Occasionally it is necessary to get some kind of information from your visitors. One way to do this is to embed your email address, as a "mailto" tag, directly on all of your web pages. This is not recommended for following reasons.
Embedded email addresses are vulnerable to spam spiders. These are special programs which scan web pages looking for email addresses. These addresses are then sent spam emails.
- You cannot format your questions. - You cannot validate answers to questions - You have no control over visitor's experience of data entry.
All right, if you do not embed email addresses into your web pages, how do you get data from your visitors? It's simple - just create an email form.
Before you can begin you must obtain a forms processor. This can be done using a service such as Bravenet or you can install one on your own server (if this is allowed by your host provider). In these examples I will be assuming you are using Bravenet forms processor.
There are hundreds of different sites that will remotely host forms for you, and if none of those will serve your needs you can set up CGI routines on your own server (assuming your hosts supports them).
Once you have registered with your forms provider (in these examples I am assuming you use Bravenet) you can begin creating your form. You will need some information before you start:
- The name of forms processing routine - The names of any parameters which are needed by this routine
These items should be described in documentation, FAQ or help files for forms system.
Now you need to include appropriate HTML code on your page to create form. A simple form consists of two tags (there are other tags, but we will not go into them in this article)