Archive for January, 2011

How to Build a PayPal Subscription Form

Many websites allow visitors to access online content and services for a monthly subscription fee. Creating a subscription form is somewhat different from creating a regular payment form, because it involves setting up a recurring payment, so that the buyer is automatically billed a fixed amount of money at a fixed interval until the subscription is canceled. The online form builder’s payment integration feature now supports PayPal Subscriptions.

PayPal Subscription Form

Creating a Subscription Form

Creating a subscription form is quick and easy:

  1. If you haven’t got a FormSmarts account yet, sign up for a FormSmarts Business account, then create a form with the form generator
  2. In the Form Details screen of the form generator, set the On Submission option to Integrate with PayPal using Advanced Integration
  3. Add radio buttons, a drop-down list or a checkbox, and enter the description, price and duration of subscription options formatted as My Subscription ($19.99 USD/month), as shown on the screenshot above and in this demo.

Duration of a Subscription

The time before another payment is due can be specified in days, weeks, months, or years. The form builder understands the following formatting variations:

  • Monthly Subscription ($9.99 USD/Month)
  • 30-Day Subscription ($9.99 USD/30 days)

Trial Subscription

Like in the example presented in the first section, you may specify a trial period for the subscription. This is typically used to give a free trial subscription to the buyer before he is charged for the first billing cycle. The buyer will not have to pay anything if he cancels the subscription before the end of the trial period.

  • The trial period doesn’t need to be free
  • You may specify up to two trial periods
  • Any trial periods must be placed on the form after the main subscription specification.

Payment in Installments

A payment in installments is a recurring payment where the number of payments is fixed.

FormSmarts supports installments with the following syntax:

  • Payment in 12 Installments (12x$9.99 USD/month)
  • Try this demo

Any Feedback?

As always, your feedback is important to us and is our primary source of inspiration for developing new features. You can also post your questions and comments on Facebook and Twitter (@FormSmarts).

Attach a File to a Form in a Click: File Upload Made Easy

With the new file upload feature, you can now let form users attach a picture or document to a form like in this demo.

Form with File Upload Field

Adding a file upload widget to your forms is as easy as adding a simple text box: visit the Fields Tab of the form builder, and create a new field choosing the File Upload widget. That’s all there is to it. Once a file has been uploaded and the form confirmed, that file will be stored on FormSmarts and available to you.

Customizing File Upload Fields

Although a file upload field created as just described will be fully functional, you may want to restrict the type of content the form will allow users to upload, as well as set the maximum file size permitted. You can also specify how long FormSmarts should keep uploaded documents on the server. To change these options, visit the Field Details screen of the form builder.

File Upload: Form Builder with File Attachment

Allowed Content Type

By default, a file upload field will accept all supported content types: documents (PDF, Word, Excel, RTF, OpenOffice ODF, and HTML documents) and images (JPEG, PNG, and GIF). You can restrict the type of content the form will allow users to upload to either documents or images. For example, if you’re building a job application form, you will want applicants to upload their CV and should restrict uploads to Documents to prevent mistakes.

Maximum File Size

By default, the maximum size of uploaded files is set to the maximum for your plan: 2Mb for Business Starter, 4Mb for Business Plus, 6Mb for Business Max, 8Mb for Business Premier and 10Mb for the next plan up. You can use the slider to change that value to whatever makes sense for the purpose of the form.

Storage Policy for Uploaded Content

You can define the period of time during which FormSmarts will keep uploaded content. At this time, we support five storage policies:

  • 5 days
  • 10 days
  • 30 days
  • 90 days
  • Forever (default)

While storing file attachments on the server forever gives you the most flexibility, you may then exceed your storage quota — currently 100Mb for Business Starter, 500Mb for Business Plus, 1.5Gb for Business Max, and 5Gb for Business Premier. You can view your current usage in the Resource Usage section of your account. We’ll send you an email if you’re getting close to or exceed the storage space for your plan.

Note: Form attachments for online forms integrating with PayPal using Advanced Integration are retained for at least 20 days, even if the storage policy is set to 5 or 10 days.

Secure File Upload with SSL

File upload works with FormSmarts secure form feature so that files attached to a secure form only transit via a secure connection (SSL), both when uploaded to FormSmarts and downloaded to your computer.

Any Feedback?

As always, your feedback is important to us and is our primary inspiration for developing new features and improving existing ones.

Have a wonderful 2011.

About the Form Builder Blog

The Online Form Builder Blog is published by FormSmarts, a web form service providing all you need to create a form and publish it online in minutes. FormSmarts makes it easy to build a form and embed it on your site. You can then get form submissions by email or store them on FormSmarts and download an Excel report. Learn more about the many other benefits of FormSmarts.