June 9, 2010

Anybody that knows anything about Mogul knows that we are completely fanatical about WordPress.  There’s very few projects we couldn’t complete with the aid of the world’s best Open Source CMS.  However we couldn’t do what we do without the help of our extensive library of very nifty 3rd party plugins.  We know that your website is primarily an aid to drive sales through your business, so at the core of ourin library has always been cforms, a rapid contact form development plugin.  But what if you want your forms to do more than send data to your email inbox?

Enter Wufoo.

So it sounds like just another funky Web 2.0 name, right? Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Flickr… just like these household names, Wufoo is setting the web world on fire.

Why Wufoo?

What does Wufoo offer that cforms or other form management suites might not?

  • Rapid Development – with a simple drag and drop interface, it takes minutes to set up a simple contact form and have it directing business to your inbox.  Wufoo takes care of all of the form validation and email handling that since the dawn of web development has always been a headache.
  • External Application Integration – Wufoo can send your data out to a host of different web services including Twitter, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and number of CRM and project management packages. With “webhooks” integration, the form information can also be parsed by any custom built script, meaning that the sky really is the limit when it comes to handling your client submitted data.
  • Multiple Actions – Mogul used Wufoo when building Cottages on St. Andrews, and with the aid of it’s built in API functions, we were able to send booking enquiry data to the clients email inbox and register the user to receive the Cottages on St. Andrews newsletter in a single click.
  • Style Control – for the entry level user, Wufoo has a built in theme editor to control pretty much every aspect of how your form looks.  Borders, logos, typography and general layout.  Advanced users can link their themes to an external style sheet allowing pixel perfect editing of all aspects of form layout.
  • Surveys – Wufoo allows users to build complex surveys and write reports to export and analyse the data once all the results are in.
  • Multiple usage options – while your form must be hosted with Wufoo to work, you can choose any number of ways to present it – either in a pop up form like Cottages on St. Andrews, embedded in your pages like Need A Nerd or as a click through to the Wufoo form hosted site on their site.

Just a passing fad?

As with all new technologies you’ll find yourself asking if this is just another “here today, gone tomorrow” internet fad.  Infinity Box – the company that built Wufoo – started in January 2006 and completed the original version of Wufoo in just six months.  So in terms of the internet, they’re old hands.  The power and ease of use of their product is enough to excite any developer – serious or otherwise – so it’s unlikely that they are going to disappear into the ether any time soon.

So what’s the catch?

Well there’s no such thing as a free lunch of course.  Wufoo do have a free offering, but it comes at a small cost.  The free account only allows you to host 3 forms with up to 10 fields each and a total of 100 form submissions across all three forms in a calendar month.  There is also a small amount of Wufoo branding shown on the screen once the form is succesfully submitted.  The free account is completely suitable for most small businesses but should you need more, Wufoo offers four paid plans.  These range from the Ad Hoc $US14.95 per month for 10 forms/500 submissions per month through to Ad Infitum at $US199.95 for unlimited forms with 100,000 entries per month.

I’m keen!

So you like what you’ve read and you’re ready to get started?   Just leap in and give it a go!  In minutes you can build a hosted form and have it direct output to your mail account.  If you’re looking for some serious customisation or integration with your existing site, then you need to give us a call. Now.