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What Is FormMail Hosting?

FormMail is an open source CGI script that can be remotely hosted for automating email delivery after site visitors complete web forms. The software has been used on websites since 1997 and has been downloaded over 3 million times since its release.

Features Of FormMail

If you determine you need to host FormMail on your website in order to process visitor information submitted via web forms into an email, here are some features you can expect to benefit from once you implement it.

  • Unlimited use on on HTML forms
  • Unlimited length of content in form fields
  • Send form results to multiple recipients
  • Protection of your email address from SPAM or site visitors
  • User redirection to any result URL
  • Prevention from duplicate submissions
  • Sample forms and template customization
  • File upload and attachment with email delivery
  • Results storage and archives with CSV and XML formatting
  • Technical support

Do You Need To Remotely Host FormMail For Your Website?

Ultimately, the answer to this question lies in how your website is currently configured. Most commonly used content management systems today either have the FormMail script integrated into their coding, include a variant of FormMail, or can have an extension/module/plugin added to its core functionality to recreate the features of FormMail. Most popular web scripting languages also include a variant of FormMail, too, which should limit the number of websites out there today that will require a dedicated script which will require hosting.

With all of that said, if you have previously used FormMail, you should be able to continue to use it with very few changes to your current website configurations - even if you are switching hosting providers.

Also, if you decide to remotely host your FormMail script directly at FormMail.com, your hosting provider and their platform should have little to no impact on your ability to use the script.

A History Of FormMail

The FormMail script was originally created in June 1995. Below is a detailed history of the evolution of FormMail on a version-by-version basis.

  • Version 1.0 - June 1995 - the original release of the script.
  • Version 1.1 - August 1995 - major hole in the script was noted and corrected.
  • Version 1.2 - September 1995 - printing of special fields was removed from both the mail message and from printing on the user’s screen to prevent unnecessary duplication of form fields.
  • Versions 1.3 and 1.4 - January 1996 - In 1.3, 11 form fields added, a security hole was patched, and visual enhancements to report styles were implemented. Two days later, 1.4 added two more form field options, addressed a bug with the link_colors field, and included support for GET and POST methods.
  • Version 1.5 - February 1996 - field sorting in the emails was fixed and the print_config option was added.
  • Version 1.6 - May 1997 - default field sorting was fixed to present information submitted in the email in the same order as it appeared in the HTML form. Form line breaks, extra spaces and form fields that weren’t completed could now be suppressed from the email, and fields only printed if they contained a value. Redirects were added to correct issues with https connections and to send users who didn’t complete a form to a pre-made page. Email addresses could also now be checked for correct syntax if they were a required field. Additional code optimization was also completed.
  • Version 1.7 - July 2001 - Additions were made to defeat spam attempts and to allow admins to specify what variables can be sent.
  • Version 1.8 and 1.9 - August 2001 - One week after 1.7 was released, 1.8 addressed the recipients code to prevent spam from getting through if a legit user was added to a list of spam victims. Code optimization was made after users reported their servers would kill FormMail and no email would be sent. The day after 1.8 was issued, anti-spam checks were added and restrictions when checking for email address validity were removed.
  • Version 1.9+ - April 2002 to July 2009 - In Version 1.91, additional vulnerability patches were made to email and realname fields, stronger expression checking was implemented, options were added to the form so single periods on a line will not cause the end of the message. Version 1.92 came a few days later and removed cross-site scripting vulnerabilities and null bytes while also fixing multiple field recognitions. Seven years later, 1.93 also removed cross-site scripting and header injection vulnerabilities.

Final Thoughts On FormMail Hosting

As mentioned above, the FormMail script or an equivalent is likely built in to the scripting language of your content management system. However, if you are using an older website format and require dedicated hosting of FormMail, the script is still readily available and can be implemented when necessary.

We highly recommend you consult with your hosting provider or with expert members in your content management system’s community to determine if a dedicated FormMail script is something you will require for your chosen website platform.

FormMail Frequently Asked Questions

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