Webforms help us interact with our audience members. They can request information from us, or share information about themselves with us.
Units use webforms for a variety of purposes:
- Register for an audition at the School of Dance.
- Request custom training from Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics, or fill out an intake form.
- Tell us what you're doing with an alumni update form at the College of Visual and Performing Arts or the Volgenau School of Engineering.
- Propose an internship for students in the Honors College.
A webform uses a specialized page template. Go to the row of Drupal commands in the upper left corner, and hover over Content. A selection of template pages should appear to the right. Select webform.
What you'll see is the back end, with a place to fill in the name of the page. What you won't see is the option to Provide a Menu Link; webforms must be manually placed into your navigation structure. Fill in the title, and save the page.
You'll be taken to a blank form. You'll need to:
- Fill in a label for each component.
- Select the component that fits the requests for information you need.
- Check the Required box if you want to require a particular piece of information.
- Select Add to set up a row for the next question.
The components you are most likely to use include:
Markup: This provides the opportunity to include introductory or explanatory text on your form.
Text Field: This is set up for questions soliciting a brief piece of information, such as a name or phone number. DO NOT use the Number option when requesting a phone number. Use Text Field.
Text Area: Use this when you need someone to write an essay, explanatory paragraph, or bio, as it allows for extended text.
Select Options: Give the user a choice of times, dates, or categories. This can be set up to have someone select on option or, through checking the multiple option box, a variety of options. You can have as many options as you need. To create the option list, use this format:
option_1 | Prospective Student
option_2 | Current Student
option_3 | Etc.
Email: Use the E-mail option. It's a good idea to make this a required element.
Date, Time: Some units use the webform as an aid to scheduling appointments. While it can't block off time on your Outlook calendar, it can be used as a way for a user to suggest their top three preferences, for example. If you want to do this, you'll need to set it up with headers, such as First Choice, Second Choice, etc. You'll need to do a separate Date and Time section for each choice.
Some units set up a generic email box to receive webforms, and we think this is a good idea. If someone is out sick, on vacation, or leaves the university, it might take you awhile to be able to access forms that are being sent to a personal email box. To set up a generic email, you'll need to work with ITS.
To place the email, with a Submit button at the bottom of the form, go to Form Components in the upper right corner, and select E-Mails.
This will open a page with a box for you to insert your email address. Fill this in and select Add.
This will open another page. Unless you have some sort of customization (most sites don't), all you will need to do at this point is go to the bottom of the page and select Save e-mail settings.
Create a Response Page
Once your email address is in and the Submit button has appeared on the form, we strongly advise you to create a response page. This will let the user know their form has been successfully submitted. Otherwise, they might wonder if it has gone through.
To set up the response, create a content page, and fill in some text along the lines of: Thanks for Your Submission! For example:
To get the response page to show up when someone submits a webform, make a note of the node number of the response page. Then, go back to your webform, go to Form Components in the upper right corner, and select Form Settings. This will open another page with a space for you to add your response page node. About a third of the way down the page, select Custom URL, then fill in the node of your response page in the box right below it (node/123, for example). Go to the bottom of the page and select Save Configuration.
We strongly advise you to test the webform before the page goes live. Have someone in your office fill it out and submit it. Do they get the response page? Does the form go into the generic email box? If so, you're good to go.