Note: Formulate is a completely free stack to download and use with ThemeFlood RapidWeaver themes. Simply go to the ThemeFlood Stacks page and download your free copy there. Formulate works with both free and paid ThemeFlood themes. If you want to use Formulate with themes from another company, you will need to test the demo version and buy the 'Stacks4Stacks' copy from this page.
If Formulate is configured to use Formbucket or Formspree, the contact form submissions are sent to either of these two services. From here, you can either login to read the messages sent or have the messages forwarded onto a normal email address. And unlike a conventional PHP form, the email address messages are sent to does not need to be an address managed by the hosting company - you can just as easily have messages sent to a free Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo email address of your choosing.
Formulate is perfect for quick and simple contact forms. It is not intended as a replacement to more heavy-weight and feature-rich solutions, like FormsPlus. However there are enough input types and customisable options offered in Formulate to help build any basic webform. Download and try the free demo version today.
ExampleThis is a quick example showing the type of contact form Formulate can be used to create. This form is in 'test mode', so it will not send any actual messages in the current configuration. Note that the submit button only gets shown once all mandatory (*) inputs are completed by the user.
In this example, the form was constrained to a maximum width of 800px using the free UsefulStack and the box shadow effect is achieved with the free Shady stack.
By default, Formulate is designed to be styled by a theme that includes Bootstrap. However there is a checkbox option that will let you set some custom styling for use in other themes. Parameters like the label colours, borders, rounded corners and submit button colour can be quickly amended. And as with many of our other stacks, there is additionally a huge amount of customisation feasible with custom CSS code.
SetupFormulate is easy to get working in most webpages. In essence you can follow these steps:
- Once installed into Stacks and RapidWeaver, open your Stacks Library (on a Stacks page type).
- Drag and drop a copy of Forumulate into the webpage (the Stacks4Stacks version, if using this in a non-ThemeFlood theme).
- Click the blue button to add input types to your form. Formulate supports lots of traditional form inputs and some much newer HTML5 input types. Each input type has its own settings.
- Select the main Formulate stack to configure how and where messages should be sent. Some other options are also provided to customise the labelling of the form, your submit button and custom styling.
- Publish or export your website when done.
If using Formulate with either Formbucket or Formspree, there are some additional steps you need to follow:
- For Formbucket, signup for a free account and create your first 'bucket' to have the messages sent to. Formbucket give you something called an endpoint, which is the special link you instruct Formulate to send messages to. Please take this endpoint link and enter it into the Formulate settings. As of August 2018, Formbucket offer a free trial for 14 days.
- For Formspree, you will need to go to the webpage Formulate is published on and submit the form. You then get sent an email to validate the new form and create a Formspree account if you don't have one already. Once validated, your form will begin working. As of August 2018, Formspree is free to use for 1000 emails a month, and they have a 'premium' plan that lifts this limitation and adds additional features, like enhanced spam protection.
Lots of simple form inputs are supported. You have got all your normal form inputs and a couple of speciality HTML5 ones. Every input supports a label, placeholder text and optional 'help' text. Inputs can be dragged and changed into any order. Any number of inputs can be made mandatory. The 'submit' button at the bottom is only shown / activated when all mandatory fields are completed and the user gives their consent to your GDPR privacy disclaimer.
Spam protection varies, depending on what form processing service you use. The 'mail to' option supports an obfuscated email address which has surprisingly good protection. Formspree does display your email address in the form action attribute, but a paid account solves this and you get 'honeypot' protection as standard. Formbucket provides the options of both 'honeypot' and 'reCaptcha', within your bucket settings. Again you can use a free disposable email address with this stack, so if the spammers and trollers become too much to handle, just change your email address to something else! That's the same reason why many companies use rather obscure email addresses. You can continue to reply to genuine messages using your normal email address.