Web site forms are ubiquitous. Every site needs them to engage their visitors, collect information, makes sales, etc. They are easy to add to your site, but not necessarily easy to do right.
Make a quick web form using some generic web site authoring software and put it up on your site and it may work, but you also may have serious issues:
- Incomplete Forms. Users submitting incomplete forms — e.g. not filling out all of the important fields
- Invalid Input. Users not entering the “right” information — e.g. not actually putting an email address in the email address field
- Form Spam Bots. Automated programs may fill out and submit your forms … sending you junk in the form of gibberish or web site URLs they hope you will visit and buy stuff from.
- Form Insecurity. If your from collects any kind of sensitive information … from passwords to medical data … it could easily be setup incorrectly and allow phishing attacks or data leakage.
- Stale Forms. You updated your form … but someone just somehow submitted the old version which is not even on the Internet anymore!
- Connectivity/Server Issues. You don’t want your users to give up because their network is down or your site is down for a few seconds.
All of these problems impact the success of your site — causing everything from annoyance to the inability to contact your sales leads to breaches of privacy. Fortunately, it is not really hard to plug these gaps and have a solid, productive, and secure web form.
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