This article constitutes section 1, part B, chapter 6 of the CIW Website design manager course and briefly covers: Creating HTML Forms.
HTML Forms Overview
Web sites use forms to obtain input from users. A form can contain many different fields to collect this input. The information entered into a form is then submitted to a server where it is stored and/or processed. The sever side action is generally carried out by the use of Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts.
Sample HTML Form
The above is NOT an operational form, so don’t click the Submit button. OK I know you will, you devil, but it won’t do anything. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to collect information on the fly.
The sample form in this post is just an image, an earlier non-WordPress page did have a legitimate HTML Form but this was not practical in this WordPress post.
This form gives an idea of the type of fields that can appear on a form and the sort of information you can collect. In the sample we have: a one-line text box, a select list, 2 radio buttons, 3 check boxes, a multi-select box and finally the submit and reset buttons.
The Submit button is what makes the form work, when it’s configured. It sends the data from the form either to an email address or to a server. If it is sent to email it is not formatted at all, so probably isn’t very useful. If it is sent to the server then a script on the server will receive the data, format it and maybe file it to a database or send it as a nicely formatted email.
The server script is most likely to be a Perl CGI script, as this is the most common form of scripting language for this purpose. This section of the course does not attempt to explain the workings of CGI scripts, so neither will I.
This is a very brief look at HTML forms but, that was all the coverage provided in the CIW Course