Gravity Forms ShootQ add-on – WordPress Plugin

Anyone who uses the photographer’s studio management software ShootQ knows there are extremely few options for integrating it with an existing web site, especially with the ubiquitous WordPress, and they left a lot to be desired. What I wanted to create was a way to use Gravity Forms for my ShootQ integration because of it’s flexibility and fabulous feature set. Here is the fruit of that effort: the Gravity Forms ShootQ add-on. Of course, you need to have Gravity Forms already installed, so go ahead and get it now.

Installation

Once you have installed Gravity Forms, download and install the Gravity Forms ShootQ add-on. Once activated, you will see there is a convenient link to the Settings page in the plugin’s entry in the plugin list. This is where you will need to enter the API Key and Brand Abbreviation from your ShootQ account.

If you’re not already, log into ShootQ in a separate browser window and visit the Public API page from the Settings tab. Copy the API Access Key and Brand Abbreviation from the Public API page into their corresponding fields in the plugin settings.

You will notice the checkbox on your Public API page that says “Enable Public API access” for your brand (circled in red below). You must check this box in order for the plugin to communicate with your ShootQ account! Check this box, close your ShootQ window and return to WordPress.

The Public API page on ShootQ

Configuration

Once your ShootQ Settings are saved, it will prompt you to create a new feed. A “feed” is a connection you make between the ShootQ add-on and a Gravity Form. This enables you to use the ShootQ plugin only with those forms you designate. If you have not done so, go ahead and create a new form you want to use to collect leads for ShootQ. You may collect any information you like, but ShootQ requires the minimum of a name and an email address for the customer. Make sure you mark these fields as “required” when creating your form. I also suggest disabling the notifications on the form and letting ShootQ handle that process.

You should also include a Shoot Type in either a hidden field (if you want to set a single type for the form), or create a select box and let the user select the type themselves. I would recommend also providing fields for the shoot date, referrer, and remarks as the minimum fields for a ShootQ lead creation form. Keep in mind that Gravity Forms allows you to have conditional fields, so you can implement functionality similar to (or better than!) ShootQ’s own public contact form.

Sample Gravity Form with fields already populated

Above you will see the sample form I created. It’s just a basic form that contains the minimum fields I suggested, in addition to some extra fields asking for a favorite color and requested products. Later on you will see how these fields are incorporated into your data sent to ShootQ. For now, though, we need to create a page (or post) that will display our form. Follow the directions for adding a Gravity Form to a page.

After you add your form and save your page, return to the ShootQ Feeds list by clicking “ShootQ” from the Forms section of the WordPress admin menu, then click “Add New.” (If you had already created a form to use and are still on the ShootQ Settings page, just click the “configure a new feed” link that appeared after you saved your settings.) This will take you to the Add/Edit ShootQ Feed page.

Form selection from the Add/Edit ShootQ Feed page

The Gravity Form select box lists all of the available forms you have to choose from. (If you have a ShootQ feed already configured for a form, that form will not appear in the list.) Select the form you created in the steps above and you will be shown a list of fields that correspond to the data to be sent to ShootQ, and next to those is a list of every field you added to your form (see below). You will notice that the required fields I mentioned above are highlighted in red to remind you of their importance. For each ShootQ field on the left, select or “map” the corresponding form field on the right. Map as many as are necessary, and make sure those required fields get mapped. Then click the Save Feed button and you’re all set!

Mapping fields in the Add/Edit ShootQ Feed page

You may now want to test your form to see how it performs. Visit the page in which you embedded your form and fill in some test data. If you revisit the sample form above, you will see the data I used in my form when I submitted it. When I then visit the lead in ShootQ, I get the following lead information:

The sample lead as it appears in ShootQ

As you can see, the user’s name and email are now the main contact and the requested session date is our shoot date. You will also notice that the extra fields we added to our form – the favorite color and products questions – are displayed below the remarks in a section entitled “Additional Information.” This area displays your field name followed by a colon and the information the user provided. This is very handy for collecting important information such as best time to call, communication preferences, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Troubleshooting

A few of you may experience problems with no leads getting to ShootQ. First of all, make sure you copied the entire API Key and pasted it into the field. Typing it manually is just asking for trouble and it’s so much more work! Same goes for your Brand Abbreviation. Copy and paste is always your best bet. Also, double-check that “enable public API access” checkbox. It’s easy to overlook this step, so don’t assume it’s done. Check the check!

Second, there are some web hosts who may have their servers set to block outgoing http requests by default. Contact your service provider and find out if this is the case. In most cases they will simply turn it on for you with no hassle.

If you’re still having problems, you’ll need to turn everything off and do a little testing. I know it may be a hassle, but you really shouldn’t get to this point as most issues will be resolved by following the steps above. In any case, here is the process in a nutshell:

  1. Change your theme to the Twenty Ten or Twenty Eleven theme that came with your WordPress installation, and deactivate all of your plugins except for Gravity Forms and the ShootQ add-on plugin.
  2. Visit your form page – the one that uses the form to which you connected your ShootQ account – and submit some bogus information. If it works, then you’re on the right track. (If not, revisit the configuration instructions above.)
  3. Re-enable your theme and submit some more bogus information through your form. Did it still work? Great! Move on. If it didn’t, you have a theme incompatibility and you may have to find another theme.
  4. Is it still sending Joe Schmoe leads to ShootQ? Fantastic! Now, re-enable one plugin and then submit your form again with another dummy lead.
  5. Keep repeating the re-enable/submit procedure until you get a submission that doesn’t make it to ShootQ. The last plugin you activated is your perpetrator and should be given a fitting execution. Don’t worry, there are many more where that one came from…

A Note to ProPhoto Users

P.S. I have seen that people using the ProPhoto blog theme for WordPress are getting two leads in ShootQ instead of just one. This may be due ProPhoto having some built-in connectivity to ShootQ. Please check your settings and contact ProPhoto support if you need help.

Donations

If you’ve gained any benefit at all from the use of my plugin, please make a small donation. Your generosity is much appreciated! :D