Collecting More Information From Joomla Users When They Register

Joomla Registration FormThis tutorial is the answer to a question asked by a user in our support forum ... "how do I collect more information from my members when they register?".

The user's problem is that the normal Joomla registration form gives you precisely 5 fields:

  • Name
  • Username
  • Email
  • Password
  • ... and, er ... Password again.

That's it. If you want to collect people's location, birthday, opinion or any more information about them you're stuck. What we're going to show you in this tutorial is how to collect more information from your users when they register.

We're going to use an extension called "Community Builder" (called CB in this tutorial). There are commercial alternatives but this is the best free tool for our purpose.

Installing Community Builder

  1. Go to the Community Builder website: http://www.joomlapolis.com. You'll need to register to download the files you need
  2. Once you have registered and logged in, go to Downloads >> CB Team Releases >> and download the latest stable version of CB. At this time it's CB 1.2.
  3. Unzip the files on your desktop. You should have a new folder. Open it and you'll see only two files that you need: com_comprofiler.zip and mod_cblogin.zip.
  4. Go to Administrator >> Extensions >> Install / Uninstall and upload both files.

Setting Up the Login Module

Our next step will be to disable the normal Joomla registration so that people have to join through CB:

  1. Go to Extensions >> Module Manager and find the module called "Login Form". If you can't find it, use the "Select Type" field in the top-right corner to search for mod_login.
  2. Unpublish this module.
  3. Find the module called "CB Login". Again if you can't find it, use "Select Type" field to search for cb_login.
  4. Publish this module.

Demo Registration Fields

Joomla Registration Form

If you'd like a demonstration of what CB can do, you can install create sample registration fields:

  • Administrator >> Components >> Community Builder >> Tools >> Load Sample Data

This will give you an idea of what CB can do. If you go to the login form on the front of your site and click "Register", you'll see fields such as:

  • Company
  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code
  • Country
  • Address
  • Phone #
  • Fax #

Our next step is to show you how to customize those fields for your own needs.

Setting Up Your Own Registration Fields

  1. Go to Administrator >> Components >> Community Builder >> Field Management
  2. Click "New" in the top-right corner.
  3. The first step is to choose what kind of field you'd like. The default is "Text Field" which is an single row (all the examples in the screenshot above are Text Fields). Alternatives are radio buttons, dropdown boxes, check boxes, a text area with multiple rows, or even a calendar for people to enter dates.
  4. Put your title into the "Name" and "Title" fields. Don't worry if "Name" automatically coverts into all lowercase and with a cb_ prefix ... that's for the database. The "Title" field is what people will actually see when they register.
  5. If you think there could be some confusion about the information you want, enter an explanation into "Description"
  6. Set "Show at Registration?" to Yes.
  7. At the bottom of the page there may be some extra information to enter depending on your field choice. For example, checkboxes and radio buttons require you to enter the options people will choose from.
  8. Click "Save" and when you go to the front of your site and click "Register", your new field should now be visible.
  9. Finally, when you're comfortable with this process you can to back to Components >> Community Builder >> Field Management and unpublish the sample fields.