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Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4
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Sending data to an email address


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Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4

with Paul Trani

Video: Sending data to an email address

In order to send this contact form data, what I need to do is I need to upload this page and when I click Submit, I need to send this data to what's called a contact form mailer. First step is to upload this page, so I do need to find a hosting provider. So for instance, I'm currently using Go Daddy, but you can use any sort of Web hosting provider you want. But from them you are going to get three things and these are just three things to remember.

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Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4
2h 41m Beginner Sep 16, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4 shows the basics of doing just that—building a first web site. Adobe Certified Instructor Paul Trani walks through the important steps of creating a web site from concept to publishing, using Dreamweaver CS4. He teaches how to create basic web pages, add text and image content, use Cascading Style Sheets for design and layout, create a photo gallery, and even check the final site for browser compatibility. He also demonstrates how to create a contact form to encourage viewer feedback on the site. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the Dreamweaver workspace for first-time users
  • Linking to external web pages and sites
  • Improving the presentation of text and images on the site
  • Building a layout using Cascading Style Sheets
  • Making navigation reusable across multiple pages
  • Displaying content using the Accordion widget
  • Creating a contact form and sending data from it
  • Making the final site search engine-friendly
Subjects:
Web Web Design Projects
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
Paul Trani

Sending data to an email address

In order to send this contact form data, what I need to do is I need to upload this page and when I click Submit, I need to send this data to what's called a contact form mailer. First step is to upload this page, so I do need to find a hosting provider. So for instance, I'm currently using Go Daddy, but you can use any sort of Web hosting provider you want. But from them you are going to get three things and these are just three things to remember.

You're going to get sort of an IP address, or an FTP address to upload the site to, but you also need a username and password. It can often be your login name and password. But you need those three things and then you can go ahead and upload the site and from there, they're going to provide you a tool in this case, this form mail. That's what they're going to provide to you to sort of finish the process of sending that contact form data to an email address.

First thing I'm going to do is sort of based on this information, my login username and password and the FTP address, I could go ahead and setup my site. So that's the first step, setting up this site in order to upload this page. From the Files panel, I'll expand that up some. I'll click Manage Sites and I'm going to create a new site and it's going to walk me through defining a site. So, I'm going to say Jane Doe Contact Form, because that's what I'm doing in this case.

I can call it whatever I want. I could give it an HTTP address if I want to, but again the purpose of this is just to get my contact form working. Do I want to use any of this server technology? No, I'm just going to upload the page. Where on your computer do you want to store your files? So again, I want to edit my local copies and then I want to upload. So let's define my sort of a local copies and it's going to be in this Chapter 07 > 02 Begin folder.

That's where all my files are going to exist and then, How do you connect to your remote server? And this is the sort of most important part, because I'm going to change this to FTP. So from here, this is where I'm going to use that information. It's going to ask me, What's the hostname or FTP address of your Web server? Well, it happens to be ftp .janedoephotography.com. So, it's going to be something similar to this. It might be ftp and then maybe two forward slashes.

In this case it's just the dot, but nonetheless, you are going to get the FTP address from your hosting provider, and I don't want to store them in any particular server location. It's just going to put it all files at the root and then I want to provide them with a login and then a password and I could even Test Connection. So, congratulations you've connected to your Web server successfully. I'll click Next.

I'm not going to worry about checking in and checking out. Click next again. I get a Summary. Everything looks good. So I can click Done and now it appears in my Managed Sites list. Jane Doe Contact Form. To keep an eye on, how the Files panel changes. So I'm going to click Done. Okay. So now, what I want to do is upload this contact.html page. In fact, I can select multiple pages. In this case, the contact.html, the css, the images, because obviously there are images on this page and SpryAssets, because there is Spry here as well as Scripts.

So any scripts that are in this folder, I'm going to upload that as well. And lastly the Library because I'm using this library item at the top. With all of those selected, all I need to do is come up here and go to Put File(s). I'll click Put. And that also asks me, hey do you want to put the dependent files, so there might be sort of other files and maybe I didn't select that this page it might be using, and I'm going to say Yes. There seems to be some other files on the server and it doesn't have their date, so it's saying hey, do you want to upload all of these anyway? Even though you're not sure if the latest ones are on the server or not.

Nonetheless, I know I need to upload these files and that's exactly what's going on here. It's uploading all of these files. The images folder is probably going to be the largest. But again the idea is just to get this contact form up there then what I really need to do is test this out. I have that uploaded. In fact I can go to a Web browser and type in janedoephotography.com/ contact.html. Here is my page.

Here is my contact form. But the thing is as I haven't set up this button. So that's my next step is to send this data to a particularly unique server technology provided by the hosting company. What I need to do is go back to hosting control center and the hosting company will provide this form mailer form. So any forms that are sent to Go Daddy or basically through this site, it's going to send that form data to this email address.

And that's all you need to do. Just type that right in there. So that's all the information they need. A lot of times, the hosting company will provide some Help Center and really you're going to look to this location for any sort of form you might want to use. And again we're dealing with Windows Hosting Form Mailer and I'm going to make sure I'm using this PHP. But in general all I have to use, and all I have to really point to is this PHP page.

So, here the hosting company has provided me with this PHP page and the lot of code that I don't have to write myself. All I really need to know is this

I can go ahead and select that I can copy it. So this is the form action that needs to take place and anything within that sort of form red box, all that data will be sent to that email address. So, let's go back into Dreamweaver and here is my form, right here.

It's this red box and any of the forms in here that data will be sent to wherever I tell it to down here in the Action. So the action again is going to be gdform.php. So, it will be same. It's this page and I'm going to make sure it says post as well. We'll go back in here, gdform.php. In fact, if I'm curious about how this looks, I can go to Split view and I can see that the action says gdform.php and the method is post.

So that looks good. I'm going to go to Design view, since I've just changed this contact.html page and I'm going to go ahead and save it and then go to Contact and Put. In this case, I'm not going to put dependent files, because they're already uploaded and I can go to Firefox. Go to janedoephotography.com/ contact.html page, Refresh it, type in paul@paultrani.com, whatever comment I want to send and when you click Submit, it's going to send that data and just defaults to the home page.

Now, the next step is to check my email that I have defined back in my hosting control center to see if I have received that email. So, here I'm in my email account. That is the account that the email was sent to and there it is. Nothing too fancy because it is email, but in general it lists the content that was sent through that form. Again, this technology was provided by the hosted company. So as long as my site is uploaded and I'm passing the data to the form they provide, it will send the email just as expected.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4.


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Q: After creating the website as instructed in the tutorial, and uploading the site to the internet, the website does not seem to work for every browser. How can one make sure that the website will work for all browsers?
A: An important step when creating a website is to check for browser compatibility. To do so in Dreamweaver, go to Window > Results > Browser Compatibility. Click the Play icon in the left corner then go to Settings and target the browsers you¹re after. Then hit the Play button to run it and check the page that’s open. If there’s an issue, best-case scenario, it should show you what the issue is and link out to a solution. Worst case is that it’s a pretty unique issue, in which case further troubleshooting would be needed.

Q: The background image is tiling, instead of being one large image. How is this corrected in Dreamweaver?
A: This can be corrected by using a larger image, something around 1024x768 that will fill up most of the monitor space. The issue is that the background image is just too small. Note that tiling of the background image can be turned off in the CSS Panel, but that would only result in a single small image. So it’s better to just use a larger image for the background.
Q: When trying to import SWF content, I get a message: “This file is outside the root folder of site ‘xxxxx’ and may not be accessible when you publish the site.” What is causing this?
A: Make sure your SWF file (and all files you put on a page) are located in your local site. Basically make sure you set up a local site in the site panel. It will ask where to put your local site on your computer. Just make sure you SWF is in that folder and you won’t get that error.
 
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