If you know a little HTML, then you know that the FORM tags can be used to interact with your users. Things that can be added to a form are the likes of text boxes, radio buttons, check boxes, drop down lists, text areas, and submit buttons. A basic HTML form with a textbox and a Submit button looks like this:

<html>
<head>
<title>A BASIC HTML FORM</title>
</head>
<body>

<FORM NAME ="form1" METHOD =" " ACTION = "">

<INPUT TYPE = "TEXT" VALUE ="username">
<INPUT TYPE = "Submit" Name = "Submit1" VALUE = "Login">

</FORM>

</body>
</html>

We won’t explain what all the HTML elements do, as this is a book on PHP. Some familiarity with the above is assumed. But we’ll discuss the METHOD, ACTION and SUBMIT attributes in the form above, because they are important.

So, create the form above. Save your work as basicForm.php. (This name will be VERY important!) Start your server, and make sure the form loads ok in your browser. You should be able to see a text box and a Submit button. Here’s what it should look like:

basicForm

If a user comes to your site and has to login, for example, then you’ll need to get the details from textboxes. Once you get the text that the user entered, you then test it against a list of your users (this list is usually stored on a database, which we’ll see how to code for in a later section). First, you need to know about the HTML attributes METHOD, ACTION and SUBMIT