Part IV. Create Forms

This is a continuation of the MagicEdit Dreamweaver tutorial series. The other tutorials in the series are:

Create Magic Forms in Dreamweaver

Let's face it, forms are frustrating if you don't know programming. Many designers out there have found themselves in the situation where they set up form fields in the HTML, styled the form perfectly with CSS, tested it out by filling in the fields, clicked Submit, and stared at their inbox for hours on end, wondering where their test email is. After a bit of Googling, they discover that there has to be a program running behind the scenes that takes care of formatting the form data and sending it as an email. So what do they do? Learn to program, copy somebody else's program, or use a mailto. Well, MagicEdit has a better solution, and it does NOT involve a mailto (but it IS just as simple!)

Step 1: Create Your Form

Let's set up a simple contact form to gather a visitor's name, email address, and a contact message:

Contact Us

Step 2: Insert the Magic

The above HTML is all pretty standard, Web Design 101 stuff. The hard part now is making the form actually submit, right? Actually, no. It's not hard at all! We'll just add a little bit of Magic to the <form> tag and we're all done:

We added me_email and me_subject to the form tag. These attributes specify the email address to which all form submissions will be sent and the text that will appear in the Subject field. MagicEdit will automatically take care of everything else and will never expose your email address to the browser!

Step 3: Some more options

Other Magic Form attributes include the following:

  • Confirmation/"thank you" page: To send visitors to a "thank you" page after they click submit, simply add me_page="thankyou.html" to the form tag. Make sure to create a thankyou.html file and include a message like "Thank you for visiting our site! We will be in touch shortly."
  • Save to Excel file: If you want to save your form contact data as an Excel spreadsheet, simply put me_csv="filename.csv" instead of the me_email attribute. When you FTP into your site, the file will appear in your root folder, so that it is not accessible from your website. (Your visitors will appreciate not having their contact information publicly available.)
  • You may also decide to collect data via both email and spreadsheet. Just add both the me_email and me_csv attributes.

For more information about MagicEdit forms, please see our full documentation and tutorial.