Forms - Basics << Mailto VS CGI >> Textbox & Textarea
There are two common ways of sending FORM information in the ACTION property. One is mailto: and the other is using a CGI (Common Gateway Interface).

Having a CGI available is almost always going to be the best choice. If your online host server or ISP does not provide a form CGI, you can use a free service such as BraveNetFree Webtools for Webmasters.

The CGI is a mini program that lives on the online server area. It will take the visitors entered information, organize it, and send it into your email. Using a CGI is easy. It is a matter of entering a couple of specific values and code lines that are given to you by the provider of the CGI.

Using MAILTO will send the information directly to a specified email, but there are some complications...
  • It works only in Netscape and IE4.
  • Other browsers will bring up the email application. The entered information is NOT transferred over.
  • Entered data usually arrives in one long line of text instead of an organized message.
  • I have not yet found a way to create a "forward to ThankYou page" upon SUBMIT.
The long line of text can controlled by entering enctype="text/plain" into the FORM tag.

<form method="post" action="" enctype="text/plain">

ENCTYPE stands for Encryption Type. It specifies that the entered information is text only. The long line of text is a result of the server not understanding the type of entered information.
Forms - Basics << Mailto VS CGI >> Textbox & Textarea

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