Lessons learned from creating a really large Webform

(2 minute read)

Just the other day I was tasked with creating a 90+ field Webform in a Drupal site I was creating. While the number of fields was a little daunting creating the form was easy once I got past a few sticky points. Hopefully you will have a much easier time creating your own Webform if you follow these tips.

  • Create your fieldsets first. After creating about 20 fields, I had to go back and manually add them to the field set. Do it right the first time, create your fieldset and then while creating your fields, add them to the fieldset.
  • Don’t bother with setting the weight initially. I was setting the weight on each field as I created it. While you can certainly do that it’s much quicker to create all of your fields and THEN change the weight on the Webform screen at one time.
  • Webforms dynamically add more weights as you add more fields to give you more flexibility
  • The webform would sometimes forget the taxonomy I had set for it. Solution: Don’t set your taxonomy until you are done working on the form.
  • If you use TinyMCE* or another WYSIWYG editor and you can disable it on a user by user basis, DO IT. Loading of two WYSIWYG editors on the main Webform page and usually one on the form field page really adds up (For my project 3 WYSIWYG loads * 90 fields = 270 pauses my browser didn’t need to take).

Note: The TinyMCE module is pretty much abandoned and I would recommend you use the WYSIWYG Drupal module since it’s under fairly active development, has better Drupal integration and has plans to be WYSIWYG agnostic.