Create a Simple, Effective PHP Form for Your Web Site
By Herman Drost
If you have been struggling to set up forms on your web site using cgi, then
definitely read this article. Installing a simple PHP form is much easier and faster
than installing a cgi form and doesn't need any programming experience.
How does a PHP form work?
PHP is short for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor". It is a server-side, cross-platform,
HTML embedded scripting language.
A server side scripting language allows you to create dynamic web pages. Web
pages that have been enabled with PHP are treated just the same as any other HTML
page, and PHP even lets you create and edit them the same way you would create and
edit your HTML pages.
This PHP form consists of 3 web pages, an html page, a PHP page (PHP script) and
a thank you page. You collect the visitors information when he fills out the form on the
html page. It is then processed by the PHP script which resides on the server. The
visitor automatically receives a "thank you for subscribing" message. The form results
are returned from the server to your email box.
Server requirements for your PHP form
Check with your web host you have PHP4 installed on your server Most Unix
servers do - if so you are in luck and ready to go.
How to create the simple PHP form
You will create a very simple, effective form in which you will collect the name,
email address and comments of your visitors. The form results will be sent to your email address.
1. Create the PHP script.
2. Edit the fields - the only recommended field to edit is the "referers" field.
This field defines the domains that allow forms to reside on and use your FormMail.php
script. If you try to put the form on another server, that is not the specified domain or
ip, you will receive an error message when someone tries to fill out your form.
ie: $referers = ('ihost-websites.com','126.96.36.199');
3. Upload the formmail.php script to the web directory which you are planning to use.
4. Configure your PHP form - create a web page (ie contact.htm) for your PHP form.
5. Point the action of your form to the formmail.php script you created in Step 1.
ie: <form name="form1" method="post" action="http://ihost-websites.com/formmail.php">
6. Add the necessary form fields - the "recipient field" is the only form field that
you must have in your form, for formmail.php to work correctly.
This form field allows you to specify where you want your form results to be mailed.
Most likely you will want to configure this option as a hidden form field with a
value equal to that of your e-mail address.
<input type=hidden name="recipient" value="email@example.com">