Two Indispensible plugins for WordPress

Yesterday, I was doing some site work on WordPress. As part of it I used GIMP to design a header; 1000 x 288 pix for Twenty-Eleven theme. I don’t really like that theme. I must make a child theme just so I can get out its grip. And there I was modifying the site. Adding a simple table to the page and developing a contact form were two issues I needed to get around. Now, I’m not a PHP developer yet, and I figured there might be a way around it. Turns out, plugins are the way.

Tables – some hunting for Table on the Plugin directory page showed me that what that word meant in the WordPress world was a database. And after tweaking that, I ended up finding several “form builders” with tables that sort of addressed the issue. The one I stuck with in the end, after a few trials, was FormBuilder by TruthMedia, an online ministry! I had to tweak WordPress to accept this plugin and another because of size limits. This post did it for me – esp. since I’ve set up a multi-site environment for dev & test purposes.

imageFormBuilder worked fine after Network Activation. You have to design a form through the FormBuilder page by choosing it from the Tools menu in your site.

Then it is a simple matter of creating a new form from the GUI. One note, the submit button is not a default, so you do need to add it as if you were adding a field called “submit” and name it submit etc. The documentation and screenshots were generally helpful and the 101-104 tutorials good.

imageOne thing. I could not find a way to insert the table into the page! There’s supposed to be a menu item on your page editor, but it wasn’t visible. After some digging through the documentation, I found that you need to add this line to your page:


Where # stands for your form id. You can find your form’s id from the FormBuilder page through the Tools menu.

imageNow, I really wanted that HTML table! After some poking, I found UltimateTinyMCE. It does a lot more than I need, but the thing it does best for me is Tables and HTML views of the page. Download it from the Codex page because, I found it a pain to find the right download on the developer page. After Network Activation, you still need to go activate the buttons individually so they show up on WordPress’ editor. This wasn’t obvious to me and I spent a bit of time just to verify that the damn thing was working! Find it under your Settings in the destination site.

So, that was all a fun learning process. It was sparked off by a discussion I had with a guy. I commented on how cool his site looked and he said it took very little development because I was commending on the Accordion module on Drupal. He had a lot of good things to say about Drupal. But I’m sticking with WordPress until I see a good reason to move.

One response to “Two Indispensible plugins for WordPress

  1. Hi Kailash,

    Thanks for using FormBuilder. You mentioned a couple things that don’t seem right. 1) The submit button should be there by default. It doesn’t show up as part of the actual form building screen but if you don’t specify one, there should be one when you view the page. 2) The Form drop down should show up on your add/edit post/page screens. You may want to click on the screen options button in the top right of the screen while on the add/edit page screen and make sure the form builder check box is in fact checked.

    If that doesn’t solve those problems, please find us on Get Satisfaction.

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