dotCMS Explained: The Revamped dotCMS Form Builder

November 04, 2019
Jason Smith

We’re living in an age where the amount of information available is growing at an incredible pace. In fact, internet users generate about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day. Businesses that can use even a fraction of this information when building their digital experiences have the potential to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Enterprises, therefore, need ways to capture and leverage information about their customers and site visitors that are straightforward and effective. For digital marketers, that means the ability to create flexible forms without the need for technical knowledge.

Let’s take a closer look at why forms are so powerful for digital marketing, and how dotCMS supports the creation of web forms with its advanced form builder.

Why Marketers Need Flexible Form Capabilities

Forms are a practical way for companies to gather information from new or existing customers. When used properly, they’re non-intrusive and users are more likely to provide their information. There are two primary reasons marketers need to use forms: gathering leads and collecting data.

Gathering Leads

An essential digital marketing strategy for gathering potential leads is with a lead magnet. This is an ebook, whitepaper, or another valuable digital asset that companies provide in exchange for basic contact information like an email or phone number. Sales teams can then contact the lead directly, or marketers can nurture the lead using email marketing techniques. In either case, the hardest part is getting the contact information from a large number of users from your target audience.

Lead magnets are crucial for growing a loyal audience and generating leads, but they must be relevant and frictionless to gather contact information effectively. The information companies provide in exchange should be highly valuable to consumers. In addition, users don't want to deal with a difficult signup process. That’s why marketers need to create forms that are quick and painless while still collecting useful customer contact information.

Collecting Data

Customer data is crucial for delivering personalized experiences in today’s digital era. There’s only so much implicit data companies can collect, however, about customer behaviors and interests. Even when companies can buy or gather customer information, its use is often limited under certain rules or regulations like GDPR.

That’s why gathering explicit data that customers willingly give is essential for organizations that seek to tailor the digital experiences they provide to specific users. The forms could be surveys or questionnaires that give marketing teams more insight into the wants and needs of their target audience. This information can fuel personalized experiences that increase conversions or drive targeted marketing campaigns in the future.

The dotCMS Form Builder

When it comes to supporting forms, dotCMS has an advanced Forms Module and intuitive form builder that follows the NoCode approach. That means sophisticated, reusable forms can be created within dotCMS without any technical knowledge necessary.

Within dotCMS, forms are created in the same way as any other content type. That means forms have the benefit of following the same workflows, permissions, localization, and processes as other content does. Business users, therefore, can easily collaborate when creating forms and reuse them later on, which significantly improves the productivity of marketing teams.

The form itself can have a variety of fields and attributes. Along with basic information, a form can have emails and host sites associated with it, so dotCMS knows where the information was submitted from and which users to notify about it. In addition, numerous fields can be added to the form with custom validation requirements using regular expressions (regex).


Once the form is created, it can easily be added to pages using the drag-and-drop visual editor so that marketers can optimize the user experience for conversions. Things like placement, consistent style, and other small details can be a factor in the number of users that fill out a particular form. With dotCMS, marketers can optimize the forms to achieve greater results. Digital marketers are empowered to create and publish forms without the IT team, and that leads to a faster time to market.


dotCMS ensures the data is valid automatically as well. Data integrity is crucial for collecting high-quality information that’s actually useful for marketing teams. That’s why dotCMS has form validation that warns the user if their input is invalid in real-time. This means marketers will have customer information that’s clean and relevant for whatever use-case the form was intended for. 

In addition, forms are connected to dotCMS workflows. That means form entries can be easily pushed to Salesforce or other actions can be taken automatically when a form entry is submitted. Workflow actions, therefore, become an integration point for dotCMS web forms. For more advanced processing, developers can interact with the form and its input via REST APIs. And real-time processing or integration with adjacent systems becomes painless for developers with Low Code tooling as well.

Leverage Customer Data with dotCMS Forms

There is an overwhelming amount of information available today, but many companies don’t have the processes in place to efficiently collect and leverage customer data for their digital marketing efforts. That’s why enterprise organizations need to look towards the robust dotCMS forms module to gather leads and collect customer data that can drive conversions and other positive business outcomes. 

The NoCode philosophy is prevalent throughout the dotCMS platform and with forms its no different. Marketers can easily create flexible forms and place them on websites without any technical knowledge or IT support. If companies do have highly specific requirements, it’s still straightforward for developers to quickly build forms using REST APIs. dotCMS makes forms simple.

You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to learn more about your site visitors, so you should consider taking a proactive approach to gathering customer insights with dotCMS forms.

Jason Smith
Chief User Experience Officer

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Filed Under:

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