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Putting a form online

I answered a question along the lines of "how much will it cost to put my [6 page] web form online" yesterday, and found myself coming up with a list of considerations, which I thought might be woth sharing as a checklist

... How many forms do you want your 6-pager converting into? (Don't do it all as one web form!)
... Do you want the data fields validated, and if so how / which ones?
... What technology do you want used for the data collection / emailing?
... What format do you want the email in? Does it have to feed another system?
... Do you have an ISP and a domain lined up?
... What artwork do you want on the completed conversion / is that artwork available?
... How are you going to prevent spammers from submitting forms?
... What about maintainance if the form is to change / how MIGHT it change in the future?

With all these unknowns, and a correspondent halfway around the world where costs are very different, I had to say that it was hard to give even a ballpark figure, but to listen carefully to potential suppliers and see whether they were aware of these aspects / asked the right questions.

For more and more web applications, I tend to be looking at code that formally goes through six stages (read form - read session - validate inputs - prepare for next form - save session - send response) as I suggest how people write code that they're going to use on a full live site, with the code split down into a top layer, business logic, web helpers and a template to aid re-usability and maintainability. It works just as well with a CGI or mod based language such as Perl, and an embedded language such as PHP. We have complete source examples in Perl and complete source examples in PHP available, and we can train you on the applications of these technologies too.



[c2]à
(written 2005-03-29, updated 2006-06-05)

 
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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