521 – What is Crowdsignal?
Is there a plugin for that?
With more than 50,000 plugins in the WordPress repository, it’s hard to find the perfect one. Each week, I will highlight an interesting plugin form the repository.
For more great plugins, download my 50 Most Useful Plugins eBook.
Crowdsignal Forms is the new editor, when installed, you can create surveys, polls, and contact forms right from your WordPress Block Editor.
What is Crowdsignal?
Start asking, start listening, start learning.
With Crowdsignal, you can quickly and easily create polls and surveys.
What you can build:
• Contact forms
• Give aways
The following blocks are available:
• Matrix Question
• Multiple Choice Question
• Ranking Question
• Rating Question
• Text Question
• Drop down Input Form
• Upload File Form
• Text Input Form
• Email Input Form
• URL Input Form
• Submit Button
To get started for free, head on over to Crowdsignal.com
Thank you to those who use my affiliate links. As you know I make a small commission when someone uses my link and I want to say thank you to the following people. For all my recommended resources, go to my Resources Page
Full TranscriptBusiness Transcription is provided by GMR Transcription.
Last week, I shared a little bit about how I moved from V I P to crowd signal as part of my developer apprenticeship.
And so today I wanna talk about what crowd signal is and how you can use it on your WordPress site right here on your website, engineer podcast, episode number 521.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of your website, engineer podcast. My name is Dustin Hartzer and I'm excited to be here with you today, cuz I'm gonna tell you a little bit about behind the scenes of what a crowd signal is and how you can use it. And I think it's a phenomenal tool and I look forward to seeing more and more people try it and uh, see how, how much better of an experience that we're trying to create by using, to build this new form tool plugin.
Before we dive in, like always, I have a couple announcements and I have a plugin that I wanna share with you today. Two plugins actually today. And so the first thing is all about the WordPress world photography day. And in celebration of world photography day, WordPress photo directory team has issued a challenge designed to get people contributing.
Basically you submit a photo that captures something unique about your local area. In a way that helps represent the geographic diversity of the WordPress community. That's that's the prompt. And so you can, you basically will upload this with the location or where the image was taken and you have it at a tag world photography day 2022.
And the cool part is, and, and I don't know why this always gets me. It's like, I'm not really much of a photographer and I'm not super interested in this challenge, but. If you, if you do this challenge and you actually submit an image and it is accepted, then you get a photo contributor badge inside your wordpress.org profile.
So you might have one that says a plugin developer or core contributor. Maybe it says a test contribute. Maybe it says, a theme developer. Maybe it says meetup organizer. I'm not sure what all the, all of them are that are out there, but photo contributor is one. And so you've got a little bit of time to do this.
You have until the 28th of August. So just a couple days from when this releases to do this. And I got a link in the show notes. So you can see all of the details. If you want, take a picture of something that is local to you and important to you, and you can upload it for multiple people to use inside that free photo area inside the WordPress project.
The second announcement today is is a really neat one. This one is Jamie Marshland recreates the wordpress.org homepage in 20 minutes using only the block editor. And so this is a video that's on YouTube. The there's a link to the WP Tavern article about there, but basically he wanted to take the time to figure out if they could design what that he sees as the wordpress.org homepage.
If he could redo the whole thing in the block editor. And in 20 minutes, he got it pretty dog on close. It looks like he's about 95% of the way there with the final 5%, um, takes the most amount of time, just the tweaking with the margins, tweaking with the fonts and things like this.
And so if you're just interested in seeing how the block editor works and how some, how you can create something as cool and dynamic, and as the homepage of the wordpress.org site, I highly recommend checking this out. It's actually twenty four minutes in length, cuz there's a little bit of intro he talks about at the beginning, like what he was gonna do and it sets up the video or whatnot, but it is pretty cool that you can, you can tell that the, that the design was driven.
Basically it was designed first. It was a design driven theme versus designed in the editor. So basically somebody designed it in Photoshop or designed it in Figma or one of the tools out there. And then they built it with the, with the block editor and then made the additional tweaks outside of that.
And so it wasn't built specifically with the block editor, like right outta the box, but they use the block editor to match that rendering, to get the design just perfect. And so there's some information about that in the show notes.
And the last thing that I wanna share with you today is another place to kind of discover and find upcoming events in the WordPress space. So I know that WordPress events are starting up again. We're starting to travel Word Camp us is in two weeks, but there's so many, we, we kind of missed that.
Like, Work word, camp meetup, maybe your local community used to have one every month and they're no longer doing that. Maybe there were lunch and learns that you would go to. Maybe you just have kind of been like me and just completely out of the WordPress space over the last year. Cuz I was diving right deep into V I P and not really paying attention to what was going on in the WordPress land.
But I was looking for events in trying to see what was coming up. And I found an article over on WP Tavern about an upcoming workshop of how to take a Figma theme. So kind of like what they did for the wordpress.org site, they took a digital rendering, a digital design, and they turned it into a block theme.
And I was like, oh, that sounds pretty interesting. Like I've never, I've never done anything like that. Maybe that's something that I can watch. And then I was, I went through and looked and it was actually happening last. It happened last week. I'm late to the news, but it does help me to understand and realize that there is a free meetup group it's over on meetup.com.
It's called Learn WordPress Online. And it has a ton of workshops. And so I'll link to this in the show notes, so you can check it out, but basically they have upcoming events and past events all on there. I'm recording this on August 24th. And so on August 25th, Thursday, there is a re exporting or exploring the power of block variations.
The next day is how do they do that? The very basics of block theme development on Monday next week. What is a domain name system, DNS? What is that? The next also on Monday is build a header from scratch and those are at different times. Now the domain name system one is at 3:00 AM Eastern. So you'll probably have to catch a replay there, but.
It gives you the ability to, to learn these things. And there's just dozens upon dozens of these things on there, plus they, so those are all the upcoming ones. Plus they have the ones that happened in the past. So if I look here, there was an event that happened yesterday, or actually this morning that was in intro to templates or troubleshooting WordPress or
the one that sounds interesting to me is let's code converting a short. Code into a block. And so if you've ever built a WordPress team and added short codes, now you can create in, into a block. And so this one's a really cool, there's a, a replay here available. It basically tells you the tools that you'll need.
And basically it's a local installed WordPress. You need a text editor and you need to have a local development environment with. Note or NPM set up. And so there was 95 attendees that happened live, and then there it is posted on wordpress.tv. There's a link right there to, to watch the video replay. So I think it's a really cool tool and I'm gonna keep, keep my eye out on these.
And maybe this is something that we can kind of bring up every once in a while to see what's happening and what's out there because we know that we love WordPress events. We love going to, to meetups, but. With them not happening that often, or maybe you're you're going, or you don't have the time to go or whatnot, but you could pick up one of these a week and just learn something new.
I think that's pretty incredible. And it's super neat. That it's all free and it's all right there. And I think the meetup page does a little better job of like highlighting what's coming and, and what you're gonna talk about, instead of just trying to find relevant topics to listen, to and watch on wordpress.tv.
So that's the end of my rambling. That's the end of the news for today.
The two plugins that I wanna share you with you today are the Crowd signal plugins. We have one called crowd signal forms and we have one called crowd signal dashboard. So the crowd signal dashboard is the original plugin. This is the one that, um, basically you can, you can build your stuff over on crowd signal.com.
We'll talk about this in just a minute, and then you can grab an in embed link and then you can add the in embed link right into your WordPress site with the crowd signal dashboard. And so basically that's all it is. You've got two different interfaces. You're you're building over on crowd signal.com and then you are taking your you're taking those links and you're using.
Plug in to embed them into your WordPress site, wherever you want them, whether it be posts or pages or widgets or sidebars or things like that. The other one is the crowd signal forms, and that is the new one. And that one will allow you, once you connect to your crowd signal account, then you can build the form right inside your WordPress dashboard.
And we'll talk about that in just a second. It's like adding, it just adds a bunch of new blocks to your WordPress site. So if you wanted to have like a survey that you wanted to do right inside your site, you can do that with the crowd. Forms plugin. And that's the one that is one that I'll be working on.
I'm working on part of the, the there's a new editor that's coming, that we're working on and we're also spending time on this crowd signal forms, plugin. So if you are on wordpress.com, if you have a hosted site on wordpress.com, the crowd signal forms, plugin is automatically built in. You can just start creating
forms and surveys and polls and stuff automatically. But if you are on a self hosted version, head on over to the WordPress repository and find the crowd signal forms, plug in, and from there, you install it and then it'll connect to your crowd signals account. And we'll talk about how to create accountant stuff in just a minute.
And then you can start creating some really cool polls. You can customize them, you can do backgrounds and you can do the borders or change the fonts and all that kinda stuff inside your dashboard. With the inside your WordPress dashboard, that is with the crowd signal forms, plugin. So that is on my spiel on the plugins that are there.
So the, the main homepage of crowd signal basically says that the kind of the purpose behind crowd signal is with crowd signal. You can start asking, you can start listening and you can start learning. And I think that's really important. And I think it's something that I used to do a lot on your website, engineer.com.
When I was main, when this was my sole profession when I was building websites for clients and I was working just outta my house, like doing all these things. Like my goal was to get information from people to know what to produce. Like how could I create content? So if you've just joined me recently or haven't been around since 2010, when I started, I, I started with a podcast and then I.
Build out a bunch of websites for people. And then I started developing courses and I did a developer level course, and I wanted to know what I could teach in those type of atmospheres. And in the podcast every year I would do a survey, just kind of figuring out like what kind of information are you wanting to learn about WordPress and how can I best help?
And what's the thing that you're struggling with the most. And what section of the podcast you like? Like I wanted to know this information. I think this is important for every single business that's out. There's always so much to learn from our customers or our audience. And so what I would do is I would create either a survey monkey form, or maybe I would use gravity forms and try to build that into the WordPress site.
Or maybe I would use a Google doc and then get everything in a spreadsheet. There's just different ways that you could collect this information, but that's what you can do with crowd signal. You could take the information or you. Create your questions, create your survey and poll, and then you can use that information.
You can embed it right on your WordPress site. You can get data right to your WordPress site and it just seamlessly works with your site. The other cool thing with crowd signal and the thing that we're working on too, is to, to let people know that you can use it instead of a gravity forms or. Set of ninja forms or instead of contact form seven, just to build a contact form, a simple contact form name, email, phone, message.
And then you can put that on your website and you can build it right in the WordPress dashboard. If you are familiar with some of these plugins, with gravity forms or ninja forms, like you go and you build your form over some random place there, you know, there's the gravity forms menu. You go and you build the thing or ninja forms.
You go over there, you build, you build the form and then you get an embed code and then you take the embed code and go to your contact page and put the embed code on that page. Where, when we use the crowd signal forms, plug in, you can just go to the contact form and you can say, I want a, a name field.
I want a phone field. I want a message field. And then I'm completely done. And you can it's that visual thing. Of using the WordPress block editor that you really can, um, build that, build that survey or that poll or whatever you're doing right in line with the content that's on your website.
So I think I've probably said it before, but crowd signal.com is the place to go for all the information about how, what it looks like, how you can get started and things like that. So some of the features of a crowd signal is that you can create surveys and minutes. You can do polls or quizzes or forms.
You can do a question, you know, 17 questions and form field types and multiple choice and multiple select. I'll talk about all the different blocks that are available. You can add custom styles to match your brand. So you can customize things like you can change the typography. You can change the border colors or the font, colors, all that kind of stuff.
You have full control over all your data too. So once you get, you start getting results, you can see exactly where people are coming to you from. That's really cool. You can look and see, like you can see the countries that are responding and the people that are responding, you can see the answers to the questions you can export your data.
You can share it, you can, uh, do anything that you want with the data, and you can also connect your data to Google sheets and other things. So like you can have a smooth workflow. Maybe you have all your data coming into crowd signal, but you also wanna show people. And that you don't want to give your backend access to your WordPress site.
You give them, you connect to Google sheets and then it syncs together. You can ask as many questions as you like. There's no like, limits on like, oh, you can only have three form fields or things like that. You can limit double voting in spam. So you can say that I want to, maybe it's a password protected form.
Like people have to use a password or you can do IP restrictions so you can block by IP address. Or you can say only one. Per IP address, you can do all of that kind of stuff, which is really cool. So you're not getting people that even if they change browsers, like they can still only vote once because it's limited to their IP address.
And again, you can share and embed these anywhere. You can basically build your whole form out and then it can, you can share it with a link. Then you can post those links on social, or you can send 'em out with an interactive email surveys. You can do all that kind of stuff. It's it's. Really powerful and it's pretty cool.
You can even do the conditional logic that everybody asked was asking for, especially on commerce. It's like, oh, if I have this question, can they go to a different question? And yes, with conditional branching, people can take a different path through your survey based on their responses. So what that means is if they answer question one, Either a or B then if they go, if they answer a, then they get question two a or if they answer B, they get question two B.
So you can walk them through a path to get to the answer that you need or, you know, whatever you're looking to do. And then you can also ask for ratings and get instant feedback. So you can do like. Five star ratings. You can do that. Or you can do like thumbs down or thumbs up, things like that. And there are just a ton and ton of features.
There is some pricing involved like you can get started completely for free, of course, but there are pricing involved in the free basically has unlimited question surveys, polls, and ratings. You can create up to 2,500 signals. And what is a signal you may ask a signal is a response that you collect via a poll, a rating, a vote, a clap, or a question.
So some of the different products, like if you have a poll, like, and it's like a three question, uh, poll, if someone C. answer is once that is one signal. If someone gives you a rating, that's one signal. If somebody is using a multiple choice option, or has three questions, I guess say let's say three questions.
First, three questions, three responses. That's three signals. If there's three questions and they only respond to two of the questions, that's two signals. So basically every piece of data that you're collecting counts as a signal. So you can have up to 2,500 signals with the free account, and then it kind of goes up.
The, the plans are. $0, $15, $25. And a team goes to $29 per user. So that's all there. It's great to get started. And if you're just creating a simple contact form on your WordPress site, I very highly doubt that you would have more than 2,500 requests in a full in a month's time. But you never know, like some sites are super, super busy and have lots of things that you can do.
But anyways, I wanted to share a couple of the different blocks that are out there, and I don't have time to do like a. Tell you all the features about all of 'em, but basically you can build the blocks. You can set 'em as required or not required. And you can, again, you can set that logic so you can work through like, oh, if the answer to this question, I want them to skip questions three, four, and five, and then move on to question six, but you can have a matrix question, which is basically like the surveys that you see, like radars from one to 10 on.
Five different things. There's multiple choice questions. So pick the best answer. There are ranking questions. So like rank these from highest to lowest. There are rating questions. So basically like give us a rating. There's text questions. So basically it's just, here's my question. And put in your answer, drop down form input.
So you can have a dropdown or a select box. If you will, you can upload file form fields, and those will be uploaded to your WordPress site or your crowd signal site for you to look at later. You can do a text input form there's email input forms there a URL form. And of course there has to be a submit button.
So that's what I wanna share with you today. Just kind of a high overview of the pieces of crowd signal, what it is and what we're working on over there. So I know that over the next few months, as I continue to, to journey through here and learn things like I'll be telling you about the crowd signal, this or the crowd signal this, or check this out.
This is really, really cool. But all I ask is just take the time to install the crowd signal forms plugin on one of your sites and just give it a go and see what you can create and see how cool it is and how it can match your site very efficiently and very quickly to get up and running and just start, start getting those responses from, from surveys.
So that's what I wanna share with you this week. I hope that you spend a little bit of time looking at crowd signal and next week we'll talk about something as probably getting ready for Word Camp us. But we'll talk about something WordPress next week as well. Take care and we'll talk again. Bye bye for more great WordPress information, head on over to yourwebsiteengineer.com.