Painless Web Forms with Formstack, Plus a Discount

One of the most criticized elements of a company’s website, large or small, is the lack of interactivity. Many organizations struggle with this, whether it means incorporating a simple “contact us” form, creating contests, or adding e-commerce to a site.

What Causes the Pain

Part of the problem, especially for small businesses, is the cost of having these elements created. While the advent of services like WordPress have made creating a basic website a lot easier, once it gets to the point of integrating things that require interactivity, there is usually an element of manual coding involved.

Few small business owners have the time or desire to learn the skills required to incorporate forms and other interactive elements into their websites. This means that these features either get left off the website and an opportunity is missed, or the business owner hires out the development – which can be expensive.

How Formstack Heals the Pain

This is where Formstack enters the picture for small business owners operating with limited budgets. Formstack brings a level of simplicity to the creation of forms, almost making it on a par with writing an email. Yes, I am serious. I believe that if you are familiar enough with online services like Gmail or Yahoo mail you can use this tool without any training.

So what does it do? Formstack offers two services; one for the creation of forms, and the other for the creation of landing pages. Here, I’m going to cover the forms service.

Creating Forms for Your Website

You can start with a template, or use a blank page to create your own form. You can also import a form to use as a starting point from a website – even a website that isn’t your own (a great way to get a starting point for a form you can then customize).

The selection of pre-designed forms is great. These include things like surveys, course evaluations, job applications, event registration, mailing list sign-ups and more.

And deploying the forms to your website is simple, too. You either use the URL that is generated or a third-party plugins (WordPress has one).

This really is a great tool to use, and I can’t do it justice in these few paragraphs, so I encourage you to go and try it out for yourself.

Get 10% Off Formstack

The great people over at Formstack have extended a 10% discount to members of the Bonfire to use for either their forms or landing page service. If you are a member of the Small Business Bonfire (any level, including free membership), go to your Account Management page and click the link for “Member Discounts” to grab the discount code.

If you aren’t a Bonfire member yet, join today for free and you’ll get instant access to our member discounts and all of the other membership perks.

Image credit (browser): mterraza
Formstack logo and screenshot, copyright Formstack.

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Simon Salt
Simon is CEO of IncSlingers, and is an author, blogger, writer and entrepreneur. His book on Social Location Marketing was published by QUE, a division of Pearson publications in February 2011. Simon has been published online by Mashable, Read Write Web and others.
  1. Hi Simon,
    Although FormStack may have its own share of plus points, the biggest drawback is that it is totally useless for Web Developers and almost any company that does not allow to use external services. Companies don’t tend to rely much on external services and try to keep it to a minimum, if at all they need to use an external service. Formstack generates a JS file that you need to insert into the web page that you need to run the form. And if Javascript is off, it could be a pain to deal with it. And there is no permanent free option, which again does not serve any purpose to Web Developers. Simply put, Formstack is a service only for clients or people who completely lack even the slightest technical knowledge.

    On the other hand, I have been using a tremendously useful, time saving and completely free tool that has saved me literally hundreds of hours. This tool is built only for Web Designers & Web Developers (PHP) so that they can generate HTML form, PHP Code and MySQL code. It is called “Form & PHP/MySQL Generator (FPMG)”.

    Unlike FormStack, FPMG does NOT generate a JS file for you to use in your own file. Rather it generates the HTML source code of the form, CSS, MySQL POST parameters & MySQL Queries such as Select, Update, Insert, Delete (selectable). Apart from letting you directly copying and paste the code in your own files, It also gives the option to download the files to your computer. And its a completely free tool to use.

    If this sounds interesting, check it out at: http://www.fpmg.co.cc

    Because I am a Web Developer (apart from being a web designer), I vote for FPMG as it is the perfect solution for any Web Designer/Developer. I have worked with hundreds of client and have NOT used Formstack for any of these clients. But since the day I came across FPMG, I have always used it in every single project that makes use of forms, thereby saving me tons of time.

    Hope this resource helps out others. Thanks.

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