Where is the line between using the Webform module vs. simply letting users create new content of a certain content type?

I am fuzzy on when each would be more appropriate. Especially after seeing the ambiguity of answers and comments to this question.

Use case: Users aren't entering data for a survey, they are actually entering content in to the site. They are entering data for a node that will be displayed as a normal content page. But it needs to be validated, have conditional fields, etc.

3 Answers 3


I think Webforms is usually more appropriate when the entered data is intended to be used by the organization behind the website and never shown to the public.

Webforms is also useful to send the entered data by email to who should receive it. You could also do this with a content type but you would require some kind of Workflow or trigger and action which might end up being "heavier" to the server

If you intend visitors / end users (authenticated or not) to see the data entered by others users then you just make a content type and use the add content form.

  • 1
    This is correct. Webforms should be used to gather data not meant to used on the website. If you want user submitted information displayed o the site, build an appropriate content type with proper security.
    – Brady
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 21:42

I think that the answer that says to use Webforms is there just because the OP asked to use Webforms.

It's way easier to use the Add Content page and create validations with a custom module, that way you will need to use the Drupal's hooks and not the Webforms custom hooks.


There are some discrepancies between how you understand Webform and what it actually does.

The docs actually clear this up pretty well.

It helps to think of Webform as a node, not a content type. Data submitted through the "node page" that is a Webform is not used to create a node, it is simply saved to the site.

If users are submitting data to create a node, simply style/customize the add content page for that content type. If users are submitting other data, use Webform.

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