Online Forms-Templates and CMS - Carnegie Mellon University

Online Forms

There are two options for incorporating online forms onto your CMS website, Google Forms and MailTo forms. Here is a comparison of the two options.

Google Forms

  • Pros: Very easy to use without having any prior HTML knowledge. Google will store collected data in a spreadsheet and generate charts and graphs based on the data. You may share the data with others.
  • Cons: You will need to log into your Google account to view form submissions (they will not be emailed to you). It is also not advisable to collect private or sensitive information using a third-party service.

MailTo Forms

  • Pros: A form submission is generated into an email that gets sent directly to you. Replying to the submission will send the reply to the user's email address.
  • Cons: Creating a MailTo form can be tedious and requires prior knowledge of HTML. Data collected through the form is not stored outside of your email program, so you would have to manually organize the data on your own.

The bottom line...

Use Google Forms if your intent is to collect and store non-sensitive data typically obtained by online applications forms, polls and surveys. Use MailTo forms if your intent is to provide a method for users to establish contact with you.