Any advice on the basics of website forms?

  Griffon 16:03 31 Dec 2003

I use Dreamweaver and creating forms looks relatively straightforward. However, the learning curve gets a whole lot steeper for actually getting the published form to do something like e-mailing me surfers' inputs for example. Any pointers to tutorials on CGI, scripts or third party form handlers would be very welcome.

  [DELETED] 16:57 31 Dec 2003

Matt's Script is one of the better form handlers to use.

You can get it in PHP or CGI and it will do more or less anything you might want a form to do: form to email, form to multiple emails, autoreply and so on.

Really a lot depends on how you want to process your form(s) and what it is they are for.

Most web hosts offer simple CGI scripts for form handling, guest book, hit counter and sometimes also for a simple message board, but for feedback forms you are often limited to name, email address and comments. If that is all you want to process, see what your web host can offer you. If you want to do a bit more than this though, you will need a more comprehensive handler.

Matt's Script can be found at the UK site click here or at the main site click here

You may have to find out whether or not your web host alows you to run your own CGI scripts. If they don't and you have PHP support, you can use the PHP version of the form handler. If you host supports neither CGI nor PHP we start to get a bit complicated.

I'd check with your host first and see what they can offer you.



  Griffon 19:02 31 Dec 2003

I'll certainly check out Matt's Scripts. I guess I'm really at the starting grid on this one. I don't really understand how the process works at all - though I suspect, like most of this stuff, it's really quite straight forward. I'm sure there must be a basic tutorial on the web somewhere that explains the basic concepts involved. There is for most things! Cheers again.

  [DELETED] 19:15 31 Dec 2003

If you tell us what it is you want to process there could be a very simple solution indeed.

Try to list the fields in your form and what it is it will be processing.

There are some simple solutions (Matt's Script can take a bit of getting your head around if you don't understand the fundamentals of PHP, CGI and your web account) but much depends on exactly what it is you want to do.

Don't forget to check out your web host for their scripts.


  Griffon 20:37 02 Jan 2004

The site concerns bike hire. Form fields might include for example:

Contact details
Choice of bike - probably drop-down menu
Dates of hire - first day, last day etc

All detail above to be e-mailed to hirer

Transfer based on the above info to relevent payment page (via PAYPAL).

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