A website is a great way to broadcast a message, announce a new product, post late-breaking news, or just rant about the state of the world. But all that’s one-way communication, which you may find a bit limiting. You may be curious to get some feedback from your audience. Or you may want to build your business by selling your product online, and you need a way to gather vital stats from customers. If you want to receive information as well as deliver it, it’s time to add forms to your web design repertoire (see Figure 13-1 for a simple example). Whatever type of information you need to collect on your site, Dreamweaver’s form objects make the task easy.
A form begins and ends with the HTML <form> tag. The opening tag (<form>) indicates the beginning of the form, and sets its properties; the closing tag (</form>), of course, marks the form’s end.
You add different objects between these tags to deck out your pages with the elements your visitors interact with—radio buttons, text fields, and pull-down menus are just a few ways you can gather input. It’s perfectly OK to include other HTML elements inside a form, too. In fact, your visitors would be lost if you didn’t also add (and format) text that explains each element’s purpose. And if you don’t use a table or Cascading Style Sheets to lay out a form in an organized way, it can quickly become an unreadable mess (see the box on Giving Order to Your Forms).
Figure 13-1. A form can be as simple as a single ...