If you have been a webmaster for more than a week, no doubt you have heard this before:
“I filled out the contact form on your site last week, did you receive it”?
Hopefully your answer will be, “yes!”, but sometimes we are left twiddling our thumbs, as we exclaim “no we didn’t?”, with an air of heartfelt concern. Our website visitor of course is telling the truth, so where did that email brimming with important correspondence go? Emails don’t just disappear? Or do they? If they can vanish, where do they go? (Meditate on that a while…kinda like thinking about what is the sound of one hand clapping, isn’t it?)
Okay, back to business. Firstly, you are not concerned that the form code is wrong, because you are most likely using either of the tried and true, and most excellent, form plugins, Fast and Secure Contact Form or Contact Form 7. So your mind kicks into troubleshooting superhero mode. Humm…the email went to your spam folder maybe, or the server wasn’t configured properly and conflicts with the wordpress php mail function, or the SMTP server your are using is misconfigured somehow, or the SMTP settings are wrong in your WP mail SMTP plugin.
So you make a mental note to check your SPF records in your domains DNS, contact your host to make sure the server is working properly (and is optimized for WordPress), check your SMTP mail account, if you are using SMTP, and make sure your passwords have not changed, and on and on. Wheeewwww! (By the way, if your parish is using our Cherubim service, we have already done all these things for you!)
Suddenly, you are interrupted by the website visitor with, “If you didn’t get my form in your email, can you retrieve it somehow?”
You think, that would be a nice trick. If only….
Well, get ready for some slight of hand. Enter Contact Form 7 to Database Extension. This plugin works automatically, with no configuration. If you use Fast and Secure Contact Form or Contact Form 7, just download the Database Extension plugin, and it will save every single form field in a special place in your WordPress database.
One more time…..By simply installing the plugin, it will automatically begin to capture submissions from either of your 2 form plugins.
You can download the form data to an excel or CSV file and even use a shortcode to display the data somewhere on your site. (You can creatively use this to create a feedback page, prayer request page, etc)
So there you have it. Your form data is saved.