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Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach

New WordPress plugin: AU WordPress Form Manager Widget (Beta)

FYI – The business need was to put a contact form in the sidebar of a WordPress site. Unfortunately, Cambell Hoffman’s handy dandy Form Manager is shortcode based and didn’t have widget support. Until now!

Nothing too fancy this time. Just enter the title you want to appear above the form, and the slug name from Form Manager in the widget and save. You’ll have to size your inputs, etc. My plugin is just a way to place a Form Manager form via a widget. It’s that simple.

Download beta: au-wordpress-form-manager-widget.zip

A few things you should know:

—It’s quite possible the plugin might hiccup when using a non-English version of Form Manager. There were one or two error conditions where I had to compare against a string and not a more universal error code. Your results for international usage may vary. Mainly I was testing for an invalid form slug, as well as an active widget with no parm values saved. If you avoid both of these situation you should be fine.

—I use the title from my widget instead of the Form Manager form title because Form Manager uses an (unnecessary) H2 to style the form title. I wanted something more SEO friendly. That is, I do not use an H2. Therefore, you might need to have some CSS skills to get the visual results you desire.

—Depending on the width and placement of your widget, reCAPTCHA might not have enough room to display without trampling over something else in your layout. However, what you can do as an alternative is to set up a form condition that hides a required field until a certain condition is met. For example, what I did as a workaround was to have a field that asks for the sum of two numbers (e.g., 3 + 4 =). If they enter the correct number then the required message input is displayed. I’m presuming most spam bots can’t add. Yes, it’s a somewhat awkward UX (i.e., a key field being hidden) but for 5 minutes of brain power I thought it worked out well. If I come up with something better, I’ll let you know.

—Kudos to MakeUseOf.com for this article that served as the framework for this plugin/widget.

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-create-wordpress-widgets

—And finally, special thanks to Campbell Hoffman. If you’re looking for a free WordPress plugin for forms you should check out Campbell’s. Here’s the linky to the Form Manager plugin page on WordPress.org:

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-form-manager

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