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Planning the action page

From: Dynamic Dreamweaver Websites: Creating and Validating Forms

Video: Planning the action page

What I would like to do now is start to bring together all of the pieces that we've talked about throughout this course into building our contact dusk page for scuba vacations. So, let's talk about planning our contact dusk page and we actually have the form prebuilt. So building the form piece is normally a part of the planning process as well. So since we have the form belt we can move on to the action page.

Planning the action page

What I would like to do now is start to bring together all of the pieces that we've talked about throughout this course into building our contact dusk page for scuba vacations. So, let's talk about planning our contact dusk page and we actually have the form prebuilt. So building the form piece is normally a part of the planning process as well. So since we have the form belt we can move on to the action page.

But let me just make a side note in the form department, the first piece of this entire process in term of setting up a contact us form. Is what is the information you want to gather from the user, and how important is each piece of this information? And it's interesting that part tends to cause my clients some hesitation because they haven't really thought about what they want to gather from the user. So when you're planning your form specifically its something you want to think about.

So I'll just bring it up here and we're going to move on from the web developer same point and plan the action portion of this process. So we have a form, our form has six form fields right now. So we need to do is get those six form fields put into an email message, and get that email message sent out, via the web server, to whoever needs to receive this information within Scuba Vacations. So if we're going to plan this process, our form is all set. In terms of form validation we dont have any validaton on this form. But the form has been built.

The basic outline of the form is all set up for us. There's no PHP code in this piece whatsoever. So the validation peice has not been set up either. The only part of this Contact Us process is the form so far, so what do we want to have happen with our action portion? Well, since this is a form going into an email, there isn't a whole lot we need to do other than take our form information, and move it into an email format, and then tell PHP to pass that email information on to the mail server, m-a-i-l server.

And that is set up within the web server itself. So, right now, we have our action page. Our contact us action simply takes our information, and plugs it into an email. Right now, our form information is taken from the form when the users click the Submit button and moved into an email message that's printed onto the page. So what we need to do at this point is take this action page, and we need to take this data and instead of being printed to the page, we need to move it to be printed into an email format to be emailed by the web server. Now, when you do that, you reference the form fields in the exact same manner for the email as you do for printing it to the page. The idea is, this particular information here dollar sign, post name, represents whatever the user put into that area on the form. Our post email represents the email field, post topic represents the topic filed.

So the concept is very similar whether you're printing it to the page or you're putting it into an email. So now we can take a look at the email piece. But we also need to build a thank you page for the user. So, the information comes to this page, but, once the user gets to this page, we need to show them a decent page. Because, if you put this page in the browser right now It doesn't look very nice, we certainly don't want our users seeing that. So what we need to do is add a thank you page, to our website to send them too. We also need to redirect the user instead of seeing, the actual script, for the email.

We're going to send the user to a very friendly page that looks like the rest of our website. So let's get those pieces set up and then we can take a look at how to build the email portion once we're done with this.

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