7. Feedback from your site.
Web sites often allow visitors to send information back to the site, either to join email lists, to order goods or just to communicate with the owner. This is achieved through interactive web forms and scripts. All the script does is to email the information back to a specified name. A useful script is available to users on our web servers which can send a reply to an Oxford University email address only (that is, an email address within ox.ac.uk domain and subdomains).
Two form fields are required when creating your feedback html form, namely a
recipient field, and an
>input type="hidden" name="recipient" value="email@example.com" /
Using "recipient" in the
name attribute of this field is important,
and you must give it a value using the
value attribute. This is
where you put your University email address, which the form data is later sent
The second required form field is the
>input type="hidden" name="email" value="firstname.lastname@example.org" /
Would set the "From" address of the final email to be from your University email address (if it is "email@example.com"). Whereas using:
>input type="text" name="email" /
in the form would require the user submitting feedback to enter their address for use as the message's "From" address.
There are many other "hidden" fields that are available, two of which will likely be
of regular use, namely
former provides the text that will be used as the subject header of the email
message delivered to you. If left out, the email message will have a generic
subject header. If the latter field,
redirect, is present, it
should contain a valid HTTP URL, to which the user will be redirected after
successful submission of the message.
If you're not using an immediate redirect, as mentioned above,
return_link_urlwill enable the default success page to provide a link to the target URL. This is normally used to provide a link from the success page back to your main page or back to the page with the form on. For example:
>input type="hidden" name="return_link_url" value="/home.html" /
The label for the return link. For example:
>input type="hidden" name="return_link_title" value="Back to my home page" /
- The background color for the success page.
- The URL of the background image for the success page.
- The text color for the success page.
- The link color for the success page.
- The vlink color for the success page.
- The alink color for the success page.
- The title for the success page.
This sets the order in which the submitted form inputs will appear in the email
and on the success page. It can be the string
alphabeticfor alphabetic order, or the string
order:followed by a comma separated list of the input names, for example:
>input type="hidden" name="sort" value="order:name,email,age,comments" /
order:is used you must supply the names of all of the fields that you want to be in the body of the mail message.
- This is a list of the CGI environment variables that you would like to be included in the email. For more details, see the section regarding validation below.
If this is set to a non-empty value then fields that the user left blank will
be included in the email, for example:
>input type="hidden" name="print_blank_fields" value="true" /
Normally, blank fields are suppressed to save space.
nameattribute included, otherwise data will not be included in the message.
You can view an example form
for use on your site. To save this file
right click on the
mouse button and select
[save as]. Please rename the file as .html
when incorporating into your site.
You can configure form mail to require certain fields to be completed. To enable
the checking of required fields, use the the
required hidden form
field, this is a list of fields that the user must fill in before they submit the
form. If they leave any of these fields blank then they will be sent back to the
form to try again. For example:
<input type="hidden" name="required" value="name,comments" />
would require the
comments form fields to
be non-empty. If you want finer control over the the error that the user see's if
they miss out a field you can add another hidden field, namely
missing_fields_redirect. This field must have a valid URL as its
value attribute, and the user will be redirected there if any of
the fields listed in
required are left blank.
If you would like the email returned to you to contain certain information about
the remote host, browser agent, and referring host that used the form (and possibly
some user information, if known), then you can include the
env_report hidden form field, which lists the variables you would
like included (as long as those variables are supported by the FormMail.pl script).
<input type="hidden" name="env_report"
would provide a selection of potentially useful information (although not all variables are guaranteed to be present). What you do with the data from there is up to you!