Collecting information is becoming crucial for any online business. According to that, having online forms is helping to trigger an action from your visitors, that want to type something in order to return back some information or complete an action to submit some data. The most popular form on the web is, without any doubt, the search box of Google’s homepage.
It’s easy to understand that Google wants its audience to type something in order to understand what a person is searching for through a query, and giving some information back according to the words typed in the form.
The goal is pretty easy, isn’t it? It’s a win/win strategy: Google is performing its main business purpose and the user is getting the information is looking for among several alternatives (Search Results).
But, why do we have forms? Forms enable users to search for something and to perform other types of online action.
It’s possible to have forms to be registered as a new member of a website, to buy a product online, or simply to sign up for newsletters or mailing lists.
We have loads of form controls that we might consider to collect information from users on our site.
Let’s analyze the most popular, you will be know how to code them. You need to think first about what you want to get, in order to evaluate what type of form you should include on your web pages.
Considering the input/output of data you want to collect will help with the decision.
How Forms Work in HTML
Wondering how forms work? A user fills the blank, then it presses a button in order to submit the information it typed to the server.
What’s next? The name of each form control is sent to the server along with the value of the user typed or selected within the form options.
After that, it’s up to the server to process the information received using a proper programming language. The information will be saved in a database.
According to the information received, the server creates a new page to send back to the browser.
Three Types of Form Controls
Adding Text in HTML
The first type of form control is adding text. Basically, it’s a text input comprised of a single line that is used for typing a single line of text. It can be an email address or a name.
Within the adding text type, we can have a password input. It’s still a single line of text where users need to insert some characters in the text box.
The last one in the category is the text area. It’s useful for longer areas of text. It might be an input related to messages or comments, like the Marketing Predictor Contact Us form.
Making Choices in HTML
The second type of form control is making choices. The first one in the category is radio buttons.
It’s useful to use something like that when users need to select one of a number of options. Then we have checkboxes when some users might select and unselect one or more options among several.
Last one, but not least important, is drop-down boxes where users must take one of a number of options listed in a drop-down menu.
Submitting Form in HTML
Now let’s see the last type of form control. It’s submitting form. It might be a submit button, to submit some data in order to go to the next web page.
It can be an image button, which is similar to submit button but in this situation, we have an image instead. Then we have uploading files. It’s basically a form that allows users to upload a file and submit it to the system.
We had a quick look at the main form controls type that we have available to perform simple actions. Of course, there are other ones, but as a HTML beginner developer, we suggest you focusing on those types.
As we mentioned, it’s important to understand what we want users to do on our pages in order to come up with the perfect form control.
Conclusion: Which Form Controls Should I Pick?
To sum up, think about the data output. Is it gonna be access to a private section of the website? So, the best form control is going to be a password input as such.
For sure you have a clear idea about your business goals, this is helping to optimize your web pages for your users’ requirements accordingly, without forgetting about your main focus: converting users and making them happy about the experience browsing your website optimized by coding best practices.
Are your visitors happy? If they are, you are as well.