Using Ninja Forms on the KRD Website

Our theme uses a plug-in for quickly and easily making forms for embedding on our website. This is a quick guide for using Ninja Forms for making customized forms. [Ed. note: Originally created September 2019 for my senior-level, social journalism course.]

We are focusing on social listening, so we are looking for a lot of input from public. We will be doing this through social media, but we also hope to push people to our website. The easiest way to collect information from our website is through forms.

Building the form

We’ll be using the built-in form generator that came with our theme, Ninja Forms. Once you log in to WordPress, you should see a Ninja Forms button on the side.

The link will take you to the main menu for Ninja Forms. We currently have two forms: 1) Ask me a questions! and 2) Contact me. Here is the page where I deployed the Ask a Question form. To create a new form, click the “Add New” button.

Ninja Forms provides a number of prebuilt forms, including contact us, MailChimp sign-up, etc. You can start with one of them or you can start with a blank form.

Starting with a blank form, you’ll see that everything is pretty simple and drag-and-drop. If you want the user to enter their first name just choose the “first name” option. Just drag it over to the form builder on the left side of the screen.

You can add a number of different types of fields, such as text-entry fields — in either single line or paragraph variety — , checkboxes, or email fields. Once fields are in the form builder, you can move them around by dragging and dropping.

If you want to add a text block introducing the form or explaining something in the form, you can use the HTML field option in the right-side menu. Once you place the HTML field, click the gear to edit it and add the text.

When you are done building the form, click the publish button. Now when you go back to the Ninja Form main page, you’ll see your new form.

Changing the email for where responses are sent

By default, Ninja Forms sends all responses as an email to the email address listed as the administrator of the site in the WordPress install. To change this, go back into the form editor. You can get there by clicking the gear next to the form you want to edit and then clicking “edit.”

Once you are back in the form builder, you need to click the “Emails & Actions” link at the top left of the page.

On the next page you will see a row labeled “Admin Email,” click the gear next to it. The screen should now look like this:

In the box labeled “To” enter the email address where you want to responses to be sent. Click done and then publish it again. You should be good to go.

Embedding the form in a page or post

You are now ready to place your form on a page or in a post. Before you leave this page, look at the id number for the form you want to embed. For example, the id number for the new test form in the image above is 5. You’ll need this when you are embedding.

Now go to the page or post where you want to add the form. Click the “Add Form” button.

When the box pops up, enter the ID number from the last step (e.g., 5). Select the form that drops down and then hit “Insert.” The plug-in will then insert a shortcode into the text box. Place that shortcode where ever you want the form to be.

One additional note: after you hit insert it should look like this:

[ninja_form id=5]

Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t insert the number right, so make sure the number is actually there after the id number.

Once the shortcode is entered, you should be able to publish your post or page with the form included.

Associate Professor of Journalism and Director of Land Grant Films (@LandGrantFilms) at the University of Tennessee.