Deeply Learn Gravity Forms Add-ons with Free Courses

Introducing Gravity.Guide đźš€

Introducing Gravity.Guide đźš€

We’re happy to announce Gravity.guide, a new website dedicated to being the best Gravity Forms course site. Finding high-quality Gravity Forms tutorials can be hard. Finding courses for Gravity Forms add-ons is even harder—until Gravity.guide.

Oh, and all courses on Gravity Guide are 100% free.

Enroll in a Gravity.guide course today to enhance your forms skills, learn how to better use Gravity Forms add-ons, and explore what’s possible with Gravity Forms.


Why create a site dedicated to Gravity Forms lessons?

At GravityView, we hear how our customers connect Gravity Forms add-ons to create amazing functionality. Add-on users are figuring out ways to make Gravity Forms power large applications, including ones that replace expensive software subscriptions.

I have been able to replace software that costs $30,000/year with Gravity Forms and a few add-ons.

GravityView customer

The skills to connect Gravity Forms with its add-ons is valuable knowledge. We want to share it at Gravity.guide.

Gravity.guide courses cover all add-ons (including GravityView)

We at GravityView thought about creating a GravityView Academy where our customers could learn how to use GravityView. But we realized it would be even cooler to have a site where people can learn how to use all Gravity Forms add-ons together.

Gravity.guide is launching with courses created by Michelle Hayes, a Gravity Forms power-user and creator of BuiltWithGravity.com.

Soon Gravity Guide will feature courses created by some of your favorite Gravity Forms add-ons, like GravityWiz, Gravity PDF, JetSloth, ForGravity, and more.

Here’s a sample from the course Automate New User Registration with Gravity Flow

The course Automate New User Registration with Gravity Flow shows you how to set up an automated user registration process with Gravity Forms.

In this step of the course, Michelle walks us through setting up a process for registering users once approved:

All the courses have both a screencast video and text step-by-step

Sometimes seeing video is much easier than reading a description. All courses on Gravity.guide have video and text components. We want people with any learning style to get the most out of each lesson.

We hope you enjoy learning Gravity Forms better.

Please head over, enroll for a free course, and sign up for the newsletter to learn whenever a new course goes live!

Creating a feedback board with Gravity Forms and GravityView

On our blog, we recently featured a case study of one of our users, Adam Cavotta, who is a Senior University Training Specialist at New Mexico State University. NMSU uses GravityView in nearly 10 different ways. In this ongoing blog series, we’ll teach you how to create similar applications for yourself.

Want to read more about using GravityView at universities, schools, and other educational institutions? Check out our guide.


In this post, we’ll create a feedback board. Whether you’re a university, college, nonprofit organization, or other organization, you’ll likely find this guide useful.

Our final application will look like this:

Image of the final product, a feedback form

…and it will have the following functionality:

  • Allows readers to submit feedback on a variety of issues and topics
  • Allows administrators to comment on these issues and email the comment directly to the submitter

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Create your form

First, we’ll need to create a form. To do this, go to Forms > New Form on your WordPress sidebar.

The WordPress Dashboard sidebar menu. The Forms menu is selected, and New Form is clicked.

Name your form “Feedback Submission Form.”

Gravity Forms' "Create a New Form" dialog, with "Feedback Submission Form" entered into the "Form Title" field.

Tip: Already have a directory file of students? Not to worry. Importing it into Gravity Forms and GravityView is super simple with our Import Entries plugin. You can import large CSV files quickly.

Now, we need to add some fields to our form. We want to get the following information from our readers:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Topic: What is the feedback / idea about?
  • Feedback explanation

Tip: Want to make sure all of your fields are filled out? Enable “Required” in the settings of each field.

Required checkbox.

For Name, we can use the Name field, which is under Advanced Fields.

Field - Name

For Email, we can use the Email field, which is also under Advanced Fields.

Field - Email

For Topic, we have a few options, depending on our particular needs.

  • A Checkbox field will allow the user to select multiple topics. For example, their feedback might be about both Housing and Financial Aid.
  • A Radio Button field will only let a user select one topic. This is useful if you want to categorize submissions into very narrow groups. This field also allows you to enable the “Other” choice, which lets users fill in their own answer.
  • A simple Single Line Text field is the simplest option. However, it won’t let you categorize or filter your entries via this field.

For this entry, let’s go with the Radio Button field. After you add the field, don’t forget to input a description and the answer options.

Field - Topic (Radio Buttons)

We’ll also enable the “Other choice” option. This will let users write in a separate option themselves.

Enable other choice

Tip: To move the Description above the choices, go to the Appearance tab and edit the Description Placement option.

Description Placement under the Advanced tab

Finally, for the Feedback field, we want to use a Paragraph Text field. Be sure to rename it. If you want to make the field larger or smaller, you can do so on the Appearance tab.

Feedback, a paragraph text field.

Once you’re done creating your form, press the Update button in the bottom right of the screen to save it.

Now that our form is finished, let’s add it to a page. Create a new WordPress page and click the Add Form button.

Add Form button, beneath the title bar.

Save and view your page:

Preview of Feedback Submission Form

Looks good! If you want to change the post-submission message, you can do that on the Settings page of your form, on the Confirmations tab.

Now let’s move on to the next step: Creating a View.

Step 2: Creating a View

Note: For this part, we’ll assume that many feedback entries have already been submitted.

A View will let us display our feedback directly on the front end of the website, without having to log into the back end. In other words, it will let us display our feedback entries on a public web page.

To create a View, first go to Views > New View on your WordPress sidebar.

WordPress sidebar, the New View option, which is under the heading Views, is selected.

Title your View “Feedback Board” and select the form we created (“Feedback Submission Form”) as the data source.

Feedback Board Title bar

Now, we need to pick a layout. There are a few options, depending on the type of feedback board we want to create.

  • We can use a Table View layout, which will display an overview of the submitted feedback on one page. However, we’ll have to click on each feedback entry in order to read the full description.
  • Alternatively, we could use a Listing View layout, which will display all of entries’ fields at one time, on a single page.

Since we only have a few fields, it makes the most sense to use a Listing View layout. We’ll actually design our View to display everything on a single page – that is, the multiple entries page.

Listing View layout

Now we’re on the View Configuration page. At the top, we can add some widgets to our Multiple Entries View context. Let’s add a Custom Content widget to the top and a Search Bar to the left.

Widgets Above Entry Fields

To edit the Custom Content widget, click the blue gear icon next to it. Let’s write a brief message about the purpose of this page. Replace “form.html” in this example with a link to a page containing your form. We can also add a button to our form submission page using HTML. You can style this HTML using CSS. Read more about using CSS in GravityView here.

Custom Content widget

Finally, let’s also rename the Search Bar label to “Search Feedback”. To do this, click the blue gear icon again and rename the label.

Search Label options

Now, scroll down to the Below Entries Widgets section. Add a Show Pagination Info widget to the left and a Page Links widget to the right.

Below Widgets settings

Now let’s add the entry fields themselves. Scroll back up to the Entries Fields section. This will be the main part of our entry.

  • For Listing Title, add the Topic field. This will display what topic this feedback is about.
  • For Subheading, add the Name field . Only add this field if you want the submitter’s name to be publicly visible. If you don’t want their name to be visible, leave this blank.
  • For Other Fields, add the Entry Date field and the Feedback field. This is where the feedback message will be displayed.
  • Under Footer Left, add the Entry Notes field. We’ll use this field as a place where administrators can comment on the feedback. Ergo, we’ll rename it Response(s) from Administration.

Tip: Hiding the label often makes the View look better. To do this, simply uncheck the Show Label box in the field’s settings panel. Let’s repeat this and hide the labels for each of the fields in our View except for Response(s) from Administration.

Show Label checkbox setting

Here’s what our Entries Fields section looks like now:

Entries Fields settings

Now let’s save and preview it.

Feedback Form

Looking good! As you can see, our entire feedback board is on one page – we didn’t need to configure a single-entry View, because we don’t need to use it.

Add the View to a Page

Finally, we just need to add the View to a page. To do this, create a new WordPress page and click the Add View button.

Add View

Leaving Comments

Since we added an Entry Notes field (Response(s) from Administration), we can add comments and responses to our submitted feedback.

Response field

You can also send a copy of the note directly to the submitter’s email. This is useful if you want to notify the submitter that you’ve read their feedback.

By default, Entry Notes will only be visible by administrators. If you want these notes to be displayed publicly, you need to enable Display notes to users who are not logged-in? in the field’s settings panel.

Enable View Comments

Your comments will then be publicly visible.

View Comments


And that’s how to create a feedback system similar to New Mexico State University’s.


Have you built a similar application with GravityView? Want to learn how to configure a different layout? Let us know!

Case Study: How Farm and Market Trail Applies GravityView for Easier Website Management

Let’s say you want to build a website. It’s simple enough — you put a few pages of code together, find a place to host them, and voila, you have a website! For even easier website management, you may just decided to use a WordPress installation and have a fully functioning site up in a few minutes.

But, let’s throw a wrench into the works. Let’s say that you want the site to be interactive, you want people to be able to post, browse, find listings, and talk with one another. Sadly, you lack the technical expertise to pull this off, so you’re seemingly up the creek without a paddle. There’s no technical knowledge, but it’s a problem that appears to require deep technical skills.

You could hire a team of engineers, designers, quality assurance testers, and market researchers to figure out what the website should look like, how it should function, and what features you’re going to be able to support. But, this would cost thousands upon thousands of dollars and result in a product that may work, but which will require constant maintenance. Not only does this just kick the can down the road, it makes the can quite expensive to kick. For many companies, especially small businesses, this approach is cost prohibitive.

What are you to do?

Featured Customer: Farm and Market Trail

Well, this is the exact question that was facing the team behind Farm and Market Trail as they prepared to launch their new website. They needed an interactive site, without the overhead of actually building the site.

The Goal

The team was trying to figure out a way for people to post listings for small businesses that focus on farm-fresh goods, a way to manage those listings, and a way for people to find those listings.

In their words:

“Our goal at Farm and Market Trail is to create a comprehensive directory of small businesses like yours that offer: Fresh Produce, Fresh Baked Goods, Fresh Eggs, Flowers, Livestock Sales and Services, Meat & Poultry, Wine & Spirits, and Crafts”

In simpler terms, they were looking to build a directory of locations that provide farm-fresh foods. It’s not the most glamorous of problems, but it does solve a need: help people identify nearby locations that offer food they’d like to buy, preferably produced locally.

Key Functionality

To accomplish this, the team had three main pieces of functionality they needed to build. They all needed to work out of the box and the website would be incomplete if any one of the three pieces was missing.

Make It Easy to Accept User Submissions

First and foremost, a site for a community of small business owners and storekeepers to come together and post their listings needs a way for those people to, well, post their listings. If that doesn’t happen, there’s no way to populate a database, there’s no discovery of locations to be made, and there’s no data to manage.

Using Gravity Forms, the Farm and Market Trail team didn’t have to work for very long on this problem. They were able to quickly install the Gravity Forms plugin and create a form for people to submit their listings. Not only is it a simple answer for them, but because the plugin is built from the ground up to work with WordPress, there were no configuration issues.

Ideally, though, the information from Gravity Forms was immediately accessible to them using a separate plugin: GravityView. Using this combination they were able to take data and have it immediately usable for whatever display purposes they had in mind.

Improve the Workflow of Managing Listings

Once the data was uploaded, they were able to transform it and manage the inputted listings however they wanted. GravityView was able to provide them with the ability to transform and manipulate the data, create a clear workflow for turning that raw data into easily comprehended listings, and then publicize the submissions that were appropriate.

This is a big help, since as with all community-generated content, there is the chance that a nefarious person could come along and upload unrelated postings. However, because they were able to manage the data as a seamless part of their process, they resolved the issue before it ever came up.

Find All Listings Using a Simple Map

Listings are all fine and good in plain text, but the Farm and Market Trail team was aware that if you’re trying to help people find a shop, then you had better go out of your way to make it easy to figure out where it is. This is why we invented maps and cartography, after all.

Using the GravityView Maps extension, the Farm and Market Trail team have been able to immediately display the right information to people on a map, making it easier for them to find the stores they’re looking for.

The Proof Is In the Pudding

Despite all of the technical features that the team at Farm and Market Trail were able to take advantage of, the real value can only be found in whether or not they’d do it again. Fortunately, we don’t need to assume how they felt about the service provided.

Here’s what they say:

“I started working with the GravityView plugin a few months ago. In that time, I have been able to build a map based website that, short of spending a small fortune on coding, would not have been possible. For a web developer, the combination of Gravity Forms & GravityView is very empowering. And the support I have received from the GravityView team is quite simply outstanding. Thanks guys! To use the modern vernacular – you rock!”

Final Thoughts

Farm and Market Trail is a very specific website, but they aren’t the only ones who can get value from great forms. If you have a website that accepts form submissions of any kind, there’s a good chance you need to check out the combination of Gravity Forms and GravityView.

Why Good Team Member Profiles Matter on Your Website

Fifty years ago, you’d buy products from one of two sources.

One was the massive, faceless corporations that had no personal relationship with their customers. They made no effort to get to know who was buying their goods and they weren’t excited about the idea of sitting down to learn about someone.

The other option was local, main street business run by individuals or families. These people were known by everyone in town and had an existing relationship with all of their customers (and their customer’s relatives).

The world has changed. Nowadays, you’re more likely to buy something online than in-person. While the faceless corporations are still there, the small, independent businesses have had to change. They still rely on the familiarity that comes with knowing someone, but they don’t have the opportunity to introduce themselves or their teams.

That is where team member profiles come in handy. Why do they matter? Well, there are four key reasons.

Reason #1: Your Team Changes

Companies are made up of the people who work at them when they decide to come together and create something that none of them would be capable of doing individually.

While the company may have the same name and address for decades — or in some cases, hundreds of years — the people will inevitably change. For some companies, you may have new people joining and old people leaving on a weekly basis. It’s a frequent, fluctuating organism once it reaches a certain size.

That’s why you want to make sure your team profile page is built correctly from the start. That means you have a team page that is flexible and easy to edit, without having to run through an entire engineering checklist to change someone’s title, edit a photo, add a new person, or remove someone who recently left the company.

Ideally, what you’d be looking for is a solution that lets you go to a part of your WordPress site, drag-and-drop the profile of the person, edit their information, and publish the changes within seconds. Anything short of that isn’t worth your time and especially not your money.

Reason #2: Business Is Based On Person-to-Person Relationships

Business is built on personal relationships, but personal relationships can be next to impossible to form over the internet. There is no opportunity to shake someone’s hand or to sit down with them and find out about their life.

That’s where team pages step in. When done correctly they build a sense of camaraderie that is impossible with a face and a name. Now, this doesn’t mean team pages replace the need for communication and introducing yourself, but it does replicate that moment of being greeted by a store owner when you walk through the door and a bell rings.

To make sure you have a page that sets the groundwork for good relationships, include details about who you are, your interests, and most importantly: put a picture next to your name. Someone named John Smith doesn’t mean anything to anyone, but when you put a face next to the name it becomes a person.

Reason #3: It Helps with Recruiting

Business owners everywhere know that one of the most difficult things to do well is attract great, talented employees. They are hard to find and even harder to convince to join a company.

There’s an endless list of things you can do to attract great people — recruiting events, great benefits, referral bonuses, etc. — but one of the underlying drivers of all of these programs is the reality that people want to work with people that they can imagine spending an entire day with enjoyably. With our jobs being one of the places where we spend most of our time, this reasoning makes sense.

However, you don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars building out a recruiting team to start attracting great people. Instead, let your current employees speak for the company. Take your team profile page and put their stories and interests on there. One thing in particular to include is what they think about the company and an explanation of why they joined. These small stories won’t resonate with everyone, but for some people the stories will get them so excited that they’ll immediately send in an application. And if they’re anything like your current team, they’ll be worth interviewing.

Reason #4: New Employees Feel Valued Immediately

Getting beyond recruiting, team pages play a special role in the minds of new employees. When you first join a company you’re faced with a group of people that you hardly know, an environment you’re unfamiliar with, inside jokes that haven’t yet been explained, and on top of all that, you need to learn how to do a new job.

One nice perk throughout all of that, however, is that you can immediately feel welcome when your face is put right next to everyone else’s. It will be on the same level, with the same stories, the same format, and the same prominence. It’s a very small gesture, but it can be something that brings a team together and helps them celebrate that they’re all working together towards the same goal.

Some Final Thoughts

Building an amazing team page isn’t the hardest project you’ll work on this year, but if you do it right it will be one of the most impactful things you do. You won’t win awards (that we know of), but you will be able to recruit great people, build a closer relationship with your customer, help your employees feel valued, and flexibly respond to changes in your team structure within a few minutes.

Version 1.17 (it’s a big one!)

Version 1.17 includes over 244 changes, affecting more than 10,000 lines of code. There are tons of new features, and even more bug fixes. Here are a few highlights:

Front-end entry notes for Gravity Forms

You can now display, add, and delete entry notes from the front-end of your site. It’s slick:

Entry Notes FTW

Add entry notes to Gravity Forms entries from the front-end.

Improved Search Bar design

We completely revamped how the GravityView search form looks. The changes mean that the search form now looks great on all screen sizes, including mobile.

search-bar

The search form now looks good with a large number of fields.

RTL

We’ve added support in our templates for right-to-left languages. If your site is in a RTL language, the layout will automatically adjust.

Fully Gravity Forms 2.0 compatible

The previous versions of GravityView are also compatible, so is it cheating to say so? I don’t think so: GravityView 1.17 is (still) fully compatible with Gravity Forms 2.0.

View a full list of changes

Here are a few more additions:

We hope you love the new changes to GravityView! As always, if you have any questions, please contact us.