237 – Why WS Form might be the form plugin you’ll try next

Interview with Mark Westguard and Nathan Wrigley

DEAL ALERT: Get 20% off any WS Form plugin license – use coupon code WPBUILDS

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So your first thought might well be this:

“Why do I need to look at yet another form plugin? What I’ve already got works fine.”

Well… just put that sentiment on the shelf somewhere and have a look at WS Form. When you’ve done that, and done it properly, tell me that you’re not impressed with what it offers! Oh you might also like to go and check out the webinar that I did with Mark to give you a broad understanding of what it can do.

Today I’m chatting to the WS Form founder and developer Mark Westguard, and he’s going to tell you in his own words why you might want to take a look.

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At the start of the podcast we talk about how he got started with software development and WordPress plugins specifically. We then launch headlong into what WS Form can do. We go into what’s included in the free version and how the Pro edition works.

One of the things that I’m sure you’re thinking is how come you’ve not heard too much about the WS Form plugin, and that’s a fair question. For a start, it’s quite a new plugin on the WordPress scene, and Mark has decided to really go all out on the Pro features and so that’s where all the effort has been focussed. Trying to get the plugin as capable as possible for those with a subscription.

The main thing that has impressed me is just how much complexity you can achieve in the plugin UI. This is not to be underestimated, you can make forms which have truly complex conditional logic and calculations inside the UI without the need to get involved with the code. Also it’s got a really excellent way of creating the layout of the forms so that they adapt to the screen size their being viewed on; you can really nerd out on what goes where on which device.

As you might expect there’s some different pricing tiers depending upon what it is that you want, be that the number of sites that you need or the integrations that you require.

I could go on, but I suggest that you go take a look at the WS Form website and have a thorough browse around and decide for yourself whether or not I’m exaggerating!

Mentioned in this podcast:

DEAL ALERT: Get 20% off any WS Form plugin license – use coupon code WPBUILDS

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] Welcome to the WP Builds podcast, bringing you the latest news from the WordPress community. Welcome your host, David Waumsley, and Nathan Wrigley.
Hello there. And welcome once again to the WP Builds podcast. This is episode number 237 entitled why WS Form might be the form plugin. You'll try next. It's an interview with Mark West guard, who is the founder and developer of the WS Form. Plus. It was published on Thursday, the 8th of July, 2021, my name's Nathan Wrigley.
And as always a few bits and pieces of short housekeeping just before we begin, if you like the content that we produced, please feel free to share it. If you do that over on Twitter. So you can use at WP Builds, but really whichever way you'd like to share the content, we'd be most grateful about that.
If you fancy going over to your podcast, player of choice and giving us a five star review, that would be enormously helpful. Over on the WP Builds.com. Website is all of the content that we produce. And if you'd like to stay updated, the best way to do that is head to the subscribe page, which as you might expect is at wpbuilds.com forward slash subscribe.
There are options there to subscribe to our YouTube channel, subscribe to our newsletters, find us on Twitter and so on and so forth. So that's WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe. We're also trying out a new way of being social at WP Builds and that's at WP. Dot social, which is a URL WP Builds.social head over there and join.
It's a mustard on install, a piece of open source software, which kind of replicates the functionality of Twitter. So I'd be very pleased if you want to go over there and try that out. The community T is now about 45 strong. So yeah, anybody that wants to join where you can swell the numbers and join in the conversation.
Okay. Another thing to say is last week or so I don't exactly remember the date that we did it. We had a webinar with Mark West guard from WS Form. So anything that you hear in the podcast today is of interest to you. Then I would suggest that you had to WP Builds.com forward slash webinars. And you may very well be able to watch the video there and see if there's something about the plugin that you enjoy.
Speaking of webinars. We've actually got one coming up next Tuesday, the 13th of July, this time, it's all about newsletters. That's a plugin that we featured on the podcast a few weeks ago, Leslie SIM and I will be going live on the 13th of July at 2:00 PM. UK time. That'll be at wpbuilds.com forward slash live.
So join us for that. One last thing to mention if you're in the market this week, for some deals, head over to our deals. Page WP Builds.com forward slash deals, and you will be able to avail yourself of significant discounts with codes on all sorts of WordPress related things. So that might be plugins or themes or hosting WP Builds.com forward slash deals.
The WP Builds podcast was brought to you today by AB splits. Do you want to set up your AB split test in record time, then you AB split test plugin for WordPress. It'll have you up and running in a couple of minutes. Use your existing pages and you can test anything against anything else that could be buttons, images, headers, rows, anything.
Now the best part is it works with element or beaver builder and the WordPress block editor. So check it out and get a free demo. AB split test.com. Okay. As I said at the top of the show, this is episode number 237, and I'm chatting to Mark West guard all about the w S form plugin. You may be thinking to yourself another form plugin this may well be worth looking at.
And the reason I say that is because it handles so much stuff, really, truly remarkable depth and breadth of what this plugin can do. Really. Entirely sure why it isn't as popular as some of the other incumbents in the area. But WS Forms is a very capable form solution. If you've got any need whatsoever, then it's probably possible with WS Form.
So I talked to mark today, why he built the product, how he built the product, what the pricing is and what are the, some of the things that he believes it does. Better if you like than some of the other rivals. So we talk about things like conditional logic and the calculations that are built in, and it's just a really nice piece of software.
Check it out on the podcast today. Episode number 237. I hope that you enjoy it. Hello there. Welcome to the WP Builds podcast. Once more this week, you've got an interview. Last week we would have had an episode with David Walmsley and myself, but this week we have an interview and today we're talking all about forms.
This is a subject that we've covered before, but not quite like this today. I'm talking to Mark West guard from WS Form. Hello, mark. Hi, Nathan, how are you? Very good. Just just a quick bit of background about you. You have a British accent, but you are not in Britain. If you just want to tell us who you are, where you're from and all of that kind of stuff.
What's your relationship with WordPress very quickly.
Mark Westguard: [00:05:28] Sure. I'm originally from the UK, as you can tell from my accent, very similar to your accent. And I moved to the U S about 16 years ago, moved to new Orleans was brought over by a my wife shipped over and I've had a web agency for about 25, 26 years now.
And have been developing with WordPress for many years. And. WS Form, which we're going to talk about today is one of our products that we produce a WordPress form plugin. So yeah, I, I now actually live just south of Atlanta, Georgia in the U S
Nathan Wrigley: [00:06:10] thank you so much now that the reason that we got in touch, and I can't remember whether you read, no, you reached out to me.
I think because we did an episode F is for forms on the podcast, probably going back two or three months now, and honestly discovered that content was out there and we had made the most tangential. We literally just said that your form existed and then you contacted me and we got into a conversation and I was, we're really captivated by what it is that you offer.
And I was utterly bemused by how it is that you don't have the market share that some of the other form plugins are. So I just want to address that first. Sure. First of all, whatever you're doing, pause this podcast. If you're at a computer and go to w S form.com, I have a five minute poke around then come back because you'll be better armed to understand what we're going to talk about.
How is it that a form building solution as complicated, as deep as well? It's got literally everything. Why do we not hear about it as much as the other place?
Mark Westguard: [00:07:29] It's well, we're very new to the market, first of all. You know, whereas other form plugins have about 10 years on us we're very new to the market.
We, we did launch about two years ago and it's kind been a soft launch because we wanted to make sure we get the product. So we've been continually developing the product ever since we've launched. You, I think. Comments you made was the number of free installs we have on wordpress.org.
And one of the challenges with wordpress.org as a new plugin developers, it's very difficult for us to get exposure and to shout about our product on a platform such as WordPress or dot all because their search algorithm is very much focused on the established players. Yeah. You know, the results are very much based on the total number of installs.
So from that regard we, not that well known in, in, on wordpress.org itself, but we have a growing customer base with the prohibition of our product and very happy to be doing this podcast today with you to be able to shout about it and make more people aware of it. We're about to ramp up.
The shouting of our products, about to ramp up the marketing and make more people aware of it. Now that we're in a good place with, we feel with the product, we feel that we've tested it thoroughly as we can. There will always be bug fixes and improvements that we can make. And really we have been.
Intensely listening to our customers for the past two years about where they want the product to go, how they want to steer it. And customer service for us is a very hot part of what we do.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:09:15] Okay. One of the, one of the curious things which you do, which may differ and may explain some of this is the fact that very often you'll find that a premium plugin.
Requires the let's call it the base version, the wordpress.org version. And then you build on top of that with the premium version. And so you end up with two plugins and you've got the premium version, which is not the.org version. You have a different approach to that, which may go some way to explaining why it's got less installs on the, on the.org side.
Mark Westguard: [00:09:49] Yeah. The. A lot of plugins will require you to keep the free version installed. And then they'll bolt on the pro. Functionality on top of that. One of the reasons they will do that is because it keeps their wordpress.org install count up. We from day one have been trying to develop a form plugin where you don't need six or seven plugins to make your form, do what it needs to do.
All of that introduces bloat into your website affects performance. It affects the efficiency of your website. One of the key things that we have done is to try and keep the number of plugins that you need for WS Form down to an absolute minimum. Typically you'll only need WS Form pro and perhaps an add-on for an integration.
You don't need a plugin, for example, to have a signature field or a color field or even a plugin to have a default value on a field, which you actually have to do with some other players. So we've really tried to bundle in as much functionality as we can into the core efficiently so that you don't need all of those additional plugins.
And that's why when someone converts from our free version to our pro version, we lose that install on wordpress.org. But in the end, I believe that's better for the customer, because they don't have that bloke there. Yeah. And we have some customers when we look at their sites and they've got, 50 plugins installed.
And I'm about trying to keep that plugging countdown as much as possible and keeping it efficient. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:11:27] Okay. Thank you. The sort of the UVP at the top of the website is build better work. WordPress forms, no code form development. I don't know if no code form development, is that the sort of thing that you do.
Hang everything on top of, if that's like the main feature is that where you're pitching yourself, that you can do complicated things without the need to get into complicated development? I
Mark Westguard: [00:11:51] think. One of the key things as a web development agency that we found frustrating with form plugins was the amount of customization we had to do on top of their product to get a form doing what we wanted it to do.
And it was almost like putting an alien on your site every time you wanted to put a form on there. And I found that What we were looking for really was a solution that was fully mobile responsive. That's one of the things that's one of our key selling points is the fact that WS Form can truly build a mobile responsive site form without the need for any custom classes.
So just to talk on that point for one moment, the. Mobile responsive editor that we have. The layout editor enables you to preview the form in different break points. I view the form on different, devices. And the ability to do that means that you can basically choose a different form layout for every different device that you're targeting.
So a lot of form plugins will they may enable you to introduce a layout of different columns, but you can't control those columns for different. Mobile devices. So your mobile device is going to look exactly the same as your desktop device, which is just not great with a form with a form you want to try and keep it presentable, easy to complete and on a mobile device.
That can be very tricky when you've got lots of columns involved, you typically want a single column layout on mobile. So that's one of the things that we can do without the need for any custom coding, any custom classes. The other thing that we have done behind the scenes is if you're using. A framework such as bootstrap or foundation, our forms work out of the box with those frameworks.
So there's no additional code in needed. No additional classes need to be added. It'll just work with those themes that are using those frameworks. And we support bootstrap five now, which has come out in the last week. So we're ready to go on that. And then we have our own framework built in, which is ideal for any other theme, that's out there using any other type of framework.
And it's, has all the columns, it has all of the inputs stalled neatly, and you can of course add your own CSS on top of that, if you want to, to style things. But we work with the WordPress customize feature to enable you to change fonts, colors, and borders and padding and stuff. One
Nathan Wrigley: [00:14:27] of the, oh, sorry, please carry on.
No, I was just going to say one of the things that I remember when I was playing with it, I think you've got five break points. Is that.
Mark Westguard: [00:14:36] It's 1228, apologies. Sorry. In terms of bright points, we have five other frameworks we'll have different break points. Like six, some of them have three. It just depends on what framework WS Form is set up for in terms of columns.
We have 12. Sorry. But yeah. Break points out of the box is five. Yes. You've got mobile tablet, laptop, and then a couple of desktop sizes after that.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:15:02] Got it. The the sort of 12 column layout that you're describing. If you, again, if you were just to go to the WS Form website WS Form.com website, and have a look right now at the top, you'll see a picture of the UI of the editor.
The thing that you'll build the forms in you'll notice it's built within WordPress. So you've got the WordPress admin area. To the left. And then you've got the ability to select the bits that you would like to put in the form that all lives over on the right. And you drag it into a 12 column layout, which is just breathtakingly.
Cool. So you can drop it in and let's say you want it to, I don't know if you want the name field to occupy three columns. Drag it. And any other ones that you put underneath, if it reaches nine or more, it will sort of slot in underneath if it's nine or less, it will go next to it. And so on until you can build these incredibly rich complicated forms, if it's a contact form, Mom and pop website.
It's probably not going to need all of this. But if you want something complicated and you know, you've got multiple fields on the form is getting to be bloated and complicated. This is such a nice way of doing it. Honestly. Massive. Congratulations on the layout of the building.
Mark Westguard: [00:16:18] Yeah. And we wanted to make sure the builder sat within the WordPress interface. It didn't jump out like some other editors do, which I personally, I find that frustrating having to flip between kind of WordPress and another editor. So we've managed to keep it within that environment.
And as well as the. Sizing of fields. You've also got sections. So fields can sit within sections. Sections can be sized to any width that you want. And sections can also be repeatable as well. So we have four repeater functionality in there. Those repeaters are fully compatible with our conditional logic with any of the other features of WS Form as well.
So that's another sticking point with some form. Plugins is the repeating. Section functionality. You typically have to do it with code and it doesn't support all of the features of the plugin. Ours does support all of the features. The only field we have, it doesn't work with repeaters is recapture fields.
So you'll only have one somewhat
unnecessary. Yeah, yeah. The, th theNathan Wrigley: [00:17:22] thing that struck me as well. Yeah. How complicated you could make things become. I don't mean complicated in the sense of difficult to understand. Your requirement could be complicated, but you can do it with WS Form in a way that I really think would be a difficult ask for.
Just about anything else I've ever seen. And so that's an area I want to get into in a minute. You've got all of the typical stuff in there. You've got drag and drop forms for every conceivable type of input that you would like. I I'm, I'm pretty sure that you've got everything covered.
I can't think that there was anything I thought, oh, that's missing. That's curious. So all of that is a given, but I want to stray into the area. Why it's so good with the complicated stuff? What is it that you've built? You've taken the time to develop and finesse that make this capable for non coders in the areas where really non coders have no business.
Mark Westguard: [00:18:25] I think there are three broad areas where we've really focused. First of all, is on the building blocks for the website, the number of fields that we have available. But also if you dig into WS Form, you start to understand how deep we've gone into being able to configure each of those elements.
So for example, a text field we've pretty much ripped apart the entire HTML five spec and giving you control over every attribute. Even a text field can offer. So you've got things such as, we've, we've also added some additional functionality such as Mac. Number of words that you can enter in uh, uh, an input field, minimum number of words, you can enter in into a field, but we also have data lists attached to text fields for you know, as you're typing, it'll make suggestions on what.
Um, you know, w what it thinks you're trying to type in. So if you've got a list of countries on a text, or you could even be, can do that with a data list as well. So yeah, we've got a very rich set of building blocks there. On the field side. We also have a section library, which enables you to drag and drop groups of fields onto a form, which makes building forms very quick.
So you can drag and drop. Section across, and you've got everything in there. You need first name, last name address fields, Google maps, setups, all kinds of stuff. On the section side, you can also create your own sections in that section library so you can reuse them. So if you come up with a nice chunk on a form that you'd like to use elsewhere, you can put that into the section library and reuse it.
So yeah very rich and powerful layout editor. Secondly, I would say our conditional logic is just second to none. It's so good.
It's it's very, very in depth and it's one of those things where you need to try it. And I encourage people to try our demo on our website. You can sign up for a free demo.
But the conditional logic is context sensitive on every single field type. So you can say things. If this color field has a hue level of something, then show this on the form. Or, you can show, hide, tap sections and fields. You can even fire events. You can ha you could save the form in the background or someone hovers a mouse over a certain field.
There's a L there's so much capability in there and we're, and we grow in that as time goes on as well. We're adding more and more to that based upon customer feedback. But yeah. That's very, been very important to us in steering the product is listening to the customers. So a lot of what in WS Form has actually come from suggestions from our customers.
So that's the conditional logic and that, I could go on for hours talking about the capabilities of what you can do.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:21:23] I'm just going to interrupt you for a minute there. And I really do want to stress. It is quite boggling. What the capabilities of this, obviously you've just drawn out at one about Hugh, honestly, go and have a look because the capability here is more or less endless.
If you can imagine it. And do you understand the WS Form UI? I think you could pull it off inside a drag and drop editor with some basic understanding of, what it is that you're trying to do. It's unbelievably clever. Well done. Yeah. Thanks.
Mark Westguard: [00:21:58] And you'll find that most form plugins will have some form of conditional logic, but they're typically, if this field equals this value, then show this or hide this field.
We, we recognize earlier. Yeah. People need a lot more than that. We did, and that conditional logic can be used for very simple things, such as making a form easier to complete. So don't show this section unless somebody has completed this section and this section one of the things about our conditional logic as well is that we have we've moved the conditional logic from being yeah.
Field centric to, to form centric. And what I mean by that is typically you're going to a field on another form plugin and there'll be so conditioned about when to show that field. Our conditional logic will say things such as if field X, Y, and Z equals this, then do this. We're field a, B and C, and that's all done within one conditional logic.
And we've made some recent updates to our conditional logic as well, so that when you're in that editor, it actually highlights the fields and sections and tabs that are involved with the conditional logic that you're working on to make it a lot easier to see, what you're manipulating on the.
The third thing that I think we do very well is our actions. So the output of a form is obviously you potentially want to receive an email about it, or you'd like to send a notification to somebody about a form submission. Those things are not unheard of in any form plugin. What we've done with actions is taken out a step further.
You can add as many actions as you want. You can order those actions. So within just one form submission, you can push it to MailChimp. You can send a message to slack. You can send an email and you can show a message on the screen for five seconds and then redirect after five seconds. And you can add as many of them.
Actions as you wish reorder them in any order that you want. And that's been a very powerful feature of WS Form. In addition to the ability to push content to third parties, such as MailChimp or Salesforce or slack, or any of the integrations that we have, which is growing. We also turn that around and use those integrations as an input for your forms.
So traditionally, if you wanted to build a form that was going to link to MailChimp, you would build a form and then you would map those fields to MailChimp. And then yeah. Publish your form with WS Form. When you go into templates and you have our MailChimp paddled installed, there's a template shown for every list in your MailChimp account.
And you click on that template and it builds the template for you. So you don't have to do anything. It's a ready out of the box template, which works and pushes content. Excuse me. Across to to MailChimp for you. You can also use MailChimp as an input for the form as well. So if you want to offer somebody the ability to edit their profile that they have in MailChimp, such as changing their name or their email address, you can actually pull the data from MailChimp, populate the form.
And then when they submit the form, it then goes back to MailChimp again with the new data. And pretty much every single one of our add-ons done. So we have templates for every third party integration that we work with. We also have very, very deep integration with ACF, which is another thing we should touch on.
So advanced custom fields which enables you to create custom fields for your posts and pages and custom post types. We have gone very deep with the integration. So far that you can create a form for a custom post type click add to create a form. And it will actually pull in all of your ACF fields onto that form as well, including repeaters.
Um, you can, if you build a custom post type in WordPress using ACF, and you've got a bunch of fields there, you can, in one click, literally create a form which will then submit. New posts of that type. So the ACS
Nathan Wrigley: [00:26:19] so nice. Yeah. Yeah. The amount of time that you spend going backwards and forwards building forms and then mapping the form fields to the ACF and slug and what have you.
That's just a great, time-saver
nice. Yeah. It's been, that, thatMark Westguard: [00:26:35] also extends to, yeah I use a management plugin as well, because obviously you can use ACF. We've used the fields, so you can create registration forms that include your ACF fields for users as well. So if you're asking for additional information from a customer, we can include that.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:26:52] One of the, one of the things that I've found myself doing more recently, which you just, again, you've aced it a bit is the whole calculation thing, you can, you can, I've been toying with forms to add things up and, if you put a six in this box, it will multiply this value from this other field by six and so on and so forth.
You, you really have taken this to another level, Actually included a calculator, in the plugin and you can literally type things out in the calculator and do the calculations on the calculator, which are then usable. You'd have to figure it all out yourself. So I don't know if there's anything you wanted to say about the calculation for us, but it really did stand out to me as something worth talking.
Mark Westguard: [00:27:37] Yeah. So as well as the conditional logic, which gives you a great deal. A dynamic ability with your form. We also have very extensive what we call variables library. So you can use that to inject dynamic content into a form such as, today's date, for example, and things like that.
But we also have what we call a hash calc field, which enables you to do very complicated calculations using. At its most basic level things such as number fields and price fields, but you can also do stuff based upon the number of rows in a repeatable section. So you could, for example, have a repeater where you can type in people's names.
And then it would say five times I, the number of rows five times. A price. And then that could then ultimately be linked off to a strike button. So you could charge somebody five times something for the number of people that are in those repeatable sections. Yeah. And the hash count comes with. A full set of mathematical functions as well.
So w we have, a bunch of templates that you can just click on from within the add new page. And you've got things in there such as a mortgage calculator, a loan calculator. So some of them you don't want to click on and put your mortgage amount in and can be depressing at times, there's a number of different calculates or examples in there that you can play around.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:29:11] Yeah, they're really nice because they give you an instant insight into how it's all built and how the structure of these things work. So that would be a total great bit of advice. Just go and play with those because it's going to completely short circuit, the amount of time that you're going to have to figure out how it all works.
Yeah. Yeah, for
complex forms, as with anyMark Westguard: [00:29:32] system, WS Form is a learning curve, but we find that once people have played around with it a little bit, they really get it and they understand how it works. It's a very powerful tool. Cool.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:29:43] Our community seemed to be, we talk a lot about different plugins and different things, so for example, ACF that you mentioned and page builders and what have you, I'm just looking on the. On the homepage. Again, there's a blue, there's a blue, horizontal row. About a third of the way down, something like that called a feature rich one plugin. And it really does. Wow. It's like a laundry list. I'm going to guess.
There's about 50 things on there and instantly things that are jumping out, which are of interest to me are things like the fact that you've obviously got ACF in there. You've got an oxygen element. You've got the option to do things like e-commerce, there's a beaver builder integration. Honestly, I can't decide which ones to say, but are there any of those which bearing in mind, you've got a fairly technical audience who are really into WordPress.
Is there any of those that you want to draw out as being something that you're really proud of? That's a bit different.
Mark Westguard: [00:30:38] I think the data encryption is probably worth mentioning. And so we have data encryption out of the box that enables you to encrypt all of the data that by essentially adding a key behind the scenes that will encrypt and then decrypt the data that people submit that has been quite a popular feature, actually, in today's secure environment, it Uh, is, is quite a nice feature to have built in.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:31:09] not something actually. I can't remember seeing that elsewhere. Maybe they do have it on alert systems, but I don't remember seeing it. Yeah, what's the stack you're using to encrypt. And what have you,
Mark Westguard: [00:31:22] but it's all built in. It's using H K D F S H a 2 56. He's it's using AEs 2 56 encryption.
Okay. The only thing you need on the server is open SSL, right? For PHP, which. Hosting providers have out of the box. It is a feature you've got to be careful of because if you lose that key, that data cannot be decrypted. So we do make sure that people put that in a very safe and secure place.
But yeah, that's, uh, The nice features. Trying to think what other stuff that we could talk about. There's so many things.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:32:01] We are so many things and oh, so this is a nice one. I'm going to just drop this in, because this is a nice visual thing that people may have been scouring around the internet and even paying a SASA for is this conversational forms.
So you've got the ability to surface one question at a time. And once you've completed that field, it scrolls out of you or fades. I don't know, you implement it. That's quite a nice feature. Just built in right off the bat. That's wonderful.
Yeah. Yeah. That's built in and very simpleMark Westguard: [00:32:30] to use actually.
So what we do is for each section, In your form, that becomes one step in that conversation on a form. So typically you'll just put one field in each section to keep it simple, but you weave WS Form. You can actually put multiple fields in a section. All the conditional logic is supported as well. So you can actually switch sections on and off within that conversational form format.
But like you say, it's just a very clean and simple way of. Presenting a form. So use it just to make it more digestible. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:33:03] I've just done a quick back of the postage stamp calculation. There's about 60 different things mentioned on there and right at the end that the really one that's just caught my eye just now is the WooCommerce integration obviously will commerce huge thing.
It may be that you've got your entire agency built off the back of that. Tell us a little bit more about that one in particular. Yeah.
Mark Westguard: [00:33:23] So the WooCommerce integration enables you to. Our forms on a product to customize that product. So if you want to and again, that supports all of our features, all the conditional logic, all the variables, everything tat even tabs.
You can actually put a little tabulated form on your product, and we have a website word, commerce.ws, form.com, and that has some demos on there showing you how that can be used. But it's very useful. For example, if you want to do a t-shirt customizations. You can actually choose a color for the t-shirt and show a preview of the t-shirt in different colors.
You can also use it for simple things, such as a donation. If you want to just create a donation product on your website, you can use it for that. We have it for people that want to customize other products by typing in personalization string, into the form. It can be used for that as well. Um, as well as being able to the way it basically works for the technical people amongst us, is it adds metadata to the cart data.
From the fields that are completed but it also ties in with our e-commerce functionality. So effectively our e-commerce fields become an addition to the product price. So you can use it to customize the price of the product, as well as customizing in terms of asking people for information about a product.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:34:55] have a sincere question, mark, and this is not supposed to be flippant, right? You've done this in a matter of years. And you've got your own agency, which is an important part of your work. And yet you, when do you.
Very rarely,
honestly. Yeah, absolutely bowled over one of the, one of the things I wanted to get into now is everybody who uses a form. They want to hook it up to some sort of third party. At some point you're going to, you're going to be meet a client who comes to you and says, I have an active campaign account.
Crucial to me that the data from this form hits active campaign and all of the tags can be applied through there and so on and so forth. And if you go to WS Form.com forward slash add hyphen arms, so ad-ons, then you're going to see. Bucket load of integrations. The usual suspects are all there.
You've got active campaign monitor, convert kit, which is, I think really a growing platform. Isn't it. But then you've got some other ones which is quite curious, you've got Dropbox thrown in there. PayPal pipe drive, PDF, there's all sorts going on. And I'm struggling to think of something that you've ever used.
That's not on that list. So Bravo.
Mark Westguard: [00:36:20] Yeah. And that's a growing list as well. We have quite a nice little setup where we can. Generate these atoms relatively quickly. And we have a feature request page on our dot com website for our customers where they can request new ad-ons for this. So we've got quite a few actually in progress right now.
But yeah, we have all the basic ones. People expect. We've also got integration with Google sheets, which is a very popular add-on, which enables you to push form submissions to Google sheets as new rows of data. Nice. And then you've got, the Salesforce, the word commerce integration, the post management and the user management are very popular for adding content to WordPress.
And then you've got Zapier as well, which basically enables you to enter. WS Form. We've pretty much anything. Yes. Yeah. That's right.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:37:14] Oh, just notice another one Groundhog of. Yeah, WordPress or CRM type tool. That's great to see
Mark Westguard: [00:37:22] very deep integration with them as well. Uh, again, single-click forms, you can click on one of your, your Groundhog lists it'll create a form for you.
We also have a benchmark for Groundhog so that when a form is submitted, you can then start a funnel in Groundhog with their CLM system. And it works works. It's
Nathan Wrigley: [00:37:48] yeah, it's amazingly impressive. You've got the obvious payment ones. You've got Powell and Stripe and so on. As we said, you've got commerce, you've got user management, so you can, create users from forms and post management.
So you can make. Post, what's in your form to your ACR fields and ultimately get it onto your website. And so Salesforce, the list is impressive. I'm literally going to make up that there's about 35 on there or something like that. I don't know if it's as many as that, but it's a lot. So that's WS Form.com forward slash.
Hyphen owns add-ons. But that kind of brings it up because you've gone for it. You've gone for a sort of different approach with the pricing model that each one of those add-ons is charged at a yearly rate. So we'll get into the whole pricing thing, but bef now let's stay with ad-ons first. They are, as far as I can see, they begin at $19 a year per add-on, which is a very reasonable price considering what you're giving.
And it looks to me as if they go up to a ceiling of what. $39 a year for some of the more complicated ones. Yeah. So you, you get Ws. We'll talk about the pricing of the main the main plugin in a moment. But if you want some of these extended features, it's going to be 19 to $39 per month.
Mark Westguard: [00:39:05] Yeah. And that's really only if you want to integrate WS Form with a third party.
Got it. So the idea is the core product comes with all the functionality we've spoken to up until the point of the ad-ons. And then if you want to bolt that onto a third party system, then you can buy an add-on for that. Okay. And that's how the personal we do. Of our plugin works which is the $59 a year version.
And then we have a freelance version for $149 a year. And that includes a number of our popular ad-ons included. Got it. Yep. A five site license. So you can use it on five different sites. Plus we give you add on such as get response MailChimp PayPal, checkout, slack, et cetera. And then we have an agency edition, which is basically us giving you our soul.
You get. So it's unlimited sites and it includes all of our items. The only add on it doesn't include is the WooCommerce add-on, that's one that we sell exclusively through woocommerce.com. Okay. But all of the other items are included. The, the work on my sat on is $49. A lot of the. Product, they call them product ad-ons in WooCommerce world.
As a WooCommerce extension, they're typically about 80 to a hundred dollars. So we've priced our us dollars just to make it a little bit more digestible, but Yeah, we, we use WooCommerce as a sales channel. And that's why that one is sold through woocommerce.com.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:40:47] Okay. So for this, you're going to go to Ws forums.com forward slash pricing, and it is really aggressive pricing.
I've got to say, I think it's incredibly competitive, especially when you go up to the sort of higher end of things. But just to be clear, the personal one site, you get a hundred templates, you get all the 55 fields, you get a bunch of pro actions, you get all the conditional logic with calculations and all of that.
And you get some other bits and pieces as well. That's for one site. So if that suits you. Steel go up to 1 49 and you've got five sites and you can see the list. If you go to that page, you get a bunch of the add-ons that we just mentioned. And then as mark just said, 2, 4, 9, you get pretty much everything except we've commerce.
So you get unlimited sites, which is incredible and everything except we've commerce. So everything basically what on the site, as you described, you give them. Your soul, you should add that. That'd be a great deal. You can have our soul for too. That's right. Every single late night.
Now, one of the things that everybody wants to know, because it's important to them and I suspect it's equally important to, you mentioned on the pricing table. The tiered levels of support. So for personal, we get what's called standard support for the freelance. We get premium support and for the agency we get agency support.
Do you just want to, what do you mean by those? What's your response times? How do you deal with support? Yeah.
Mark Westguard: [00:42:16] Yeah. So our standard support would typically get back to people within a day without a problem. We're a regular basis open Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM central time.
As Nathan mentioned, I'm usually awake God, where we do answer support tickets outside of those hours as well, we do the best we can. But yeah, so the personal typical response time is going to be about you know, a day. Quite honestly, we get back to people pretty quickly on every level.
But going up to the agency level, we will get back to people. Three, four hours at the very most We are on in terms of customer service. If somebody comes to us and we find it, a genuine issue with the software, we find a bug. We find bugs in our software. We are very quick to react to that, and we're not scared to push an update for a customer to fix an issue that is stopping them from doing what they need to do.
And, uh, if we have somebody that has a requirement that we can develop something for relatively quickly, we'll do that for them. But there, as I said, we've also got the feature request page where we've got a, uh, a voting system, so people can request new features and vote for those features.
So we currently work in through that list. That's just an ongoing process for us really, but. Yeah, so support is very, very important to us. It's what's got us to this stage. It's what has given us, a straight run of five-star reviews on wordpress.org, which we're very proud of and very thankful for.
And we, we hope to continue that and that's, we, we do have people time to time ask us about lifetime deals for WS Form. And I'm of the opinion. I want to keep this product supported long term, and don't want to end up in a position in three years where I've got no income coming in because everyone's on a lifetime deal.
We want to keep developing this. I have staff, I have to pay to continue to develop product and support the product as well. Um, we're going to be sticking with the yearly licenses to, to keep, keep the, the business.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:44:36] I think anybody who runs a business can literally have no gripe about that pricing model.
It's just how commerce
Mark Westguard: [00:44:43] works. We can't offer it to some people, but at the end of the day, we want to be around them. Five years, time, 10 years
Nathan Wrigley: [00:44:50] time another good one, but to go main heading the menu knowledge base is WS Form.com forward slash knowledge base, all one word extensive list of articles that you can read clearly labeled telling you what to do when and how to do things and so on with lots of helpful screenshots and things like that.
So loads and loads of opportunity to learn about it. The main URL is WS Form.com. It is I do wish that there were a way that I could emphasize how complicated you can make things with this, but it's all audio. Dagnabbit. So we're constrained by what we could do, but go check it out.
Give yourself 20 minutes this week, put things on pause. If you've had any qualms about something that you found overly complicated with another form plugin, something that you just literally couldn't figure out how to do it may very well be that mark has built the solution that you're looking for.
So I'm mark. Okay. Where can we find you on the internet? If people are curious, they want to reach out to you social, anything like that? Email.
Mark Westguard: [00:45:56] Yeah. If anybody wants to email me with any questions and then just email market Ws, form.com. We'll be happy to get back to you. We've also got a support area contact area on Ws, form.com.
If you have any questions about the product feel free to try the demo. Just go to the WS Form.com forward slash demo, and you can sign up for a free I think it's a seven day trial that we do sets up a little work. Environment for you and you can try the product there. And then if you know, if you just looking for a very basic form, a plugin that also has submissions included in it that can build, your basic contact us form.
Any other kind of basic form for your website, you can go to wordpress.org and go to the plugin directory search for WS Form and download our free version there. You can try that version.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:46:47] Very nice. Indeed. Mark. Congratulations on such an excellent WordPress product. Every wish that it's successful in the future.
And thank you. Thanks for you coming on the podcast.
Mark Westguard: [00:46:58] Yeah, thank you very much and happy birthday.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:47:00] Nice. You okay. That's a much in that, right? Got it. I'm sweating again. Thank you so much. I hope that you enjoyed the podcast today. It was very nice chatting with mark all about WS Form. If you're intrigued, like I said, we did a webinar a little bit a while ago, and you can check that out at wpbuilds.com forward slash webinars.
It may well give you some more insight in a visual way. It's quite hard sometimes to describe these things in audio form. But it is a very capable form. And I'm very surprised that it hasn't got the notoriety of some of the forms, but that's probably due to its new age, if you'd like. So anyway, check it out.
And I hope that you've got something out of the podcast today. Speaking of webinars, just a quick reminder that we've got one coming up this Tuesday, 13th of July 2:00 PM, UK time with Leslie from newsletter glue, which is an amazing solution, which we're now using to send out our newsletters, all built.
With Gutenberg blocks. The WB podcast was brought to you today by AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split tests in record time, then you AB split test plugin for WordPress. It'll have you up and running in a couple of minutes. Use your existing pages and test anything with anything else.
Buttons, images, headers, rows, anything. And the best part is it works with element or beaver builder in the WordPress block editor. You can check it out. Get a free demo at AB split test doc. Okay. We will be back next week as it was an interview. This week, I'll be having a chat with my good friend, David Walmsley next week.
All about something to do with the, a to Zed of WordPress. Don't forget to join us for that. And also join us on Monday every Monday, live at 2:00 PM, UK. For our, this week in WordPress show, always joined by Paul Lacey and some other notable WordPress guests. So there's lots going on this week. We'll see you at some point, if not, stay safe, have a good week.
Bye bye for now.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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