Other / Custom Coded
There are many other technologies and content management systems that can be used to create websites and forms. Basically, however, you can distinguish between cloud-based and self-hosted systems. Cloud-based means that in order to edit the website, you have to log into an external tool, where the website is also made available on external servers.
Often, cloud-based systems cost a recurring monthly fee. Self-hosted systems, on the other hand, are often provided on self-rented or even self-operated servers.
Cloud-based services: General server problems?
If cloud-based services are used to create and operate a website or to manage forms, it should be checked whether the respective provider is currently experiencing general problems.
Here are some examples of cloud-based services that specialize in managing and deploying forms:
- Google Forms
For this information, most software providers offer a so-called status page. This is often linked in the footer of the page or can be found with a simple search on Google. These status pages report on the current state of all system-relevant modules.
If nothing can be seen here, it is often worth taking a look at the social media - for example Twitter. Often, other users also report general problems. You can simply enter the brand name of the software in the Twitter search. On the results page, you should then switch to "Latest" to also see the tweets of smaller accounts.
Are all forms affected or only one specific one?
The first important thing to know when troubleshooting is whether the problem is a general one that affects all forms or just one specific form.
If it can be determined that it is only a specific form that is not working, it should be checked what exactly is the difference with all other forms.
- Are there certain types of form fields in use that other forms do not use?
- Is the page on which the form is included different from the other pages?
- Is there a special representation of the form that is not working?
- Does the form behave in a special way compared to the other forms?
If, on the other hand, all forms are affected, it should be checked whether something has changed in the backend / main system of the site in general, which could cause the misbehavior.
Do the problems occur before the form is submitted or only afterwards?
Backend means that the error is caused on the server. So during the processing of the sent data.
Basically, it can be stated that if it is not possible to submit the form, the probability is high that the error is in the frontend. In addition, you can check the Developer Console in the browser. If lines in red color are visible here, even before trying to submit the form, this is a confirmation for this assumption.
The cause of the error is not always directly related to a functional problem. Often, only an error in the display can hinder the completion and submission of form fields.
Basically, it should also be checked whether the form in question has the error on all end devices (desktop PC, tablet and smartphone). If this is not the case, the CSS media queries (special display rules for different end devices) should be examined more closely.
Occasionally, faulty CSS also causes form fields to be overlaid with invisible elements, which then make them difficult or even impossible to use. This can affect form fields, but also the controls for submitting the form.
Such elements can be detected with the Inspector of the Developer Console of the browser.
Possible error in backend functionality or the database.
If the error is in the backend of the website, an experienced developer should definitely be consulted. All processes responsible for the subsequent processing of the submitted data should be checked.
- Receive and check data
- Writing data to database
- Send e-mails
- Start other process