Build Forms via the Block Editor With Gutenberg Forms
The quest for the perfect form plugin is nearly as old as WordPress. Projects have come and gone. There are some great form plugins out there, but far too often the choices are between massive builders that do things their own way and solutions so simple that they do not quite live up to expectations. Munir Kamal has put his hat into the ring with his take on this saturated market with Gutenberg Forms, a plugin designed for exclusively building forms within the block editor. The plugin is by no means perfect. It has numerous quirks. It does a lot of things right. It fails at times with features that could be game-changing. It has the potential to be one of the best form-building plugins for WordPress. As of version 1.4.0, the latest update, Gutenberg Forms is a mixed bag of success and frustration. I am excited about it. I am excited because we are still in the early part of this plugin’s lifespan. I am excited because Kamal has built some successful Gutenberg-related projects in a short amount of time, including Gutenberg Hub and ACF Blocks. I am excited because I believe it will improve over time. Form plugins are not easy. Despite its current issues, which we’ll get to, Gutenberg Forms is a useful plugin that ticks many of the boxes that I want to see in a form builder going forward. The ideas needed for block-based forms are in place. The execution just needs some refinement. Gutenberg Forms was recreated in February this year. Kamal originally released the plugin in 2018, but it sat in limbo for a year and a half before he updated it with the latest APIs. Since then, he has been on a tear, releasing frequent updates and improving how the plugin works. I first tested it months ago and was not happy with the result. However, the latest iteration shows much more promise. With only 200 current users, the biggest thing the plugin needs is more feedback from more users. Building Forms Creating a standard form. Gutenberg Forms makes form building simple. There are two ways to build forms in the plugin. The first method is a custom “Forms” screen in the admin. It is a custom post type that works just like a post or page. The difference is that users are limited to adding form fields provided by the plugin. Using this method of building forms is ideal because the form is saved in a single place and can be used anywhere on the site. The second method is building a form directly from the post or page editor. All of the plugin’s custom blocks are available for creating a custom form. For one-off forms, this may be the method to use, but I recommend building from the Forms screen instead. After building a form via the Forms screen, users can later use the Gutenberg Forms block to insert a saved form. What actually happens when inserting this block is that, when choosing a saved form, the plugin inserts a shortcode into the editor. This is one of those quirks with the plugin. One of the ideas of building blocks is for developers to move away from utilizing the shortcode system. There is no need to mix in a shortcode here from a technical perspective. It should simply be a server-side block. I do not imagine this matters much to end-users. » Read More
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