Most webmasters provide a way for their visitors to write to them. Some put their email addresses on their website, others set up a web-based contact form. In this final chapter of the Dreamweaver CS6 tutorial, you will add a feedback form to your site.
Please note that this article assumes that you know all the stuff covered previously, starting from chapter 1. Dreamweaver veterans who are reading this page because you are trying to install a feedback form will probably have no trouble carrying out the steps here, even if you have not followed my tutorial from the beginning. However, if you have difficulty with any part, be prepared to look at some of the earlier chapters to fill in the gaps. There is a complete list of all the chapters in the box near the bottom of this page. (Note that my tutorial chapters tends to cover much more than what is described in the chapter title, so the information you seek may be hidden somewhere in one of those articles in spite of the title.)
By the end of this chapter, you will have a working feedback form. If you started this tutorial from chapter 1, you will also have completed everything, and have a fully-functional multiple-page website "live" on the Internet. In addition, you'll have learnt ("learned" in US English) most of the commonly-used skills needed to design and maintain a site using Dreamweaver, and will be able to create others as and when you wish.
Newcomers often stumble when it comes to web forms. Having created the rest of their site with an editor (be it Dreamweaver or some other thing), they think that a web form is just another page that can be designed the same way. Then, when they construct a beautifully crafted form filled with bells and whistles and test it by clicking the "Send" button, nothing seems to happen.
Nothing seems to happen because nothing actually happened.
Forms are just one part of a complex machine. An analogy may make it clearer. Let's say that someone decided that they want to create a super-intelligent computer that can hold conversations with them on lonely evenings. They get an empty cardboard box, paint it black, attach pretty buttons on the surface with different labels, such as "Discuss Philosophy", "Poetry", and "The Meaning of Life". But when they press a button, any button, they are greeted with silence. Creating the user interface (the sleek black exterior and buttons with weighty topics) is well and good, but without some actual engine working its magic beneath the surface, they can click the buttons till they are blue and not get the desired results.
In the same way, a web form is just the user-facing component of a bigger whole. The actual engine driving the form is a computer program that is custom built to process the stuff coming out of the form. Designing a form without having a program to handle its output is like putting buttons on a empty cardboard box and expecting those buttons to actually do something.
But don't panic. For the feedback form that you'll be adding to your site, you don't actually have to write your own computer program, nor is programming knowledge necessary. You will be using the Feedback Form Wizard to do it for you. In case you're wondering, "wizard" is computer lingo for software that takes you step by step through the process of doing some task. In this context, the wizard is a free online (automated) service that will generate a complete computer program (or "script") to handle your feedback form.
In view of the complexity of the task (for the newcomer), it's a good idea to try out a demo of the form that you will be creating, so that you have an idea of some of the different parts that are needed. As such, please go to the Feedback Form Demo and use the form there. Note that you don't have to worry about spamming me with the demo; email sent through it will be automatically deleted, so feel free to test it to your heart's content.
Note: please try the demo even if you are an old hand at using other websites' contact forms. Not all feedback forms work the same way. The demo form, however, uses the exact same engine that you will be using for your site, since the program driving it was also generated by the Feedback Form Wizard.
From your test run of the form, you should be able to see that the feedback form system comprises at least 3 files. In fact, it involves many more, although you will only be directly dealing with the following four.
This is the user interface bit. It is the part your visitors see when they want to write to you. The Feedback Form Wizard will create the basic form, which you can plug into your website. The appearance of the form (eg, colours, how big the different fields are, fonts used, etc) can be customised ("customized") with Dreamweaver.
This is the page that your visitors see when they successfully send a message. You will create this page yourself with Dreamweaver.
Your visitors will be sent to this page if they forget to enter any one of the required fields (name, email address or the message itself). Like the "Thank You" page, you will create this in Dreamweaver.
The feedback form script is the computer program that processes the stuff your visitors enter into the form. (A "script" in this context means a computer program.) Essentially, it takes the words entered into the various fields, formats it into an email message, and asks the other programs running on your web host's computer to send the email.
Yes, you read that right. The script doesn't actually send the email. It relies on specialised ("specialized") email programs present on the web server (your web host's computer) to do the job.
After telling the other programs to send the email, the script will then instruct your visitor's web browser to display the "Thank You" page.
The feedback form and associated files have the following requirements.
The script that the Wizard generates is written in a computer language called PHP (see What is PHP? if you want to know more). As such, for it to work, your website must be placed on a web server that has PHP installed.
In addition to the above, your web host must have configured their system so that your site is allowed to run PHP scripts that send email. Just because your web host says that you can use PHP doesn't necessarily mean that your scripts can send mail. Most free web hosts prevent PHP scripts installed on their system from doing this, probably to protect themselves from people using their facilities to spam others. As such, if your website is situated on a free web host, chances are that you will not be able to successfully use the form. Note that when I say "free web host", I include any situation where you're not actually paying money to have your website hosted. That includes the free hosting that comes with your Internet broadband connection or the "starter websites" that you get for free when you register a domain name with some registrars. If you're using any such solution for your website, your web form will probably NOT work.
In general, if you want your feedback form to work, you will need to be hosted on a commercial web host. The form has been successfully used by thousands of sites on such hosts, including the web host used by thesitewizard.com itself.
Please follow the instructions below meticulously, without skipping any part. Many newcomers experience problems setting up their feedback form because they fail to do something mentioned below. Even if this is your second or third time setting up a feedback form script, I strongly recommend that you do not work from memory. Keep this page of instructions open in a window (or tab) of your web browser while you work, perhaps even highlighting the step you are following (just drag your mouse over the relevant sentence to highlight it), so that you remember where you are. (It's easy to lose your place in this chapter since you'll be switching back and forth between windows repeatedly.)
Actually, highlighting every step as you work is probably overkill for the majority of people, but I wrote it because I have received email from a few visitors over the years asking for help because things did not work correctly for them. From their description of the symptoms, it is obvious they have accidentally missed a step along the way.
Go to the
Feedback Form Script Wizard
https://www.thesitewizard.com/wizards/feedbackform.shtml and generate the feedback form script
and related files. One way is to open that page in another window (or tab) in your browser, so that you can
read the instructions here while using the wizard.
Read the information given by the wizard, and click the option "Create a PHP Feedback Form (Requires PHP 5.2 or above)". Actually, that option should already be selected by default, but click it anyway if you're not sure.
Step 2 of the Feedback Form Wizard should appear. Enter the following information into the wizard:
Enter the email address at which you want your visitors' comments to arrive. For example, enter
firstname.lastname@example.org" (without the quotes) if that is your email address.
This is the web address of the user-visible portion of your contact form. Enter
http://www.example.com/feedback.html" (without the quotes), replacing "
with your actual website address. Important: do not change the filename portion from
feedback.html", since you have already used that name to link to the form in your navigation menu
in chapters 6 (your navigation menu) and 7 (your site map). If you change the name now, all the links on your site
pointing to the form will be broken.
Even if you have not been following my tutorial from chapter 1, it's best to simply use "
for the filename portion, since I assume everywhere in this chapter that you're using that name. If you use a different
name, you'll have to make sure all the various addresses mentioned in this chapter match up, or your form will not work.
Warning: do not use capital (uppercase) letters or add spaces to the name "
feedback.html". Use that
name exactly as it is shown for the filename portion of your URL.
This is the web address of the page that will be displayed after your visitor's email has been sent.
http://www.example.com/thankyou.html", once again replacing the domain name with your site's
actual address. It's best not to change the filename portion from "
thankyou.html", since I will
assume later in this chapter that you've used that exact name. In addition, do NOT put spaces or
use capital (uppercase) letters in that name. Use "
as-is in the filename portion.
http://www.example.com/error.html" into this field, as usual replacing the domain name
with the right one for your site. Once again, I recommend that you do NOT change the filename from
error.html", since I will assume later that you've used this name here. As before, make sure that
the entire name is in small (lowercase) letters and that there are no spaces in the name.
The wizard will then proceed to create a script and a feedback form, customised using the values you have just supplied, and display them in your browser. Do NOT close this page. Leave it open while you work on the next few steps in Dreamweaver. We will be using the code generated below.
The first thing we'll need to do is to save the feedback form script.
Start up Dreamweaver, if you have not already started it up.
Click "File | New..." from the menu. For those who have forgotten, this means to click "File" from the menu bar, followed by "New..." from the drop down menu that appears.
The "New Document" dialog box should appear. Click the "Blank Page" line in the first column. Notice that I said to click "Blank Page" and not "Page from Template" the way you did in chapter 7.
In the "Page Type" column, click the line that says "PHP".
Click the "Create" button found near the bottom of the dialog box.
A page that seems blank will appear. I say "seems blank" because the page is not actually empty, since it contains invisible HTML code which Dreamweaver inserts by default into practically everything it creates. We need to delete that code or it will interfere with the feedback form script.
If, instead of a blank white page, you see your 2 column website design based on your template, it means that you did not follow my instructions above to click "Blank Page" and "PHP". Close the existing page without saving it and return to the beginning of this section and try again.
Click "View | Code" from the menu to switch Dreamweaver from its Design view to its Code view.
You should now be able to see the invisible HTML code that I referred to earlier. Select everything on the page. The easiest and surest way to do this is to use "Ctrl+A" from your keyboard. That is, hold down the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard and (while continuing to hold down that key) hit the "a" key. Everything on the page should be highlighted, indicating that it was selected. (If I'm not wrong, Mac OS X users have to use "Command+A" instead of "Ctrl+A" to get this to work.)
(If, in spite of my suggestion above, you have used your mouse to highlight the content, make sure that you have really selected everything on the page and left nothing out. Not even a blank line.)
Hit the Delete or Backspace key to get rid of everything. Your document window, still in Code view, should now be completely blank.
Switch back to your web browser without closing Dreamweaver.
Look at the results page from the Feedback Form Wizard in your web browser. You should be able to find a box near the top in the section labelled "Feedback Form Script". This box contains the feedback form script that we're going to copy to Dreamweaver.
Click somewhere in that box in the "Feedback Form Script" section. The contents of the box should automatically be selected (that is, everything in the box should be highlighted when you click it). If not, use Ctrl+A (or Command+A on the Mac) to select it.
You will now copy what you selected to the clipboard. To do this, use Ctrl+C (or Command+C on the Mac) from your keyboard. That is, while holding down the Ctrl key, hit "c" on the keyboard. Alternatively, click the right mouse button while its pointer is somewhere in the box and click the "Copy" line in the menu that pops up.
Return to Dreamweaver without closing your web browser. There are still things on that page that we need, so leave it open for the time being.
Click "Edit | Paste" from the menu. The contents of the box should now appear in that empty window in Dreamweaver.
To ensure that you've done things correctly so far, make sure that the last line on the
page is a red "
?>". The lines above should also be displayed in a variety of
colours, namely red, blue, green, and if you scroll up far enough, also orange.
If the words are not in these colours, but are all in black, it means that you have missed a crucial step in this section. Close the window using "File | Close" without saving anything, and return to the top of this section and try again. (If this keeps happening to you, highlight each sentence as you do them so that you don't miss anything.)
WARNING: Do NOT change anything in this window. I know that some of the things there look suspiciously like English words, thus stirring in your heart the desire to modify them. However, this is NOT a web page you're looking at. It is a computer program. Nothing in this window will be displayed on your website even when the script is being run. If you modify anything in this window, your form will not work correctly. Even if all you want is to change your email address or web addresses, go back to the Wizard and generate a new form. Do not manually alter them. To reiterate: do NOT add, subtract or modify anything. Do not even add blank lines or extra spaces to beautify the page.
For those of you who are concerned that your email address is on this script page, and that your visitors can see it, don't worry. As long as your site is running on a system with PHP, nothing on this page will be visible at all. In fact, at no time will the script be even sent to your visitors' browsers. This is the case even if your visitors try to directly access the script in their browsers. They'll just end up being supplied your feedback form instead. If you don't believe me, you can test it yourself later when you've successfully installed everything. Instructions for this (as well as explanations why this is the case) are provided in the section on testing below.
Click "View | Design" from the menu to revert to the Design view. You should now see a blank page again. Do NOT type anything here. Although it looks blank, it's still the feedback form script you just saw. Anything you type here will break the script.
If clicking "View | Design" does not give you a blank page, it means you've skipped an important step earlier. Close the file without saving (using "Fle | Close" from the menu) and start from the beginning of this section again.
Click "File | Save As..." from the menu. The "Save As" dialog box will appear. Enter "
(without the quotes) into the "File name" field.
Click the "Save" button.
Immediately click "File | Close" from the menu to close the file before you accidentally alter something.
The feedback form proper is simply the user interface that your visitors will interact with. The form should be placed on a normal web page, much like the pages that you have created in previous chapters.
Click "File | New..." from the menu.
In the leftmost column of the "New Document" dialog box that appears, click the line "Page from Template". Then select the template that you designed in chapter 7 in the usual way and making sure that "Update page when template changes" is checked before clicking "Create". This is the same procedure you carried out in chapter 7 to create new pages using your bespoke site design.
For those who have arrived at this chapter without reading the previous chapters, and have not created a Dreamweaver template for your site, just create a new web page the way you normally do. If you are not even sure how to do that, chances are that you don't know enough to continue. In such a case, please start from chapter 1 of this tutorial. (It's not as bad as it sounds; if you work diligently through the chapters, you'll arrive back here in no time.)
As usual with a new page, replace the "Title" field with something suitable like "Feedback Form", "Contact Form", "Contact Us", "Support" or some such thing.
At the top of the visible portion of your web page, type "Feedback Form" (or whatever else you prefer) as the page heading.
Delete whatever placeholder text you have in the editable region of your page. Leave a blank line or two where you can insert the feedback form later.
Without closing Dreamweaver, switch back to your web browser.
Scroll down to the section headed "HTML Code".
Click your mouse somewhere in the box in the "HTML Code" section. As before, the contents of the box should be automatically selected when you do that. If it isn't, use Ctrl+A (or Command+A on the Mac) to select it.
Use Ctrl+C (or Command+C on the Mac) to copy everything in that box to the clipboard. Or, if you prefer to use the mouse, click the right mouse button while the cursor is hovering over the contents of the box, and select the "Copy" line in the menu that pops up.
Switch back to Dreamweaver. You should again be looking at the new page that you have just created.
Click the spot on the page where you want the form to go. This will cause a blinking text cursor to appear in that place. If the text cursor is not on a blank line of its own, hit the ENTER key to make a blank line, and use the arrow key (on your keyboard) to position the text cursor on that blank line if necessary. That is, by the end of this step, your text cursor should be on the blank line where the form is supposed to start.
Without moving your text cursor, immediately click "View | Code" from the menu.
You should now see the underlying HTML code of your web page. Locate your (blinking) text cursor. It should be on a line
that says "
<p> </p>". To be precise, the cursor should be immediately
<p>" and before "
</p>" on that line.
Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the text cursor to the end of that same line. That is, position
the cursor so that it is just after "
<p> </p>" on the same line.
Click "Edit | Paste" from the Dreamweaver menu.
The HTML code created by the wizard will be inserted at that spot.
Click "View | Design" from the menu. This returns you to the design view, where you can see the form fields, similar to what you saw on the demo site.
If you don't see the fields, but only the HTML code you pasted, it means that you have missed a crucial step earlier. Close the file (with "File | Close") without saving, and go back to the beginning of this section and start again.
If you like, you can customise the appearance of the form so that it fits in with the existing design of your web page. This is OPTIONAL. You don't have to do this if the form already looks fine on the page. The code created by the Feedback Form Wizard is designed to work out-of-the-box without needing any further tinkering. If you don't want to change anything, just skip to the next section.
The form obeys the same CSS rules as the rest of your web page. As such, you can use the techniques taught in the earlier chapters of this tutorial to change the font, text size, and colours. I will not repeat those steps here, since you can easily return to those chapters if you've forgotten how to do them. Instead I will focus on things you haven't learnt yet, like how to adjust the widths of the various fields in your form and how to change the words appearing on the button at the bottom of the form.
Another thing that you should know is that the widths and heights of the form fields are merely visual gimmicks. They do not affect how much information your visitors can enter into your form. Even if you are parsimonious with space, and create extremely narrow fields, your visitors can still enter long names, email addresses and comments. The web browser will automatically scroll to allow them to type whatever they want to type. Nevertheless, it's still useful to know how to adjust the field widths so that you can make the form blend aesthetically with the rest of your page.
To change the width of either the Name or Email Address field, click it once to select it. That is, click the empty box next to "Name" or "Email Address" (depending on which one you want to modify).
The Properties panel at the bottom of the Dreamweaver window will now be filled with things specific to that field. Locate the value for "Char width" in that panel. It should currently say "39", which means that the "Name" or "Email address" field that you selected currently has a width of 39 characters. If you want the field to be broader, so that it is (say) 50 characters wide, click the 39 to put your text cursor in that box, then replace that number with 50. Hit the ENTER key after typing your new number. The change should be reflected on your page as soon as you do that.
If the field is still not wide enough, or if it is now too wide, just repeat the procedure till you're satisfied with the results. Remember that this change is purely cosmetic, so don't stress yourself out looking for the perfect width.
You'll probably want to repeat the above procedure with the other field as well, so that both the Name and Email Address fields have the same width. (There's no requirement for this, but most people like both the fields to have the same width so that the form doesn't look lopsided.)
Once you adjust the Name and Email Address fields, you'll probably also want to change the width and height of the Comments box. To do this, click the box under the word "Comments" to select it.
Once again, you should be able to see the default values for the field in the Properties panel. This time, however, there are 2 things that you can change: the width of the box, found in "Char width", with its default of 45, and the height of the box, found in "Num lines", with its default of value of 15. Adjust them as you see fit, hitting the ENTER key after each alteration.
The words "Send Feedback" on the button at the bottom of the form can be changed if you prefer it to say something else. For example, if you entitled your page "Contact Form" or "Support", you may want the button to say "Send Message" instead. To use a different set of words, click the button once to select it.
When you do that, the Properties panel should display a "Value" field with the default words "Send Feedback". Click your mouse cursor in that field and change the words to whatever you want. Hit the ENTER key to have the modification take effect.
For those of you who are compulsive customisers, who feel an uncontrollable urge to change everything, please note that there are certain things in the form that you should NOT change. Changing those things will cause the form to fail to work correctly.
The general principle is that you should only change things that are visible on your web page. That is, you can change things like colour, size, widths, height, and the words that appear on the page itself. Yes, you can even change the words "Name:", "Email address:" and "Comments" that appear before the form fields to something else if you like.
However, as you may have already noticed when you clicked the various fields, there are other internal values that are not actually visible on your page. For example, when you clicked the Name, Email Address and Comments fields to select them, values like "fullname", "email" and "comments" were also shown in the Properties panel. These words must NOT be changed, not even to translate them to some other language. They are internal values that are used by the form to interface with the script. If you change them, things will go awry. Having said that, you shouldn't need to change them anyway, since they are not actually visible on your web page.
Once you've finished customising the form, click "File | Save As...".
feedback.html" (without the quotes) into the "File name" field and click the "Save" button.
Now click "File | Close" from the menu to close the feedback form page.
(Optional) If you wish, you can switch back to your web browser and close the tab containing the results from the Feedback Form Wizard. At this point, you have completed integrating the Feedback Form Wizard's output into the pages of your site, so you don't need it any more. Your job is still not done, though. You still need to create the "Thank You" and "Error" pages needed by your feedback form system. This will be done next.
As you have probably already realised, from experimenting with the feedback form demo earlier, the "Thank You" and "Error" pages are just straightforward web pages, much like your home page, site map and "About" page.
The "Thank You" page is displayed after your visitors click the "Send Feedback" button. Its main purpose is to reassure your visitors that their message has indeed been sent. Otherwise they'll think that nothing has happened and click the button again, with the end result that you'll get multiple copies of the same message. Most webmasters also take this opportunity to thank their visitors for their comments.
Create the page the usual way you create a new page based on your site's template. Replace the Title field with something like "Feedback Sent" or "Thank You" or the like. Then in the main visible portion of your web page, put a message like the following:
Your message has been sent to the webmaster. Thank you for your comments.
Actually, you can say whatever you want. The above is just to give you an idea of what to write.
There are no rules as to what you must say. Save the page with a filename of "
the quotes). Like all the filenames mentioned in this chapter, this name must match exactly what you supplied
to the Feedback Form Wizard, without even any difference in capitalisation (case). Otherwise
your visitors will receive an unfriendly
"404 File Not Found" error
when they click the "Send Feedback" button.
Once you've finished with the "Thank You" page, create the "Error" page from your site's template. This page is displayed when your visitors click the "Send Feedback" button without entering anything into one or more of the form fields. For example, if they leave the "Email address" field of the form blank, they will get this page instead of the "Thank You" page.
As such, your Error page should have a message telling your visitors to return to the form to complete all the fields before clicking the "Send Feedback" button. For example, you can say something like the following:
Please complete all the fields in the form before clicking the "Send Feedback" button. Click the "Back" button in your browser to return to the form to fix the error.
As before, remember to change the Title field of the page to something like "Error" or "Error Sending Message".
Save the file as "
error.html" (without the quotes).
Publish all the files to your website using "Site | Synchronize Sitewide..." just as you did in chapter 7. Dreamweaver should display the script, the form, the Thank You page and the Error page in its list of files that need to be uploaded when you do so. Allow the editor to transfer those files to your website.
Note: if the "Synchronize Sitewide..." menu item is disabled or greyed out, it probably means that you arrived at this chapter of the tutorial from outside thesitewizard.com and have missed some steps which I have already taught in the earlier chapters. You have either failed to put your site under the control of Dreamweaver's Site Manager or enter your FTP information or both.
Once Dreamweaver has completed copying the files to your site, fire up your web browser and go your site's home page. From there, click the navigation menu button that says "Feedback Form" (or whatever label you put on that button). The page containing the feedback form should appear.
If you get an error saying something like "404 File Not Found" (or some other words to that effect), it means the web address (ie, URL) you assigned to that navigation menu button in chapter 7 does not match the address of the form you just uploaded. This means either the URL you set for the navigation menu button is incorrect, or that you saved the feedback form under a wrong name (or to the wrong folder).
Now go to your Site Map and look for the link to your feedback form that you placed on that page. Click it to make sure that the link there matches with your actual feedback form address.
As webmaster, you of course know the exact URL of your feedback form, and could have gone there directly instead of via your navigation menu and site map. However, remember that you couldn't test these links in chapter 7 because your form wasn't ready then. If you don't test it now, you may not remember to test it later.
To test if you have named your Error file correctly, and that the name matches what you supplied the Feedback Form Wizard, do not enter anything into your feedback form. Just click the "Send Feedback" button. Yes, I know all the fields are empty. That's the whole point.
Your Error page should appear in your web browser. If so, move on to the next test.
If the Error page doesn't appear, but you get a "404 File Not Found" message instead, it means that there is a mismatch between the address you gave the Feedback Form Wizard and the actual address of your error page. This may be the result of your saving the Error file under a different name, or saving it to the wrong location. Alternatively, you could have made a typing error when entering the address of the Error page in the Wizard. Yet another possibility is that you failed to upload the Error file.
Hit the BACK button in your browser to return to the feedback form from your Error page. Now complete all the fields in the form before hitting the "Send Feedback" button. This time, you should get your "Thank You" page.
If you get a File Not Found error when you submit the form, it means that there is a name or web address (URL) mismatch somewhere. As before, there are four possible causes for the error: you made a mistake naming your "Thank You" file, you saved the file to the wrong folder, you supplied the wrong web address to the Feedback Form wizard, or you failed to upload the "Thank You" page.
The fact that your browser displays your Thank You page doesn't necessarily mean that the message sent by the script will arrive at your email address. All it means is that the script has successfully passed the email on to the other programs running on your web host's system. The Thank You page merely signals the end of the script's job. Now it's up to the rest of the programs running on your web host's computer to transmit the message to your email provider. It also depends on the internet connection between your web host and your email provider, as well as the speed at which your email provider makes new mail available for your reading. Since there are so many places where things can still go wrong, don't assume success until you've logged into your email account to check if your test message has arrived.
If you do not get your email within a reasonable time, see the checklist of things to do when your email fails to arrive. How long does it typically take for email to be delivered? Good question. It varies from web host to web host, and email provider to email provider. On my current web host, it usually takes a second or so (probably less, but my reflexes aren't fast enough for me to check my email in less than 1 second after sending the message), but I've tested the script on other web hosts where it takes many hours before the email even deigns to appear. I guess you'll just have to experiment to see how long the email delivery takes on your web host, and get used to it.
Remember that I said earlier that the email address that you saw in the feedback form script will not be displayed in your visitors' web browsers even if they specifically put the address of the script in their browser's location bar? Well, if you didn't believe me then, now is your chance to verify that claim. (Actually, even if you believe my statement, please try the following experiment anyway, for your own peace of mind. Don't worry, you won't break anything.)
If your feedback form is at "
http://www.example.com/feedback.html", the PHP script that
you uploaded should be at "
http://www.example.com/feedback.php". That is, take the URL of
your feedback form, and change the part at the end that says "
.html" to "
Type that new address into a new tab (or window) in your web browser's location bar and hit the ENTER key.
You should be magically transported to your feedback form. That is, you will not see the multicoloured program code that you saw in Dreamweaver. In fact, the script code was never at any moment transmitted to your web browser.
Explanation: a web server that has PHP installed distinguishes between normal web pages and PHP scripts. If it sees a normal web page, like your home page, it sends that document to your visitor's web browser unmodified. If it sees a PHP script, it doesn't send anything. Instead, it runs the script, since it knows that PHP scripts are computer programs to be run on the web server itself, not documents to be sent. It's then up to the PHP script to send something to the browser if it wants to. When run in this way, the script created by the Feedback Form Wizard notices that it was accessed directly (instead of through the "Send Feedback" button). Since it has nothing to do (having no email message to send), it simply tells your visitor's web browser to go to the form instead. That's why you were transported to your feedback form.
(If you encountered a "404 File Not Found" error instead of your feedback form, you've either typed the wrong address into your browser, or you supplied the wrong address for the "URL of Feedback Form" field in the Feedback Form Wizard when you first created your script.)
If you run into any problems installing and running the feedback form script, please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Feedback Form Wizard. It may also be a good idea to go through this chapter again in case you missed something.
Congratulations! You've completed your website, and not it's just some rudimentary thing, but a fully functional, professional-looking site with multiple pages, a site map and a working feedback form. Even better, you've mastered the skills needed to create websites using Dreamweaver CS6, and can design other sites any time you like.
If you want to explore Dreamweaver further, you can find tutorials on how to do specific tasks from my list of Dreamweaver tutorials. Some of those tasks are not covered in this main tutorial series because they are not things that everyone wants to do. Dreamweaver is a powerful web editor loaded with many features; if I included everything it can do in this series, you would be overwhelmed and become discouraged. As such, this main tutorial focuses on the core set of skills and knowledge needed to create a website, leaving things that only a few people want to do to separate standalone articles.
Another source of help is Dreamweaver itself. As you may already know, the editor has a help system which you can invoke from within the program. If you have previously ignored it, because you couldn't understand what it said, you may want to give it another chance. After all, you have come a long way from the early days (or hours if you've completed these 8 chapters in a single marathon session) when you didn't know anything. As such, the stuff that you couldn't understand before may be a little easier to grasp now.
Website creation does not consist only of designing web pages. There are other things that you need to look into as well, even after your website is completed. If you have not already done so, I recommend that you return to the How to Make / Create a Website: The Beginner's A-Z Guide to take a look at those things.
Finally, even though your site is completed, I would like to ask that you not forget thesitewizard.com. Please link to it and recommend it to others. (Thanks!)
All the best for your site!
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