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CGI Scripts - Super-charge Your Web Site

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Super-charge Your Web Site With CGI Scripts

Back to part 1

Transfer Files And Set Permissions

Once the script is all set up and ready to go, the next step is to transfer the script files to your web server and set the proper "permissions" to the files. These permissions are necessary so your web site visitors can access them properly.

Transferring script files to your web server is not much different than transferring your web pages there. More info on transferring files using FTP.

Most web hosts require CGI scripts to be in the cgi-bin directory. You can create sub-directories in the cgi-bin for each scripts as well. Some hosts allow you to place and run CGI scripts anywhere. Check FAQ section of your hosting service.

If your server is running a UNIX or Linux operating system, you have to set the permissions to the files. The UNIX term for setting file permissions is CHMOD.

In your FTP software, right-click on the script and select "CHMOD" from the pop-up menu to bring up the Remote File Permissions window. Select the needed radio buttons according to instructions in the readme file.

In most cases, the .pl files need to be set to "755" while other data files "777".

Add HTML Tags

The final step is to add the appropriate HTML tag to your web pages to call the script and then transferring that updated page to the server. The documentation that came with the script, or the comments in the script file itself, should include the appropriate tag to use.

You may have to modify this tag. Most tags assume your CGI sub-directory is called cgi-bin. If it's called simply cgi, or something else, make the necessary change in the tag.

Once the tag is added to the appropriate pages, upload them to your server as you normally would.

Congratulations! You've just setup and installed a CGI script. That's all there is to it.

It may sound complicated while actually it's not. Once you give it a try, change several lines of codes here and there, you will find it easier than designing a web page. Much easier and faster I would say.

One last note. you should use caution when selecting free scripts. Some of these free scripts do not adequately lock files which is important in a web environment where multiple people could be viewing the same web page simultaneously. Some poorly written scripts could actually pose a security risk by allowing unauthorized access to the server.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way for untrained eyes to determine if adequate file locking is used or if the script represents a security hole. And most web sites that offer scripts from third parties for download do not perform any sort of quality control checks.

Look around in forums and check feedbacks from other users before you install any script.

Back to part 1

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