Web Order form for website?
March 24, 2015 6:21 AM   Subscribe

Being someone who knows a little bit about computers, a friend has asked if I could make a web order form for their business. Is there a free or commercial way to do this? Details inside.

Overall, the form would need to record a user's choices, then when they hit submit, give them a chance to review what they've ordered (and offer the chance to go back and change it) and then send an email of that order to a specific email address. It doesn't need to interact with a database, just send a email of the order.

Is there a free version of this or something that can be bought and configured? Could I install Wordpress and set up the above described order form within it?
posted by sock, the puppet to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, it needs to be hosted on this person's server, not at something like Formsite or Jotform.
posted by sock, the puppet at 6:31 AM on March 24, 2015

There are tons of WordPress solutions for this. WooCommerce is probably overkill, but it basically creates an online shop for you. WooCommerce makes its money off of extensions, but you're probably fine just using the base plugin for what you need.

There are also PayPal forms, but I'm not sure which would be best for WordPress - you can do a search for "PayPal" in the WordPress plugin area and see what looks suitable.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:52 AM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

It is unclear from this post if you need a way for the person to pay for their order in the flow or not. While I don't have a specific recommendation I think that clarification would help.
posted by magnetsphere at 8:23 AM on March 24, 2015

Sounds like it's just a contact form with a review page, it's extremely straightforward. You can definitely build something like you want using either the very good free plugin Contact Form 7, or the excellent paid plugin Gravity Forms. If it's a relatively long form, Gravity Forms will be an especially good choice, as it lets you easily break it down into multiple steps. Gravitywiz has a tutorial on creating a simple review page. You can also handle payments in Gravity Forms if need be, though it's not as flexible and robust as a proper eCommerce platform like WooCommerce.
posted by Magnakai at 9:22 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It is unclear from this post if you need a way for the person to pay for their order in the flow or not.

A way to pay is not needed in this workflow.
posted by sock, the puppet at 10:58 AM on March 24, 2015

Response by poster: Hey, just found out that his server is a Windows server, which Wordpress doesn't play with very well, as I understand it.

Anyone know of any other off the shelf solutions? Some you can install on a Windows server?
posted by sock, the puppet at 11:12 AM on March 24, 2015

There's always Matt's Script Archive: FormMail.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:25 AM on March 24, 2015

Does it really need to be self-hosted? If not, Wufoo or one of the aforementioned hosted options will be much easier.

I've also got Wordpress running on IIS before a couple of times, but there are a few gotchas and I'd recommend using a Linux box if possible. However, it's totally doable.

FWIW, in the past I've had many issues with very poorly configured Windows servers. In my experience, the mail is often configured incorrectly or is not configured at all. You'll probably want a way of connecting to SMTP from the server. Microsoft does have tutorials for this, though it depends on the version of IIS installed.

I'm not familiar with what the best modern way of working natively on an IIS server, but this Stack Overflow question might lead you down a possible path.
posted by Magnakai at 11:27 AM on March 24, 2015

This being metafilter, I'd like to make a meta-response: are you totally sure you want to do this work for this friend?

If this is a paying gig, then you can stop reading now.

But if you're offering this assistance for free - and speaking as someone who has done web consulting as a home biz for 10 years[1] - I would urge you to consider just what it is that you're committing yourself to: Anytime this friend wants to make a change, they're going to call you. If you screw it up and they lose money, it's your fault. If they try to modify it and screw it up, it's a call to you to fix it immediately. If it stops working, you'll get a call to debug and fix. Obviously I don't know all the details of your situation here - all I'm asking is that you think about what happens after you spend a couple three hours figuring this out and setting this up.

I'm speaking from painful personal experience here. If you really want to help your friend, offer to help them find a consultant that will do this kind of work for pay. Or go ahead and help them set up this form. Just be aware that of what you are signing up for.

[1] from 1995-2005. But no more.
posted by doctor tough love at 5:38 PM on March 24, 2015

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