How to Set Up FormMail in cPanel

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FormMail is a PERL script that creates email forms to use on a website. Using forms allows your website visitors to contact you via email without your email address actually being revealed to them. The advantage to this method is that it prevents "bots," or Internet robots, from harvesting your email address for use in unsolicited emails. Email forms can also make your contact page more professional, and allow you to collect information from your users by making some form elements, such as name or phone number, a requirement before the form will be submitted.

  • Download the latest version of FormMail from Matt’s Script Archive at scriptarchive.org. The file you will be downloading is “formmail.pl.”

  • Upload formmail.pl to the “cgi-bin” on your Web server. Log into cPanel with your user name and password and go to the “File Manager.” Within the file manager, navigate to “public_html” and then choose “cgi-bin” and upload the FormMail file.

  • Change the file permissions of formmail.pl to make it a file that is writable by the system. From the file manager, check the box next to FormMail and click the button to edit the file permissions. Change the permissions to a CHMOD setting of 755. This code allows the website to both read and write data associated with FormMail.

  • Create an HTML code snippet to use on your website. Navigate out of the File Manager and return to the main cPanel dashboard. Click the “Fantastico” icon and use the Fantastico form generator to automatically generate the HTML code for your form. Be sure to input the email address to which form submissions should be delivered, and what form elements you wish to include, such as sender name, sender email and message.

  • Edit the form to make it compatible with FormMail. Copy and paste the Fantastico-generated code into a text editor, such as Windows Notepad. Edit the form action to point to the location of FormMail, and that the method is “post.” The code should resemble:
    form action=“/cgi-bin/formmail.pl” method=“post”

  • Use the form. Copy and paste the revised form code into the contact page of your website. Navigate to the page in your Web browser and submit a test form to make sure the delivery works properly. Should the form fail, use Fantastico to check the code for errors.

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