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How Do I Use CGI?

What Is CGI?

CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface. CGI is an interface between your web pages and a scripting language such as Perl or PHP, or programs such as SendMail. Active Web Hosting's CGI server supports Apache SSI, php4, Perl, MySQL and SendMail. Some examples would be blog systems like Greymatter, forums such as phpBB, counters, and tagboards.

What About Security Settings?

Because we take every precaution to provide you with the proper security for running CGI scripts, some scripts may not work due to the fact our security settings are set up a certain way. We can not change these settings under any circumstances if it will compromise security. We test all scripts that we write tutorials for, so that you will know before you start wheather or not a script will work on our servers. Sometimes we even have suggestions of other scripts that will run and can be used instead.

We do allow you to change some settings in your directories. These are normally settings that are useful only to advanced users and script programmers. A total beginner will never need to use these settings at first.

IMPORTANT SECURITY NOTE!
Always be sure you have installed the latest updates and/or patches for the script as well as for any additional add-ons. Updates are very important to the security and proper functioning of the script! Our instructions may be for earlier versions of scripts due to the fact that we are not able to keep up with updates to every script at all times. It is still up to the domain owner to install and use the latest version of these scripts.

Do I need programming or HTML experience in order to use CGI?

It is best to learn a bit about Perl and PHP, and also a bit more about CGI before trying to use it on your site. Please see I'm new to CGI. Where do I start? for more information and some suggestions on books and online tutorials.

How do I use CGI scripts with my web page?

You can still use Perl and PHP scripts with your web pages even if you did not write the script yourself. The procedures are different for Perl and PHP. Most scripts have installation instructions which vary from one script to another. Here is a list of suggested reading, in order, that you should follow to get started using scripts on your pages:

  1. How To Request A CGI Account
  2. How To Request A MySQL Database
  3. How To Run CGI Scripts Created With PHP or Perl
  4. How To Set Up CGI Scripts and paths
  5. Tutorials For Installing A Variety Of Scripts

You may access scripts in several ways, such as a direct link to the script file on your CGI server, or by sending information to it in a <form action="POST"> tag, or even sometimes using a <script src="your_script_url"> tag or in the case of some counters, an <image> tag. Note that we do not support Server Side Includes (SSI) which look something like this:

<!--- INCLUDE exe="your_script_url" --->

Where Can I find CGI Scripts?

In addition to our own growing list of scripts, here is a place where you can also find other scripts for including in your site:

How Do I Write CGI scripts?

Learning to write CGI scripts takes some practice and patience. However, there are a number of online tutorials and books that you can use to learn how to write your own scripts. Here are a few:

Online Tutorials:

Books:

 


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