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Using CGI scripts to add automation to your web site may seem a little daunting, but once you have incorporated a few into your web site, they become easier.
The best way to start is to add a simpler script. A great site for cgi scripts is cgi-resources.com. You can find mostly free and some fee scripts for mail forms, classified ads, web site management, homepage communities, banner rotation, time and date, polls, password protection, MLM, mailing lists, shopping carts, running your own affiliate program, your own site search engine, and hundreds more.
Some of these scripts are fee based, but you can save a lot of money using a lesser costing script and setting it up yourself than buying expensive software and having some company set it for you. Some of the more expensive scripts may have more features than you need, and you can always upgrade to a Pro version if you need it.
The main reason the average web site owner does not use these scripts is that for the most part they think that they need a degree in computer sciences to set them up. No so! Anyone can use these, and once you have set up a CGI script you will be using them all the time on your site. You will need access to your own server, and even some free service providers are allowing users to upload CGI scripts or provide them.
The best thing to do with scripts is to play with them. Download some scripts you may be interested in, put them on your server and get them set up. Once you have done a few, you can set up almost any CGI script available.
The easiest way scripts can be set up is when they include a "config" or "setup" file. Once the files are uploaded to your server you would access the setup or config file, input some information and the script basically sets itself up.
Another set up method is when the script includes a "variable" file. This file normally has all of the information needed to run the script.
The most common type of scripts may have one or a number of files that need to be configed to work.
Normally the script comes with a "readme" or "setup" file that is in text ot HTML. Open this up and follow the direction. Some script writers have excellent instruction while others assume that the person setting up the script knows more than they do. If you are completely puzzled, try to find another script that will do the same job.
If you choose to use cgi scripts, you will begin to see how much easier your site maintenance becomes and how much more interactive your web site becomes.
In the next article find out how to config a basic cgi script for use on your site.
Read more articles by this author, about this and other subjects, here.
About The Author
Bob Power has been an Internet entrepreneur for longer than he would like to remember. He is currently on a voyage of learning, thanks to his readers, who have asked him to answer question about topics they want more information on. You can see some of the surprising, and at times exciting results, and variety of topics and paths this has taken him on, or to contact Bob Power please click here.
These articles may be reproduced exactly as shown above. No revision or changes are permitted.
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