02 Mar 2017

EverWeb’s Contact Form Advanced Widget Explained

No Comments EverWeb, Software, Tips and Tricks, Widgets

The Contact Form Advanced (CFA) widget is a great successor to EverWeb’s original Contact Form widget. The new widget debuted in EverWeb 2.0 offering a highly customisable form that can include drop down menu selections, radio buttons, checkboxes, pre-filled text fields and much more.

EverWeb version 2.1, and the recently released version 2.1.1, add more options and capabilities to the CFA widget which we will go through in detail later on. To start, let’s take a look at perhaps the most important new option: SMTP Settings…

SMTP Settings in the Contact Form Advanced Widget

EverWeb 2.1 now includes SMTP Settings to make sending and receiving email easier!

SMTP Settings
The CFA Widget Settings now includes an ‘SMTP Settings’ section. This is designed to help the contact form be more reliably delivered to the form recipient. It’s important to fill in the SMTP Settings correctly otherwise the form won’t work properly. The new ‘More Help’ button steps you through the process of filling in the settings if you are unsure about what to fill in. The steps also cater for everyone, whether you have an EverWeb+Hosting account or your own hosting provider.

The CFA widget in EverWeb version 2.1.1 has also been updated to improve the reliability of sending and receiving emails if you do not use the SMTP settings, which is like how the original Contact Form widget works.

Troubleshooting SMTP settings
If you’ve followed the above steps but still find that your contact form is not working, try these troubleshooting tips:

  1. Use EverWeb version 2.1.1. This release typically fixes most issues with the CFA widget so is highly recommended. If you’re having problems with your contact form and are not on the latest version, update EverWeb first to 2.1.1, republish your website (use File-> Publish Entire Site) then test your contact form again.
  2. Check that you have completed the steps from the ‘More Help’ button in the widget.
  3. Check that the ‘Email Address to Send Form to’ section has been filled in with a valid email address. It may seem obvious, but quite often people forget to fill in this field!
  4. Check that the password you’ve used in the SMTP Settings is correct. If you’re unsure, you may need to reset your email password. If you reset your password, exit EverWeb and log out of your email. Relaunch EverWeb and log back in to your email and try again.
  5. Check your SMTP settings with your hosting provider to make sure they are correct if you are unsure about any settings you may have entered.
  6. Check your webmail! I made a contact form and was not receiving email, so I checked my webmail and found that the emails were being received. The problem was that my Apple Mail wasn’t configured correctly so didn’t receive the emails even though they were correctly sent.
  7. Publish your website. Using preview with a contact form will not work as the widget sends email to the outside world which it can’t do when using preview. Sometimes you may also find that publishing your entire site may be beneficial. Use the menu to do this as the Toolbar ‘Publish’ button will only publish changes made to the website.

Important! When using any contact form, it’s paramount that you test that the form works. Remember that when you hit the ‘Submit!’ button and get the message ‘Your message has been sent’ this doesn’t mean that the message has been received! So… test, test, test!

Updated Form and Controls Options
EverWeb 2.1 (and 2.1.1) now let’s you reorder and delete Form Controls and Option List items. Reordering items is done in the same way as other you would for items in Asset Lists in other EverWeb widgets by clicking and dragging the control up and down the list until you have moved it to its new location when you just release the mouse button. In EverWeb version 2.0 you had to delete the widget and start again if you wanted to remove controls, so this is a welcome enhancement.

Fixes for the CFA Widget
The updated widget also contains some bug fixes including an important one where the form is now correctly sent to the email address that you enter in the widget.

If you are new to the widget there’s also a Contact Form Advanced widget video tutorial available to get you acquainted!

As always, if you have a question, let us know… we’ll do our best to help!

24 Jan 2017

EverWeb version 2.1 is Out NOW!

2 Comments EverWeb, Software, Tips and Tricks, Web Design, Widgets

EverWeb’s just been updated with the public release of version 2.1. The new version focuses on improvements to the new blogging environment, an upgrade for the Contact Form Advanced widget and some great small but really useful UI enhancements! There’s also number of under the hood improvements as well as the usual maintenance and stability fixes. Here’s a summary of what to look out for…

Blogging
EverWeb’s blogging feature adds a new section in the blog main page widget so you can include a link to your full blog archive. The option lets you set the name of the label you want to use and includes options for left, center or right alignment on the page. There are also a various minor fixes and enhancements mainly relating to Google Fonts, WordPress imports and Facebook commenting.

Contact Form Advanced Widget
The Contact Form Advanced widget debuted in EverWeb 2.0 and gets an update in version 2.1 with some new features. Perhaps the most important feature is the option to enter SMTP details in the Widget Settings. This is designed to improve reliability of receiving emails. It’s highly recommended that you fill in this section when using the CFA widget. There’s also a help button in the widget that will take you to an EverWeb knowledgeable article if you need help or guidance.

In EverWeb 2.1 the CFA widget now includes the ability to delete form options and reorder control options.

The most important fix for the Contact Form Advanced widget is that the ‘Reply To’ address is now set correctly. If you are using the CFA widget in EverWeb 2.0 or 2.0.2 it’s recommended you upgrade to 2.1 for this important fix.

Workflow Enhancements
The latest version of EverWeb includes some really handy keyboard tricks to improve your workflow.
If you hold the Command+Option keys down when dragging an object, EverWeb doesn’t change the selection. This means that, for example, if the object is covered by other objects it’s now easy to move the selected object.
The second keyboard trick is to hold the Command+Shift keys down when dragging or resizing an object. When you do this, all of the objects beneath it will move down so retaining the page layout that you originally created. This is a great time saver and highly recommended!
Other useful UI tweaks include Function+Arrow keys now work in the EverWeb Design Canvas and the addition of a ‘Rename’ option on the sub menu that appears when you right click on the Project file name in the Web Page List.

We’ll take a walk though the first two workflow enhancement features soon as well as a complete walk through of the new SMTP Settings of the Contact Form Advanced widget.

Updating to EverWeb version 2.1
You can update your version of EverWeb using the EverWeb-> Check for Updates… menu, or directly from the EverWeb Download page. The download is available in two forms, OS X 10.7 and Higher and OS X 10.6.

Before you update your copy of EverWeb, please remember that updates are free if you have purchased EverWeb less than one year ago, or have a valid updates & support plan if your EverWeb version is more than one year old. More information can be found on the EverWeb Download page.

In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions about the update or if there’s anything else you need to know about EverWeb!

22 Dec 2016

All About the New Contact Form Advanced!

No Comments EverWeb, Widgets

With all the limelight on EverWeb version 2.0‘s all new blogging environment, you may think that we’ve forgotten about the other new features of new release! Fear not as today we’re going to look at the all new Contact Form Advanced (CFA) widget!

A simple or advanced Contact Form?
The new Contact Form Advanced is an addition to the original Contact Form widget that debuted with EverWeb 1.0. The original widget is very simple and straightforward with few customisation options. It’s great when your requirements are also simple and straightforward.

Contact Form Advanced comes in to it’s own when you need more flexibility e.g. you may want to ask about users about their choices or preferences, you may be conducting a survey, or you may need to give users some extra help when they fill out the form. The screenshot below gives an example of just some of what you can do.

EverWeb Contact Form Advanced

In this example, you can see that a drop down menu has been added for age ranges, checkboxes for fruit choice preferences, extra space added between Form Controls and some font styling.

How Contact Form Advanced Works
As with all of EverWeb’s widgets, just drag and drop the CFA widget on to your page. Go to the Widget Settings tab in the Inspector to customize the form. Some settings will be familiar if you have used the original Contact Form widget e.g. ’email address’, ‘Email Subject’, ‘Email Sent Success Message’ and ‘Submit Caption’.

It’s all about Controls
What’s different with the CFA widget is that it uses Form Controls. These are customizable fields you can add, reorder and delete from your form. Each ‘Control’ has its own attributes e.g. click on the ‘Name’ Control in the list. You will see that its Control Type is ‘Text Box’. You can change this to another Control Type either Text Area, Number, Phone Number Date, Drop Down Menu, Checkbox, Radio Button, URL or email address.

When you select a Control Type, the available options depend on the Control Type you’ve chosen. Any options that are not available are greyed out. For example, the TextBox Control Type has the ‘Add Option’ box greyed out. However, ‘Default value’ text is available which is useful for pre-filling the text box itself. For example you can add instructions for your users e.g. a restaurant may add ‘Let us know if you have any food intolerances or allergies here…’ as a default value to guide the user on how to complete the form.

Adding and Using a Form Control
To add a Form Control:

  1. Click on the ‘Add’ button just under the Form Controls list. Name the new control e.g. ‘Fruit’ and press Enter.
  2. Next select the Control Type you want e.g. Checkbox from the ‘Control Type’ list.
  3. The ‘Add Option’ is available for this Control Type so click on it.
  4. Enter ‘Apple’ as the name and then press Enter.
  5. Repeat this step to create other types of fruit.
  6. As you change the Control Type and Options the CFA will update dynamically so you always see the changes as you make them. At the end of the checkbox list we included ‘Other’ then added another Form Control underneath ‘Fruit’ so that users can enter in their own fruit choice if there selection does not appear in the checkbox list. The Form Control has a default value applied to it.

    Reordering Controls
    If you’ve added in Form Controls but find later that they’re in the wrong order, click and drag the Form Control to where you want it then drop it in place. This feature is also used in EverWeb’s Image Slider and Image Gallery widgets. It’s sometimes a bit tricky to do so try first selecting the CFA widget and immediately clicking and dragging the Form Control you want to the place you want it located. It may take a couple of tries to get used to how it works. If it doesn’t work you’ll find yourself editing the name of the Form Control instead.

    Enhancing Your Form
    One of the great things about CFA is that you can customize Form Controls to produce some great effects. This only takes some very short code snippets that you can add directly into the Control itself. See the screenshot below.

    Form Control Customizations

    The Form Control section of the CFA widget showing the customizations that have been applied.

    Padding Out Form Controls
    Form Controls appear directly one after each other so there may be times when you want to give each control a bit more space. To do this just add

    before the Form Control label to add two carriage returns to give some extra padding.

    Breaking Text
    Using
    in your Form Control label is also a good way to insert a line break if the Form Control label has a lot of text in it. Just insert
    in the text where you want to split the line.

    Text Styling
    To embolden text in a Form Control label, use followed the text you want to embolden, then to return back to normal text weight.
    To use italics, use to start with and to finish.
    You can even combine the two e.g. and to create bold italics text.

    Test Drive Your Contact Form
    Always be careful when you using code in your form! Always test before publishing! For Contact Forms, it’s recommended that you publish a test page to see if the form and any styling (and code) works as expected before you publish a live form. You can use EverWeb’s Preview, but it doesn’t allow you to test ‘send’ and ‘receive’ functionality of the form as both CFA (and the regular Contact Form) use an email address to do this. Therefore, it’s best to publish a test page first.

    Finally, if you have EverWeb version 2.0, remember there’s an upgrade to 2.0.2 which includes some fixes to glitches in the initial release of Contact Form Advanced. And don’t forget that if CFA doesn’t fit the bill for your requirements there’s always the EverWebCodeBox that’s full of third party widgets that may help you out.

    The new CFA expands the capabilities of the original Contact Form and is a great addition to EverWeb. We’re looking forward to more feature adds to CFA in the future!

    In the meantime, if you have a question, comment, or some hints and tips let us know below! Thanks!

14 Nov 2016

EverWeb version 2.0 Launched with Blogging!

No Comments EverWeb, Software, Web Design, Widgets

ew20-default-posts-screen

EverWeb version 2.0 has just been released to the public and includes the highly anticipated blogging feature!

Great News For iWeb Users
For Apple iWeb users, EverWeb version 2.0 is the release many have been waiting for. It’s headline feature of a fully integrated, feature rich blogging experience comes with a look and feel that’s immediately familiar and intuitive to iWeb users. You can import your blogs from iWeb in to EverWeb at the touch of a button. Your blog entry headings, creation dates and main body text (including font styling) are transferred over easily. For those using WordPress blogging, EverWeb version 2.0 can import them in the same manner.

Key EverWeb version 2.0 Blogging Features
Whilst EverWeb’s new blogging feature retains an iWeb look and feel, there are still many new and improved features. EverWeb version 2.0 includes a blog post editing window to add and format your text, add images, hyperlink text, create lists, paragraph headings, quote levels and more! The Editor window is great for adding features specific to each blog post. You have all the tools bloggers expect with the convenience of a Toolbar to access commonly used features.

As well as the Editor Window, there’s also the Preview window. This window is where you can add features that you want to apply to all of your blog posts, e.g. social media buttons. Drag and drop the object that you want on to the Preview Window and it will then appear on all blog posts. In many ways it’s like using a Master Page.

There are a lot more features to discover, many of which can be found in the blog’s Widget Settings. For now though, here’s a summary of EverWeb 2.0’s main blogging features:

  • Automatic lists
  • Image wrapping
  • Justified text
  • Comments using Disqus or Facebook Comments
  • Importing iWeb & WordPress blog posts
  • Embedded media including video
  • Automatic Google Fonts
  • Automatic RSS feed creation and more!

Other EverWeb version 2.0 Features
Whilst blogging is the massive new feature of EverWeb 2.0, there are also some other great additions to the product!

  • The Toolbar has been relocated from the bottom of the UI to the top. This is good news as it’s better for your workflow. Once you’ve used it for a day you’ll never want it back at the bottom!
  • The new Contact Form Advanced widget that will help you create super advanced contact forms you can fully customize. The new Widget includes ten form ‘Controls’ so you can add questions to your contact form using drop down menus, radio button or checkboxes. You can include default values in Text Controls to help visitors via pre-filled text. All Contact Form Advanced options are easy to use as you would expect. The regular Contact Form remains in place for simple forms.
  • Character Spacing has been added to the Spacing section of the Text Inspector so you can now stretch out text horizontally. Great when you need to tweak the the look of your text!
  • A new RSS Subscribe button has been added on the Insert-> Button menu so your visitors can subscribe to your EverWeb or external blog.
  • The EverWeb User Manual has been updated and improved and includes info on blogging in EverWeb. As a small new feature, you can now access the Manual directly form the Projects Window as well as from the EverWeb Help menu.

For more on the new EverWeb version 2.0 and a new look EverWeb website, go to the EverWeb website to see it’s new blogging feature in action!

For information about updating your version of EverWeb to the new version 2.0, check out the official EverWeb version 2.0 announcement.

If you’re looking for EverWeb tutorials about the new version, there are preview videos on YouTube to enjoy.

If you have a question about the new version of EverWeb, let us know in the Comments section below. We’ll have lots more on EverWeb 2.0’s new features in the near future for you!