I was reading an article about integrating Google Apps with WordPress and one was a plugin for Google Forms and decided to investigate it. When I went to install the plugin I came across Calculated Fields Form plugin for WordPress and decided to install that too. I’m glad I did, this is a great plugin.
WordPress plugin for Google Forms (now being depreciated but still available)
On further research the WordPress plugin for Google Forms is being phased out and I must admit on testing it the results were a bit odd.
The New Google Forms use the normal embed code, also you can give them a link to take you just to the form, rather than embedding it into a web page.
An item that I thought was quite interesting was that I was playing with menu’s and saw that the WordPress plugin for Google Forms had a category of Google Forms for menu’s. I thought that was an interesting feature, you could use one as a contact form and link to a spreadsheet. Currently I’m using Cognito forms for that, I may switch to Google Forms for contact page info instead.
Calculated Fields Form
This is a really handy tool. I have a use case for this. In my original Form setup for quotes I put costs per each item at the top of the form so a person could do a rough calculation for the cost of the service.
The FREE version of the Calculated Fields Form plugin does not let you send emails but it does show all the fields on the page, so that people interested in the service can run the numbers to see what is cost effective, then fill out a form for a formal quote.
The article below is quite descriptive. It takes you through the steps for setting up. I quite liked his comment to play with some of the existing examples, and once you do that you get an idea of how it works.
The one thing I dont particularly like are the templates, I don’t really like any of them, and they don’t really fit in with what I have.
I wanted to setup a form so that people can play around with prices for the services that I offer, then go onto my form so that they get the formal quote by email.
There are the 3 tabs, 1.Add field, where you choose what type of field to add to the form.
Tab 2 where you edit that element that you added to the form
Tab 3 where you have the Title and overall look of the form, such as the chosen template.
Here is the result. I’ve used Template 1 as it highlights the fields better than some of the other templates. I tried doing some edits in the template with partial success.
The plugin uses a shortcode that you place on your page/post.
I am pleased with the results. If I have to change the prices then I have to go into the specific field to adjust them. In the Googlle Form spreadsheet I only have to go to one place to update all the prices.
There are other calculated fields forms, EZ Form Calculator is one, it has a free version too. I have also seen videos that use Ninja Forms and Contact Form 7. Cognito Forms can also do some calculations too.
I thought I’d check, and Google Forms does not do a calculated field, it can be done in the spreadsheet and then sent back in email or template from the spreadsheet, but not in the actual form.
Sidebar images with links
I have some services I wish to promote for Facility Management. Initially I had a dedicated site, but with few visitors, so I migrated those pages across to my Blog site, where I have a steady amount of visitors. I wrote about it in this post Moving content from one WordPress website to another.
I initially put them under a Menu header of Services but they are hidden away there, so I wanted to make them more prominent by putting links to the services on the sidebar.
Initially I was going to look at using a plugin similar to the one I have for popular posts but came across the video below for doing it with a Text widget.
I think it is quite an elegant solution using the Text widget to hold the data.
I may be overstating things but I would not click on images thinking they’d be a link, so I’ve got text below with [Click image]. In some ways it defeats the point of the image as a link but the visual cue is good.
One thing I found out, when trying to find images of the migrated pages within this site’s media library, was that I couldn’t find any, and when I looked at the page source I see that the images are still associated with the previous website. I thought I’d taken care of that in the migration process. A bit scary. I will have to re-evaluate that.
Calculated Fields Form
A nice tool, template and editing them is a bit of a pain, but I like what it does. It would be great if you could print/email the completed form, which I’m sure you can do in the paid version, but as long as it allows people to explore the costings beforehand I think it would encourage them to try out the service. I hope so.
I would like more control over highlighting input boxes and other stuff to make it clear where people need to put information, but that is CSS and HTML, time just fly’s when I start tinkering with those things.
Sidebar images with links
I like this solution, it does not require maintaining another plugin and you can add extra html code as well. I should take a copy of some of the code and put it in my notepad on the dashboard just in case something happens to that text box.
Hopefully some of the services being more prominent will make people have a look at them. Although the people who visit the site are more interested in Free DIY solutions. I need to taget Facility & Asset Managers more.