Form is not working anymore: The Ultimate Solution Guide

Step-by-step guides for the most popular content management systems and website builder.

The fact that a form no longer works is often learned only by accident. Most users who cannot use the form cancel their visit to the website. The damage that has already been done can be great. How long has the form stopped working? How many customer inquiries were missed as a result? Has money even been spent to advertise the site?

In this article we will help to find the cause and, if necessary, a proposed solution for non-functioning forms as quickly as possible and in a structured way. Let's go!

On which technology is the website based on which the form is embedded?
Please choose one of the options:

WordPress

WordPress is an open source content management system based on PHP and MySQL. Forms are often integrated into the website via various plugins.

The following checks may lead to the cause of the error:

Is only one form not working or all forms on the website?

An important first step is to determine if the problem is only with one specific form or if all forms on the website are affected.

If the website only has one form in use, a sample page with a new form could be created for testing purposes. If the new form works, a general error can often already be ruled out. A possible solution can then be to recreate the non-functioning form and include it form field by form field. This way it can be determined whether the problem is caused by a specific field.

If, on the other hand, the newly created form does not work either, a general problem can be assumed.

Do other plugin users also report problems?

An updated plugin can lead to the fact that perhaps basically a bug was imported into the system or there is a problem with the compatibility with other plugins or themes.

If this is the case, usually several users have this problem and a solution is already being sought. It is therefore worth visiting the support forum or the help page of the WordPress plugin you are using and reading the latest posts from other users.

wordpress-form-plugin-support.png

Here are the 5 most popular WordPress form plugins with the links to the forums or help pages:

  1. Contact Form 7 – Support Forum
  2. WPForms – Support Forum
  3. Ninja Forms – Support Forum
  4. Caldera Forms – Support Forum
  5. Forminator – Support Forum

Have updates of plugins, themes or the WordPress system taken place?

Manual or even automatic updates performed in the background can cause certain components to no longer be able to communicate with each other. It does not necessarily have to be the form plugin that has been updated. The cause of the error can also be a theme or general WordPress update.

If a general system update has been performed, it is worth taking a look at the plugin page of the form plugin. The compatibility indicator shows with which last WordPress version the plugin was tested. If there are problems here, often other users already report about it.

If other plugins or themes were updated, the cause research is somewhat more complex. It should be found out in what context the form plugin is with the updated module. Often a support request to the developer of the theme or plugin is worthwhile.

Is the form basically visible?

If the form is no longer visible or even the entire page that contains the form, the error is not necessarily the form plugin. Here, an experienced WordPress user should be consulted in any case, who should check different possibilities. For example:

  • Problems with the .htaccess file?
  • Problems with the database connection?
  • Basic problems with the theme?

Does the form not work on all end devices?

To rule out the possibility that the error only occurs on certain end devices, a test should be performed on a desktop PC or laptop, on a tablet and on a smartphone.

If different results are seen here, the assumption is that the error is a frontend problem. For example, certain CSS rules may have hidden important elements, or JavaScript code may not be able to access certain form elements.

Error visible in the browser console?

If all checks up to this point have been unsuccessful, it might be worth taking a look at the browser's Developer Console. If you see error messages before you try to submit the form, it could be a JavaScript problem. If an error message is only displayed during or after the attempt to submit the form, the error may also be in the backend of the page. In this case, an experienced developer should be consulted in any case.

HubSpot

HubSpot is a software solution that offers all the components to manage the so-called inbound marketing. Part of the software is also a module for creating forms.

The forms created with HubSpot can either be embedded on landing pages and websites created with HubSpot's website module or, with a small code snippet, on pages you create yourself. HubSpot refers to these as "externally embedded forms".

Can the form still be filled out and sent?

First, check whether the form can still be filled out and submitted. If this is the case, the error most likely lies in the automations that follow after the form has been submitted.

After successful submission, it is possible to check in HubSpot's contact management whether a new entry has been created with the submitted data. If a corresponding contact exists, the cause of the error can be narrowed down to the automations and it is ensured that no form submissions are lost, even if certain downstream processes do not work.

If, however, no new contact is detected, the cause of the problem is most likely in the frontend area of the website on which it was included.

Has the code been integrated correctly?

To integrate the HubSport form into your own website, a small code snippet must be implemented. To rule out the possibility that there is just a typo, for example, or that the wrong code was used by mistake, the code should be checked again.

For this purpose, a small tool can be used, which compares the differences of two texts and displays differences if necessary. Free of charge and available in the browser is the tool Diffchecker. There, the code that is embedded on the website can be entered on the left and the code that is offered for copying in HubSpot can be entered in the right field. By clicking on "Find Differences", the tool checks the two entries for differences.

Compatibility issues with element of the website

Even though it seems that the HubSpot code to include the form is very small, there is much more functionality and styles imported here. The included code is only responsible for importing other HTML elements, JavaScript functions and CSS rules.

This means that there may also be compatibility conflicts between existing JavaScript and CSS of the web page. If certain elements of the form are not visible or are displayed differently than expected, there could be a conflict with existing CSS styles.

If errors are displayed in the browser's Developer Console, there is a presumption that pre-existing JavaScript elements could be responsible for the problems. In both cases, it is recommended to consult an experienced web developer.

Is only one HubSpot form affected or all of them?

An important finding when researching the cause of the form problem is whether the problem only occurs with a specific HubSpot form or with all included forms.

To test this - if already present - you can simply test another HubSpot form. If this is not yet the case, a simple new sample form should be created and installed on a test subpage of the website.

If the new form works, it can be determined that the problem is a specific issue with a single HubSpot form. One way to continue troubleshooting is to create a new form and rebuild the non-functioning form step-by-step and test it continuously. This can determine if the problem is related to a specific form field.

Is HubSpot experiencing server issues at the moment?

Since HubSpot is a cloud-based service, the availability and functionality of the forms is also dependent on the HubSpot servers. It's worth checking if HubSpot is experiencing availability issues at the moment.

To do this, you can visit the status.hubspot.com website. In addition, however, it should be checked, for example, whether there are already users in the social media who are reporting similar problems. A search on Twitter provides certainty here.

If this is the case, you can only wait until HubSpot has solved the problem.

Webflow

Webflow is a cloud-based software solution for creating all kinds of websites. At the same time, the finished website is also provided on the Webflow servers.

Are all Webflow servers available at the moment?

As with all cloud-based solutions, you should first check whether all servers and services are working at the moment. The provider itself offers the Webflow status page for this purpose. Here, current or past server problems are displayed.

As always, it is also worth taking a look at the current tweets on the topic of Webflow. If there are general problems with the provider, other Twitter users have often already publicly informed about them.

Form integrated via Webflow or third-party service provider?

Basically, forms can be built in Webflow in the design editor itself or implemented via integrations of external services. If this is the case, the external service should be checked for availability and all settings. Known Webflow integrations that are used in connection with forms are:

  1. Getform – Details
  2. MightyForms – Details
  3. User Detective – Details
  4. Paperform – Details
  5. Mailchimp form – Details

Webflow provides tutorials and help videos for some integrations. Rechecking the setting with this information may help with troubleshooting.

Form fields within a form block?

In principle, form fields in the Webflow Designer are independent elements that can be inserted at any point on the web page. However, in order for forms to be technically submitted in such a way that all entered data is also submitted, all fields must be included within a form block.

Captchas activated and responsible for errors?

Captchas are used in forms to prevent so-called bots from automatically submitting a form with fake data. For example, a captcha can ask for the result of a simple calculation task and thus tries to prevent automatic systems from filling it out.

In various Webflow forums you can read that the use of captchas can sometimes lead to unexpected errors. To validate this source of error in a form, a captcha should therefore be temporarily deactivated and the form retested. If the submission works again, the source of the error is found.

Custom Code in use with Webflow forms?

Even though Webflow is a so-called no-code tool, with which it is possible to create web pages without really having to program, there is the possibility to include "custom code".

In some cases exactly this implemented JavaScript code can cause errors in forms. To validate this source of error, any custom code in the project can first be disabled or deleted and the form can be tested again.

Change action methods and check again

An "action method" is the method with which the data entered in a form is technically transmitted. Typical methods here are "GET" and "POST".

With the "GET" method, the data is transferred to the new page via the URL and can thus be processed. With the "POST" method, the input is transferred as a collected data object in the so-called request body.

Sometimes a problem can occur with Webflow forms due to an incorrect action method. To be able to exclude this as a possible cause, the method should be temporarily changed for the form in question and the form should be tested again.

Rechecking form fields, success and error messages and notifications

Forms in Webflow projects basically have attachment points at three different modules. In the web page designer, the form fields are implemented into the page and various settings are made. All fields should be checked again for possible errors.

Success and error messages can also be defined in the designer at the form block. It is also recommended to check again how these messages behave and whether this area can be completely excluded as a source of errors.

The last module is about notifications that can be sent to the website operator but also to the sender. This area should also be checked for correctness and completeness.

Shopify

Shopify is a cloud-based solution for creating and managing online stores. Forms are either managed via apps from the Shopify App Store or are part of the Shopify theme used.

Does Shopify have any core server issues at the moment?

Like some of the other tech solutions mentioned here, Shopify is a cloud-based solution. This means that all functionality and files are deployed and managed centrally on Shopify servers. So now if Shopify has issues with all or even some of their servers, this could be a cause of issues with forms.

To check this, Shopify itself provides the Shopify Status web page. Here you can see a list of available modules and their current availability status. In case of problems with forms on a Shopify website, the following modules might be of particular interest:

  • API & Mobile
  • Checkout
  • Storefront

If no restrictions are apparent here, it is also worth taking a look at Twitter. Maybe some other Shopify users have already reported problems with forms here and Shopify's status page just hasn't been updated yet. A search with the term Shopify and the click on "Live" should provide corresponding results if there is a problem.

Problems with Shopify apps responsible for forms?

Forms on Shopify online stores can either be included via the theme used or created and implemented with a Shopify app. If an app from the Shopify App Store is used, it is worth taking a look at the app's latest reviews. They can always be found at the bottom of the page. If other users have already reported problems here, the cause of the form problem may lie centrally in the app used.

Here are the five Shopify form apps that are used the most. One click takes you directly to the reviews.

  1. Form Builder with File Upload by HulkApps – Last Reviews
  2. Contact Form | Easy Contact Us by POWR – Last Reviews
  3. Form Builder - Contact Form by Globo – Last Reviews
  4. Improved Contact Form by Awio – Last Reviews
  5. Contact Us Form with Captcha by HulkApps – Last Reviews

Problems with forms that are part of the theme?

Shopify forms can also be implemented through the theme you are using. No matter if the theme was purchased or developed by yourself. The Shopify resource used is the same.

If the theme was purchased from the Shopify Theme Store, it is also worth taking a look at the latest reviews or if there is a corresponding support forum, the latest posts there. Perhaps other users also report problems with contact forms.

If the theme was developed by yourself or at least adapted with changes in the code, the corresponding documentation of Shopify should be read. Important changes may have been made here or errors may have crept in due to an update of the theme.

In order to submit forms implemented in the Shopify theme, Shopify expects a paid subscription to be activated. This issue has been reported many times in Shopify help pages. Users think that the form is not working. However, the real reason is that the Shopify account needs to be upgraded.

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:

  • Typeform
  • Paperform
  • Formcake
  • Jotform
  • 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?

Problems with forms can be caused in the so-called frontend or backend. Frontend means that the error occurs in the user's browser. This can be caused by special browsers and operating systems, but mainly by faulty CSS and JavaScript.

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

I don't know

In order to find out the reason for the form not working, it is necessary to know on what technical basis the website was created and the form was included. If this is not known, it is of course a good idea to contact the developers of the website and ask them.

However, if this is not possible at the moment, you can proceed as follows: The free tool BuiltWith can find out which technologies are used on a website. To do this, simply enter the domain of the website in question and click on the "Lookup" button.

As a result, BuiltWith returns a list of technologies that it was able to find when crawling the page. If the website was created with one of the systems mentioned here, the corresponding tips and instructions can be used to find the form error.