What information do you need from your service provider?
You need to find the
- action to be taken by the Web browser to send the information
- the method used to send the information
Both of these pieces of information are contained in the FORM tag, and most ISPs simply provide a FORM tag for you to copy and paste into your pages.
The basic HTML mark up for a typical form is:
<FORM action="/cgi-bin/mailform" method="get">
<!- various tags go here to instruct the browser to display the form elements and buttons ->
The action attribute tells the browser the address of the program on the Web server. You can reference programs on other web servers by including a full Web address for the program. In the example here, the program is called mailform, and is in the cgi-bin directory.
There are two methods used to post information back from Web pages to the web server.
- get sends the information back to the server as part of the URL of the Web page. You may have seen the very long addresses when using search engines like AltaVista. The main limitation of this method is the amount of information which can be sent back.
- post sends information back as a kind of e-mail. Much better for large amounts of information.
Many ISPs will only provide one of these methods.