Audience interaction is an essential part of building and supporting your business online. After you have collected data, it is best to export WordPress form submissions to CSV for further analyze.
Allowing form submissions on your WordPress site is one of the best ways to encourage audience interaction and collect plenty of data. But to get the most value from this data, it needs to be exported.
Exporting the data will make it easier to review and to analyze. Streamlining the processes makes planning the future of your business easier and more effective.
Being able to export this information in CSV format is a huge benefit. It gives you the data in the most flexible format available. CSV stands for Comma-Separated Values files. CSV files are designed to store the data for spreadsheets and databases.
They’re a useful format to allow you to transfer information from one piece of software to another. Once you’ve exported your data in this format, it’ll be usable in Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, among others. Exporting in CSV makes it easy to review and analyze your data whenever and however you wish.
Among other things, you’ll be able to:
- Accurately evaluate user data
- Combine data with records from other spreadsheets and databases
- Back up your records in the event your site goes down, by accident or for maintenance
- Import your data into other form plugins (For example, if you need to change plugin)
- Extract contact details and add them into your mailing list database
- Analyze data from surveys or held in advanced form fields
Best of all, exporting data from your WordPress forms to a CSV is easy. With the help of Formidable Forms plugin, you can not only create amazing forms but make exporting forms easy.
Automatically Export WordPress Form Submissions
The first step is to install the Formidable Forms plugin. Once that’s done, you’ll want to activate the premium version, using a Business level license (or higher).
That gives you the access to install CSV exporter addon. Navigate to Formidable – > Add Ons. Then click the Install button for the Table View to CSV Converter plugin.
Table View to CSV Converter lets you export table Views as CSV files from the front end of your WordPress website.
CSV file can be opened in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. You can also use it in Apple Numbers as well as text file readers including Notepad++.
Views already give you advanced filtering as well as great flexibility in layout and data analysis. Exporting to CSV gives you even more power.
You can customize your data, using shortcodes, custom text, inline conditional statements, etc.
Table View to CSV Converter Plugin Features:
- Let your users make their own data exports
- Create a product search form of your products and let users export results
- Allow admins filter options to export entries with customized content
- Backup entries on critical forms daily
- Easily export table Views to CSV without logging into your site’s back end
- Export all rows in one file, even across pages
- Place export links anywhere you want – including in emails
If you haven’t already done so, create a Table View for your form. For it to be exportable, you’ll want to add the markup for an HTML table (<table>) in the Before Content box.
Next, you’ll need to select either All Entries or Both (Dynamic) in the View Format.
You have three different ways to export table Views as a CSV file on the front-end:
- Add an export link to download
- Use the shortcode
- Schedule automatic exports
Your CSV file will have an autogenerated filename including a string of numbers. These numbers are a timestamp for the CSV’s creation.
Adding these numbers to the filename allows you to download the View multiple times without overwriting the first CSV. It also makes it simple to tell which file is the newest.
1. Add an export link to download
You should use this method when you want to make it possible for users to download their own files. There are several steps to generate the export link.
First, visit the View Settings. You’ll need to navigate to the Export View Settings section.
Find the checkbox for Show Export Link with View and select it. There will be a box labeled Filename. If you want to set a custom filename, set it here. If not, the filename will be the title of the View.
By default, the filename will also include a number representing the date. This allows a person to export the same View multiple times into separate files instead of overwriting the same file each time.
Export Link Text allows you to set the text shown on the export link. You can use something like “Download your Entries,” “Export your Information,” or something along those lines. The default text is “Export to CSV.”
Does your View include filters that get values from the URL? You can choose whether or not to include URL parameters in the export. You have two options.
Yes option is more flexible but not recommended for Views with sensitive data. If selected, URL parameters will be available for the export to filtering and display.
No option is more secure. This option is selected by default and more secure. Depending on the filters in your View, the export may include different data.
Then preview your View. You will see a link with your export link to download the CSV file.
2. Use the shortcode
If you want to include CSV export link in an email, or on a page without the table View, you’ll want to use the shortcode. As well as automatically added link, the shortcode can be used to place links wherever you want, so long as it accepts shortcode.
Use the [frm-export-view] shortcode to create a link for exporting table View as CSVs. This shortcode will convert the HTML table in the view to a CSV, even when the table to not included on the page.
3. Schedule automatic exports
You can set the plugin to export a table View to CSV automatically. You control how often the export takes place and where on your server they’re stored.
You must select which Views are to be exported, specify a destination, and schedule how often they should run. The plugin will deal with everything else automatically.
Exports like these are useful as backups or for daily email digests, among other things. The settings you need can be found in Formidable -> Global Settings -> Export Views.
Under Schedule CSV Export, select the View you want to export. Now set the Frequency of export as a number in days or months. Important note: Months here means 30-day periods. It does not mean calendar months.
The default format for your CSV is UTF-8, but you can select an alternative format in the menu. This is useful if there are special characters in your data that don’t display correctly after export.
You can set a single character to be used as a separator in your export. As you’d expect with Comma Separated Variable files, the default character is a comma.
Under ‘Destination Directory Path,’ you should enter the path to your chosen storage folder on the server.
As default, CSVs will be found under wp-content/uploads/formibable/exports. This folder will be created automatically.
Unless you have a specific reason to store your CSV files somewhere else, I recommend using the default.
Create Admin Dashboard For Exporting
Formidable, by default, keeps built-in CSV exports in the admin area. You can use this to create an admin dashboard with robust filtering capacity, and tailor it to your preferences.
Set your View’s visibility to private (check the right sidebar of your View builder), and add search form and View shortcodes to your chosen page.
Use the free Hide This plugin or frm-condition with the has_role shortcode to only show the search form and search results View to admins.
Export WordPress Form Submissions to CSV Conclusion
Creating and editing CSVs manually is more work than you probably want to be doing. It’s also easy to make a single error somewhere that can be hard to hunt down and fix when you notice the results.
Formidable Forms allows you to effortlessly create easily accessible export links and restrict them to admins or make them public. You don’t need a developer. You don’t have to mess around with custom code.
If you want, you can create your View exactly how you want it, and every CSV you export will be ready to use with no messing around or customization.
Formidable Forms makes exporting WordPress form submissions as easy as submitting information to forms.
No more exporting and manually rearranging, renaming, combining, or removing columns. Now you can get your CSV exactly the way you want.
Maybe you need to allow users and visitors to export their data? No problem. When you create a table View for a user to see their own content, they can export it too.
You and your visitors can instantly convert HTML tables to a CSV file. Want automated data exports? With an automated export, you can have a daily CSV of all the form submissions for the day, week, or month.
Create your View with filters, and the exported CSV will include exactly the data you need. Online businesses should have the tools to make your lives easier – and this tool solves several issues effortlessly.
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