Understanding HTML Forms and their Importance

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

HTML refers to hypertext markup language which is basically used for designing web pages that require a markup language. HTML is a combination of hypertext and markup language that comes with predefined text and elements that informs the browser on how to display the web content on the user’s screen properly. An HTML form is a part of the HTML language and in this article, we are going to learn all about it.

HTML Forms and their Importance

What are HTML Forms?

HTML <form> is an HTML element that is used to gather loaded data with accommodating interchangeable authority. HTML forms allow you to enter texts, numbers, emails, passwords, values, checkboxes, radio buttons, submit buttons, etc. In short, HTML form is a container that keeps all these elements. HTML forms are mostly used when website owners want to gather data from their users. For instance, when a user wants to purchase something from your website, they will have to enter their shipping address first and then they can fill in the payment details and complete the checkout to place the order. Forms are mostly created by entering fields in paragraphs and determined texts, lists, and tables. This approach gives flexibility in designing the layouts of an HTML form.

Why Should You Use HTML Forms?

HTML forms are not optional, they are necessary for the developers to collect data of the visitors of the website. For instance, if a new visitor wants to purchase something on your website they will have to enter their credit card details so that your website can deduct the amount of the product from the user. Without the use of an HTML form, it’s not that simple to collect all the required data offered by your visitors or potential customers. The syntax of an HTML form is:


<!–form elements–>


Now, if you want to use an HTML form, you will have to understand the elements it comes with.

Elements Involved in an HTML Form

Here are the most common HTML form elements:

  • Label: <label> defines the label for <form> elements
  • <Input>: It is utilized for entering data from the form in other types such as password, email, text, and more by modifying the type of the input.
  • <Button>: <Button> refers to a button that you can click and manage other elements of the form or implement its certain functionalities.
  • <Select>: With this element, you can create a drop-down list.
  • <Textarea>: With this you can obtain the input of long-form text content.
  • <Fieldset>: This one allows you to draw a box around the other elements of the form and combine the collected data.
  • <Legend>: With legend, you can define the caption of the fieldset elements.
  • <Datalist>: With the datalist element, you can identify and establish the predefined list of prospects for input commands.
  • <Output>: The output element will showcase the output of the calculations that you have performed before.
  • <Option>: Is applied to define an option in the dropdown list that you have created with the select element.
  • <Optgroup>: Is applied to define the related options of the group that are available in the dropdown list.

Let’s talk about these controls in a more detailed manner so that you can understand how to use them to create an HTML form.

Input Element

The input element is the most commonly used one in the HTML forms. With this, you can specify different types of inputs in the user inputs fields. But, for that, you will have to consider the type attribute. The input element can be in the type of text field, password field, radio button, submit button, checkbox, file select box, reset button, and other input types that are available in HTML5. Here are the most used input element types described in this section:

Text Fields

Text fields allow you to input the texts in one-liners. It is also called single-line text input control that you can build using the input element and its type attribute has the value of texts. For example,


<label for=”username”>Username:</label>

<input type=”text” name=”username” id=”username”>


This syntax will help you create a field for username.

Password Field

Password fields and text fields are alike; however, characters in the password fields are hidden. For example, they are portrayed as asterisks or dots. The characters in the password fields are always hidden because it is important to block someone from reading the password from the screen. The password field is also a single-line text input control that you can build using the input element and it has a type attribute with a password value.

Radio Buttons

With radio buttons, the users can choose one option from the predefined set of alternatives. These buttons are created with the input element and type attribute with the significance of radio.


With checkboxes, the users can pick one or multiple options from the predefined series of options. Checkboxes are built using the input element with type attribute and the value of the checkbox.

File Select Box

From the file select box, users can browse for the files available on their computers and send them as attachments with the form data. Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, etc. web browsers provide a file select input field and next to the field there is a browse button that allows the users to go to the local hard drive of their computer and select the file. You can create the file select box with the input element and type attribute whose value is the file.


The text area is a multi-line text input control that enables the users to input multiple lines of text. You can create a multi-line text input control with the <textarea> element.

Select Boxes

The select box is the list of the dropdown options which enable the users to pick multiple or one option from a pull-down list of alternatives. You can create a select box with <select> element and <option> element.

Submit and Reset Buttons

Submit buttons are useful in sending the form of data to a web server. When a user clicks on the submit button, the form data will be delivered to the file determined in the form’s action attribute that will process the data submitted. On the other hand, the reset button will reset all the form controls and their default values.

What Are the Most Used Attributes?

Here are some of the most used attributes in HTML forms:

  • Name: It appoints the title of the form.
  • Action: It establishes the URL of the script of the web server or the program that is required to process the information submitted through the form.
  • Method: It establishes the HTTP method that is required for sending the data to the web server through the browser.
  • Target: It establishes where to show the response received after submitting the form.
  • Enctype: It establishes how the data of the forms should be encrypted while introducing the form to the server.


These are all the attributes and elements of HTML forms that you can use to create an HTML form for your website visitors and collect their data for the betterment of your website. If you need any help with this, you can check out our other articles.

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