Joomla 5 Notice

Today, October 31, 2023, we released Visforms 4.4.0.
We are pleased to announce that our Joomla extension Visforms is now compatible with Joomla 5.

Our Joomla extension Spambotcheck is currently not yet compatible with Joomla 5 and the installation cannot be started on Joomla 5. We expect to release a release with Joomla 5 compatibility shortly.

For all who are still updateing from Joomla 3 to Joomla 4: Joomla 4 Migration instructions are available here:

There is now a separate Documentation for Visforms for Joomla 4!

Heads Up: This is the documentation for Joomla 3

We recommend using the Documentation for Joomla 4!

It is more up-to-date and extensive. Most of it applies retrospectively to Joomla 3.

The Search Plugin

This feature is part of the Visforms Subscription and not available in the free Visforms version..

How it works

This plugin enables you to search user inputs, submitted with Visforms, using the Joomla! search component and search module with simoultaneous consideration of all frontend data view setting made in Visforms.

Create a web portal with Visforms

We think, that this plugin has much potential and can help you building some sort of portals with Visforms. One use that comes into mind is a Job portal, where people can submit their experiences with a form and other people can search the website for people with a specific experience. Because it is possible to create almost any sort of form with Visforms and add any specific fields you may need, easily, you are very flexible about the sort of "portal" you can build with Visforms. Actually it doesn't matter whether this portal is about jobs or car sharing, private tutoring or dating, because you are always able to create exactly the form you need.

As Visforms since version 3.5.3 enables you to set the access level for the data view on field level, you can hide the user inputs of selected fields (for example the fields with the contact information) from the frontend view and require people to log in (or register) on your website in order to gain this information.

Which data are searched?

Visforms gives you a very strict control over which submitted user inputs can be viewed in frontend and which can not. Therefore the plugin only search the submitted user inputs in a form field if

  • the form is published
  • the form option "allow frontend data view" is enabled
  • the user group, to which the user belongs, matches the access level for the frontend data view of the form
  • the field is published
  • the record set (submitted user inputs) is published
  • the user group, to which the user belongs, matches the access level for the frontend data view of the field (available with Visforms 3.5.3 or higher)
  • and the field option "Frontend Display" is set to "list and details" or "details only"

Display of search results

This last criteria is important, because we think, that people want to use this plugin to find and display a specific record sets (of submitted user inputs which contain a specific search term). Just as people use the content search plugin to find an article that contains a specific search term.

So basically the search plugin links the search results to the detail view that comes with the menu item of type Visforms data. Therefore the search is limited by default to those forms that actually are linked to a menu item of type Visforms data. (So that the user can only search those data which are actually displayed somewhere in the frontend). But the plugin offers you the option to search all submitted user inputs that meets the criteria listed above, regardless of whether they are actually displayed in frontend or not, too. Just set the Option "Published via Menu only" to "no". If the plugin is used on Visforms prior to 3.5.3 this options is not available and disabled in the administration.


Please make sure, that you have installed your Visforms Subcription. After that, you have to enable the plugin in the plugin manager before you can use it.

Go to the Administration Panel of your Joomla! installation and click the top menu item "Extensions" and then "Plugin Manager". Search for the list item with the name "plg_search_visformsdata". You can use the search filter above the list. Make sure the plugin "Status" is set to enabled.

Integration with the Joomla! search component

The Joomla! search component offers the searching person some options to optimize the search. With regard to these default search options of the Joomla! search component the Visforms data search plugin supports the search options "Exact Phrase", "All Words" and "Any Words" and the two ordering of the search results: Order by created ascending ("Oldest First") and descending ("Newest First").

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