AJAX Form with CAPTCHA, Realtime Validation and PHP Backend

Create Unlimited Secure Forms with AJAX Form Pro * now available as a WordPress Plugin

This is a professional multi-usage AJAX Form Builder meant to enhance the functionality of your website by providing an interactive user experience for your readers that need to reach you, whether they need to send a feedback, share their opinion regarding your website, fill a survey, leave a testimonial or even make a room reservation online.

Beside the premium AJAX Form, I would like to offer you a short tutorial regarding the creation of a basic AJAX Contact Form. It will give you an idea of how you can create similar web applications using jQuery and AJAX.

The aim of the tutorial is to help you to create a simple (tableless) ajax contact form using AJAX, JQuery & PHP. We will have a HTML page which will contain the form, a CSS file, a php page where the data will be sent and another file where the validation function(s) will be located. JQuery is a new and powerful library which simplifies the way that you write JavaScript.

Step 1 – Creating the configuration file

config.php

<?php
// To
define("WEBMASTER_EMAIL", 'your_name@domain.com');
?>

Here you should fill the e-mail address where you wish to receive the mail as well as the address where you wish to receive the replies (usually the same).

Step 2 – Creating the css file

style.css

/*
Credits: Bit Repository
CSS Library: http://www.bitrepository.com/
*/

html, body  { padding: 0; border: 0px none; }

.notification_error
{
border: 1px solid #A25965;
height: auto;
width: 90%;
padding: 4px;
background: #F8F0F1;
text-align: left;
-moz-border-radius: 5px;
}

.notification_ok
{
border: 1px #567397 solid;
height: auto;
width: 90%
padding: 8px;
background: #f5f9fd;
text-align: center;
-moz-border-radius: 5px;
}

.info_fieldset { -moz-border-radius: 7px; border: 1px #dddddd solid; }

.info_fieldset legend
{
border: 1px #dddddd solid;
color: black; 

font: 13px Verdana;

padding: 2px 5px 2px 5px;
-moz-border-radius: 3px;
}

.button
{
border: 1px solid #999999;
border-top-color: #CCCCCC;
border-left-color: #CCCCCC; 

background: white;

color: #333333; 

font: 11px Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;

-moz-border-radius: 3px;
}

/* Label */
label {width: 140px; padding-left: 20px; margin: 5px; float: left; text-align: left;}

/* Input, Textarea */
input, textarea
{
margin: 5px;
padding: 0px;
float: left;

border: 1px solid #999999;
border-top-color: #CCCCCC;
border-left-color: #CCCCCC; 

color: #333333; 

font: 11px Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;

-moz-border-radius: 3px;
}

/* BR */

br { clear: left; }

Step 3 – Creating the html contact page

This is the page where the AJAX call to contact.php is made. I will explain you the JavaScript Code in detail below:

contact.html

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<html>
 <head>
  <title>TableLess Ajax Contact Form (Demo)</TITLE>
  <meta name="Keywords" content="form, divs">

  <meta name="Description" content="A CSS Tableless Ajax Contact Form">

<!-- JQuery -->
<script type="text/javascript" src="jquery-1.2.6.min.js"></script>

 <script type="text/javascript">
   // we will add our javascript code here           

$(document).ready(function(){
$("#ajax-contact-form").submit(function(){

// 'this' refers to the current submitted form
var str = $(this).serialize();

   $.ajax({
   type: "POST",
   url: "contact.php",
   data: str,
   success: function(msg){

$("#note").ajaxComplete(function(event, request, settings){

if(msg == 'OK') // Message Sent? Show the 'Thank You' message and hide the form
{
result = '<div class="notification_ok">Your message has been sent. Thank you!</div>';
$("#fields").hide();
}
else
{
result = msg;
}

$(this).html(result);

});

}

 });

return false;

});

});

 </script>  

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="style.css" />

</head>

 <body>

 <center>

<center><h3>A Tableless Contact Form (JQuery & AJAX)</h3></center>

<div align="left" style="width: 500px;">

<fieldset class="info_fieldset"><legend>Contact</legend>

<div id="note"></div>
<div id="fields">

<form id="ajax-contact-form" action="javascript:alert('success!');">
<label>Name</label><INPUT class="textbox" type="text" name="name" value=""><br />

<label>E-Mail</label><INPUT class="textbox" type="text" name="email" value=""><br />

<label>Subject</label><INPUT class="textbox" type="text" name="subject" value=""><br />

<label>Comments</label><TEXTAREA class="textbox" NAME="message" ROWS="5" COLS="25"></TEXTAREA><br />

<label>&nbsp;</label><INPUT class="button" type="submit" name="submit" value="Send Message">
</form>

</div>

</fieldset>

</div>

 </center>

 </body>
</html>

Ajax Contact Form - Show Errors

Once the DOM is loaded (we determine this by using $(document).ready()), the script checks if the user submitted the form by using $(“form”).submit(). If it is, the form elements (names & values) are serialized in order to pass them to the AJAX Call:

var str = $("form").serialize();

$.ajax() takes one argument, an object of key/value pairs, that are used to initalize and handle the request, and returns the XMLHttpRequest object for post-processing (like manual aborting) if needed.

Some options are used to control the behaviour of $.ajax. The information is from JQuery Documentation:

(String) type – This is to determine the type of request that is made: ‘POST’ or ‘GET’. (default is ‘GET’)
(String) url – The URL to request
(Object|String) data – Data to be sent to the server. It is converted to a query string, if not already a string. Is appended to the url for GET-requests. See processData option to prevent this automatic processing.
(Function) success – A function to be called if the request succeeds. The function gets passed one argument: The data returned from the server, formatted according to the ‘dataType’ parameter.

To find out more about $.ajax consider visiting http://docs.jquery.com/API/1.1/AJAX.

The request succeded? In this case we will call the ajaxComplete(callback) function, which executes whenever an AJAX request is completed. The XMLHttpRequest and settings used for that request are passed as arguments to the callback.

I recommend you using the Firefox Extension Firebug, a popular and powerful web development tool. It adds a global variable named “console” to all web pages loaded in Firefox. This object contains many methods that allow you to write to the Firebug console to expose information that is flowing through your scripts. While executing AJAX Code you can check the console to see how the data is sent to the remote files, in this case parse.php.

Capture from the Firebug Console

If ‘OK’ is returned the form hides and a thank you message is shown. If any other text is shown (beside ‘OK’), then there are errors and they will be shown above the form.

    $.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    url: "contact.php",
    data: str,
    success: function(msg){  

 $("#note").ajaxComplete(function(event, request, settings){  

 if(msg == 'OK') // Message Sent? Show the 'Thank You' message and hide the form
 {
 result = '<div class="notification_ok">Your message has been sent. Thank you!</div>';
 $("#fields").hide();
 }
 else
 {
 result = msg;
 }
 $(this).html(result);
 });
 }  

  });

Ajax Contact Form - Message Sent

In the next page of our tutorial we will create: functions.php (which has the e-mail address validator) and contact.php (which is the script that parses the submitted data).

Step 4 – Creating the functions’ script.

functions.php

<?php
function ValidateEmail($email)
{
/*
(Name) Letters, Numbers, Dots, Hyphens and Underscores
(@ sign)
(Domain) (with possible subdomain(s) ).
Contains only letters, numbers, dots and hyphens (up to 255 characters)
(. sign)
(Extension) Letters only (up to 10 (can be increased in the future) characters)
*/

$regex = '/([a-z0-9_.-]+)'. # name

'@'. # at

'([a-z0-9.-]+){1,255}'. # domain & possibly subdomains

'.'. # period

"([a-z]+){2,10}/i"; # domain extension 

if($email == '') {
	return false;
}
else {
$eregi = preg_replace($regex, '', $email);
}

return empty($eregi) ? true : false;
}
?>

This file contains only the e-mail address validator, in our sample, but you can use it to add more (validation) functions which can be used in the contact.php page.

Step 5 – Creating the page which parses the data

contact.php

<?php
/*
Credits: Bit Repository
URL: http://www.bitrepository.com/a-simple-ajax-contact-form-with-php-validation.html
*/

include 'config.php';

error_reporting (E_ALL ^ E_NOTICE);

$post = (!empty($_POST)) ? true : false;

if($post)
{
include 'functions.php';

$name = stripslashes($_POST['name']);
$email = $_POST['email'];
$subject = stripslashes($_POST['subject']);
$message = stripslashes($_POST['message']);

$error = '';

// Check name

if(!$name)
{
$error .= 'Please enter your name.';
}

// Check email

if(!$email)
{
$error .= 'Please enter an e-mail address.';
}

if($email && !ValidateEmail($email))
{
$error .= 'Please enter a valid e-mail address.';
}

// Check message (length)

if(!$message || strlen($message) < 15)
{
$error .= "Please enter your message. It should have at least 15 characters.";
}

if(!$error)
{
$mail = mail(WEBMASTER_EMAIL, $subject, $message,
     "From: ".$name." <".$email.">rn"
    ."Reply-To: ".$email."rn"
    ."X-Mailer: PHP/" . phpversion());

if($mail)
{
echo 'OK';
}

}
else
{
echo '<div class="notification_error">'.$error.'</div>';
}

}
?>

In contact.php, we have to determine first if a POST request was sent to the file. If $post is not null, the functions.php file is included (containing the e-mail validator) and the POST fields are declared. Each required field is checked. If any error is found, the $error variable will be filled with that error message. At the end, if $error is null (as it was initially) & the mail is sent, contact.php will output ‘OK’ (which is checked in contact.html). It is is not null, contact.php will output the error(s), which will be shown, of course, in contact.html.

Get Basic

This version contains the basic features that were discussed in the tutorial.

Download | View Demo

Get Premium

This is a premium Multi-usage AJAX (Contact) Form with lots of features and support for all form elements.

The script can be practically used to create any type of form that collects data and sends it to your email inbox including but not limited to:

  • Contact/Feedback Form
  • Support Form
  • Customer Survey Form
  • Online Product Order Form
  • Event Registration Form
  • Employment Form
  • Make a Room Reservation Online Form
  • Send Testimonial Form
  • Subscribe to Newsletter Form
  • Gift Order Form

Some of the features you get with AJAX Form Pro

Create unlimited AJAX Forms in the same page/multiple pages
You can generate as many forms as you like and easily include them anywhere you wish. Each form has its own configuration file. For instance, you can enable the CAPTCHA for a form, while you can disable it for another form.
RealTime Validator
This makes the form completion process interactive. The errors show/hide while the user fills the form. If this feature is disabled, then all the errors will show above the form once the user clicks the submit button.
Powerful CAPTCHA: Anti-Spam Verification Image
You can use letters, numbers or both (can be enabled/disabled). The verification image can be refreshed in case the user is having trouble in recognizing the characters. While the user types the security code the script verifies it in the background. Once the user types the right characters, it automatically shows (in real-time) a successful message to the user. Unlike many AJAX CAPTCHAs out there that rely on JavaScript as an Anti-spam measure and have a medium security level, the one I have chosen to implement uses PHP to securely generate and register the required code in the background. The comparison is a case-insensitive one in order to make the filling process easier without annoying the person who fills the security code.
Auto Responder
Useful to notify your visitors that their message was successfully sent (e.g. "Your message has been successfully sent. We will reply to your inquiry within 48 hours"). For instance, it can be used while you're in vacation and let the users know that you will reply to them as soon as possible. The headers (from name, email) can be set in the configuration file.
Send Mail with Attachments
This application supports adding file attachments to the data that is sent through the AJAX Forms. You can either receive the links to the uploaded files or the actual attachments to the mail message. I'd prefer the former method, because often the mails with many attachments are automatically reported as SPAM. This "file attachment" feature is also available if you use the AJAX Form inside a Lightbox.
Fully (CSS & HTML) Customizable: Supports any form element
Easily add/remove fields, change notifications, customize the mail settings. The following fields are supported: input text boxes, textareas, single/multiple selects, checkboxes, radios. This way, you can create more complex web forms and surveys without editing any HTML code.
Turns into a simple PHP Contact Form if JavaScript is disabled
Is the visitor in that 3% of people that have JS disabled? No worries! The form degrades gracefully into a basic non-AJAX PHP Contact Form.
Tableless
Clean Layout (uses LABELs, DIVs and Paragraphs)
Lightbox integration (Powered by Fancybox)
Display the form in a Mac-style "lightbox" that floats overtop of web page.
Modal Form with Sliding Transition (Left & Top)
Add some style to your pages by loading the forms in a fancy way
Redirect to Thank You page after Successful Submission
If you do not want to show the basic successful confirmation message, you can redirect the user to a customized thank you page
Send mails using either mail() function or through SMTP
Besides the basic mail() function, you can use the SMTP method to send the mail. This way, chances are higher the message won't end in the JUNK/SPAM folder, especially if lot of mails are sent.
Easily send mail to multiple recipients/webmasters
You have the option to set as many recipients you want to get the mail that is sent through the forms. Each form has its recipients. For instance, one can be set to send the form information to the Marketing Department while other can be set to send the information to the Billing Department.
HTML Code Separated from the PHP Code
The script is powered by the Smarty template which is meant to ease the process of web design by separating the (logic) PHP Code from the (output) HTML code. Beside the fact that things are kept clean, it is also easier for you to make changes to the HTML structure without touching the PHP code.
100% Source Code Available
You have the possibility to customize the script as you wish. NO encrypted or obfuscated code!
Documentation
A help page that guides you through the setup process (1. Basic Settings, 2. HTML Structure, 3. CSS Files and Structure, 4. JavaScript, 5. Sources and Credits)

Additional features include:
  • 3 Layouts Available: 'Left' and 'Right' Justified Horizontal Labels, Vertical Labels, In-Field Labels (for Developer and Extended Licenses)
  • The e-mail templates (message, subject) are customizable
  • The errors and the notifications can be easily changed
  • The script works in conjunction with other libraries beside jQuery such as MooTools or Prototype
  • Set a custom subject for the mail that you receive if the subject field is removed
  • "Send me a copy of the mail" feature: if activated, the user receives exactly the same mail as you get.

Server Requirements

  • PHP5+
  • GD Library Enabled (only if you want to use the Anti-Spam Image)

Browser Compatibility

  • This script is compatible with all major browsers.
  • It was tested in FireFox 3.5, IE 6, IE 7 & IE 8, Google Chrome 3.0, Opera 10, Safari 4.0, SeaMonkey 2.0, Flock 2.5.6
  • AJAX Form Pro is a PHP tool to build interactive forms, not just a basic Contact Form nor a WYSIWYG application.

Money Back Risk Free Trial

  • I offer a 90 days money back guarantee.
  • If for any reason you are not satisfied with this script you can request a refund within 3 months from the purchase date and I will buy the script back from you. No questions asked!

Add to Cart

  • Licenses are lifetime
  • Customer Support is offered within 24 hours
  • Payments are processed through PayPal or 2Checkout
  • Digital delivery is provided by WP eStore

Customer Testimonials

“Very nice! We went through 8 different scripts, only to be frustrated with broken code, links, and tutorials, to finally find one so simple, beautiful and it works! We are avid PHP programmers, but are not yet too versed with AJAX, so this solution was perfect! Thanks”Jared (http://www.haroldsmithbicycle.com/)

“I had a real need for a clean and stylish contact form. I tried some 11 forms before I decided on one. I have to say your form was the winning choice hands down.”Kevin Morrison (NW Interactive designs)

“It works very good and it solved the problem of needing a form validation as well a as a success message in the same page.”Rolando Martinez Barron (http://www.matamoros.com/)

“I am working a project for patisserie web site in Turkey and i used your form form this web site contact page. Belong to me, your form is very useful and successful, thanks a lot.”Kayhan Yalinkilic

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