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Taking a form offline

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You can take any of your published forms offline whenever you want. You can do this through two methods:

  1. Delete the published form.
  2. Mark the published form as offline.

The first method generally isn't a good idea. Any pages that link to your form page will need to be updated to remove the link, otherwise they'll result in a 404 (page not found) error for anyone that clicks on it. Since search engines may well have catalogued the form URL, removing all the links on your site may still not be enough to prevent errors. However, if you do prefer this method, just go to your Edit Form » Publish tab and click the "x" for the published form that you wish to delete. Done!

The second method - marking the form as offline - leaves the page on your website, but changes the content to show a (customizable) "Form offline!" message. The following sections on this page explains everything you need to know about taking a form offline.

How to take a form offline

Example Form Builder window
Example Form Builder window
Taking a published form offline is very simple. Just go to your Edit Form -> Publish tab and click on the edit icon for the published form you want to take offline. The edit link will open up the Form Builder window, containing the configuration sidebar and a visual depiction of your form. See the screenshot to the right for an example of how this page looks.

To take your form offline, just uncheck the "Is Online" checkbox in the "MAIN SETTINGS" panel, then click the "Apply Changes" button to see how it looks. The Form Builder will then refresh the page to show you how the offline form page looks.

Related information:

Scheduling a time for a form to be taken offline

Scheduled Offline Form
Scheduled Offline Form
Depending on your form, you may find it convenient to schedule a time for it to go offline. Here's how to do this:

  1. First, open up the Form Builder window for your published form (Edit Form » Publish tab and click the edit icon for the published form).
  2. In the window, click on the "OTHER SETTINGS" panel in the left sidebar. There, enter a date and time in the "Automatically take form offline on" field.
  3. Click the "SAVE" button and close the Form Builder window.

Your form is now scheduled to go offline at the time specified. To confirm that there's no problem with the server timezone offsets (see below), return to the Edit Form » Publish tab and refresh the page. All published forms that are scheduled to be taken offline will show a clock icon in the "Online" column (see screenshot to the right). When you click on the clock, a dialog window will appear showing the current date and time and when the form is slated to go offline. If the dates appear to be incorrect, you'll need to tweak your server timezone!

Server Timezone Offsets

Settings -> Accounts tab (2.1.x)
Settings -> Accounts tab (2.1.x)
Sometimes, you may find that your server is located in a different timezone from yourself. This causes problems with scheduling your form to come offline, since the server will think it's one time - but for you, it's actually another!

The Form Builder takes into account your server timezone offset through the setting on the Settings » Accounts tab. On that page, choose the appropriate value from the "System Timezone Offset" dropdown. To ensure there's no confusion, each option in the dropdown shows the appropriate time for that offset value, so all you need to do is find the offset value that matches the time in your own location.

See the screenshot to the right to see where the setting is located and what it looks like.

People in middle of putting through submissions when a form goes offline

Offline Form Settings
Offline Form Settings
What happens to people already in the process of putting through a submission at the moment a form goes offline? They may be very frustrated to find that they've gotten cut-off halfway through the form - especially for larger forms where they may have spent considerable time!

To ward against this, by default the Form Builder will permit everyone already in the process of putting through a submission to finish their submission. So, anyone who has already started the form (i.e. have at least the first page opened in their browser) will be able to continue.

However, this may not be what you want. If you want to immediately cut off all submissions, do the following:

  1. Log into Form Tools as an administrator and go to the Modules page.
  2. Select the Form Builder module.
  3. Click on the "Settings" link in the module navigation at the top left
  4. Click on the "Offline Forms" tab.
  5. For the "Offline Form Behaviour" setting, select the "Immediately prevent all submissions" option.

Tip: when you're first creating and testing out your published form, you may want to clear out the sessions and reset it to page 1. To do this, just append ?clear to the end of your form name, e.g. yourformname.php?clear. This will completely clear out any memory for the current form and show you what a new user will see when first going to your form.

Customizing the default Form Offline page content

Edit Offline Form page content (fullscreen)
Edit Offline Form page content (fullscreen)
Since each form is likely to have a different "thankyou" / "receipt" page, the Form Builder lets you edit that content right within the Form Builder window itself.

In the left sidebar, click the "FORM OFFLINE PAGE CONTENT" section to expand the contents. There, you will see a single textarea where you can customize what the users will see in that page. Since this window is quite small, you may want to click on the "edit full screen" link that appears at the bottom. That will open up a dialog window as shown in the screenshot to the right, where you can edit the content in full screen mode.

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