The GHOST Flaw – CVE-2015-0235

Drew Buschhorn • January 27th, 2015

Yesterday, January 27, 2015, Qualys Labs disclosed a vulnerability in the glibc library affecting almost every major linux distribution.  FormAssembly’s servers were affected as well, and we’d like to share with you the steps we took to resolve the issue.

What is ‘glibc’ / CVE-2015-0235:

glibc is a Linux software library that underpins most software that communicates with the outside internet as well as many other activities.  CVE-2015-0235 / ‘GHOST‘ is a vulnerability that allows specially crafted invalid internet addresses to bypass the usual security checks put in place to prevent compromised code from running on a web server.

Who is affected:

Besides FormAssembly, most web based services running a Linux operating system will be performing updates to close this security gap in the next few days.

What we did to resolve the issue:

Because we keep abreast of security disclosures, we were able to perform the relevant updates within a few hours of the vulnerability being announced and fixes being provided by the appropriate vendors.

While performing these updates, FormAssembly experienced a brief outage for approximately thirty minutes on January 28th, 2015 between 02:45-03:15 UTC. We are sorry for this downtime, and we hope it did not cause a severe inconvenience for you or your respondents. We are taking steps to prevent this kind of outage from occurring again in the future.

What you should do:

We have no evidence this vulnerability was used against any FormAssembly server, and due to the limited scope of the vulnerability, we do not recommend any specific actions to our users.

For more information see Ars Technica’s reporting on this vulnerability.

And, if you have any questions, please contact us here or at helpdesk@formassembly.com.

FormAssembly Infrastructure Team

 

 

 

8 Ways to Improve Form Conversions

Hannah Wright • January 27th, 2015

If your organization collects applications or customer feedback, online forms can be a real lifesaver. But how can you make sure people stick around and actually finish said forms?

The good news is that it’s easy. Ridiculously easy.

If you want to avoid form abandonment, check out this list of ways you can improve your form conversions:

1. Less is more

While it’s easy to get carried away adding many fields when building your form, studies show that the fewer fields, the better.

Expedia is a great example of this—they got rid of one field (Company Name), and removing this one field was so effective that it brought them in a whopping $12 million per year.

Imagescape reduced the number of fields on their form from 11 to 4, resulting in a 120% increase in conversions.

The fewer fields your form has, the more seamless the overall experience will be for your users. Too many fields can cause confusion.

OK, so if all these extra fields make such a difference, why not just mark them as “optional” and call it a day? Well, according to an eyetracking study by cxpartners, it turns out that people don’t always make note of field type.

Many do not immediately know which fields are “required” and which are “optional.” Instead, the majority will skim over a form and simply assume that all fields are required. So, the more options they see, the more likely they are to become overwhelmed and exit the page.

2. Place your form above the fold

Visitors pay more attention to content above the fold. If visitors have to scroll down to fill out your form, you’re missing out on sales.

Check out this example of a great above-the-fold consultation application form by CaliforniaClosets.com:

form conversions example

There are a couple of reasons why this form rocks:

  • The consultation form is above the fold and easy to spot.
  • The call to action button, “Get a free consultation,” is a bold, striking color.
  • The form header makes it immediately clear what the visitor is signing up for. In this case, it’s a free consultation.

Check out how Evolutiontrainers.com implemented this on their homepage:

form conversions example

This is yet another great example. A few takeaways:

  • The consultation request form is above the fold and visible.
  • A demo video is strategically next to the form.
  • The call to action button is very noticeable. 

3. Beautiful design is key

It’s no secret that people trust great design. The same can absolutely be said of forms—design is not an area to skimp out. Impress your visitors with great design and provide them with a smooth, painless experience. And don’t forget to make sure your form is responsive and compatible with mobile devices.

By the way, with FormAssembly you can easily choose a mobile-friendly, top-notch design in seconds with the form builder.

4. Provide a demo

Give the visitor a sneak peek of your service by providing an amazing demo. This is particularly great for organizations that offer forms for those interested in free consultations. For maximum effect, place your demo near the form.

This way, anyone who is uncertain can easily preview your services by playing the demo. After that, the form is right there waiting for them!

5. Too many navigation links will distract visitors

Studies show that when a landing page has too many navigation links, people will often feel distracted and choose to abandon ship.

For example, Basecamp only offers 3 links on the top navigation of their homepage: “See prices,” “Check out an example project,” and “Support.” They do have other navigation links, of course, but those are displayed at the footer of the page. So if visitors want more information on the company, they simply scroll down.

6. Ditch the phone number field

Forms with phone number fields tend to reduce conversions by 5%. To avoid form abandonment, it’s best to steer clear of this field unless absolutely necessary.

7. Choose the right button color

There have been countless studies surrounding button colors, and the results tend to vary. While there is no magical color, one thing’s for sure: a bold color that contrasts with the rest of a page is going to stand out in a good way.

Lately, orange and red buttons have been all the buzz—and for good reason, too. Many companies swear by buttons of this shade. For example, CareLogger switched their button from green to red, improving their conversions by 34%.

8. Choose an action-specific button

Would you be more likely to choose a very specific, interactive phrase like “Download the e-book,” or a vague statement like “Sign up”? The “Sign up” button lacks detail—whereas the “Download the e-book” button is much more straightforward.

By creating a button that emphasizes a particular action, you’re eliminating any confusion. People don’t like to guess; they want to know exactly what they’re signing up for.

In the end, it all comes down to what works best for your organization. Since every industry varies, discover what works in your own industry by A/B testing different variations.

Build your form in seconds—no coding required.

Try It Free

Happy New Year and 2014 Wrap-Up

Hannah Wright • January 26th, 2015

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful year, and that you’re off to a great start in 2015.

Here at FormAssembly, we’ve had an amazing year and are growing every day — and you know what? We couldn’t have done it without you. So far, you’ve saved time by creating over 340,000 forms and have received an impressive 49,000,000 responses!

Plus, we’re super excited to announce that our product has received a satisfaction rating of over 83% this past year. Since we love talking with our customers and helping out along the way, we couldn’t be more thrilled! Here are a few of the flattering things you’ve been saying:

“FormAssembly has worked for our organization for 2 years without a hitch. Thanks.” 

“You guys = awesome.”

“Great product. Easy to use without being a developer.” 

We rolled out some exciting new features over the year, too. Here are a couple of highlights:

Plus, we’ve been expanding our team. Mike, Adrian, Andrea, Steve, Ryan, and Hannah have joined us in Sales, Customer Support, and Marketing. Welcome!

Whew! And that’s not all, either. Who could forget the wonderful time we had meeting customers like you at Dreamforce, #PSEWEB, and HighEdWeb?

In addition, we recently released the Premier Plan. It’s packed with advanced features — perfect if you’re looking to do more with your forms.

Needless to say, we’re really looking forward to the year ahead. Have an idea for us? Feel free to post your feature requests and feedback here.

Want to chat? Tweet us @FormAssembly, shoot us an email, or leave your comment here.

Thanks again for all of your support!

Formula Syntax Checker and Highlighter

Deborah Kim • January 22nd, 2015

Syntax Checker and Highlighter

example-syntax-checker

We’ve just added a syntax checker and highlighter to the Formula Editor! It’s handy when you’re building formulas. Just like in the example screenshot above, the syntax checker will:

  • Highlight fields, aliases, and functions, so it’s easy to tell them apart from standard text.
  • Show errors at the bottom of the editor. This is helpful for troubleshooting, because you can identify and fix a problem (or a stray typo!) right away.
  • Show field names when you hover over an alias. You can check that you’re working with the right field without needing to consult a separate list.

Share your thoughts

If you have any feedback to share, send us a message through the orange Help bubble in FormAssembly, leave a comment here, or tweet @FormAssembly! We’d love to hear how the syntax checker is working for you.

Learn more in next month’s class

We’ll walk you through the Formula Editor in our class on Wednesday, February 11 at 2 PM EST!


New Class: Building a Form for Salesforce

Deborah Kim • January 13th, 2015

Salesforce Forms with FormAssembly

Join us next Wednesday, January 21 at 2 PM EST for an online class: Building a Form for Salesforce! Learn how to design an effective FormAssembly web form that connects to Salesforce. We’ll show you the best types of fields to use between FormAssembly and Salesforce.


Announcing the Premier Plan

Deborah Kim • January 12th, 2015

We’ve just launched the Premier Plan for FormAssembly!

Here’s what you can do with Premier:

  • Autocomplete web forms with Salesforce data. The Salesforce Prefill Connector makes it easier for you and your respondents.
  • Create and update ExactTarget/Salesforce Marketing Cloud records.
  • Collect electronic signatures. Coming soon: You’ll be able to capture e-signatures! It’s easy, fast, and secure. No more hassle with fax machines and scanners. We’ll take care of the audit trail, so you can speed up your workflows and wrap up contracts, applications, waivers, and more.
  • Collect payments with Authorize.Net and CyberSource.

 

Nonprofit and Annual Discounts

We offer a 20% discount to nonprofit organizations across all our plans.

You can also get a 10% discount with an annual subscription. Email the Support Team to switch to annual billing.

We’ve got more announcements brewing, so stay tuned!