We have a website which is mostly HTML pages, in other words, not CMS based. The way we handle fill-in forms is through an ancient script that comes with the web hosting. It requires a separate text file to be created for each form which contains a template for the email that gets sent when the form is filled in. I wonder if there's a better way.

Can you give me examples of widely used script that I could hook into the form to send these emails? The features I'm looking for are:

  • No separate file for configuring the email - so destination email, and other info that needs to go in the email are in the form itself, maybe hidden fields.
  • Multiple email addresses can receive the form.

These features would be nice:

  • Simple conditional processing - send email to A if field X is Y, send email to B if field X is Z.
  • Logging of form submission for debug purposes.

2 Answers 2


It's pretty hard to justify the use of static sites these days, but regardless, if you want a simple plug-in solution for web forms, there are numerous services out there:

  • wufoo
  • surveymonkey
  • google docs forms
  • pandaform
  • foxyform
  • formstack

From a maintenance POV, integrating such SaaS solutions is preferable to cobbling together random scripts from disparate authors/sources, each with their own coding styles and conventions.

Also, you'd never want to create an email form that uses a hidden input for the destination address. That's just asking to be abused by spammers.

  • I'm aware of the first three services. Which of these lives on our site, rather than redirecting to another domain? Feb 6, 2012 at 12:19
  • @paulmorriss: All of them should allow embedding except for formtools, which I removed, as that's a form script, not a service. Feb 6, 2012 at 12:30

You could use Adobe's interactive PDF forms, LiveCycle Designer is quite easy to get to grips with and database intergration quite easy.

The main advantage I would be the ability to add advanced features to forms, such as document attachment, without having to edit the website and without having to have a web person create more than the basic template.

It's also scaleable into a workflow tool with the addition of LiveCycle Enterprise Server, which maybe useful going forward.

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