Online forms play a crucial role on the internet, and are an incredibly effective way to gather data. Over the years their usage has become ubiquitous in a wide range of areas, including shopping cards, surveys, registration forms, sign-up sheets, applications, and much more.
If you want to create and publish your own online forms, there are a few ways that you can go about it. In fact a good place to start is to understand the different options that you can choose from so you can decide which one would be the best fit:
Write the code from scratch
At their core online forms are basically just code – and if you want you could write your own HTML form from scratch. However if you want to create a form in this way you will need to know HTML to structure the form, CSS to control its appearance, and PHP to submit the data.
In short unless you happen to already have experience with web code this can be a very difficult option. Even assuming you’re willing to learn, it will take time and a lot of trial and error before you’re able to create even a basic online form.
Use ‘readymade’ online forms
One of the easier alternatives to writing your own online forms is to use a ‘readymade’ online form. Basically there are lots of online resources that provide readymade templates of online forms that you can copy and paste onto your website.
Despite the fact that this option is much easier than writing a form from scratch, it isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds. The fact of the matter is that if you want to add fields or customize the appearance of your form you’ll still need to edit the code directly.
Suffice to say this option is a good ‘shortcut’, but you will still need to know code in order to use it.
Graphical form builders
If you want to create an online form without having to struggle with any code, your best bet is to use a graphical form builder. It will essentially let you create a form using a graphical interface rather than code.
While this option is convenient and will let you create and customize a form, the amount of customizable that is possible will depend on the platform you use. Some may be very versatile, user-friendly, and have lots of options such as AidaForm Online Form Builder, but others may be more limited.
At the end of the day it is up to you to figure out which option you’d be most comfortable with, but for beginners with no experience with HTML, CSS or PHP – it is often best to start with a graphical form builder. That being said you may want to sneak a peek at the code for online forms, just to get an idea of what it consists of and so you can judge for yourself whether you really want to go anywhere near it.