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Web Design Reference Guide

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All About Forms

Last updated Oct 17, 2003.

By Molly Holzschlag

Whether you're providing a method of collecting feedback for your Web site's improvement, collecting demographic information, or receiving orders for products on your site, forms are the interface through which you are most likely to interact with your audience.

Unlike more static methods, forms depend upon a relationship between the site visitor and the page you create as well as scripts residing on the Web server.

Typically, this relationship is helped along by a server application. Server applications can be any number of technologies and interfaces, including CGI (Common Gateway Interface) and Perl scripts, Microsoft technologies such as ASP or ASP.NET, Java Server Pages (JSP), PHP, or Macromedia ColdFusion. These applications act as the conduit through which the information passes and hands off the information server-side for processing.

Forms are one of the oldest and most flexible methods of allowing your site visitors to interact with your site, and ultimately, with you.