Your Online Form Can Be Powerful, Interactive and Integrated With Other Services

formspring.jpgOne of the most complicated things I’ve tried to do, when building simple web site, is to build a nice looking form. It’s not hard to do, in fact there are many services that help you build forms, and receive the form input into your email.
Just buy Google-ing “free forms” and you’ll be inundated with a variety of free and free based form tools. Services that host the forms for you or tools that provide you the programming code to host the form on your own web site.
I recently come across a form service, Formstack that has quite stunning and powerful set of features. One of the features, is intelligence which enables you to integrate payment fields of your form, to payment services such as PayPal and Google Check out.
Formspring also includes smart routing so that you can customize who gets notified based on form use and how data is routed once information is entered into the form.
Forms are simple, yet powerful ways to gather input online. Maybe you’re:
Having an event and want to capture attendee information. (I use Eventbrite for events)
Conducting a survey and want to gather survey entries (or you could consider SurveyMonkey)
Having a contest and want to capture entrant information


Whether you’re a small business owner, non-profit (who are small businesses in many cases), government or other entity, powerful online forms can be great way to add interactivity and important data capture capabilities to your web site.
Other forms services you might want to look at include:
Trackvia, DabbleDB, and Intuit’s QuickBase
Two more things to keep in mind:
1. Traditional database software, such as FileMaker Pro, Microsoft Access and Alpha Software, might provide the functionality you need.
2. Remember that for some purposes, such as a survey for example, it’s best to use a service that is built from the ground up to do what you need. Why use a form, no matter how interactive and feature rich it might be for entering your banking information, when Quickbooks or Freshbooks (for invoices) might be much better.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook