Allow Users to Create Posts on your Site with Formidable Pro

Create posts in Formidable Pro

In the process of creating a new site, I realised that I needed to allow people to submit information from the site and turn that information into a new post, so that it could then be displayed on the site, without me having to manually copy the information from an email into a new post.

I went in search of some solutions and while I had used TDO Mini Forms before, it is no longer in development and was not very user friendly to configure anyway. I was left to decide between Gravity Forms and Formidable Pro. I ultimately decided on Formidable Pro, not least because it was cheaper (and still did everything I wanted) and was recommended by a couple of people. So I bought the plugin and set about configuring it.

Create the form

In this example, I’m going to create a form to allow people to submit stories to be shown on the site under a specific category. So in my case, I created a field for the story title (which will become the post title), the user’s name and email address, and then the story itself. I set all of these to be required fields, to ensure that nothing is omitted.

For the story title field, I selected the Post Field to be Title (which means that the title of the post will be whatever is submitted in that box).

I also need to set which category the post is going to be created in, but since I don’t want people to be able to edit this, I’m going to create a hidden field. I created a Multiple Selection field and then set the Post Field to be Taxonomy and then chose Category as the Taxonomy type. Now if you update the form, it will present a list of your categories. You can now preselect the category that you want the posts to be put in and select Admin Only under Field Type, so that people won’t be shown that field, meaning that your selection of categories will be unchangeable by users.

Formidable Pro Hidden Fields

Then I created the story field, setting the field type to paragraph, to give the user plenty of space to write down their story and also set the post field as Post content, so that everything written in this field will become the main post content.

Now you need to create another hidden field to set the post status. I recommend setting the post status to draft so that you can review everything before it goes live on your site. So create a drop-down field and set the Post Field to Post Status. Once you save the form, it will give you the option to preselect the post status (which should be Draft). Be sure to set the Field Type to Admin Only, so that users can’t change this to published to circumvent your review.

Create posts in Formidable Pro

Field Validation in Formidable ProYou can now create text fields to collect the user’s name and email address, using validation to confirm that the email address is a valid address.

After you’ve got all of the fields in place, you can set up form notifications, so that once an entry is submitted, you get an email sent to you so that you know to review it on your site. You can also send an autoresponder to the submitter.

Formidable Pro ShortcodeOnce the form is complete, you can copy the shortcode from the top right-hand corner and paste it into the page where you want the form to appear on your site.

The finished form live on your site

Your experiences

The options for what you can do with Formidable Pro are quite limitless. How have you used forms like this to collect and display information from your readers? I’m always interested to hear your experiences. Let me know in the comments.

Try it yourself

6 thoughts on “Allow Users to Create Posts on your Site with Formidable Pro”

  1. Jeo says:

    To allow people to submit their information is an interesting idea. This helps in getting the readers attached to the site regularly. But for this instead of copy pasting their information and then converting it into posts, it is better to give readers a user friendly form to submit their information which could then be converted to posts. And for this, after looking at your post even I think Formidable Pro is much better than Gravity Forms. By looking at the steps in your post, it seems easy to use. Thanks! Will surely try it!

    1. I haven’t had any experience with Gravity Forms yet, but from what I’ve heard, I still has additional functionality that Formidable Pro doesn’t. With that said, if you’re trying to allow users to submit posts to your site from the front-end, then Formidable Pro has the ability to do it.

  2. Derek says:

    Hey Dave,

    Curious to know if content in multiple fields can be posted. I see that Formidable only gives me one selection from the “post content” drop down, so i have to essentially pick one field as my post content. Trying to figure out how I can have 4 or 5 fields and their content appear in the post. Make sense?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!


    1. Hi Derek,

      Yes, I didn’t go into this in the tutorial because it’s actually quite involved. It can be done, but you need an extra function to change the post content based on the meta fields that Formidable Pro creates. If you’re interested in pursuing this, get in touch, otherwise I believe that Gravity Forms allows you to do this.

  3. Carlos says:

    Hi Dave
    In your search did you find or know any tool that allows website users to post information trough email. Some kind of pre formatted email form that you send to your subscribers and when they reply an automatic post is generate in your webpage.

    1. You could just use the existing Post By Email functionality in WordPress to achieve that, making the email address known to your subscribers:

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