Why turn a form submission into a blog post?
Well thing of the following reasons, you may want someone to submit a guest post and you don’t want to have to deal with reading it via email, opening it in word, cut and pasting it into a WordPress post, then publishing it. Or maybe you want people to list events like you run a WordPress classified blog and you can have them fill out event submissions and turn them into posts automatically. Finally one way I am using it is for people who want to submit giveaway or contest listings, they can enter all of the details for a giveaway or contest on the Giveaway Contests Blog and it will turn their giveaway into a free blog post promotion.
It is a huge time saver to have a form submission auto create a WordPress post but you have to also be careful to take the time to carefully construct how the post gets created and if you are posting something that you want to validate before you allow it to publish then you should make sure any form submissions that turn into posts are set to DRAFT mode so you have to review them before publication.
Configuring Form to Post in Formidable Pro
Assuming you already created your Formidable Pro form, you would then click on the settings tab and click on the Create Posts option to the left.
Then select if you want posts or pages to be created in WordPress by Formidable Pro. You can do custom displays but that is beyond the nature of this tutorial.
The next thing you do is select which form field will be your post title, this requires that you have an entry in your form where you can ensure the user may write a proper title. In this example which is a form created from a giveaway promotion, I make sure the Giveaway Title will become the title of the post created by Formidable Pro.
Next you select what you want to be the Post Content, now if you plan on having a very large field with detailed description and just want a single field to be the entire post content, then you can select your field that will be the post content. However, in most cases you will want to have multiple fields and want to use a customized post content. In this case just leave – Select Field – and instead you will start building the automatic post content in your Customize Content section.
Custom Post Content in Formidable Pro
Off to the right of the Formidable Pro screen you will see all of your form fields, you click on them and it will add the shortcode to the customize content so that the value of that field gets displayed in the blog post created by Formidable Pro.
You also have some helper fields as well.
Remember, that the Customize Content acts like the Text or HTML tab of the WordPress post editor, feel free to write any static html content around the shortcodes. So if I wanted to build a wordpress post that had something like:
Win a Lenovo Z585 Laptop
Giveaway Start: 5/1/2013
Giveaway End: 5/31/2013
Giveaway URL: https://www.dragonblogger.com/win-a-lenovo-z585-laptop/
I would make my Customize Content box look like this:
Giveaway Start Date:
Giveaway End Date:
Giveaway URL: <a rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank” href=””></a>
Okay so the shortcode is the shortcode for Giveaway Title, this would be the shortcode for your title field. You can see BR is just the blank space in html to make it a new line. Then you will see I am manually putting in the words Giveaway Start Date: and Giveaway End Date: and using the shortcode values for the start date and end date form fields.
I am using static words for Giveaway URL: and then using html link to the field entry for the Giveaway URL and then also using the Giveaway URL shortcode again. This basically creates the URL and makes it a link to the URL itself so user can click on the link to go enter the giveway.
You also can create conditionals so that certain text or information only shows up when the condition of a form field value is met:
This could be like showing a value only if there is one (so a blank doesn’t show) as well as only listing information under certain conditions.
Finally you have advanced customizations that you can apply to your customized post entry as well. These include the ability to auto create clickable links whenever a value is an http:// link so you don’t have to code the link html code manually around the value.
You have enormous flexibility with Formidable Pro in how it creates WordPress posts from form submissions. After you finish customizing the content you set the final options.
These would be what field to use for the excerpt for the WordPress post (if any), also you can set a password for private posts. The slug you can have auto-generate which I recommend, though you can have the slug be created from any one of the fields as well. Spaces become dashes, but the slug can be too long and it often will just create the slug based on what you set for the Giveaway Title anyway.
The post date can be the date the form was submitted, or you can set it to one of the date form field values, like if you want the publish date to back-date to the start date of a giveaway you can have that for example.
Post status is Create Draft, Automatically Publish, Create New DropDown Field or it will list any of your existing dropdown fields as selections. Now I am pretty sure you can use this to change status to Pending Review but would require you to setup a manual drop down with “Pending Review” as a hidden option, but I haven’t tested this yet.
Instead I recommend leaving it as Create Draft and then installing the Better Recent Drafts WordPress plugin, which shows you drafts from all users on your Dashboard.
Now, there are some features I wish the Formidable Pro WordPress Form Submission to Post had and one of those is tighter integration with the Formidable Pro WordPress User Registration add-on. For example Formidable Pro can create a new WordPress user in your WordPress site based on the Formidable Pro field submissions like name, email, website URL…etc. However, it isn’t able to set a WordPress user to the post author that submitted the form. It would be nice if there were some integration options so that for guest posters and such it could create the WordPress account and auto set the post author to be the user who was registered and created when the form was submitted.
Or even if you can set the WordPress Post submission to be a specific WordPress account, let’s say you have a “guest blogger” wordpress account and want all guest posts to be published under that, it would be nice if you could specify which account those drafts show up under instead of your default admin account.
That is about the only wish list item, but still that is only one easy extra step when you go into the draft to review it, to simply change the author to the one just created by the form submission or change it to a different account, so really only a 1 minute time saver there but a nice to have item.
If you haven’t purchased a copy of Formidable Pro WordPress plugin yet, I highly recommend that you buy Formidable Pro now! Not only do you get very powerful form features but you get Mailchimp integration, Paypal integration where you can send a user who submits the form directly to paypal with a pre-filled dollar amount to purchase a service and so much more. Formidable Pro unlimited site license is well worth it and you can use it on all of your blogs and clients blogs, highly recommended you get the unlimited license and replace all of your contact forms on all blogs with Formidable Pro.
Have questions, ask away! I use Formidable Pro on all of my WordPress blogs and help develop Formidable Pro forms for clients as well.