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Forms Part 1: Basic Forms Tutorial

HTML Forms: You've seen them, you've filled them in - now learn how you can use them on your own Web site.

If you've been on the Internet for a while, you've probably filled out a number of online forms. Forms are used to obtain information from your visitors right through your website. Your visitors can input their information into your form, click on a "submit" button and their information will be directed to a location you specify.

If you're running a business on the Internet, using a form to process your customer's orders is an absolute must. I'm amazed at the number of websites that are still processing their customer's orders via snail mail. If you're not automating your ordering process, you're losing a significant amount of business every day.

Most Internet users won't take the time to print out an order form, place it in an envelope and send you their order -- their time is valuable. You must make the ordering process as simple as possible. This includes setting up a form on your website to process their orders electronically.

Forms are used for all of the following:

  • Order forms
  • Email subscriptions
  • Contest registrations
  • Databases
  • Autoresponders
  • User identifications and passwords
  • Feedback
This series will take you step by step through the entire process of setting up a form on your website including:
  • Basic Form Tutorial
  • Advanced Forms
  • Form Tips and Tricks

Basic Form Tutorial

Your first step in creating a form will be to get a good form script. This script will reside on your server within your CGI-bin and will be used to process your form's information. You can find some great scripts here: http://cgi.resourceindex.com/Programs_and_Scripts/Perl/

To insert a form on your web page, we will begin with <FORM> and end with </FORM>. All of the FORM elements will be placed between the FORM tags.

In order for a form to function, it first needs to know how to send the information to the server. There are two methods, GET and POST.

METHOD="GET" - This method will append all of the information from a form on to the end of the URL being requested.

METHOD="POST" - This method will transmit all of the information from a form immediately after the requested URL. This is the preferred method.

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