Creating a Simple Email Form in PHP Support

You want your site's visitors to be able to contact you (to offer you work, marriage, congratulations on your genius etc) but, as soon as you put your email address on the site, you're inundated with spam and Nigerian gentlemen offering you $5 million. This tutorial shows you how to make a simple email form in PHP so that a form can be mailed to you when the user hits the submit button. Gareth then shows how to make a simple HTML mail, as well as a useful tip on how to make helpful hints appear in the status bar while the user fills in the form.

This is suitable for beginners to advanced users of PHP.

- OR -


Table of Content:

  • What PHP requires to send Email
  • SMTP settings in the PHP.ini file
    • Windows
    • Linux
  • The PHP mail() command
  • Email Headers
    • CC - Carbon Copy
    • BCC - Blind Carbon Copy
    • From - Email From Address
    • X-MSMail-Priority - Message Priority (Applies to Outlook Express Only)
    • X-Priority - Message Priority
    • Easily Creating Email Headers
  • Combining Email Headers
  • Creating a Mail Form
  • HTML Emails
  • Summary

Gareth Downes-Powell

Gareth Downes-PowellGareth has a range of skills, covering many computer and internet related subjects. He is proficient in many different languages including ASP and PHP, and is responsible for the setup and maintenance of both Windows and Linux servers on a daily basis.

In his daily web development work he uses the complete range of Macromedia software, including Dreamweaver MX, Flash MX, Fireworks MX and Director to build a number of websites and applications. Gareth has a close relationship with Macromedia, and as a member of Team Macromedia Dreamweaver, he has worked closely in the development of Dreamweaver, and was a beta tester for Dreamweaver MX.

On a daily basis he provides support for users in the Macromedia forums, answering questions and providing help on a range of different web related subjects. He has also written a number of free and commercial extensions for Dreamweaver MX, to further extend its capabilities using its native JavaScript API’s or C++.

As a web host, Gareth has worked with a range of different servers and operating systems, with the Linux OS as his personal favourite. Most of his development work is done using a combination of Linux, Apache and MySQL and he has written extensively about setting up this type of system, and also running Apache and MySQL under Windows.

See All Postings From Gareth Downes-Powell >>



April 6, 2004 by Brandon Larsen
I didn't know where to put what. Do i put the last chunk of php code inside the form tag? does the hidden field need to be just after the form tag or after the input fields? Can you show the whole form with php so i can see how the entire thing is coded?

This tutorial is very sketchy

May 17, 2004 by kirk strandberg

This tutorial was obviously written very quickly and without regard to its audience. (beginner) It is not comprehensive enough to put it together easily without understanding how php works. The author obviously knows his stuff but that is the problem and as such the tutorial is more positioned to the next level who I would suspect would already know how to do this stuff. e.g It shows you a form but does not explain how the script relates to the form fields or even how you could adapt the script to your own form. It really needs a work through to meet the criteria of the beginner.This is the first tutorial I have purchased and I have to say am disapointed


RE: This tutorial is very sketchy

May 19, 2004 by Bruce Lawson

Hmm, I think we've got this problem because of a difference in what people perceive as being "beginner".  If you say you're a beginner and didn't understand this, I'm amending the level to be "intermediate" so it doesn't cause confusion again.

However, before you go off feeling disappointed, I've opened up a forum so you can ask questions of the author directly if you've purchased the tutorial, so that you can get your money's worth.

RE: This tutorial is very sketchy

August 16, 2005 by ryan ryan
Personally, I think this tutorial was very helpful. I downloaded it and have referenced it many times in the last few months. It explains a very simple way to make this work, and while there is a typo or two, overall it was definitly worth the purchase.
See all 5 Reviews

You must me logged in to write a review.