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Where do I find the really BASIC stuff?

Thread began 1/20/2011 8:45 pm by dougdye381447 | Last modified 1/23/2011 8:20 am by Sally | 1077 views | 5 replies |

dougdye381447

Where do I find the really BASIC stuff?

Thanks in advance. I have been very satisfied with other WebAssist extensions. I bought the WebAssist Form Builder after using Form2Mail from Hot Dreamweaver successfully for several years (our clients didn't like the way the emails looked). I was thinking it would be easy to use and intuitive, but I can't find the answers to some very basic things about the forms.

Even uploading a form completely using presets, the form previews like it's supposed to look. But when I upload it in a php page, I get all of the prompts (like "Invalid format. Please enter a full email address") showing up.

I can't find a quick way to get rid of the "Contact Me" text at the top (I already have that as an H1 tag on the page, I don't need it over the top of the form too).

I get a field called "Additional Notes" with a bunch of the old "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet" stuff.

When I edit a form, do I have to re-upload everything in the WebAssist folder?

Sorry for the frustration, but I thought an expensive extension like this would be easy to modify, intuitive and would upload like it looks in the preview. I am hoping that I just missed something here...

Thanks for the help...

Doug Dye

P.S. If it matters, I am building in html pages with a lot of style sheet rules...

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Sally

Originally Said By: dougdye381447
  Thanks in advance. I have been very satisfied with other WebAssist extensions. I bought the WebAssist Form Builder after using Form2Mail from Hot Dreamweaver successfully for several years (our clients didn't like the way the emails looked). I was thinking it would be easy to use and intuitive, but I can't find the answers to some very basic things about the forms.  



Oh Doug, I feel your pain. I'm just a user like you, and I'm sure Jason or someone from WA will answer you and be as helpful as he has been to me. But I just had to tell you that I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way and maybe I can share some of what I've learned in the last couple of weeks.

Originally Said By: dougdye381447
  Even uploading a form completely using presets, the form previews like it's supposed to look. But when I upload it in a php page, I get all of the prompts (like "Invalid format. Please enter a full email address") showing up.  



You have to upload the SpryAssets folder. The form is using Spry so those must be uploaded as well if you haven't already uploaded them for some other pages.

Originally Said By: dougdye381447
  I can't find a quick way to get rid of the "Contact Me" text at the top (I already have that as an H1 tag on the page, I don't need it over the top of the form too).  



That field is one of the options in the Formbuilder. On the Form Details page when you Edit the form, what you want the Submit button to say is above where you edit the form fields and first Fieldset has the Header (e.g., Appointment Request, Contact Me) in the Label field. That slipped by me a few times too.

Originally Said By: dougdye381447
  I get a field called "Additional Notes" with a bunch of the old "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet" stuff.  



When you create your form, there are two files you want to be aware of. The first is the template that's created for your form. They get named things like template_5.php which I find confusing if you're making a bunch of forms. So I rename mine after the name of the form. You can edit that form like any php page in DW, including removing the Additional notes or changing the font size. (I know you can change the font size in the form creator too, editing the CSS, but I find those choices to be unintuitive for me since they don't show me which they apply to. So it's easier for me to edit it here.).

Btw, another lesson learned. If you edit your form and then tell the builder to not create another template (because you already have this one you worked on) it strips out the mailing code in the waue_formname.php file required for the form to be sent. So I just have it build another template based on the on one I already have, then delete it and go into the waue_formname.php file and change it to point to the form template I've named after the form.

That brings me to the second file you need to know about - waue_formname.php. Thankfully this one is named after the form you created so it's easier to find. Go into code view and look for

$MailBody = $MailBody . (GetFromPage("templates/Repair_Request_template.php"));

only it will say "templates/template_10.php" or whatever, and then change it to the name of the template you want. This might seem like busy work, but otherwise I've found if I just keep using the ones formbuilder makes, I end up with all these templates that are not in use. Maybe I'm missing something here, and Jason can tell me where I'm going wrong. But if I don't tell it to make a template, this area of the code on the waue file is blank and my form doesn't get sent.

The last thing I'd share with you is that when you get your form in the mail you will find it has fields you don't probably want, like the button name, or hidden or other fields that are on the form but not needed in the email. While you are in your email template find the line that says

$removeIncludes[] = "Security";

and then copy and paste it changing out "Security" for whatever other fields show up on your form that you don't want.

Originally Said By: dougdye381447
  When I edit a form, do I have to re-upload everything in the WebAssist folder?  



Once you have your Spry assets and the webassit folder uploaded the first time, the only files I've found I need to re-upload are the file with the form, the template and the waue associated file.

As long as I'm sharing, another thing I've noticed is that while I'm first creating a form, when you go into Form function and click to send the contents by email, there are a few things that are helpful to be aware of. If you are sending to a recordset, and click on the lightening bolt, I have not found that to really work. I either get no mail or only the first one in the set. I have to click on the Edit button above the Send the form contents by email, then click on the To button (not the lightening bolt) and add it as a recordset loop. That makes sense when I see it, but it took me a bit to realize it and there's nothing to tell you that clicking on the To button gives different options.

Also, if you are sending an attachment from a file upload field, clicking Save Uploaded Files on the first screen is not enough. Ideally you could go into the Edit screen and click on the paper clip and then Add. Select Entered Value, then the what you need, but what you need (Upload Files) isn't there yet. So you'll have to save your form at this point, and then edit it using the Server behavior of Universal Email. (Don't make the mistake of thinking you can click on Submitted file on this screen, because that won't work. I'm not sure what that's there for, but this isn't it.)

So, after you save your file, when you go back into the sb Universal Email to add the file you want to attach, you click on the paper clip, then select Entered Value, use the lightening bolt to go to Upload Files (Upload) and then select the Server Directory. Copy the Code info then select Server File Name. Click OK and then put your cursor in front of the Server File Name code and paste the Server Directory code.

Now when you go to save all this, is when you'll need to remember that you have to just create another template, and then go back to the waue file and put in your template. Unless you don't mind having a bunch of unused incremental templates who's name tell you nothing about what file they are associated with.

I love the form builder tool, and now that I've learned some of the basics, it has saved me a lot of work. But I'm not a coder so some of this was not very intuitive to me. I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)

I hope this is helpful and I haven't given you any bad info. Jason is really helpful so I'm sure he'll "set me straight" if there's places I've led you astray. But this is what I've found and I hope it's helpful to you.

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dougdye381447

Sally, thank you sooooooooo much for your detailed reply. I am buried in work with another client right now, I will explore everything you suggested here.

I've been using Dreamweaver (and GoLive before that) for 12 years in developing commercial websites. I can create a form, I don't need to wade through the gui to make one. What I like about this extension is the way it configures the emails my clients will receive. Is there any way that I can create my own forms and just use Form Builder to configure the emails?

I must say that at this point I am very disappointed though. I bought a $250 extension to replace a $29 extension. And except for the emails my clients get, the $29 extension is much more configurable and intuitive.

Thanks again though, I appreciate all the trouble you went through to help me out.

Doug

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

Yes, you could create your own form then apply Universal Email by going to WebAssist -> Create Email Message.

If you do not need the additional functionality of CSS Form Builder (HTMLEditor, Server Validation), Universal Email is sold as a stand alone product as well:
?lid=email

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Peter

Doug I also feel your pain many times over. I have had very similar experiences across most WA extensions and solution packs. Unfortunately I invested quite a bit before realizing what I was getting into and I can't just walk away, or give up hope things will improve dramatically in some key areas, particularly the support documentation. Still the WA marketing promotes the extensions as pretty much out of the box up and running and that is routinely not my experience time and again. To be honest, I am on the lower end of the experience spectrum in terms of being able to troubleshoot code when things go wrong. However, I continue to work on that, have some experience, and not dumb either.

Yes Jason and the others are there to answer questions (during the week anyway but forget about weekend support which is usually when I really need it). That does not excuse the disconnect between the marketing campaign and the reality, though. Nor should one have to rely on the forums as a substitute for inadequate documentation. The forums do have an important role for more immediate and individual help and because the user guides can't possibly cover everything. What I don't see is WA even using the wealth of real-world feedback from the users in these forums to regularly update and improve the user guides (especially) and Q&As, so more newer customers for the extension don't run into the same things or will know how to start working in on a resolution. Getting the supporting documentation right in the beginning and periodically updating them as THE central reference for users I think is so critical to the value of these products to the customer and reflecting a credible company. Surely WA is big enough to have people focused only on this aspect of quality control. The alternative is frustration and disillusionment in the customer base when things repeatedly go wrong and the user simply can't get it fixed in some timely way. I mean timely in my perception, even though yes the forums are here and tech support reasonably good at getting back. I just don't want to have to use the forums at all if often unnecessary should the documentation be more robust. Despite some nice improvements by WA in 2010 in the area of support documentation, videos, and website organization, I believe the user guides and related docs are still by and large the most important thing for me and terribly behind and out of touch with anyone except the most experienced web designers. Again my experience level anyway which is modest, but I wouldn't characterize as newbie either. Heck, I've even offered in the past to help with this no strings attached simply out of desperation if nothing else, and in hopes WA started 'getting' it from a more basic user experience and need.

Right now despite owning many WA DW extensions and solutions, the disappointing truth is I have come to rarely use them due to the difficulties and time involved trying to get them to play nicely. The REAL sad truth is that occasionally I still buy something (usually an upgrade) hoping things have improved with the products and their user-friendliness, like some weird toxic relationship. Or every once in awhile I take another run at one I already have, only to run into yet another unresolvable issue. At that point I drop my attempt yet again (usually), or end up back at the forums, or both. Too much time and energy expended either way. At some point I won't keep coming back.

I think there are many relevant and valuable products, which is why I have invested in them. But only if they are working as marketed, and if they're not that I'm at least reasonably confident I can go to a detailed and helpful user guide to troubleshoot things with the forum as primarily a last-resort backup. Sorry Jason et al., I'm not a very vindictive person by nature or targeting any one individual personally. My monetary investment and level of frustration on this topic has simply prompted me to speak up occasionally. I continue to have great hopes for WA, and this is a relatively straightforward fix with the right commitment and focus.

I apologize for going so on about this before I knew it, and hijacking your thread Doug! I happened to make yet another go at Form Builder and ran into a problem and checked some of the latest posts including yours, which along with Sally's reply clearly struck a chord. Obviously I'm pretty passionate in my frustration and in my hopes yet for WA and continued improvements in this area. I am jaded though seeing attempts at improvements that still fall so woefully short. I realize this is my experience and many others may feel differently. By all means provide a counterpoint and more balanced message for the readers and in fairness to WA. This is from the heart and I am trying to be constructive. Hopefully it wasn't more time ill-spent!

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Sally

I think we all get frustrated when we're working on something and it's not working as we expect (whether it's WA's shortcoming or not). You all have much more knowledge than me, but it strikes me that some of these extensions - especially FormBuilder - do a lot of things and are by necessity complicated.

That's not to say documentation couldn't improve and I know WA is working on this because they sent me a questionnaire asking how to improve it. My feeling is more focused tutorials for common tasks like How to email a form; A form with an attachment; A newsletter, etc. But we all come from such different backgrounds, with areas we know a lot about and other areas that we know nothing about, including what others would just assume, I think it's difficult to construct Help files that encompass that without them becoming overwhelmingly detailed. Being able to write a post with what I want to do, and what problems or questions I have is ideal if I can get a timely answer. Which I think I do.

Week-end support would be nice, but I have to say that as far as support goes, I think WA is awesome. I'm not trying to kiss up here, I really mean it. Most days I not only get an answer to my question that day, but usually within an hour or two. And it's not just limited to a product link or telling me how their product works - or if my issue is not their product's fault telling me it's not their problem. They help me figure out what I'm doing wrong many times, or better ways to approach the problem. I don't know how to put a price on that kind of support, but it's very much appreciated.

So I do feel Doug's pain as I have also recently gone through this - and am still going through it. But I'm amazed at how much I've learned in the last month, and how that is by and large the result of the timely and focused support from these forums. Hopefully we can provide feedback that will help WA to improve their documentation and products but I also think they deserve a lot of praise.

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