Now that you’re familiar with form basics and when to use each editor, let's take a tour of Forms on Ontraport Pages. This editor gives you the most powerful design options and settings, so let’s look around.
We’ll take a general look at the layout first. In the Ontraport Pages editor, on the left side you’ll see different elements such as a headline, button or image. Forms on Ontraport Pages use two of these elements: form fields and a submit button. These two elements need to live in the same block to make a form. If you decide to add form fields to another block, that’s a second form, so make sure you also add another submit button.
Also, notice that a button element and a submit button element are two different things! The first one just takes you to another page. The submit button actually submits a form and that’s the one you’re going to need here.
To add a form field element, click and drag the form field element from the left side of your screen -- what we call the element palette. Just drag it and drop it and a pop up will appear, asking which field you’d like to add to the page. From that pop up, you can pick any field that you’ve already created. If you need to get a bit of info from your visitors, you’ll need to create a field to store it first. You can learn more about that in our video, “Where your data lives.”
One note: depending on your account settings, you may see another popup first, when you drop a form field onto your page, asking which object the form is for. In most cases, you’ll select Contacts, and then you’ll see the normal form field selector pop up. If you want to collect information about a different data type - like Deals, Companies or any custom object - you can choose that here.
Once you’ve added your first field, it’s time to open up your field settings to style it up. This will save you time because each field you add after the first one will copy its style. So, if you take care of the style now, you’ll only need to do it once.
To open up your field settings, click the field or the gear icon. On the left side of your page, you’ll see your element palette change. It will say form field editor and display three tabs: settings, style, and position.
In settings, you’ll see several options.
“Contact field”’ is where you can change the field you originally selected if you need to.
“Label” changes what your leads and customers will see on the form when they fill in the field. So, for example, maybe you want the field to ask a question or phrase the information in a friendlier way, like saying, “Tell us when you celebrate your birthday so we can send you a special treat!” instead of just the label “birthday.” This doesn’t impact the way the information is stored in the contact record.
“Placeholder” creates text inside the field for customers to see. It’s like an example of the information you’re looking for, and it disappears when they begin typing into the field. Maybe you’re asking for a preferred prefix, so your placeholder might say “Mr, Ms, Dr…?”
“Required field” does what you’d expect: requires the visitor to fill it out before clicking the submit button. It’s a good idea to require the email address on all your forms.
Under “Advanced” you can prefill a field with their existing data in some cases. This can save people time if they’ve filled out your forms before.
“Custom validation message” lets you decide what message will display when someone skips a required field.
Next, let’s look at the “Style” tab. The style tab lets you select from several pre-set style suggestions or from your own favorites. Favorites can be added by clicking on this heart icon.
Or, if you want to get fancy, click “edit style” to see even more options to customize the appearance of your field. You can make changes to every detail. Take a look at our element design video to really understand your options here. Or feel free to experiment on your own.
Selecting the “position” tab allows you to adjust where the field will appear on the page. Padding adjusts the space between the border of an element and its contents. “Margin” is the space outside the border of the element. Instead of changing the way the element looks by squeezing it, this setting will move the element around the page.
All this will be covered in the videos on element design in our Ontraport Pages section.
Finally, to complete your form, drop a Submit button element into the same block as your fields. Then, click on the button or the gear icon to open the settings, style, and position tabs for the submit button.
At the bottom of the left palette, you’ll find the form settings. You’ll also find this same menu in the block layout mode, in the left menu. Make sure you set these up before publishing the page and sending people to the form. Learn more about that in our Form Settings and Advanced Features deep dive.
When you're done with your form and your page is designed, you'll publish the Ontraport page and you’re all set!
And that wraps up our tour. Building forms on Ontraport Pages is the best solution for your forms in most cases, so you’re off to a great start. And if you need info on pop-ups and forms on non-Ontraport pages, watch our video on Ontraport Forms.