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Super-charge Your Web Site With CGI Scripts
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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
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
Look around in forums and check feedbacks from other
users before you install any script.
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Article by Zac Hewlett at
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