Designing Forms

Designing Forms

Up to this point, you've learned almost everything you need to know to create functional, attractive, and somewhat interactive web pages. If you think about it, however, the pages you've created thus far have a one-way information flow. Your HTML documents, images, sounds, and video have been traveling to web browsers with no return ticket.

Today's lesson is about creating HTML forms to collect information from people visiting your website. Forms enable you to gather just about any kind of information for immediate processing by a server-side script or for later analysis using other applications. If you've spent much time browsing the Web, you've undoubtedly run across forms of various flavors. Many forms exist: simple forms that perform searches, forms that log you in to websites, forms that enable you to order products online, online polls, and so on. They all share one thing in common: accepting input from a web page visitor.

If you're one to worry about compatibility, you can set your mind at ease. HTML forms have been around since the beginning of the HTML language and are supported by every web browser in common use. I'll make sure to point out any possible compatibility problems along the way.

In this Lesson

Don't be intimidated by forms! Although they might look complex, they're actually very easy to code. The hardest part is formatting them. Today's lesson covers the following topics, which enable you to create any type of form possible with HTML:

  • Discovering how HTML forms interact with server-side scripts to provide interactivity

  • Creating simple forms to get the hang of it

  • Learning all the types of form controls you can use to create radio buttons, check boxes, and more

  • Using more advanced form controls to amaze your friends and co-workers

  • Planning forms so that your data matches any server-side scripts you use

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