How to Create a Registration Form in HTML

/ 9 min read
Vrinda Singh

Providing your customers with simple sign-up and registration forms on your website is essential for capturing leads, growing your email list, and boosting overall sales.

There’s just one problem: HTML.

HTML5 is the standard code used to make most web pages work. It's the language of the internet. But like any programming language—from Javascript and jquery to PHP and CSS3—there's a steep learning curve, especially if you've never touched any code.

Fear not. We're here to help. We might be able to turn you into Bill Gates overnight, but with the help of some useful examples, by the end of this tutorial, you'll be ready to create a basic registration form using HTML in no time.

Want to avoid the hassle of using HTML?

With a form builder like Paperform, you can create a powerful, professional registration form in minutes.

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5 steps to creating an HTML registration form

You're busy, we know. There's a trillion articles to read. Netflix movies to watch. TV shows to binge. So let's get straight into the five-step guide to creating a registration form in HTML.

Step 1. Choose an HTML editor

Just like you need a word processor to create a text document, you need a text editor to create HTML code. These development tools convert the weird and wonderful code you type into a registration form.

There are dozens (if not hundreds) of HTML editors on the market, most of which tend to offer similar features. We won't bore you with the details, but there are a few key things that'll make your life easier:

Error detection: Automatically highlight syntax errors to make fixes easier.

Auto-completion: Suggests relevant HTML elements based on previous changes (saves you a bunch of time with long code).

Syntax highlights: Applies colours to different HTML tags based on certain categories to make it easier to read and sort your code.

Search and replace: Locate and overwrite all instances of a particular code rather than editing each individually.

If you're really getting into coding there are more features to worry about, but that should more than cover you for this simple registration form.

Which app you select is a matter of personal preference. Want something that you can use in your browser? Try Codepen. Barebones? Notepad++. A minimalistic UI and intuitive input field? Sublime Text all the way.

Our co-founder and resident code-geek, Dean, swears by VS Code.

"From a nerdy standpoint VS Code fits snuggly into Paperform's tech stack and has great remote development plugins that I love. It's great for HTML stuff  too, and super customisable if you like your tools to look nice while still having all the functionality you need.

There's no need to fixate on this too much. Unfortunately, there's no HTML editor that'll generate a registration form for you, no matter how great it may be. That part is all on you.

Step 2. Create your HTML file

The next step is to tell your text editor that you intend to create an HTML file. Do this by creating a new file and then saving it with the ".html" extension.

For example, "myform.html". Once you've signposted to the editor that you're creating HTML code, it should automatically generate the following code for you:

<!DOCTYPE html>

💡 Tip: Some editors won’t autofill. That’s okay. Just copy and paste this code above and it will have the same effect.

Step 3. Add text fields and create your form

Alright. It's time to start adding the relevant code and turn that barebones HTML into a registration form.

Now if you're just here for the code we understand. You'll find everything you need a paragraph or two below. Feel free to skip ahead. 👇

But if you're interested in learning a bit about what you're entering actually means, allow us a quick-fire HTML tutorial interlude.

A HTML form is made up of "form elements". These are things like text boxes, radio buttons, checkboxes and dropdown menus that make it actually possible for folks to interact with your live form.

Each element has its own specific tag. For example, the HTML <form> tag defines your code as a form, while <textarea> can be used to collect user inputs.

These elements are like shoes: they always come in pairs. All tags you want to include in your form must be inserted between the open <form> and closed </form> tags.

Okay that's the Sparknotes. Now for the code you actually have to input. Here:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html> <head> <h1> Company Registration Form</h1> 
<table> <tr> <td> Email Address: </td> <td> <input type=”text” email=””> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> Password: </td> <td> <input type=”Password” name=””> </td> </tr> </table> 

This (basic) HTML code will output something that looks like this:

Simple registration form

Not exactly the best-looking thing in the world is it? But hey, you asked how to create an HTML registration form. Don't shoot the messenger.

The tag <tr> tells it to arrange the responses in a row, while <td> (which stands for table data) signposts that you want to capture whatever respondents type. In this instance we added two fields for simplicity's sake:

  1. Enter email address
  2. Enter passwords

There's nothing stopping you from adding additional fields. Input types range from numbers and dates to colours or even images. Just copy the code below and insert the input type you want. W3Schools has a great list to guide you.

<tr> <td> Email Address: </td> <td> <input type=”text” email=””> </td>

Selecting the correct input type is crucial. It tells the form how the text should be displayed on screen. For example, the last thing we want is someone's password to be visible when they type it, so we use the "password" input type to conceal it.

Step 4. Add placeholders

A placeholder is text inside your form fields that prompts respondents to answer in a particular way. It's mainly used as a nudge in the right direction, but it's also a useful strategy to make forms more engaging.

For example, let's say you're adding a simple name field to your form. You could type "insert name" and be done with it, or you could spruce things up by writing "Bruce Wayne" for a bit of flair.

Whatever strategy you go for, it's fairly simple to add placeholders to your HTML registration form. After the input type, insert "placeholder=" with the text you want to display.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<h1> Company Registration Form</h1>
				Email Address:

				<input type=”mail”  placeholder=”Email” name=””>

				<input type=”Password” placeholder=”Password” name=””>

Entering this code will produce a form like this:

Registration form with placeholders

Pretty barebones. But it works. You can create additional options for customers to select their demographics like age or gender using a similar code to the one above.

To create a gender field, insert the following values to your code (right above the last </table> tag). We'll also add a phone number and drop-down 'Subject' option.

<input type="checkbox" name="Male" value="Male"> Male<br> <input type="checkbox" name="Female" value="Female"> Female<br>

This will turn the data field into checkboxes—one for male and one for female. Now here's how the final iteration of your HTML registration form will look:

Registration form with checkboxes

Not exactly the grand reveal you were expecting, right? Can you imagine someone searching your business on Google and being met with this page? Or sharing this on social media?

It's safe to say this kind of HTML login form wouldn't exactly encourage anyone to sign up for your business. There would be one overwhelming one question on their minds, which is probably the same one you've got. . .

Why is my HTML registration form so ugly?

As you can see your HTML form is not particularly attractive. It's a bit of an ugly duckling. Which is fine—we can't all be Margot Robbie—but it doesn't exactly entice people to fill it out.

And that's the problem. HTML forms tend to be:

  • Boring
  • Dull
  • Difficult to customise
  • Clunky to manage

This is down to the simple nature of HTML. It's a framework that helps complete the necessary form actions, however, it certainly won't win any design awards.

The easy solution to this problem is using a dedicated online form builder like Paperform to avoid the heavy lifting of HTML or CSS. You can build beautiful registration, contact forms and full landing pages—among hundreds of other creations—in a matter of minutes without a single line of code.

But maybe you're really set on the whole HTML thing (or maybe you're just a sucker for punishment). Either way, if you're really committed to your HTML registration form you can improve its looks by using CSS.

Step 5: Edit your HTML registration form with CSS

CSS is a programming language used to style an HTML document. It customises how HTML elements are displayed on screen and lets you customise everything from font colours and opacity to adding a background image or linking to another page with a <href> tag.

Now, you would be here all week if we listed each and every CSS property. We could do that and try and boost the SEO of this page, but that’s no fun for anyone. If you’re after a comprehensive list, we recommend W3School's CSS Reference list.

For the sake of our tutorial, we’ll give our HTML registration form a quick makeover with CSS. We’ll customise the text colour, font style and tweak the margins for an all-around (slightly) better appearance.

💡 Tip: The most common way to add CSS to an HTML page is with an external style sheet file linked with the element. This style sheet is created in the same text editor and saved with the “.css” extension.

Here’s the code we’ll use:

table {
	font-family : Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
	font-size : 100%;
  font-weight: bold;
  background-color: white
 h1 {
   color: #ea503f;
   font-family: Arial;
   text-align: center

And with that styling magic, your form will end up looking like the one below. It's a bit like slapping lipstick on a pig, but it's better to some small degree.

Registration form with some CSS

Why an HTML registration form isn't the best solution

While learning how to code and create basic registration forms is a fun skill to pick up, you should seriously reconsider using them for any important purpose. Don't try to bootstrap it; it's just not worth the time, effort and frustration.

Whether you need a contact form for your clients, a login form for your business, or a student registration form for the new school year, any solution sticky-taped together with HTML and CSS will end up looking unpolished and unprofessional—especially if you haven’t got any prior coding skills.

Thankfully there’s another way to build registration forms that is much easier, faster and more intuitive: an online form builder like Paperform. With our easy platform, you can be up and running with a beautiful, branded form in a matter of minutes.

With Paperform, you don't just get a basic HTML form. You get a dynamic experience that empowers you to collect any type of data you need—from simple contact details to complex calculations and even taking payments. No design expertise is needed.  

Plus, customisation is effortless. Tweak colours and fonts and adjust your form's UI with a few clicks. Then, once you're happy with your new creation, you can embed the form on your website, host it online for free, or embed it on your WordPress site with our WordPress plugin.

To show how easy it is, we whipped up a snazzy-looking registration form:

Don’t feel like building your own creation? That’s what our library of 600+ form templates is for. Select one of our registration templates, add it to your account with one click, and get up and running faster than you can drink your morning espresso.

A registration form is just the beginning of what you can do with Paperform. Try it out yourself with our 14-day free trial—no credit card required.

About the author
Vrinda Singh
Growth Manager
Vrinda is the Growth Manager at Paperform. In her spare time, she loves learning all things marketing, design & automation-related, and NOT watching reality TV. No, not at all...

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