Can I Attach a Form to My WordPress Website?
WordPress is one of the most popular blog platforms out there, and for good reason; it’s super user-friendly and has a lot of incredible functionality. However, as great as WordPress is, it’s not always the simplest solution to every problem. In this article, we’ll discuss some tricks and tools to make your life a little bit easier when using WordPress to create a blog or website.
Make A Form
One of the most basic and fundamental elements of any website or blog is a form. Without forms, no data can be submitted; therefore, no content can be created. Fortunately, WordPress makes creating forms very easy. To start, create a new post (for example, by clicking the “Add New” button at the top of the dashboard) and add some content to it (for example, a form with the post’s ID as the “action” for the post). Then, open the content in a text editor and begin formulating your questions or statements. When you’re done, click the “Update” button to see your changes, and click the “Publish” button to make them live on your site.
To embed the form, navigate to your WordPress dashboard, and click on the “Posts” button in the navigation bar. From there, you can click on the “Add New” button to create a new post or go back to the previous post to insert the form in that location. Alternatively, you can right-click on a post and select “Edit” to bring up the post’s editing screen. Once you’re there, you can locate the “Form” item in the Toolbox (located in the upper right-hand corner of the interface).
Use The Right Coding
When coding a form in HTML (the default markup language used for WordPress’s “posts” and “pages”), the first thing you need to do is make sure that your coding is standards compliant. This means ensuring that all the elements within your form have the correct opening and closing tags, that there are no duplicate id names in use, and that each text field has a unique name (for example, to make it easily re-usable). Additionally, make sure that all the text fields have the proper attribute (for example, `type=”text”` specifies that the field is of type “text”).
Additionally, as mentioned above, you should strive for standards compliance when coding forms in WordPress. This means that your code should be semantic and easy to maintain. Also, avoid using inline CSS (in the style of
display:inline;) in favor of externally linked CSS files.
Use The Right Templates
When coding a form in HTML, you have the option of using either a custom designed HTML template or one of WordPress’s predefined templates to present your form. WordPress comes with a variety of form-related templates, so it’s almost essential that you choose the right one.
The best practice is to use a theme that is designed specifically for WordPress forms. This ensures that your form will look the same no matter what browser it’s being viewed in. Additionally, using a form template helps you get the best out of WordPress’s Form API. When coding a form using the Form API, you have access to powerful form elements (such as radios, checkboxes, and text areas) that can be very easily integrated into your site’s design. In other words, using a theme that is designed for WordPress forms makes life a little bit easier when coding forms in WordPress!
In case you’re curious, here are the available WordPress form templates that come built-in with the platform:
- Forms – Used to create simple one-page forms. You simply need to choose the right values for the form’s fields and submit the form. Forms come with predefined values for the fields, which makes coding much simpler.
- ContactForm – Used to create contact forms for websites. This template is extremely versatile because you can use it to create varying numbers of fields for your contact form.
- ContactForm7 – The seven-step contact form. This one is for the advanced users who want to create a form with seven steps for the user to navigate through.
- Basic Contact Form – The basic one-page contact form. This is the perfect template for beginners who want to create a contact form.
- Login Form – Used to create log in forms for websites. Just like the contact form above, this one also comes with predefined values for the fields. However, this one is for the advanced users who want to create a form with additional functionality.
- Login Form with Text Box – The login form with a text box. Just like the login form above, this one also comes with predefined values for the fields. However, this one allows the user to enter their own text into the form’s field.
- Registration Form – Used to create user registration forms for websites. This one is similar to the login form above with the exception that it asks the user to enter their email address and sets up a password to automatically send a confirmation email to the user.
- Login / Registration Form – Helioguides.com – A one-page login / registration form with a helioguides.com logo in the corner. This form comes with a neat little graphic behind the scenes that makes coding much simpler.
To sum up, when coding a form in HTML, you should use either a custom designed template or one of WordPress’s predefined templates to present your form. If you’re new to HTML and WordPress, it’s recommended that you use the former, as this ensures that your form will look the same no matter what browser it’s being viewed in. Additionally, using a form template helps you get the best out of WordPress’s Form API, which makes creating forms in WordPress much simpler!
Make It Search-friendly
One of the most basic and fundamental elements of any website or blog is its search functionality. Without search, none of the content would be easily discoverable, and the whole point of having a blog or website is to share information with the world (and get some traffic!). Fortunately, WordPress makes creating search-friendly websites and blogs very easy. To start, navigate to the Search Preferences screen from your WordPress dashboard. Here, you can enable search engine highlighting for your site’s content (if it’s not already enabled). Additionally, you can choose whether or not to use search suggestion in your content (if it’s not already enabled) and configure the engine that will be used to index your site (enter “Google” into the search bar and click the “Select Search Engine” button). Once you’ve done that, click the “Save Changes” button to lock in your settings.
Then, let’s say that you want to create a searchable database of blog posts. To do this, click the “Posts” button from your WordPress dashboard. You’ll be presented with a list of all your posts. Clicking the “Post” button for any given blog post will take you to that post’s editing screen.
At this point, you can begin formulating your search query. To do this, click the “Search” button from your WordPress dashboard and set the search criteria (for example, choose “Christmas” in the “Search” bar and then click the “Search” button).
After you’ve submitted your search query, you’ll be taken to a results page that lists your matches. Each result will link you back to the matching post (if it exists) or lead you to a 404 error if the post can’t be found. To save this search query, click the “Save Result” button at the top right corner of the results page and enter a relevant name for your search query (for example, “Christmas 2016”).
This last step is crucial because it allows you to easily find your search query again whenever you want. To view your newly created searchable database of posts, navigate back to your WordPress dashboard and click the “Posts” button. You’ll be presented with a list of all your posts. Clicking the “Post” button for any given blog post will take you to that post’s editing screen. From there, you can click the “Search” button to begin searching for content.
Making a blog or website is a great way to get information out in the world. However, creating a functional and informative blog can be quite the task. In this article, we discussed some simple tricks and tools to make the process of creating a blog or website easier. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or advanced user, implementing these tips will help you get the most out of blogging!