One of the most powerful features of PHP is the way it handles HTML forms. The basic concept that is important to understand is that any form element will automatically be available to your PHP scripts. Please read the manual section on Variables from outside of PHP for more information and examples on using forms with PHP. Here is an example HTML form:
There is nothing special about this form. It is a straight HTML form with no special tags of any kind. When the user fills in this form and hits the submit button, the action.php page is called. In this file you would write something like this:
It should be obvious what this does. There is nothing more to it.
variables are automatically set for you by PHP. Earlier we
$_SERVER autoglobal; above we just
introduced the $_POST
autoglobal which contains all POST data. Notice how the
method of our form is POST. If we used the
method GET then our form information would live in
the $_GET autoglobal instead.
You may also use the $_REQUEST
autoglobal, if you do not care about the source of your request data. It
contains the merged information of GET, POST and COOKIE data. Also see the
You can also deal with XForms input in PHP, although you will find yourself comfortable with the well supported HTML forms for quite some time. While working with XForms is not for beginners, you might be interested in them. We also have a short introduction to handling data received from XForms in our features section.