Why use Forms?
Forms are one of the most useful parts of modern websites because they allow us to capture input from our visitors.
There are many ways to use forms: contact forms, sign-up forms. Because forms can take many… uh… forms, implementing one can become tricky. Here are some tried and true approaches to debugging common form errors and things to consider. Comments are welcome!
(Please give these debugging tips a try before making a new post!)
Form-handling works automatically for HTML forms that meet the following requirements:
- You need to have a
data-netlify=trueattribute in your HTML
<form …>definition. Note that once the form is processed during deploy, the resulting HTML that we serve will NOT have that parameter in it anymore!
- You need to include a
nameattribute on the opening
<form>tag. When the page is deployed we will add a hidden input with a
form-nameattribute that’s the same as the name you set for the form. This is used in our API to determine which form is receiving the input. This is handled automatically as long as the HTML form includes a
namein the opening
<form>tag needs to be unique on your site. You can reuse it on other sites!
- Every input in the form must have a “name” attribute. Something like
<input name="email" ...>or
<textarea name="message" ...>is what you need. The name is sent along with the value in the submission and our API will only record data from form submissions with names matching the definition as parsed at deploy time.
namein each of your
<input>tags needs to be unique within that form - can’t have two
name=contactfields in the same form!
- Make sure that you
POSTyour form request (not GET) with a
application/x-www-form-urlencodedin most cases. However, if and only if you are submitting the form with a file upload then the
Content-Typeneeds to be
- We use Akismet on all form submissions. If you see the form in the app.netlify.com UI, but you don’t see any of your test submissions, double check that you aren’t sending junk info in your test submissions or submitting over and over again from the same IP address (which looks spammy and may be hidden in our UI until you choose to view the spam submissions).
If you have an HTML5 compliant form that follows those guidelines, it just works!
There are some things you’ll probably want to adjust to suit your tastes:
- If you want to show your own content after the
POSTrather than our generic thank-you page, make sure you include an
action=/pathparameter in your form definition. (
/pathshould be the page you want to display - might be “/” or “/thank-you/english.html” - must be either ‘thank-you’ to use our automatic thank you page, or a path starting with / - but NOT a complete URL starting with http(s) ). While you wouldn’t seem to need an action for AJAX forms - it’s how we know what to show after submission, so you do need one unless you’d like us to show our thank-you page. If this path doesn’t exist, we will use our own standard thank-you page.
OK, did it work? Here’s some tips to tell, and a caveat:
HTML forms: Once the HTML form is deployed with the
netlify attribute, you’ll see an entry (with its name from step 3) in our UI at
https://app.netlify.com/sites/YOURSITENAME/forms . This will be present in our UI immediately after deploying. If it isn’t, we haven’t processed the form for some reason such as it not being present in HTML form.
Netlify Recaptcha: If you’re using the
<div netlify-recaptcha></div> element to add our recaptcha, you can only have one on any single page. If you put this div in multiple places, only the first one parsed will be replaced with an actual recaptcha.
Still having trouble? Please start a new topic tagged
In that topic, Please:
- Write a fantastic title that summarizes your issue and is helpful for other users
- The URL for your live form as you want visitors to use it
- The form name that you’ve set and that shows in our UI
- Any errors or logs from the Netlify build logs, dashboard or browser developer console
- Description of anything you have tried that did or didn’t help or make things better/worse