I am pleased to announce the release of Supple Forms, a CMS plugin for WordPress. If you’ve been looking for content management on WordPress, Supple Forms may be part of your solution. It is easy, flexible, powerful, and lightweight. Supple Forms offers two significant functions for your blog: 1) building custom write panels for the WordPress Write Post page; and 2) easy inserting of form data and HTML snippets into your posts.
Supple Forms may help you if you want to:
- add custom data to posts through easy-to-use meta boxes
- you want to store data in a Custom Table, giving you coders flexibility for robust queries on your data
- easily format your custom data with HTML snippets and insert it into Posts using a simple shortcode – ex. [supple snip='address_box']
Quick Start Video Guide
Update: I have created a 2 part video guide (15 minutes total) to quickly get you started with the basics of Supple Forms. Check out both videos here.
Download Supple Forms on WordPress.org: Supple Forms
- Custom write panel or Meta box that displays on the Write Post form
- Fields utilizing textboxes, dropdown lists, radio buttons, checkboxes, textareas, and a jQuery DatePicker
- Allows fields with multiple values
- Options for placement of the custom meta box (after title, after the wysiwyg editor, at the bottom)
- Choose between storing data in a Custom Table or as WordPress’ own Custom Fields….note that multiple value fields will be stored as WP Custom Fields
- Insert field values into posts with a flexible shortcode api
- Easily insert snips into posts with a shortcode
- Specify CSS code to be inserted with your HTML snips
On the Drawing Board (A Road Map for Supple Forms)
We’re not stopping here! Down the road, here are some features that I’d like to get into the plugin:
Yeah…need to add delete fields ability
- Create separate Write Pages that utilize different Supple Form sets
- Allow placing forms within a post that could be editable by your visitors – the data generated by these could be Post specific or not
- Add optional ajax Auto-fill or Auto-complete to Textboxes
- Allow execution of PHP code within HTML snips
- Add options for automatically adding HTML snips to top or bottom of Posts
- Let me know what your wishlist includes…just add a comment below!
- Add sidebar widgets for snips
- Request: add ability to output data as a sortable table in posts
- Option to make fields required
- Request: add ability to use a field’s values as tags
- Request: query capabilitis…search does not search Custom Fields
- Request: add a WYSIWYG editor option for forms
- Allow comma’s in the selection lists for fields
- Template tags
Using Supple Forms is extremely simple:
- After uploading and activating the Supple Forms plugin (see the Installation page), you’re ready to begin building your form
- In the Supple Forms menu, click Form Settings to set form level defaults
- Enter a Form Title. This will be the title that shows in the form box on the Write Post/Page page
- Choose other form-level defaults such as whether to store data in a Custom Table or in WP Custom Fields
- In the Supple Forms menu, click Add/Edit Fields to add fields to your custom form.
- Add new fields or Edit existing ones by making the proper selection in the Select field dropdown box
- If you chose Custom Table as the storage option on the Form Settings page, a Generate Table button will be available on the Add/Edit Fields screen. You will a warning to Generate the table after a field is created or edited until you run the Generate Table option. However, do not Generate Table until you are done adding/editing your fields. It won’t break anything, but it is a best practice to wait. You can generate the table as often as you want, but waiting until you are done editing fields prevents creating extraneous fields in your database. Supple Forms will not Delete table fields or custom tables. We don’t want to risk you losing any data by stray clicks. So if you end up creating fields that later get changed, you will can delete them through phpMyAdmin or another database management tool.
- After you’ve added your fields and generated the Your fields will now be available on the Write Post/Page pages
- Saving a post/page or publishing a post/page saves your custom field data as well. Custom field data is not saved in the revisions. It is only linked to the actual Post ID record (not the revision IDs)
- To create HTML snips for inserting into posts/pages, in the Supple Forms menu, click the HTML Snips Editor
- In the HTML Snips Editor, you can create pre-formatted HTML snippets that include your data. Simply place your field names in brackets and insert them in your snips. For example: <div class=’neatbox’>I live in [city]</div>
- The name you give your HTML snip will be used in the shortcode that you insert into your posts/pages. For example, a snip named address_box would be inserted with this shortcode: [supple snip='address_box']
- Finally, place shortcodes like [supple snip='my_snip'] in your posts or pages.
- For the programmer in you, you have direct access to your custom table from within your template code. Use the WordPress database object ($wpdb) to perform SQL commands and queries on your data. Your table name (if using Custom Table) is shown in red on the Form Settings page. Supple Forms utilizes your defined WordPress table prefix ($wpdb->prefix) + the prefix “supple_”. So a table that you named destinations would normally be in the database as: wp_supple_destinations (unless you changed your $wpdb->prefix to something other than the default (wp_))
- 0.1.62 (3/8/2009) when displaying values, now replaces new lines with br tags. This problem was evident from the multi-line textboxes where new lines didn’t render new lines.
The WordPress CMS Revolution Continues
WordPress is such a great platform with such a strong community, that it is only natural that people will want to push it to the limits of creativity. I hope that Supple Forms will be yet another brick in paving the WordPress CMS road. I also hope that you will help me make Supple Forms better, stronger, faster…maybe one day, even, Bionic Forms.
While your using Supple Forms would be a reward in-and-of itself to me, I would certainly appreciate any donation that you cared to make if this has been helpful to you. Of course, a little write up or review on your blog would be appreciated as well.