By: Johan Lieu Back to Guides
Although many of you have been avid and loyal Wufoo users and customers for a long time now, lots of people sign up for Wufoo every day and aren’t 100% familiar with the depth of features (there are LOADS) that Wufoo offers. So we thought it would be fun and useful to delve back in history and create a series of posts dedicated to new Wufoo users.
WARNING: If you’re a seasoned Wufoo user, the Back to Basics series may not be for you.
WARNING II: Actually, even if you’re a seasoned Wufoo user, I’ll bet you a chocolate bar^ that you’ll still learn something new just because Wufoo has so many features that it will be impossible to know them all.
^chocolate bar is figurative and not real. Also, there is no spoon.
The topic of our first Back to Basics post is about how to use Wufoo to limit the number of entries your form gets. But wait, why would you ever want to limit the number of entries your form gets? Don’t you want to get as many entries as possible? Of course. But sometimes it makes sense to limit the number of entries. When? Like when…
- You’re running a competition and want to accept competition entries from when the competition starts at 7am and when it ends at 11am.
- You’re having a vote and want to limit entries in the vote to one vote per IP address.
- You’re selling a limited supply of items and need to make sure that you limit the number of entries to the number of items you have.
- You’re running a survey/poll and want to make sure each person can only submit an entry once.
Those are just a few usage scenarios where limiting entries to a form makes sense. If you’ve got more, feel free to share them in the comments.
So how do you limit entries to your form? While you’re editing your form, navigate over to the Form Settings tab and at the bottom there’s a module called Limit Form Activity. From here, you’ll be able to enable the options to limit the number of entries you get. The options are:
1. Ensure That Only Humans Submit Entries
Not mentioned in a usage scenario above, but if you want to ensure that the only entries you’re getting are from humans and not aliens, other computers (Skynet!) or other non-human lifeforms, you’ll need to enable CAPTCHA. By default, Wufoo will detect abusive behaviour and automatically enable CAPTCHA to ensure that you’re only getting valid entries. You can also opt to always show it or to never show it – that’s totally up to you.
Perfect for: Making sure that only humans submit entries to your form.
2. Limit the Number of Entries
If you want to limit the number of entries, your form can accept the option called Turn Off Form After is your friend. Just enter the maximum number of entries you want your form to accept, save, and that’s it. Once your form hits the maximum limit, anyone visiting the form from then on will see a nice message letting them know that your form is no longer accepting entries.
Perfect for: forms with a limited supply of inventory, sign-up forms for limited space events, competitions/draw forms with limited prizes, any form that is tied to a limited supply of something.
3. Accept Only One Entry Per IP Address
To limit entries to one entry per IP address, you’ll need to enable the option called Allow Only One Entry Per IP. This will prevent users from filling in your form more than once. You should note that if your user gets onto another computer on another internet connection with a different IP address, they could fill in your form again.
Perfect for: one competition entry per person forms; giveaway forms to ensure that one person doesn’t get all the prizes; surveys and polls where you only want one answer per person; and any form where you want people to submit an entry only once.
4. Turn Your Form On and Off Automatically
If you would like your form to be available only within a limited time window, navigate your way to the option called Schedule Form Activity. When you enable this option, start/end date/time options for your form will appear. From here you’ll be able to select when you want your form to become active or inactive based on the date and time you select.
Perfect for: draw/competition forms with a limited time window to enter, time sensitive RSVP forms, event sign-up forms or any form relating to a limited time window.
That’s the end of the first post in the new Back to Basic series about why and how you would limit the number of entries your form gets. This is an ever-changing and evolving series, so please let us know what you think below.
If you’re one of those seasoned Wufoo users and have ideas for the next post in this series, please suggest them below. And if you have any other uses for why you would want to limit the number of entries a form gets, share below and we’ll try to highlight them.