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Using cgiemail

The instruction contained herein can be used to modify an existing HTML form to work with a preinstalled script called cgiemail. The cgiemail script resides in the server's cgi-bin directory and does NOT have to be installed within your own account. Merely reference cgiemail as illustrated as illustrated in the following HTML form action:

  • <form method="post" action="/cgi-bin/cgiemail/mailtemp.txt">

This code calls the preinstalled script cgiemail which is in the server's cgi-bin directory once the web page visitor clicks the "submit" button. The script cgiemail in turn calls a text file (or template) called mailtemp.txt. The template defines the format by which the submitted form content is to be sent via email.

You can create the template in a basic text editor beginning with the following two lines:

   To: username@yourdomain.com
   Subject: Information Request  

Substitute the desired recipient email address and subject above. Next, you will need to add ALL field names within the HTML form to the template in a form similar to the following:

   To: username@yourdomain.com
   Subject: Information Request

   Name            [name]
   Address         [address]
   Phone           [telno]  

As long as each form field name is contained within brackets ("[ ]") within the template, the email should be sent successfully and contain all submitted data. We suggest you use all lowercase field names within your HTML form and template. Be sure to upload the template in ASCII transfer mode.

If you want a specific web page to load when the email is successfully sent, such as a thank you note, add the follow code to your HTML form:

  • <input type="hidden" name="success" value="http://your_domain.com/thanks.html">

Substitute the URL of the file you wish to load after form data is submitted. The field name in this case MUST be "success", but does not need to be added to the template.

*** Important ***
If you are implementing a secure form in conjunction with cgiemail, you will need to reference the script in the form ACTION as well as the "success" URL securely. Please note that the "secure" environment refers to information transmitted from web browser to web server. The resulting email message that gets sent from the our computers is not encrypted and therefore not secure. We are in the process of researching PGP encryption for email.

*** Helpful Tip ***
When you receive the submitted form content via email, you will see that the return address is one that is associated with rapidsite.net. In some instances, you may want to reply directly to the person that completed the form.

First, add a field to the HTML form (e.g. "email" to prompt the visitor for his/her complete email address. Next, add the field name to the corresponding template in the following manner:

   To: username@yourdomain.com
   From: [email]
   Subject: Information Request  

The cgiemail script will insert the address entered in the field named email. When the emailed form is received it will be tagged with this return address.



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