A few months ago I had a client who wanted a job application form for their website. “That should be fairly simple”, I thought. There are tons of services out there that allow you to post job listings and host application forms; the problem is that those services cost money, you know, that thing that clients never want to spend.
That means I either had to build a custom job application form for them (which would cost way too much) or I would have to find a simpler and cheaper solution. I eventually stumbled onto JotForm. They have a service that allows you to use a WYSIWYG interface to build your forms and they do all the form validation for you. They also allow you to have 100 fields on your form with the free account which beats out their competitor Wufoo (just 10 fields).
It only took me an hour or so to copy all of the fields from the paper application to JotForm, next I had to figure out how to insert the form seamlessly into the site. The JotForm forums had some answers but they weren't very helpful. The site
recommends recommended (update: JotForm updated the page and changed their instructions to use my plugin!) that you paste the script tag into the code view of your page. That works great if you never ever want to update your page again because as soon as you do WordPress will omit that script tag and your form will disappear. There were a few other answers suggesting that you use an iframe integration plugin. This would work ok except that I don't find that all intuitive for the average user. I thought about my client including all sorts of iframes and messing up the site, thats also not good.
Thus was born my JotForm Integration for WordPress plugin. It allows you to very easily insert a JotForm form onto your page using a simple shortcode. Isn't this:
a whole hell of a lot more intuitive than this:
? Shouldn't we, as developers, strive for simplicity and usability?
This plugin was pretty easy to make and it solves all my problems: it is easy to use, easy to understand, and client can't do anything else to break the site.
Feel free the use the plugin, it is obviously free. If you have any suggestions or feedback you can contact me here or submit an issue on the Github repository. If it works out well for you please consider donating because I wouldn't say no to an extra latte. 🙂
A few days after I released the plugin JotForm was nice enough to send a shout out my way. It also appears that they changed their help page to use my plugin!
— JotForm (@JotForm) June 25, 2012