Wondering how to create a dynamic form in WordPress? With the right dynamic form builder, it’s easy! Set up dynamic fields in minutes with Formidable Forms.
Approximate read-time: 5 minutes
If you are looking to create dynamic forms on your WordPress site, you need the best WordPress form builder for the job. But with all the online form builder options out there, which one has the advanced features needed to create dynamic forms?
Enter Formidable Forms - the WordPress plugin that gives you the power to create dynamic forms, no matter what type of form you want to build.
In this article, we’re going to show you how Formidable has all the settings and field types you need to craft whatever dynamic form you need for your WordPress website. Let’s cut to the chase and get into it!
Why make WordPress dynamic forms?
Dynamic forms, simply put, are forms that are characterized by constant change, activity, or progress. This means that as a user engages with a form, the form may change based on their input. The form may also change if the same user has submitted a different form previously.
The term Dynamic is pretty broad. You could actually consider features like conditional logic or the ability to save progress in a form “dynamic”. So what is a dynamic form? And why would you need to make one?
Chances are you might have some ideas if you are reading this post! For the sake of inspiration, here are a few more ideas why you might need dynamic fields:
- To create a form that stays linked to an original form submission.
- For forms that populate custom post categories (user generated content).
- To populate fields with data from another entry from a different form.
- To dynamically display data from a selected entry.
What industries would you use these features to boost? Service-based businesses, eCommerce, user-based sites, community sites, and many more can benefit from dynamic forms.
WordPress dynamic form fields in Formidable
Formidable Forms is an advanced form builder that makes building complex forms easy. And before you ask, yes, it can do a lot more than just create dynamic forms. Check out the many form features found in Formidable if you’re curious.
If you just care about dynamic forms, here we go! Depending on how you think of the word dynamic, there are four main types of dynamic fields in Formidable forms. These are:
- Dynamic fields
- Lookup fields
- Automatically populated fields
- Repeater fields
As you’ll see below, there’s a lot of ways to achieve your goal of dynamic forms! Using these features, you’ll only be limited by your imagination. Easily create something simple like a dynamic contact form for WordPress. Or create complex forms that use dynamic fields to pre-populate forms based on existing entries!
The best part about using our WordPress dynamic form builder? We’ve got extensive help documentation that will make dynamic forms easily to build for everyone! We’ve linked to each doc in the headers below.
One more thing before we dive in...
Before we get into the four types of dynamic field, there’s one honorable mention we should highlight: Formidable’s responsive, mobile-ready forms. When you think about it, forms should display dynamically based on the device and screen resolution they are be viewed on.
In that sense, Formidable Forms are always dynamic and will always scale properly on all mobile screens. Although the features below are all premium features, the free version of Formidable does include responsive forms. Nice.
Now let’s learn more about how WordPress forms & dynamic fields function in Formidable.
Dynamic fields are a great place to start. As the name suggests, these are form fields with dynamic abilities! In a nutshell, dynamic fields are used to create dropdowns, checkboxes and radio buttons that populate dynamically.
How do they populate dynamically though? Based on form submissions or other categories or taxonomies. Dynamic fields can act as a gateway between your forms. This will link form entries together and allow users to input data from dynamically generated fields.
The best part is that values submitted in dynamic fields stay linked to an original form entry. File uploads, email addresses - whatever data you collect can be used to tailor forms specifically to the user.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you need to provide the same piece of data to a business twice? Every time that happens from now on, just think, “those folks aren’t using Formidable Forms”!
Lookup fields are a little different than dynamic fields, but they still create a dynamic experience for the end-user. The main difference is that a lookup field can populate a form based on a set of data that is already saved.
Imagine a price table that supplies the correct price for a product depending on the variables chosen by the user. Lookup fields can help with that!
With lookup fields, you are still able to retrieve submitted values as with dynamic fields. There are some differences though, which you can find detailed here.
One classic example of a lookup field: cascading field options. A form that allows users to select their country, state, city (or country, province, city in Canada, for example) is based on a cascading lookup field.
Automically populated fields
Here’s the thing. Yes, dynamic fields and lookup fields can both be used to automatically populate fields. But that’s not the only way to make your forms dynamic.
For example, you can autofill fields with data from a user profile. You can collect geo-data like an IP address. You can also pass data between forms via the entry key.
Repeater fields are starting to become quite popular. In fact, we’ve got a number of form templates that use this feature prominently. It’s yet another way to make your forms dynamic.
This is the most simple way to create a dynamic form. By using a repeater field, you give the user the power to add fields (or groups of fields) to a form as needed.
There are many reasons why you would want to do this. Saving business opening hours to show on your website is one example.
Here’s an easy example: adding travelers to a tour group. Just keep adding people until the group is complete! Don’t forget grandpa.
We hope you’ve found this overview of Formidable’s dynamic form fields useful. We’ve spent the last 10 years perfecting these features so developers don’t need to reinvent the wheel. So while you could do all this manually, why add hours of work to the job?
Don’t forget to stick to the Formidable blog for more WordPress tips and tutorials. Thanks for coming by!
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Thanks for the examples. We use conditional fields and conditional logic extensively, but haven't done much with dynamic fields. We have used repeating fields quite a bit for purchase forms and such, but having auto-populated prices and such can be super helpful.
Jezrel Jane Himbing says
I'm grateful to have stumbled upon Formidable Forms for these kinds of advanced features. So far, with the help of this guide and the documentation, I have successfully implemented some lookup fields, automatically-populated fields, and repeater fields in registration forms I've built, which are complex in nature. Kudos to the team!
Thanks so much for the kind words. So glad you are finding success building your complex forms with Formidable Forms!
Jason Earrame says
I have created a number of dynamic forms using Formidable, in fact that is why I purchased the upgrade. Thanks for the article.
Christina Nelson says
We use the conditional logic a lot in our Formidable Forms forms but I haven’t yet done much with dynamic fields mentioned in this article. We’re working on a couple new websites soon, and this will come in handy as a more advanced tool. Thanks!