U3A Oversights

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General Web and IT Matters

This page is a source for news and explanations which are not specific to the Site Builder software, but are relevant to the process of publishing and maintaining a U3A web site, and of using IT and web technology for the benefit of U3A members. The topics will reflect the more general questions which members of the support team have answered in the past, and any new questions sent directly via this site.

Latest article: Adding forms to a web site (updated)

This article was contributed by Derrick Fewings, webmaster of the North West Region web site

The Site Builder does not allow you to introduce additional forms for, e.g. the purpose of capturing registration details for members wishing to attend events. Nor can you incorporate HTML code in order to introduce forms.

I have managed to work around those limitations so that the U3A NWR website can incorporate tailored forms which offer on-line registration for events. This is proving a very popular facility. The solution entails creating a form (I use Google Forms),and embedding a link to it from the event record on a U3A Site Builder website. In more detail ....

  1. Open a Google account. Find the Google Forms application and use it to create a form that meets your needs. (You can model your forms on those given on the U3A NWR website). Data from completed forms will be written to a spreadsheet on your Google drive. When you create a form, Google Forms automatically creates an associated spreadsheet. Data from completed forms is written to that spreadsheet.
  2. To check the fitness of your form, view the form, complete the form, review your details on the spreadsheet and then delete that row from the spreadsheet.
  3. View the form again. Use copy and paste to register the form's web address into your U3A website page as a link.
  4. You now have a web page with a form. When a visitor to your webpage submits the form, the submitted details will immediately be written to the spreadsheet on your Google drive.
  5. To allow colleagues ( e.g. event administrators ) to view or modify the spreadsheet, return to your spreadsheet and select the 'share' option from the 'files' menu. Input their email address and indicate whether they can just read or read and modify the content. The nominated collaborator(s) will be sent an email containing a link, which they can click to access the spreadsheet. Alternatively, copy and paste the data to your own local spreadsheet and forward that to interested parties.

If you wish to see how this facility appears to visitors, have a look at the event entries on the U3A North West Region website.

Derrick Fewings
Webmaster, U3A NWR