Online form in html

  Kat_chaos24 11:32 16 Nov 2005


I am new to webdesigning and am making up a website for a friend and they want an online contact us form that goes to their email.

Is there a way I can do this just using html? Or do I need some javascript/asp in there? I have tried the simple 'mailto' command but this isnt working. Heres my attempt:

click here

I also need a 'thankyou for your enquiry page' rather than the button thats there at the moment, but Im not sure how to incorporate this into the code.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I have no idea what to try next...



  Taran 12:12 16 Nov 2005

You need a form handling script, which takes the information the form user inputs and turns it into an email which is then sent on to the address you specify in the handler script.

Most people use either a CGI (Common Gateway Interface) or PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) script.

Your choice could be governed by what the web host supports where the site is currently hosted. If you are allowed to run your own CGI scripts and you have a CGI bin you can obviously choose to use a CGI script. Where the web host supports PHP you can opt to use that instead.

PHP scripts are usually easier to get your head around than CGI when you are first starting out. Most PHP scripts need no file permissions assigned to them, while pretty much all CGI scripts need permissions assigned to allow them to run using CHMOD on Apache servers, or by using the built in permissions tools in your FTP client.

Here are some links for you to try for PHP form handlers:

click here

click here

click here

And for CGI scripts: click here

I'd plump for PHP if your web host supports it. Instructions for use are on the various script sites and included when you download them.


  Taran 12:15 16 Nov 2005

Since you mentioned ASP, I should really have added that you can use an ASP form handler much as you would a PHP scipt.

click here for variations on the theme of ASP form handlers, assuming your web host supports ASP of course.


  Kat_chaos24 15:23 16 Nov 2005

Thanks Taran, Thats really helpful - although not what I was hoping for... do i really have to buy this software to be able to do this? I think Il go the PHP route, if you think that would be the easiest to understand. Does that mean I have to change all my coding to PHP, or just the contact us page?

There seems like there is lots to choose from - is there any in particular you would recommend for a beginner (and thats cheap too..)?

Thanks again.

  Taran 10:16 17 Nov 2005

My apologies for any misunderstanding.

No, you don't have to pay for an email form handler. There are plenty of scripts available that can be used for free.

The Hotscripts site, like many others, lists commercial scripts above the freebies since they get a small amount per sale.

On the ASP form handler link I gave you in my last post click here scroll down the page and you will start to get past the commercial scripts and there wil be some listed as Free.

Likewise, if you go back to the CGI click here and PHP click here script pages and scroll through them, you will find that some are paid for while others are offered for nothing.

Here is a direct link to one of the free PHP form handlers on the Hotscripts site click here

Many people use Matt's Script, which you can grab in CGI click here for or in PHP click here

Jack's Script is also pretty good (beware the pop-ups on this site) click here

I'd repeat my warning about the ease of use of PHP scripts over CGI.

Finally, if you have FrontPage available to you, it features a form handler of its own. Your web host needs to provide FrontPage Server Extension support, but you can add a feedback form, tell it whether or not to deliver to an email address or database or both, and publish the page(s) to your web host. Provded they support FrontPage Server Extensions you form will work perfectly well without any further fiddling around.

I know some people who work with FrontPage purely for forms.

Best of luck with it.


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