Entry Post is a plugin that enables visitors to post entries to Movable Type via an external form. To get Entry Post, or for more information, click here.

Entry Post can be used in many different ways, using the many options available. This entry provides some tips on a few usage scenarios, and may inspire a few ideas for other ways that it can be used.

Displaying Information about Entry Posters

If you want to display information about the person who submitted an entry, you can use the following template tags. (Note: these template tags are provided by the CustomFields plugin, which is a requirement for Entry Post v1.0)

<MTEntryDataName> - The Name of the poster.
<MTEntryDataEmailAddress> - The email address of the poster.
<MTEntryDataURL> - The URL provided by the poster, if any.

For example, if you wanted to display a linked name, you could use the following code:

<MTIfNonEmpty tag="EntryDataURL">
<a href="<MTEntryDataURL>"><MTEntryDataName></a>
<MTElse>
<MTEntryDataName>
</MTElse>
</MTIfNonEmpty>

But suppose you are entries that could be posted via Entry Post or posted by an Author in the system. The following code can be used to simulate the "Posted by..." line from the MT 3.3 default templates:

click here for the template code

Displaying an Image Submitted by the Poster

If you are enabling posters to submit an image, you can display the image using the following template code:

<MTIfNonEmpty tag="EntryDataImage">
<img src="<MTBlogURL><MTEntryDataImage>">
</MTIfNonEmpty>

Requiring Moderator Approval before Publishing

If you don't wanted entries to be published immediately, you can choose "Unpublished" as the "Default Status" in the settings for this plugin. In such cases, you may want to include a hidden "redirect" field on your form. Here is an example:

<input type="hidden" name="redirect" value="http://mt-hacks.com/thankyou.html">

When Entry Post finds a redirect URL in the submitted form, it will redirect the poster to that URL after the submission has been received. The redirect page can be any page, usually with some text thanking them for their submission, that it is pending moderator approval, etc. This is also very useful when using MT as a contact form (see below).

Using Entry Post as a Contact Form

An advanced usage of Entry Post is a contact form. A contact form is a form which accepts information from the poster and then sends you the results via email. In a business context, this is sometimes referred to a "lead from". To make the plugin work this way, there are two important settings. First, ensure that email notification is turned on in the settings, and make sure that an email address is entered. Second, check the "Disable Entry Creation" setting: this will prevent an entry from being created. While contrary to the primarily purpose of the plugin, this options converts the form into a contact form, only sending you the submission by email. Using a form is better than posting your email address on your site, as email address harvesters will find your email address and you will get (even more) spam in your inbox. When using Entry Post in this way, it is a good idea to add a hidden 'redirect' field, as discussed in the previous section. An example of an Entry Post contact form can be seen here (view the HTML source to seem what the form looks like, including the hidden fields at the top).

Overriding Default Settings

Depending on your needs, there may be some case where you want to override some of the default settings. One reason you might want to do this, is when you would like to include more than one EntryPost form on the same blog, each with a different purpose. For example, one for entry submissions and another as a contact form. The following settings can be overridden by fields in form:

Default Category - If a form includes a field (hidden or visible) named 'cat_id', the value of that field will be used as the Category ID for the entry to be placed in. You could include a hidden cat_id field and assign a category ID, or create a visible dropdown box so that the poster can choose a category (an example of the latter can been seen here with template code found here.)

Default Tags - Similar to above, the default tags can be overridden by including a field named 'tags' in your form. A tags example is also present on the form and code linked to above.

Disable Entry Creation - If you include a field called 'no_entry' and set its value to 1, then no entry will be created when the form is submitted. This field is useful as a hidden field when you want to create a contact form using Entry Post, but also want to have another form for submitting entries. An example on my contact form on this site.

Creating a Contact Author Form

The Contact Form technique described above is useful, but what if you have more than one Author, and you want people to be able to contact each of them? Entry Post has an advanced feature that addresses this. In addition to the above overridable fields, the Notification Email Address field can also be overridden. However, including authors' email addresses in a hidden form field does not protect their privacy, and will certain lead to more email spam. For this reason, you need to include a field called 'email_author_id' and then assign the MT Author ID of the author to send the email to. Entry Post will take the email_author_id and look up the author's email address in the MT database, and send the email to that author. Similar to categories, this can be a hidden field, but it may make more sense as a dropdown box, enabling visitors to choose the Author to contact.


I hope the above tips and tricks are useful, and perhaps inspire creative uses for Entry Post. If you have questions or suggestions, please reply to this entry. To get Entry Post, or for more information, click here.