HTML and CSS Reference
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enclosed list of one or more International Organization for Standardiz-
ation (ISO) character set names. The browser may choose to disregard
the form or handle it differently if the acceptable character sets do not
match the character set the user is using. The default value of this at-
tribute is unknown , implying that the form's character set is the same as
that of the document containing the form.
9.2.4. The method Attribute
This attribute for the <form> tag sets the method by which the browser
sends the form's data to the server for processing. There are two ways:
the POST method and the GET method. If method is not specified, GET is
With the POST method, the browser sends the data in two steps: the
browser first contacts the forms-processing server specified in the ac-
tion attribute and then, once contact is made, sends the data to the
server in a separate transmission.
On the server side, POST-style applications are expected to read the
parameters from a standard location once they begin execution. Once
read, the parameters must be decoded before the application can use
the form values. Your particular server defines exactly how your POST-
style applications can expect to receive their parameters.
The GET method, on the other hand, contacts the forms-processing
server and sends the form data in a single transmission step: the
browser appends the data to the form's action URL, separated by the
question mark character.
The common browsers transmit the form information by either method;
some servers receive the form data by only one or the other method.
You indicate which of the two methodsPOST or GETyour forms-process-
ing server handles with the method attribute in the <form> tag.
Here's the complete tag including the GET transmission method attribute
for the previous form example:
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