As I announced in my latest Pits & Peaks post, I am about to launch a big project for my work: a new website storefront! I have been working incredibly hard on this site, and while I was working I discovered something that might be of use for more aspects in my life than just work. While I was in the process of creating the company’s “Contact Us” page, I discovered a handy little form builder tool called JotForm.
JotForm is a simple yet powerful drag and drop form builder commonly used for contact forms, surveys, order forms, feedback, ratings, and much more. Since I discovered this tool I began to implement it on my own blog here as my contact form, as well as on the site that I am helping my boyfriend create for his upcoming start-up company.
So, I’ve decided to introduce this tool to you and share how I use it.
Build a form
As I mentioned above, so far all that I’ve used JotForm for is for creating contact forms. While I have not needed to create anything super fancy with this tool yet, there is an incredible range of options. JotForm can be used for everything from an e-commerce platform, surveys, feedback, contact forms, submissions, and so much more. On the left you will find a great expanse of powerful tools that you can use to create whatever your heart desires. The best part of this process? You don’t need to know a single line of code or short code to be able to create the form to include exactly what you need!
Design the Form
If you click on the ‘design’ button within the builder it will open up the form designer. This designer comes with an enormous amount of tools to help you design the form to look exactly as you want it to. If you’ve been following me on this blog for a while, you know by now that this designing and organizing is right up my ally. Being able to make the form look precisely how I wanted to was a big selling point for me.
Now, if you don’t want to put in the time to design your own form you can easily go with the out of the box simple black and white theme that it comes with, or you can get a ready-to-go pre-made theme at the theme store.
For my contact form I kept it really simple, with my blog logo at the top and a thin outline around the form to make it stand out from the rest of the page.
Set up Email Notifications
Once you have built and designed the form, you can decide which email addresses are notified when the form is filled out.
When I was setting up these notifications and sending out test emails to myself I noticed that the preset notification email is not pretty. However, I was thrilled to discover that you are able to customize it and design it to look however you want!
Install and Never Have to Update
I think that one of the best things about this tool is that it is so lightweight. The program provides one line of code that you just have to copy and paste into your page and forget about completely. No plugin to download, no short codes to update, nothing. Simple, short, and sweet.
And another plus? It updates itself. Once you put the code onto your site, if you decide to go back in and change the design or add an input field, it automatically updates itself without you needing to touch the code again.
There are a couple small things that do bother me about this form builder.
1. In the form builder it is difficult to be able to select a previous field.
For example, if I select to add a ‘Name’ field, and then I select to add an ‘E-mail’ field, then I realize that I want to change something about the previous ‘Name’ field, it is difficult to get the program to select the field so that I can edit it or delete it. I thought that I would be able to just click on the previous fields to be able to select them, but that does not work. It took a little bit of effort but I did discover that if you press the up or down arrow keys on your keyboard then it selects through all the fields, which is useful.
2. There is no actual drag and drop.
When adding or editing the fields on the theme builder the mouse shows crosshairs as if it should be possible for you to drag and drop the fields into the form or in a different order. However, this is misleading as the only way to arrange the fields is to select the settings gear on the side (by selecting the field using the method in Con #1) and selecting “move up” or “move down”.
3. The e-mail notification is not very pleasing to the eye.
The basic out of the box notification email is, alright I’ll say it, generally ugly. While I like that there is an option to be able to edit this design, the editor is not as user friendly as the form designer is. If the basic notification were prettier or the email notification designer was more user friendly, it would definitely add to the program quite a bit.
Overall I feel that this program is incredibly useful, generally user friendly, and has some great ideas. I wish that I had a bigger use for this program, but I will definitely keep it in mind when I create forms for future events!
Have you tried JotForm before? What do you think? What do you use as your form maker?
Disclaimer: I was contacted by JotForm to write a post about their product. All opinions are 100% mine and I have previously used JotForm for many projects previously to being contacted.