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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Creating a Simple ‘Contact Us’ Form in PHP

Creating a Simple ‘Contact Us’ Form in PHP

If you’ve a website, giving your visitors a way to contact you is very important. The easiest way for you would be to just give your email address but for the visitors that surely won’t be an easy method. A more sophisticated method would rather be a ‘Contact Us’ form, yeah just like those you see on many websites.

A contact form generally asks the visitors name, email address and message they would like to send to the webmaster of the website.

In this post, we are going to create a simple contact form, which you can even integrate on your own site.

For the ‘Contact Us’ form, we need to create two different files. First one will have the HTML form and some text boxes to collect the information form the visitor, second, the PHP script to receive those information and write it to a file for the webmaster to see.

For this project, we’re writing the information sent by the user to a file which you should be checking every once in a while for new messages.

Below is the code for the HTML form:

<html>
<head>
<title>Contact Us | My Website</title>
</head>

<body>
<h1>My Website</h1>
<h2>Contact Us</h2>
<form name="form1" id="form1" method="post" action="contact_process.php">
<div align="left">
<table width="500" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="10">
<tr>
<td width="93">Name(*)</td>
<td width="407"><input name="name" type="text" id="name" /></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Email(*)</td>
<td><input name="email" type="text" id="email" /></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Subject</td>
<td><input name="subject" type="text" id="subject" /></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Message(*)</td>
<td><textarea name="message" cols="30" rows="10" id="message"></textarea></td>
</tr>
</table>
</div>
<p align="left">
<input type="submit" name="Submit" value="Submit" />
</p>
</form>
</body>
</html>

And following is the PHP code, save it with the name “contact_process,php”.

<?php
//fetch the information from
//the form elements
//we're using trim() function
//to TRIM whitespaces
$name=trim($_POST['name']);
$email=trim($_POST['email']);
$subject=trim($_POST['subject']);
$message=trim($_POST['message']);

//check whether all the (*) required 
//informations are filled or not
//show a message if not
if($name=='' || $email=='' || $message=='')
{
    echo 
"<h1>Error</h1>";
    echo 
"<p>One of the (*) required fields
     were missing. Please click the 'BACK' 
     button and re-send the form with all 
     the required infromations filled.</p>"
;

    
//exit script
    
exit;
}
//if OK

//format a string to be written to file
$data="xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\n";
$data.="xxxxxxxxxxxxx MESSAGE xxxxxxxxxxxxx\n";
$data.="NAME: $name\n";
$data.="EMAIL: $email\n";
$data.="SUBJECT: $subject\n";
$data.="MESSAGE: $message\n";
$data.="xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx END xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\n";
$data.="xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\n\n\n";

//open file in append mode
$fp=fopen("messages.txt","a");
fputs($fp,$data);
fclose($fp);

//show message
echo "<h1>Successful</h1>";
echo 
"<p>Message sent successfully!</p>";
?>

If you look at the code closely you’ll notice that we’re employing simple checks to verify whether the user has filled all the required information or not. If not he/she is stated to go back and re-send the message with all the information filled.

Here's what the file "messages.txt" contained:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxx MESSAGE xxxxxxxxxxxxx
NAME: Someone
EMAIL: some@someone.com
SUBJECT: Please Help Me!
MESSAGE: Hi,

Would be be kind enough to help me with this.....

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx END xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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