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Add a Google Docs Form to Your Blog

Why would you want to add a Google Docs Form to your blog? Well, it’s a great way to collect data from your blog or website visitors. Let me set this up with some history.

Long ago, people created static websites by uploading text and images to a web server. When owners of the website wanted the information updated more often, they would have to edit a text file or a billion of them depending how large their website was.

If you wanted to put a form on your website, you had to create the form in a text editor and hook it all up to a database that would collect the submitted data. This involved quite a bit of knowledge on running and managing databases as well as writing the code to interact with the form and the database.

Now, you can still do all that today when you want a lot of control over a website, but there are websites and tools that make it a lot easier to collect data from your site visitors.

Dynamic Websites

As website technologies matured, database driven sites came along. Database driven sites are dynamically created, which means a web page is created “on-the-fly” when a visitor browses to your site. It does this by putting the pieces of a web page together from the information stored in a database.

With blogs being a type of website that are easy to setup and maintain, and database driven, you still run into scenarios where you want to provide more functionality than was originally intended for blogs. Collecting data via a form on your blog is one of those tasks. Google Docs Forms is a great way to provide that functionality – for FREE!!

Forms

Enter Google Docs. Browse over to Google Docs and create an account if you don’t already have a Google account. When you land on your main page where you work with documents do the following:

  1. Click on New
  2. Click on Form

At this point, you’ll be presented with a form designer to design a form to collect data. Below is an example of the form I created for this blog post.

With the form designer you can add fields one at a time using a button called “Add question”. As you create fields you select what type of field it is – a text field, paragraph, multiple choice, check boxes, lists, a scan of 1-n field, etc.

While you are creating a form, you can preview it with a link that is placed on the bottom of the form designer.

When you’re all finished designing the form and you’re ready to put it on your blog, you select the menu choice More choices -> Embed. You get a link to your form in HTML format. You embed Google Forms on your blog or website and voila – you have a form to collect data with. Pretty cool.

Storing Data

But how does it store the data? It will be written to a Google Docs Spreadsheet under your Google account. The spreadsheet gets created automatically and data will be added to it as visitors fill out and submit the information. You can also share this document out for others to review.

After a visitor submits the data, a thank you page within your blog page appears, which is nice because it doesn’t navigate away from your blog page.

2/14/09 Update: Here’s a link to what the output looks like.

A cool thing you can do is automatically display the results on your blog. There’s quite a few nice features that Google Docs provides so make sure you subscribe to my blog to find out more about Google Docs and Google Docs Forms in future articles.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashutosh Sharma August 31, 2010 at 7:44 am

gr8888888888 article!!!!
Thanx…………
creating google docs step by step can be seen on
http://bloggashu.blogspot.com

Reply

Shellyjons August 7, 2011 at 10:45 am

Thanks You very much for this great post. I was searching such a way for three hours. now my form can be seen here:
http://unlimited-back-link.blogspot.com/ 

Reply

onepost December 19, 2011 at 3:21 am

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Reply

Elia January 12, 2012 at 6:52 am

Google Docs is a good way to go for online forms and you have described it with profficiency in this post. However, there are even better free alternatives out there. I may mention 123ContactForm. Here are some of the features I find most useful.

- CSS customization – because styling forms to fit the image of the site is important.

- CAPTCHA and smart CAPTCHA anti-spam options available, and also SSL encryption of data.

- We always need better control over data. 123ContactForm works well with 3rd party apps such as MailChimp, and even with Google Docs.

Reply

TOdd Swank September 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Thanks for solving that problem for me! Excellent post!

Reply

santoreeves October 2, 2012 at 11:03 pm

How to add this to a dynamic view?

May be you need something more in the coding part of the form embedding.

Reply

krishnapctips.blogspot.com November 9, 2012 at 11:24 am

Thanks …. awesome post……i was havin trouble with the submitting part wen i created my own form….Google Drive form is awesome!…! :)

Reply

Attique December 3, 2012 at 1:08 am

I am happy to find it at your site. I am very thankful to you for this great article.

I have still a problem that how can i edit this form, if ever i feel to do changes in it. Please help me know more.

Thanks a lot.

Reply

Attique December 3, 2012 at 1:20 am

Hi, Friends:

I got my answer, that how to edit in your form, If you also don’t know see this.

go to your Google doc form, Open it and click on and it will show you, your form embedded code , cancel it and you can edit in your form, Thanks a lot.

Regards
Attique Zahid

Reply

Attique December 3, 2012 at 1:22 am

Hi friends,

i forgot to tell where to click, you have to clik at Form(1) menue and then from drop down items select Embed Form on a webpage. you will reach at your edit from page.

Thanks
Attique Zahid

Reply

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