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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I am planning to launch my site in a month and have some questions on forms I hope some people can help out with

    1.) I am planning to have quite a few different needs for visitor feedback on my site.

    i.e contact webmaster
    contact site
    sign up for competition
    send in articles
    readers Views (going to publish our reader emails..

    so which ones do i use forms for and which ones do I use mailto's for. IMO mail to's look unproffesional do you agree ? What if some one does not have a pop account and only had mail account, its just gonna cause then grief right ? I was thinking that the first 2 could be mail to's and the rest forms, and perhaps I could integrate the last two in the same form ? What do you think ?

    2.) If I just do the form in html and then get a cgi script to send it to my mail account will the script also have the code to display logically ?

    Thanks you very much

    Cloughie


  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    1) I have a personal pet-peeve with sites that don't use forms for feedback or other contact info, especially when I am at school or work and don't have an easy way to mail. The other strong point with forms is that you can control the information given. However, it is still a good idea to have a 'contact us' page that not only uses a form, but has email addresses for each staff member, an info@yourdoamin, the postal address, and phone number.

    2) ???
    I have always used FrontPage for forms since it gives you the ability to send the results to an email address, database, and/or to a file on a sub-directory for back-up with just a few simple clicks.

    [Edited by westmich on 09-01-2000 at 10:00 AM]
    Westmich
    Smart Web Solutions for Smart Clients
    http://www.mindscapecreative.com

  3. #3
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    2 items to note.

    With a mailto link you're assuming the person has their browser set up for mail and all that.

    And even if you use a form, unless you're using a form processing script then the above still applies, the best way to get information would be a form processing script, not just a form.

    Chris

  4. #4
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    so which ones do i use forms for and which ones do I use mailto's for.


    I would use forms for all of them, except perhaps contacting the webmaster, but its a lot easier for your visitors to fill out and submit a form, rather than send an email. Some don't even have email access from certain computers. Also, mailto's cause a warning before the user submits the form, telling them that their email address will be visible to the recipient (which is no big deal) but it still might scare or confuse them. Go for the forms.

    2.) If I just do the form in html and then get a cgi script to send it to my mail account will the script also have the code to display logically ?

    I'd personally use formmail.pl to help in creating your forms. Its very customizable and performs its job well. You can set up the html in the form to display the field however you like. If you need an example, you can look at forms I've created at http://www.pawsitronic.com/request.html

    Hope this helps!

    Sherice Jacob - Web Improvement Expert
    Improve Website Conversions | eBook Covers
    Follow Me on Twitter!

  5. #5
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Some people will be accessing you site and not even have a computer.

    I personally would use forms and scripts to process those forms for every request for information you want from the user. Not only do you get it in easy to use formats and can put it in a database for statistics and extrapolation, but you can guide the users responses by the choices you provide. Free form answers can always be included at textarea boxes.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------



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