Web forms

apps

#1

Does anyone know of any free software for designing web forms?


#2

Assuming that by “Web forms” you mean HTML forms, there are numerous free editors out there with which you can enter the HTML for forms, and if you are looking for a little more WYSIWYG HTML form creation, there is NVU and KompoZer.

There are also free “form creation tools” for generating CRUD forms for use with MySQL.

It’s a little hard to know exactly what to recommend without knowing what you plan to use the “web forms” to do. :wink:

–rlparker


#3

rlparker my friend.

I will be using the HTML form to coordinate a somewhat unusual promotion. (I’m a video producer by trade). I’m actually asking for help in naming my upcoming video project. I’ll be offering $50 cash + $25 iTunes gift card + a free copy of the finished DVD ($29.95 value) to the person who can provide a very compelling name for the project.

Anyone interested in entering this contest will be directed to the web form where they’ll have to click on a box that says “accept official contest rules” (there will be a link to the actual contest rules that has the standard "I agree button at the bottom). Once they click the “I agree” box and they fill out the relevant information they’ll be entered into the contest.

I’m trying to think of the best way to coordinate this, but I’m very ignorant as to what tools are available to me to help carry this out.

Here are my main goals . . .

  1. Gather email addresses and geographic locations from as many contestants as possible.

  2. Store contestant information in a database (auto-populate from the web form if possible).

  3. Get a name for the new DVD.

  4. Advertise the winner to all other contestants upon completion of the contest on my website (I want a picture of the winning contestant smiling holding up the $50 check, the DVD with big text over their picture saying “WINNER.”

  5. Have the contest be interactive. (this is the lowest priority, however. 1, and 2 are the main reasons for doing this).

I want to do all of this while avoiding manually inputing contestant information into a database. If I have to do that I might as well coordinate the whole thing through email, but I don’t want to do that.


#4

I see. What you are describing here entails quite a bit more than just creating a “web form”, and I know of no “tool” for “point and clicking” your way to that result.

There are some RAD (Rapid Application Development) tools out there (CodeCharge, etc.) that can help an experienced programmer produce something like this more quickly, but what you are proposing really consist of several individual, or integrated, pieces of programming and does not lend itself to “out of the box” implementation.

Much of what you describe can be accomplished via modification of commonly available scripts (like a survey application, a formmailer, a list mail manager, a database tool, etc.), but you will need to find a way to integrate such code in a way that accomplishes what you would like to do.

For instance:

Any of several readily available “off the shelf” formmailer scripts could be used to automate steps 1 and 2, collecting the data, emailing you the entered information, and/or storing the gathered information in a database.

Step three is simple enough: Review the data you have collected (the form mailer software you used in steps 1 and 2 will have delivered the data to you via email and/or placed it into a database where you can review it) and make your choice.

Step four is easy enough if you don’t attempt to “email the result” to all the participants (SPAM and list management issues here would complicate step 1 :wink: ). Once the winner is selected just create the appropriate page for display on your website where participants can come to view the results. You could even publish the link to that page, indicating the date the winner will be announced, on the form the participants complete.

I have no idea what you mean by “have the contest be interactive”, and can’t comment on that further until I understand what you mean. By using the submission form you have introduced some degree of "interactivity’, but other than that (or possibly providing a forum or blog w/comments where you describe the progress of the contest and let folks comment), I don’t know what you envision here.

In short, this should not be a difficult thing for an experienced web developer to produce for you, but it could be difficult to attempt yourself unless you are familiar with the technologies involved and at least passing familiarity with CGI and database programing.

The first step I would take would be to locate a Formmailer script suitable for the needs of steps 1 and 2, and get that implemented, followed by developing a strategy for using (import into a database or spreadsheet program, etc.) the received data for review.

It might help to know how your site is currently built (CMS, straight HTML, PHP, etc.) in order to ease integration of the script(s) into your site design.

A good place to start looking for such a script is Hotscripts.com, under the Form mail sections of the PHP or Perl sections of the site (I prefer perl, but others feel differently!). When you find one you like that lets you modify the form to the degree you desire and allows you to send the form results to a database as well as (or instead of) emailing you the results, you are ready to proceed.

From there on, it’s all downhill and pretty much straight webpage authoring.

Does that help at all?

–rlparker