Getting started using WPForms plugin
This page explains how to use the WPForms plugin to create a form.
This page has a video that gives a summary of how to create forms. Below the WPForms plugin explanation are instructions on how to create that video.
If you want your customers to communicate with you, have WPForms at the bottom of select web pages.
WPForms plugin summary
Before you read the rest of this page, watch the video below. It will help you follow the rest of the WPForms plugin instructions.
Sketch on scrap paper
Before you create your first form, sketch what you want on scrap paper. It will give you a good idea which fields to add where in your new form.
Installing your new WPForms plugin
In edit view, find the word Plugins in the left-hand menu. Click Plugins > Add New. You will get Search Plugins box in the upper right. Type in wpforms.
The WPForms plugin bear logo will show up within a square. Click Install Now and then Activate.
Create blank form with a WPForms plugin
The word WPForms will show up in the vertical menu. Click on WPForms > Add New > Create Blank Form.
In the next paragraph we are assuming that you want to include the visitor’s name and email address in the form. We are also assuming that you want a field in which the visitors can choose from 2 or more options.
Click on Name. The Name boxes show up on the right-hand side. Click on Email. Click on Dropdown. Click on Field Options. Select First Choice and replace it with the option you want the viewer to see. Do the same for the Second Choice. Click the minus signs to delete the box you don’t need.
Make sure you toggle the Required box so that visitors know whether or not filling in a field is mandatory.
Add Fields as required. As you add a Field, click on it to open up the Field Options menu. Make sure you change the Label and the Description.
For security reasons, you must receive your form emails at an address that has your domain name after the at sign (@). For instance, firstname.lastname@example.org would be an acceptable email address. Sales@yahoo.com would not be an acceptable email address.
To get started creating that email address, go to the black WordPress menu in edit mode. Click on WPForms > SMTP. Unless you feel you should do otherwise, click the Sendinblue radio button and then the orange Save and Continue button.
At some point you will end up on a Sendinblue web page that tells you to verify your domain. You may see some strange text such as what you see in this image. You will have to use that strange text to set up your DNS settings.
Setting up DNS settings
To set up your DNS (domain name server) settings, you will have to go to your web host and add some new DNS records.
You may want to ask if your host’s support people will do it for you.
Example with my web host
You may have to adjust these instructions for your particular web host. I use LiquidNet Ltd Hosting.
If you use them, you go to their DNS records menu. The Help button in the menu provides exact details for all the records which in my case would be:
To add a TXT record, click on the “Add A New Record” button, then select the desired domain from the ‘Hostname’ drop-down menu. If the record will be added for a domain, leave the field before the drop-down menu empty. If it is for a subdomain, type in the subdomain name.
Example: to add a TXT record for howtomakeamazingvideos.com – just select it from the ‘Hostnames’ menu.
Select “TXT” type of the record from the ‘Type’ menu, then type its value in the ‘Value’ field below.
Example: for TXT the value should look like:
(Note that, for security reasons, I have altered those codes a bit.)
Also note that it may take up to 24-48 hours for DNS changes to fully propagate throughout the Internet.
After all of your Fields are in, click Settings > Notifications. The Send To and From boxes must both have the same email address. It must be an address with your domain name after the at sign (@).
This domain email address would have been created with SendinBlue.
In the illustration here, the name of the form has been inserted into the subject line. You can use whatever seems reasonable here. The purpose of the subject line is to help you identify the emails in which you are interested.
On the Notification page you can also change the wording in your Submit button. After making all of the changes, click the orange Save button.
Using WPForms to test your form
You do not have to add a live form to a web page in order to test it out. The GIF to the right shows you how to test a form. You simply hover over WPForms in edit view. Click All forms.
Find the name of the form you are working with and click Preview. A new web page will be created. It will have a usable form in it. Only you will be able to see this page.
Inserting form on web page
To insert the form on a web page, go to a page in edit view. In the black menu on the left, click on WPForms > All forms. Hover over the name of the forms you want. In that line you will see a shortcode such as the one you see here.
Use Cmd C to copy the shortcode (including the square brackets) into your clipboard. Use Cmd V to paste it where you want the form to be.
This section of the page is still under construction.
Near the beginning of this web page you will see a video with a summary of what this page is all about. This is to help the visitor visualize the instructions in the text.
The WPForms plugin instructions below are for beginners. They explain how to make every step of that video from beginning to end.
1. Title page — Open a form you have created. With Cmd/shift/4, copy the form you have created and save it with a descriptive name such as Form.png. Use these detailed instructions from a free program called Apple Keynote. Paste Form.png onto a new 960 x 540 pixel slide.
If the form is too dark for the title that will be over it, click animate > action > add an effect > opacity. Change the opacity to something lighter such as 40%. (Note that you do not have to click a Save button. The effect will be automatically changed.)
Click the Text button in the top middle. Click on the Text box that appears in the middle of the slide and type in How to Make WPForms. Place your cursor before WPForms and press Enter to place that term on a new line. Click outside of that text box and inside again in order to select it.
Click Format > Text in the upper right. Add bold, enlarge text so that it barely fits the screen and change the text colour to the colour of your choosing.
In the upper right, click Animate > Build In > Add an Effect > Fly In. Have it fly in for 0.5 seconds from the right.
Turn on ScreenFlow and then click the Keynote Play arrow. Move the cursor to the right so that you do not record it. Then click twice, once to change the opacity of the form and one to have the title fly in.
Turn off ScreenFlow and save your new creation with a descriptive name such as WPForms Creation.
2. Form on scrap paper — Download & open a free program called GIMP. Click File > New and make a white 480 x 540 pixel rectangle.
In the Tool Box, select the pencil icon. Change the Size to 4 pixels.
Turn your ScreenFlow camera on and draw a rough sketch of what the form will look like. Turn ScreenFlow off & close GIMP without saving anything. Save the ScreenFlow video with a descriptive name such as Scrap Paper.
Click on the Canvas Size icon and change the canvas size to 480 x 540 pixels. Then click the Video icon in the upper right and adjust the video size to fit into the canvas. Save again.
Select a resolution of 480 x 540 and click Export again. This will give you a file called Scrap Paper.MP4 in your desktop.
Drag and drop the MP4 file from your desktop to the right half of a blank Keynote slide.
In Keynote, click the tiny Text box and click inside it. Type these two sets of text into 2 different Text boxes: Sketch out your form on scrap paper and Use them for a guide as you are making your real form.
Make them bold, expand their sizes and change their colours. Then make each one fly in from the right.
Open ScreenFlow and start recording. Using the instructions several paragraphs above, click Play and then click 3 times. Make sure there is time enough between each click to complete each action. Save your video clip and copy & paste it to the end of the WPForms Creation timeline. Save it.
3. Add WPForms plugin — Using ScreenFlow, record your actions that you are performing below.
Open any page in the website to which you wish to have your forms. Click on Edit Page. In the black left-hand men, click Plugins > Add New.
That will give you a search box. In the Search box type in wpforms. That will give you a WPForms box with the bear icon. Click Install Now and then Activate.
To add the red box around the words Install Now, you must wait until you have finished the Add New Plugin video snippet. Then move the vertical red line (the scrubber) to the point where Install Now on the WPForms icon first shows up.
Click the annotations pencil icon in the upper right-hand corner and then click the plus sign (+).
Change the colour to red and click on the icon of the empty red rectangle. Reduce the thickness. Go up to the Install Now button & draw a rectangle around it.
4. Creating a new form — Before recording with ScreenFlow, go into your page in edit view and click on WPForms > Add New > Create Blank Form. Make sure you hover over an edge of your page to increase the width.
You should watch the form-creation part of the video several times. Then, after you understand Field Options & Add Fields, record your screen as you add the fields and accompanying options.
Edit your ScreenFlow video snippet so that it looks professional. Name the snippet. Copy & paste it into the end of your WPForms Creation timeline. Save.
5. Making emails retrievable — In order to retrieve your emails, the from address must have the domain name after the at sign (@). This is done with a company called SendinBlue and is not discussed in the video.
To make this section of the video, it is necessary to complete the Notifications portion of form creation. Your domain name email must be both in your Send To and your From boxes before you start making the video.
After you start recording, make callouts to simultaneously expand the email addresses in the Send To and the From boxes. With the email addresses in expanded view for several seconds, save the video snippet as an MP4 file.
Drag the MP4 file onto a new Keynote slide. Click the Text icon twice. In on new text box type Notifications must be enabled. In the other type Both Send to and From email addresses must have domain name after @ sign.
For each of the two messages you should have made then show up with the Animate > Build In > Appear routine. Have them leave after about 10 seconds with the Animate > Build Out > Disappear routine. Then have a Click orange save button message appear.
6. Retrieving your emails — In some cases you may not be able to retrieve your email in your regular inbox. In my personal case, the email provider has things set up in such a way that it is impossible to retrieve my email in my usual way.
So, I have to go to LiquidNet Ltd Hosting. That’s my web host.
In their control panel I click on Email > Webmail. Then I click on the email address corresponding to the web page that will have the form. I click on the Roundcube logo and select any email that has not been opened yet.
7. Final message to visitors — In your final message you may want to have some moving text that tells people where to get more information about WPForms. You may want to have some graphics such as a logo to brand your business.
If your video is on YouTube, the visitor will be shown another video as soon as your’s is finished. But, you want the visitors to absorb your final message. So, try using freeze frame to extend the video another 20 seconds or so.
8. Adding spoken word — Write out what you feel is a good script to accompany the images in your video. Set up ScreenFlow so that it will record your voice. It may be using a built-in microphone or another microphone. (I use and am very happy with Blue Snowball.)
Then use ScreenFlow to record you or someone else reading that script. Your recording may have the audio & the video on the same video clip. So, right click on the video clip and click on Detach Audio.
Select the new audio clip and drag it into your main video. Read this article about breaking your audio clip into many smaller clips. Use that advice to finish adding voice to your video.
9. Adding (free) music — If you go to this page, you will learn how to get free music. You will also have a link telling you how to soften background music whenever someone speaks.
You’re finished — If you are a beginner and have finished making this video, you have just learned a great deal about video production. Congratulations! Keep practicing by making new videos.