Php form email frustrations


Fairly novice web designer here. Ive used php form emails in the past and had a little bit of success but this time around i cant seem to get any mailing script to work. Ive tried locally as well as on the web live. I have the html correct im pretty sure, it must just be the php form that is incorrect in some way. Any help on this would be appreciated, i need a couple of these emailers for a site im building for a client.


<?php include ("header.php"); ?>
		<?php include ("marquee.php");?>
	<?php include ("navigation.php");?>
	<div id="content">
		<div id="staffheader"><p>Auditions</p></div>
		<form action="formemail.php" method="POST">
              <input type="text" id="first_name"><BR>
              <input type="text" id="last_name"><BR>
              <input type="text" id="email"><BR>
              <input type="text" id="telephone"><BR>
              <input type="text" id="comments"><br>

    <input type="submit" value="Send"> <input type="reset">
	<?php include ("sidebar.php"); ?>
 		<?php include ("footer.php"); ?>


if(isset($_POST['email'])) {

    $email_to = "";
    $email_subject = "Your email subject line";

    function died($error) {
        // your error code can go here
        echo "We are very sorry, but there were error(s) found with the form you submitted. ";
        echo "These errors appear below.<br /><br />";
        echo $error."<br /><br />";
        echo "Please go back and fix these errors.<br /><br />";

    // validation expected data exists
    if(!isset($_POST['first_name']) ||
        !isset($_POST['last_name']) ||
        !isset($_POST['email']) ||
        !isset($_POST['telephone']) ||
        !isset($_POST['comments'])) {
        died('We are sorry, but there appears to be a problem with the form you submitted.');

    $first_name = $_POST['first_name']; // required
    $last_name = $_POST['last_name']; // required
    $email_from = $_POST['email']; // required
    $telephone = $_POST['telephone']; // not required
    $comments = $_POST['comments']; // required

    $error_message = "";
    $email_exp = '/^[A-Za-z0-9._%-]+@[A-Za-z0-9.-]+\\.[A-Za-z]{2,4}$/';
  if(!preg_match($email_exp,$email_from)) {
    $error_message .= 'The Email Address you entered does not appear to be valid.<br />';
    $string_exp = "/^[A-Za-z .'-]+$/";
  if(!preg_match($string_exp,$first_name)) {
    $error_message .= 'The First Name you entered does not appear to be valid.<br />';
  if(!preg_match($string_exp,$last_name)) {
    $error_message .= 'The Last Name you entered does not appear to be valid.<br />';
  if(strlen($comments) < 2) {
    $error_message .= 'The Comments you entered do not appear to be valid.<br />';
  if(strlen($error_message) > 0) {
    $email_message = "Form details below.\

    function clean_string($string) {
      $bad = array("content-type","bcc:","to:","cc:","href");
      return str_replace($bad,"",$string);

    $email_message .= "First Name: ".clean_string($first_name)."\
    $email_message .= "Last Name: ".clean_string($last_name)."\
    $email_message .= "Email: ".clean_string($email_from)."\
    $email_message .= "Telephone: ".clean_string($telephone)."\
    $email_message .= "Comments: ".clean_string($comments)."\

// create email headers
$headers = 'From: '.$email_from."\\r\
'Reply-To: '.$email_from."\\r\
" .
'X-Mailer: PHP/' . phpversion();
@mail($email_to, $email_subject, $email_message, $headers);

<!-- include your own success html here -->

Thank you for contacting us. We will be in touch with you very soon.


<input type=“text” id=“first_name” name=“first_name” />

id is only there so you can identify the element in the DOM, name is the name of the value being passed in the form.


// a line of debug

if(isset($_POST['email'])) {