Understanding the Web Forms panel

Updated on 20-October-2016 at 10:16 AM

Business Catalyst End of life announcement - find out more details.

Let's take a closer look at the web forms section in the Admin Panel. You'll see a list of all the forms on your website, along with a New Web Form button. Let's go ahead and create a new form. You'll be prompted to set the below options:

  • Web Form Name
  • Workflow - Assigning a workflow to your web form will trigger a notification each time the web form is submitted by a user. This means that users covered by the respective workflow will either receive an e-mail or an SMS. Read more about Buisness Catalyst Workflows here
  • Secure Zone - With this option you'll be able to have the user register to a secure zone and log them in automatically. You can find more info on Business Catalyst Secure Zones here
  • Affiliate Program Lists - This will enable the web form to automatically subscribe customers to one of your affiliate programs. Learn about Business Catalyst Affiliate Programs here
  • Create Customer Case - Everytime a web form is submitted, a case is automatically created and attached to the customer record who is making the enquiry (if the e-mail address provided when submitting the form is not found in the CRM, a new customer record is created)
  • Wholesaler Subscription - This will mark the user as a Wholesaler
  • Create Sales Opportunity - If each enquiry has a relatively fixed monetary value then you can set this option so a new sales opportunity is also created. Sales Opportunities are a great way to track and measure sales.

With these details in place, you can now proceed to selecting the fields that will be part of your web form:

The left panel contains all the elemnts that you can include on your web form, which will be rendered on the right side. Here's a breakdown of all the sections:

Web Forms Panel Breakdown

Contacts

All the fields from the contact section will populate the corresponding fields on the customer entity inside the CRM

E-Commerce

These fields are to be used when you need to collect payment through the web form.
Charge your users for access to a secure zone in just 2 simple steps:

  • Check the Secure Zone option when creating a web form
  • From the E-Commerce tab: add payment method options (if indeed you want to provide multiple payment options) and credit card processing

Note: Make sure you have previously configured the secure zone to require payment

E-Mail Campaigns

There are 5 Anniversary dates that can be configured for each CRM entity. You can then link your E-mail campaigns to trigger in relation to one of each user's Anniversary Dates. More info on this feature can be found here . Aside from this, you can also insert a Refer-a-Friend module, which will add 5 e-mail address fields and a text message field, allowing the user to also send a custom message via e-mail to 5 of his friends.

Misc

File Attachment

If you're building a support form in order to receive tech support issues from customers, you'll probably want the user to also have the options of submitting a file when raising a case. Including this field will allow him to do that that, the respective file being attached to the case created.

If you're building a real-estate site where each user can submit properties, easily accomplished via web-apps ), you can just add this field to your property submission form, so that aside from any text-type information, the user can also submit images.

Security

By default, all new web forms have the "Web form protection module" enabled. We recommend you don't delete it, as it's a simple and effective way to block bots.

Further security options for your web form are provided through Image verification:

  • Image Verification - Provided with both easy and hard to read settings, this module provides a simple, straightforward method of securing web form usage .
  • Re-Captcha - A different version of the CAPTCHA service, also used to digitize books newspapers and old time radio shows. Implementing this on your site will help the multiple projects that are currently digitizing physical books that were written before the computer age.

You can customize the color and width of the captcha field by doing the following:

  1. Open the page that contains the form in editing mode.
  2. Click the HTML tab and locate the {module_captchav2} tag in the form.
  3. Specify any of the following attributes in the code:
    &#123;module_captchav2,<em>[background color]</em>,<em>[text color]</em>,<em>[width in pixels]</em>&#125;
    

List

The list view displays all mailing lists available. If you want your users to be able to subscribe to your newsletter when submitting a form, you can just drag the apropriate mailing list from this view, onto your form

CRM Forms

Wtih the proper siteplan you can choose to extend your CRM database , by adding additional fields to each customer entity. This is done by creating CRM Forms. They can function independently or you can include their fields in other forms, to streamline processes. For example, existing customers can subscribe to a secure zone (for which they could have to pay) and in that context you might want to collect additional CRM data. Easy! Just drag the respective CRM field sets onto your form.

Custom Fields

You can name these fields in any way that you want, make them mandatory or not.

If you're building a tech support case submission web form you'll want to capture the customer's description about the issue he's encountered. The Text (Multiline) field is the ideal choice for that. You might also want to include a file upload field , in case the user can provide some further materials to assist in his case.

If you want users to request an appointment on certain pre-defined topics, you can use DateTime and List (either checkbox or dropdown list)

The information these custom fields capture will be included in the case that will be created through the web form's submission.

Read our Customizing Web Forms forum article for a lot of tips and tricks regarding web-forms and their usage.

Other than this, all that's left is to make sure you've added all the fields you need for the webform, then click Update and your form is ready. At this point you can :

  1. Edit the web form Properties
  2. Preview the web form
  3. Setup the Autoresponder E-Mail (if enabled, after a user submits a form, he will get an autoresponder e-mail from the BC system, confirming his submission, containing your custom message)
  4. More Actions:
    1. Add the form to a web page: Opens the Pages tree view, allowing you to select the page where you wish to publish the web form.
    2. Get the web form HTML code, so you can manually place it on a page or customize it using an HTML editor.
    3. Customize it through BC's own editor- changes will only apply for web form inserted as module.
    4. View the access history on this item.

Store and manage the form data

After creating the form, ensure that a mechanism is in place to capture the submitted data.

  • If your Business Catalyst site plan includes a customer database, the database is used to store and manage form data. See Working with the customer database .
  • If your site plan doesn't include a customer database, the form data is emailed to you. When a visitor submits the form, an email is sent to all administrators assigned to the Users role.

Modify the form

You can customize a form after inserting it in a page. For example, you can edit the HTML or replace buttons with images.

  1. Open the page in editing mode by selecting Site Manager > Pages and clicking the page in the tree view.
  2. Edit the form and click Publish or Save Draft.

    Tip: Make a few test submissions to ensure that the changes didn't break the form.

Note: Changes to the form fields section are not reflected in the pages that contain the form inserted as HTML code. In that case, you need to insert the modified form in the pages again. If form is inserted in pages as module, fields changes from UI will automatically be reflected unless form is customized (More Actions->Customize Web Form).

Check BC Gurus for a video-tutorial on web forms

BC Gurus - Introduction to Web Forms