what-is-a-wpforms-hidden-field-hacks-to-find-user-data_o

What Is a WPForms Hidden Field? (7 Hacks to Find Hidden User Data)

Wondering what a WPForms hidden field is and how it can help you uncover your form users’ data?

You can set up hidden fields to get tons of hidden data like locations, IP addresses, spammer detection, and more from people who fill out forms on your website.

In this guide, we’ll show you what a WPForms hidden field is and hacks to use them to get you data on your visitors.

What Is a WPForms Hidden Field?

Asking yourself what is a WPForms Hidden Field? You’re in the right place.

A WPForms Hidden Field is a field that you can add to your forms that is not visible to users. This hidden field can capture information from the form user without them being able to edit the field, or to see this field at all.

wpforms hidden field example

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Why would you want to use a WPForms hidden field?

Well, In WPForms, you can use Smart Tags to collect information which may be useful for you to see in an entry, but would likely be confusing to a visitor if they could see that field while filling out the form. These Smart Tags can give you all sorts of hidden information on the people filling out your web forms.

So now that you know what a WPForms Hidden Field is, let’s check out some awesome hacks you can use to find user data with them.

WPForms Hidden Field Hacks

Here are the best hacks you can use WPForms Hidden Fields for you to use on your forms to uncover customer data:

1. Find IP Addresses

Did you know that every computer using the internet contains a unique address? They do, and it’s called an IP Address.

You can track IP Addresses from your form users without them seeing it, simply by inserting a Smart Tag into your hidden field.

user ip in wpforms hidden field

Capturing IP Addresses can be especially helpful for fighting form spam.

Because when you see which IP Address is sending you spam, you can block that address from accessing your site at all through your hosting company or a security plugin. It’s important to follow best practices for WordPress security tips for online forms.

2. See How People Found You

The {url_referer} Smart Tag will capture the page address that referred the user to your form.

For example, if a user was on your home page and then navigated to your contact page before filling out your form, this Smart Tag would give you the URL of your home page.

You can also use hidden fields to find this from external sources. For example, if a user visited your website by clicking on a special tracking link such as yoursite.com/page/?source=facebook, you’ll be able to see that in your form entries.

To do this, simply add a Query Variable Smart Tag to your hidden field and name it ‘Source’.

wpforms hidden field hacks to find source

After this, you’ll want to include the information from this field in your notification email. Go to Settings » Notifications. From there, select the message body on the right side preview panel. Next, click on Show Smart Tags in the top right of the message box.

choose message field in notification settings for wpforms hidden field

Scroll to the Hidden Field choice and select it.

It will add some code to your notification that looks like {field_id=" "} with a number.  Click save and your form is ready to be published on a post or page.

The final step for this is to share the link to the page that contains this form. For each platform you share the link on (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), you’ll want to add the source to the end of the link. That way WPForms can recognize it.

Here’s how you would create each link depending on where you shared ut:

  • Facebook — yoursite.com/page/?source=facebook
  • Twitter — yoursite.com/page/?source=twitter
  • Email Newsletter — yoursite.com/page/?source=newsletter

You can change the source to whatever text you want. Then, when someone fills out a form on your site, they won’t even see this info attached to their form.

3. Campaign Tracking

If you’ve done more than one marketing campaign, you may want to track which one is performing the best.

This can be done by tracking which campaigns are sending people to the form submission page. You can do this by following the tutorial above in Step 2 and setting up a url like http://www.example.com?campaigname=xyz. Then, add a hidden field with a Campaign Name variable on the form to track it.

After that, when users fill out a form, their submission will tell you which campaign sent the users there. And it all happens right in the form entry.

4. Find User Locations

If you’re already loving the Geolocation addon that lets you see where your users are located, you might want to consider adding the user location Smart Tag into the Message field of the notification settings in the form builder.

This would be helpful if you want to see the user location in a notification email so you don’t have to sign in to your Dashboard and form entry to find it. And, this can be particularly great if you need to know their time zone for a phone call.

Just go to Settings » Notifications. Then, select the message body on the right side.choose message field in notification settings for wpforms hidden field

Now, paste{entry_geolocation} into the message box.

entry geolocation tag

Once you hit save, you’ll now receive form locations in your form notification emails.

Did you know that the geolocation has another purpose? It can also be used for address autocomplete on your forms!

Geolocation addon map and address search

5. Assign User IDs

Want to know who your visitors are but don’t want to ask their name? Assign a User ID so you can see what they’ve been up to on your site with your form builder hidden field.

Every registered user is automatically assigned an ID number on your WordPress site. The User ID Smart Tag allows you to see that very User ID when a form is submitted by a logged in user. This can be especially helpful if you’re creating a survey and want to see which users filled it out.

6. Block Specific Email Addresses

If you get hit by a lot of spambots, you can stop contact form spam with Google reCAPTCHA or hCaptcha.

But what about the spammers that are real, human visitors?

There’s a neat feature in WPForms that lets you easily lock down your forms to the email addresses that you specify. It’s called the Allowlist / Denylist.

You’ll find it in the advanced settings for your email address field.

Select the email denylist to prevent spam

Use the Allowlist to only allow the email addresses you type in.

Or flip it around: the Denylist lets everyone submit your forms except for the email addresses you specify in the settings.

The next time the spammer comes back to submit the form, they’ll get stopped in their tracks.

This email address is not allowed.

7. See the Pages Driving Form Conversions

When you publish a form on your site, your ultimate goal is to get more form conversions: entries, leads, or sales.

If you know which pages are driving those conversions, it helps you to develop more content that benefits your visitors and inspires them to act.

Here’s the great news. You can easily unlock this information with the User Journey addon for WPForms.

User Journey addon overview

Under every form entry, you’ll see a list of actions that the user took. The addon is the perfect tool to create the user journey map. It records each user’s journey automatically and shows it with the entry, right in WordPress.

You can retrace your visitor’s steps from the moment they hit your site to the point they submitted the form. And the addon even lets you see:

  • What the visitor searched for
  • The UTM parameters for the referring campaign
  • How long they spent on each page or post.

User Journey addon for WPForms

WPForms also lets you measure form conversions with a Facebook Pixel or Google Analytics. But sometimes it takes a while to wade through all of that data.

If you want to quickly understand what makes your visitors tick, the User Journey addon is the perfect solution.

Final Thoughts on WPForms Hidden Field

And there it is! You now have some great hacks for using the WPForms form builder hidden field to find extra data about your form users.

If you want to add even more custom fields to you forms, read about how to add a coupon code field next.

So what are you waiting for? Get started with the most powerful WordPress forms plugin today.

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Comments

    1. Hi Merven! Our Hidden Fields don’t have a specific function to do this, but you may want to consider using our {url_referer} Smart Tag to record the URL into your form. It wouldn’t be able to discern and separate the lang value though.

      If you have any further questions about this, please contact us if you have an active subscription. If you do not, don’t hesitate to drop us some questions in our support forums.

  1. Is there a way to use wp forms to access or redirect to a hidden page?
    A situation whereby the page is only accessible to people who fill the form and no one else

    1. Hi Daniel! We don’t have any feature to lock or restrict pages, however you could configure your form to redirect your users after submission to a page that isn’t publicly navigable (as in there are no links to it provided anywhere on your site). That would help prevent most public traffic, but it wouldn’t make it impossible.

      I hope this helps 🙂 If you have any further questions about this, please contact us if you have an active subscription. If you do not, don’t hesitate to drop us some questions in our support forums.

    1. Hi Faqih! You can pass values from one form to another (for most of the field types that we offer) by using our Dynamic Field Population function and Query String URL’s. Details on how this can be set up and used are provided in this Developer’s Documentation Guide.

      I hope this helps 🙂 If you have any further questions about this, please contact us if you have an active subscription. If you do not, don’t hesitate to drop us some questions in our support forums.

  2. Hi there!

    Is it possible with WPForms to read a value stored in a Cookie and write this into a hidden form field? I am thinking of a smart tag for cookie values, something like `{cookie_var key=””}` … 🙂

    Best regards,
    Chris

    1. Hi Chris- We currently do not have an inbuilt smart tag to read a value stored in a cookie. I do agree that it would be a great feature. I have added your vote to the Feature Request list.

      Creating a custom smart tag is possible. However, I apologize as we aren’t able to provide support for this degree of customization.

      In case you’d like to look into custom development options, we highly recommend using Codeable. Codeable screens all developers for you to make sure that they’re highly skilled and communicative, and then also helps guide the entire process of connecting and communicating with a best-fit developer.

      Here’s our tutorial on using Codeable, which provides more details on how this process works.

      Thanks!! 🙂

  3. Is there a way to create an “Office Use Only” section on the form that is hidden from the user filling out the form, but can be displayed to admin users when they’re viewing or editing forms on the back end? I assumed this would be an available hidden field value, which conditional logic could view and then make additional fields displayable. That doesn’t work?

    1. Hi Doug!

      We don’t have a built in feature for this specifically, and you’re correct that Hidden Fields can’t be edited from the back end.

      However, if you add some custom CSS to your forms, such as:
      .hidden {
      display: none !important;
      }

      Then add the CSS class hidden to the fields you want to hide (screenshot). With this, you’ll be able to have fields that can be used in the back end when editing the entry (screenshot).

      I hope this helps 🙂 If you have any further questions about this, please contact us.

      1. Hello, this works but for some reason thos fields are not filterable from the entries backend filter.

    1. Hey Timothy!

      You’d want to use the {page_url} Smart Tag as the Default Value of a Hidden Field in your case 🙂

      So basically the same configuration as described in this article, but with the {page_url} Smart Tag instead. More details about this Smart Tag (and others) can be found here: https://wpforms.com/docs/how-to-use-smart-tags-in-wpforms/#pageurl

      I hope this helps 🙂 If you have any further questions about this, please contact us if you have an active subscription. If you do not, don’t hesitate to drop us some questions in our support forums.

  4. How can you add post meta data to a hidden field?

    For example using a custom field with an email address to send to a third party. I would like to store the custom field email address in a hidden field then use a smart tag to add it to the email notification.

    1. Hi Steven,

      To achieve you would need to you will need to assign the extra fields to your custom post type using custom fields along with our Post Submissions addon. Here is our great tutorial here with the necessary steps.

      Once you’ve got that in place you can create an ACF smart tag to pull the meta values from your designed custom field which you use in the hidden field. In case it helps, here is our guide on how to create ACF smart tag.

      This way you will be able to pull those custom post-type meta data and have them in the hidden field.

      Please know that from our dev doc above, we offer the code as a courtesy, but don’t provide support for code customizations or 3rd party development.

      In case you’d like to look into custom development options, we highly recommend using Codeable. Codeable screens all developers for you to make sure that they’re highly skilled and communicative, and then also helps guide the entire process of connecting and communicating with a best-fit developer.

      Here’s our tutorial on using Codeable,or if you’d like a team that you can continue coming back to (longer term) for custom development help, you might also consider checking out WPBuffs.

      Thanks, I see that you are being assisted by our support via Email as well on the same question!

      I hope this helps!

  5. Hi, is there a way to hide a field with the free version?

    I want to add a date to each form submission which will then be included in the data sent via the Google Sheets Connector – I can create the date using a Single Line Text field and setting the default value using Smart Tags… but I can’t hide it

    Alternatively if it has to appear, can I lock it so it can’t be changed?

    Thanks

  6. Hello!
    As I konw that in the wordpress dashboard,admin user can add notes for each wpforms entry.
    But I need to create page to view the list of the wpforms entries by wpforms views(not in wordpress panel). the question is how to add note or comment for each entry in frontend?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi again 🙂

      We don’t currently have any built-in ability to display form submissions, though I agree this would be super useful and have noted it on our feature request list.

      In the meantime, if you’re willing to give some code a try we do have a code snippet that will allow you to display a table of all entries on the front of your site: https://wpforms.com/developers/how-to-display-form-entries/ – Please feel free to customize the code based on your requirements in this case 🙂

      Thanks!

      1. I am very happy to get your reply!
        And then Isn’t this link below one of your affiliate products?

        [URL Removed]

      2. Hi,

        Sorry about the confusion here! This plugin that you have shared (Views for WPForms) is not associated with WPForms. I’d recommend you to reach out to them for more details.

        Thank you,

  7. Hello!

    I need to create 2 wordpress site.
    One for patients to answer the survey (using WPForms survey form)
    One for the doctor to show the survey results and be able to modify them(using WPForms Views).

    Based on the above requirements ,these 2 sites need to share one DB database with different prefixes.
    But how can these 2 sites share the same wpform entries table?

    Have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Juan- Currently, we do not have an option to share the WPForms entries table across multiple sites. I do agree it would be super helpful, though. I’ve made a note of the feature request and we’ll keep it on our radar as we plan out our roadmap for the future.

      Thanks!

      1. Good morning
        I’d like to know if the information about the user is saved while saving the entry when submitting the wpform’s survey form in frontend, otherwise how do I know which user submitted this enrty?

      2. Hi again 🙂 in order to make sure we answer all your questions as thoroughly as possible, could you please contact our team with some additional details about what you’re looking to do?

        If you have a WPForms license, you have access to our email support, so please submit a support ticket. Otherwise, we provide limited complimentary support in the WPForms Lite WordPress.org support forum.

        Thanks.
        Thanks.

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