Save form state with localStorage

If you haven’t used JavaScript’s “localStorage” before – now’s the time to at least look at it.

It allows for some really simple data storage – in a way similar to cookies but much easier ( in my opinion ) to work with.

So adding an item to it is as simple as:

localStorage.setItem('checkbox-name', 'checked');

Retrieving the value, let’s say after a page refresh, is as simple as:

var checkbox_state = localStorage.getItem('checkbox-name');

Which brings us to the subject of this article.

Saving a form state

You can use the simple syntax above to store the state of a checkbox or any other input to avoid frustrating your website visitors.

I’ve found this very helpful in a cart-like page where users could select some options and further navigate the website before submitting.

Instead of having to create a back-end storage for a form state that would get discarded after submission if found it much more straight-forward to use localStorage.

Here some sample code:

m_form.on('change', '.checkbox', function(e) {
   var name = $(this).attr('name');
   localStorage.setItem(name, $(this).is(':checked'));
   update_notice_message(); // An example function which you can call

This in turn allows you to retrieve the data on page load and keep the form state. Something among the lines of:

checkboxes.each( function () {
   var name = $(this).attr('name');
   var checked = JSON.parse(localStorage.getItem(name));
   if (checked === true) {
      $(this).prop('checked', true);

See how the flexibility of these methods allows us to make a form more enjoyable in just a few lines of code?