Web API Reviews

We had the fortune of integrating over half a dozen apps with our platform this week, so we decided to write a short post about what we liked in some popular APIs, and what we didn’t.

The post covers APIs of two popular payment platforms: Stripe, and 2CheckOut, and three email marketing platforms: MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and iContact.


What We Liked

Stripe has one of the best APIs of any web app. It is extremely concise, and has a beautiful symmetric flow. It allows our users to accept payments, without having to redirect their visitors to other sites – this is what made us integrate with Stripe over other popular payment gateways.

What We Didn’t Like



What We Liked

We were able to insert an inline payment form on our site, allowing us to accept payments without redirecting the users

What We Didn’t Like

Inserting the payment form was easy – everything that followed was a horror.

  1. The API docs are half-baked
  2. The sandbox mode requires you to create a separate account, with all separate settings! It was so much easier with Stripe, where keys were the only difference between sandbox and live mode.
  3. They provide two tools for simulating notifications, both of which were a pain to use


For an email marketing integration, MailChimp was the obvious first choice, being the market leader by a huge margin.

What We Liked

Their API is robust, and is kept fairly up-to-date. It allowed us to create a simple, and intuitive workflow.

What We Didn’t Like

Navigating through the docs is difficult. There are too many API version, wrappers, and alternatives. The site is just not designed for a 13′ MacBook.

Campaign Monitor

What We Liked

They have one of the best APIs. For integrating an app, using PHP, almost everything you need can be found on just one page. The documentation is concise, and focused.

What We Didn’t Like

The workflow is very similar to MailChimp’s, but with the added layer of permissions, and clients. Not complaining.


What We Liked


What We Didn’t Like

After a long chain of click-heres, get-started, sign-up, login-in, we reached their documentation. The flow was very different from other APIs. Developers are used to dealing with hard APIs, but our integration with iContact would have required us to settle for a sub-par workflow for our users. We decided to drop the integration, for now.


In the coming weeks, are will be integrating with more apps. I wish more web apps had APIs like Stripe, and Campaign Monitor do. Hoping for the best.


How To Make a Popup Site Feedback Form

Our feedback form will popup on clicking the feedback button peeping in from the left-corner of the screen. Our final site feedback form will look something like this:


1. Get the Site Feedback Form Template

Log in to formcrafts.com, and go to the dashboard. Now, click on Add Form -> Use a Template. Select the template Site Feedback and add the form.


2. Getting Notifications

We need to set email notifications for each submission. Go to Form Options -> Email Notifications, and add your email address to Send Submissions To.

Email Notifications


3. Using the Form

We now need to embed the popup form in our website. Click on Use -> Embed Form. Next to Type, we need to select modal popup, and next to Placement, we need to select left. Type feedback in the Link / Button Text field.

Now copy the snippet of code, and paste it in your site.

That’s it!

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How to Run Your Own Customer Support Portal

If you are looking for a simply solution for handling customer support, and do not want to pay the hefty per-agent fees, you can make your own customer support portal with FormCrafts.

1. Get the Customer Support Template

Log in to formcrafts.com and click on Add Form on the top menu bar. Click on Use a Template, and select the Customer Support template.

Add Support Portal Form


2. Adding Tags to Our Submissions

We are going to use Conditional Logic to automatically tags to our support tickets. If someone selects the department sales in the form, our submission will have the tag sales. We would also be adding the pending tag to all submissions. The Conditional Logic is already configured for this.


How does this help?

Adding tags makes it easy to search for submissions. To get a list of all submissions with the tag pending, we would search for tag: pending.


3. Sending Email Confirmations to Customers

We need to send an autoresponder, or confirmation email once a support ticket is created. Click on the green pencil next to the email field to see the field options. Click on the Email -> configure. Here, we can configure the autoresponder email contents. This has already been configured by the template.



The [ID] tag denotes the unique submission ID. You can use this to track down specific entries. So, our users will receive the following emails when they submit the forms:



4. Using the Form

That’s it! Our form is almost ready. Click on Form Options -> Email Notifications, and add your email to Send Submissions To. This will ensure that you receive notifications for all submissions.

You can embed the form in any site by copying the embed code. You can get this code by clicking on Use -> Embed Form.

If you don’t want the hassle of embedding the form, you can simple share the link. You can get the link from Use -> Direct Links.