient’s email.
- This should be left as default unless an email has been configured for your site to send emails.
- The email subject title, this can be changed to anything you wish.
Once you have configured your email notification you can save these settings.
5. Embed your form into a page or post
Now that you have configured the essentials to your form you can now embed it into a page so visitors can submit messages.
Go to pages or posts in your site admin. You can embed within an existing page or in a new one. On your page, you will notice a new button above the editor called ‘Add Form’ Click this to add a form to your page or post.
When you click ‘Add Form’ you will get a popup dialogue that can be used to select and configure your form before embedding. We recommend that you select the same settings as above and then click ‘Insert Form’.
Embedded forms will be inserted using a shortcode, you can move this to wherever you want your form to appear on the page. You can now publish or update your page and then view to see the form.
Congratulations, you have created your first form using Gravity Forms! When someone sends a message using your form you will get an email notification to the email address that you configured in step 4.
Gravity is a leading form creator for WordPress, it can be used to create incredibly complex and powerful forms with an almost infinite number of uses. It can also integrate with other services such as Zapier to send entries to almost any 3rd party service. Gravity Forms can also be used to create subscriptions, donations, registrations and so much more, this article covers the very basics.