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Difference b/w Get and Post Method

Posted by Praveen Kumar on February 22, 2008

In HTML, one can specify two different submission methods for a form. The method is specified inside a FORM element, using the METHOD attribute. The difference between METHOD="GET" (the default) and METHOD="POST" is primarily defined in terms of form data encoding. The official recommendations say that "GET" should be used if and only if the form processing is idempotent, which typically means a pure query form. Generally it is advisable to do so. There are, however, problems related to long URLs and non-ASCII character repertoires which can make it necessary to use "POST" even for idempotent processing.

Differences in form submission

For both METHOD="GET" and METHOD="POST", the processing of a user’s submit request (such as clicking on a submit button) in a browser begins with a construction of the form data set, which is then encoded in a manner which depends on the ENCTYPE attribute. That attribute has two possible values mentioned in the specifications, but multipart/form-data is for "POST" submissions only, whereas application/x-www-form-urlencoded (the default) can be used both for "POST" and for "GET".

Then the form data set is transmitted as follows (quotation from the HTML 4.0 specification):

  • If the method is "get" – -, the user agent takes the value of action, appends a ? to it, then appends the form data set, encoded using the application/x-www-form-urlencoded content type. The user agent then traverses the link to this URI. In this scenario, form data are restricted to ASCII codes.
  • If the method is "post" –, the user agent conducts an HTTP post transaction using the value of the action attribute and a message created according to the content type specified by the enctype attribute.

3 Responses to “Difference b/w Get and Post Method”

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