Javascript Validate on the change of entry, submit only when the Submit button clicks on

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I have a form on my site. When the submit button is clicked, a function runs to get the contents of each field, validate the contents based on RegEx and other requirements, and then if everything looks fine, the form is submitted via Ajax to a .php mailer.

I would like the form to validate automatically when the input field values change, OR when the input field loses focus (I have no preference, either would be great) AND THEN I would like the form to submit ONLY when the user clicks the Submit button on the form. If the user clicks the Submit button BEFORE all fields are valid, I do NOT want the form to submit.

Here's my code:

    //contact form validation
$(function(){
    $('.error').hide();
    // hide error messages onchange
    $("#contact-form").change(function(){
        $('.error').hide();
        $("label#name_error").hide();
        $("label#invalid_error").hide();
        $("label#email_error").hide();
        $("label#invalid_phone_error").hide();
        $("label#phone_error").hide();
        $("label#zip_error").hide();
    });

    // validate fields on click
    $(".cool-button").click(function(){
        $('.error').hide();
        $("label#name_error").hide();
        $("label#invalid_error").hide();
        $("label#email_error").hide();
        $("label#invalid_phone_error").hide();
        $("label#phone_error").hide();
        $("label#zip_error").hide(); 

        var name=$("input#contact_name").val();
        var email=$("input#contact_email").val();
        var emailRegEx =/^([a-zA-Z0-9])(([a-zA-Z0-9])*([\._-])?([a-zA-Z0-9]))*@(([a-zA-Z0-9\-])+(\.))+([a-zA-Z]{2,4})+$/
        var phone=$("input#contact_phone").val();
        var phone=phone.replace(/\s+-/g, "");
        var phoneRegEx = /^(1-?)?\s?(\([2-9]\d{2}\)|\s?-?[2-9]\d{2})-?\s?[2-9]\d{2}-?\d{4}$/
        var zip=$("input#contact_zip").val();
        var best_time=$("input#contact_best_time").val();
        var message=$("textarea#contact_message").val();
        var timestamp=$("input#timestamp").val();

        if(name==""){
            $("label#name_error").show();
            $("input#contact_name").focus();return false;
            }
        if(email==""){
            $("label#email_error").show();
            $("input#contact_email").focus();return false;
            }
        if (document.getElementById('contact_email').value.search(emailRegEx )==-1) {
            $("label#invalid_error").show();
            $("input#contact_email").focus();return false;
            }
        if(phone==""){
            $("label#phone_error").show();
            $("input#contact_phone").focus();return false;
            }
        if (document.getElementById('contact_phone').value.search(phoneRegEx )==-1) {
            $("label#invalid_phone_error").show();
            $("input#contact_phone").focus();return false;
            }
        if(zip==""){
            $("label#zip_error").show();
            $("input#contact_zip").focus();return false;
            }
        if(message==""){
            $("label#message_error").show();
            $("textarea#contact_message").focus();return false;
            }
        else {
var dataString='contact_name='+name+'&contact_email='+email+'&contact_phone='+phone+'&contact_zip='+zip+'&contact_best_time='+best_time+'&timestamp='+timestamp+'&contact_message='+encodeURIComponent(message);
    $.ajax({
        type:"POST",
        url:"php/contact.php",
        data:dataString,
        success:function(){$('#contact-form').html("<div id='message'></div>");$('#message').html("<h3>Message Sent</h3>").append("<p>Thank you for contacting us. We'll be in touch. <br /><br />If you have any further questions, you can always email us at [email protected] or call us at 800-924-9473</p>").hide().fadeIn(800,function(){$('#message').append("<img id='checkmark' src='images/submit2.png' />");});}});
        }
        return false;
    });

});

AND HERE IS THE HTML and PHP CODE FOR THE FORM

<form id="contact-form" method="post" action="#">
                          <p class="form-subscr-field">
                            <label for="contact_name" id="contact_name_label">Your name: *</label>
                            <input id="contact_name" type="text" name="contact_name" class="inputbox" size="10" required/>
                            <label class="error error-tip" for="contact_name" id="name_error" style="display: none; ">Please enter your name.</label>
                          </p>
                          <p class="form-subscr-field">
                            <label for="contact_email" id="contact_email_label">E-mail Address: *</label>
                            <input id="contact_email" type="email" name="contact_email" class="inputbox" size="10" required/>
                            <label class="error error-tip" for="contact_email" id="email_error" style="display: none; ">Please enter your email address.</label>
                            <label class="error error-tip" for="contact_email" id="invalid_error" style="display: none; ">Invalid email address.</label>
                          </p>
                          <fieldset class="w50">
                          <p class="form-subscr-field rowElem left">
                            <label for="contact_phone" id="contact_phone_label">Phone: *</label>
                            <input id="contact_phone" type="tel" name="contact_phone" class="inputbox"  size="10" required minlength="9"/>
                            <label class="error error-tip" for="contact_phone" id="phone_error" style="display: none; ">Please enter your phone number.</label>
                            <label class="error error-tip" for="contact_phone" id="invalid_phone_error" style="display: none; ">Please enter a valid phone number.</label>
                          </p>
                           </fieldset>
                           <fieldset class="w50">
                          <p class="form-subscr-field rowElem right">
                            <label for="contact_zip" id="contact_zip_label">Zip Code: *</label>
                            <input id="contact_zip" type="text" name="contact_zip" class="inputbox"  size="10" required minlength="5"/>
                            <label class="error error-tip" for="contact_zip" id="zip_error" style="display: none; ">Please enter your shipping zip code.</label>
                          </p>
                           </fieldset>
                          <p class="form-subscr-field">
                            <label for="contact_best_time" id="contact_best_time_label">Best time to Contact:</label>
                            <input id="contact_best_time" type="text" name="contact_best_time" class="inputbox"  size="10" />
                          </p>
                          <p class="form-subscr-field">
                            <label for="contact_message" id="comment_label">Your message: *</label>
                            <textarea id="contact_message" name="contact_message" rows="8" cols="30" required minlength="2"></textarea>
                            <label class="error error-tip" for="contact_message" id="message_error" style="display: none; ">This field is required.</label>
                          </p>
                          <input type="hidden" id="timestamp" name="timestamp" value="<?php
$hourdiff = "2"; // hours diff btwn server and local time
$insertdate = date("l, d F Y h:i a",time() + ($hourdiff * 3600));
print ("$insertdate");
?>" />
                          <div class="submit-contact">
                            <p>
                              <input type="submit" name="submit" class="cool-button csbutton-color spot-action" id="contact_button" value="Submit" />
                            </p>
                          </div>
                        </form>


This is commonly achieved with the keyup function. Whenever a key is released, a function can be called to make sure that all the fields are accurate, and if so, left the user know in an unobtrusive way. In your case, you could have the submit button disabled unless all the fields are correct.

Note: You should never modify currently edited text fields with the function, or do anything else that will prove to be an annoyance to the user ;)


Edit: I modified the code to validate every time a key is lifted for all input fields. I'm not fluent in JQuery, so I did it with vanilla Javascript. If need be, it should be pretty easy to convert.

$(function(){

  var inputs = document.getElementsByTagName("input");

  for(var i = 0; i < inputs.length; i++) {

    inputs[i].addEventListener("keyup", function(){validate()}, true);

  }

  $('.error').hide();
  $(".cool-button").click(function(){validate()});

  function validate() {
                          $('.error').hide();
                          $("label#name_error").hide();
                          $("label#invalid_error").hide();
                          $("label#email_error").hide();
                          $("label#invalid_phone_error").hide();
                          $("label#phone_error").hide();
                          $("label#zip_error").hide(); 

                          var name=$("input#contact_name").val();
                          var email=$("input#contact_email").val();
                          var emailRegEx =/^([a-zA-Z0-9])(([a-zA-Z0-9])*([\._-])?([a-zA-Z0-9]))*@(([a-zA-Z0-9\-])+(\.))+([a-zA-Z]{2,4})+$/
                          var phone=$("input#contact_phone").val();
                          var phone=phone.replace(/\s+-/g, "");
                          var phoneRegEx = /^(1-?)?\s?(\([2-9]\d{2}\)|\s?-?[2-9]\d{2})-?\s?[2-9]\d{2}-?\d{4}$/
                          var zip=$("input#contact_zip").val();
                          var best_time=$("input#contact_best_time").val();
                          var message=$("textarea#contact_message").val();
                          var timestamp=$("input#timestamp").val();

                          if(name==""){
                          $("label#name_error").show();$("input#contact_name").focus();return false;
                          }
                          if(email==""){
                          $("label#email_error").show();$("input#contact_email").focus();return false;
                          }
                          if (document.getElementById('contact_email').value.search(emailRegEx )==-1) {
                          $("label#invalid_error").show();$("input#contact_email").focus();return false;
                          }
                          if(phone==""){
                          $("label#phone_error").show();$("input#contact_phone").focus();return false;
                          }
                          if (document.getElementById('contact_phone').value.search(phoneRegEx )==-1) {
                          $("label#invalid_phone_error").show();$("input#contact_phone").focus();return false;
                          }
                          if(zip==""){
                          $("label#zip_error").show();$("input#contact_zip").focus();return false;
                          }
                          if(message==""){
                          $("label#message_error").show();$("textarea#contact_message").focus();return false;
                          }
                          else {
                          var dataString='contact_name='+name+'&contact_email='+email+'&contact_phone='+phone+'&contact_best_time='+best_time+'&contact_zip='+zip+'&timestamp='+timestamp+'&contact_message='+encodeURIComponent(message);
                          $.ajax({
                                 type:"POST",
                                 url:"php/contact.php",
                                 data:dataString,
                                 success:function(){$('#contact-form').html("<div id='message'></div>");$('#message').html("<h3>Message Sent</h3>").append("<p>Thank you for contacting us. We'll be in touch. <br /><br />If you have any further questions, you can always email us at [email protected] or call us at 800-924-9473</p>").hide().fadeIn(800,function(){$('#message').append("<img id='checkmark' src='images/submit2.png' />");});}});
                          }
                          return false;
                          };
  });