Using CGI scripts

This section applies to UNIX Web hosting plans only.

Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is a standard method of transmitting information between an application and a Web server. CGI scripts are used to supplement basic HTML pages by making your Web site more interactive and functional. You can program many useful features with CGI scripts, such as hit counters, guest books, order forms and message boards. CGI is an alternative to Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP).

All of NetNation's UNIX platforms support CGI scripts and provide you with your own CGI bin in which you can place your CGI scripts. We offer a free library of CGI scripts that you can use to enhance your Web site. These scripts are installed in your account and are ready to run when you first log in.

The CGI bin is the directory where all of your CGI scripts are stored. Scripts are stored in this directory so that the Web server knows to execute these scripts instead of just displaying them in a browser. This directory has executable permissions, while all of your other directories should remain non-executable for security purposes. With your own local CGI bin directory, you can store custom CGI scripts that you have written yourself or found elsewhere on the Web. On NetNation's UNIX platforms, the path to the cgi-bin is home/domainname/www/cgi-bin.

Learn more about working with the following pre-installed scripts:

Counter script

GuestBook script

WWWBoard script

CGIEmail script

FormMail script

You can access all of these scripts by displaying the Website Tools section of AccountManager and then clicking Free Scripts. The CGI Script Manager appears.

The various CGI Script Managers provide interfaces that make it simple for you to customize the scripts to meet your individual needs. Then, they generate the HTML code for you. All you have to do is copy the code and paste it into your pages.

If you are familiar with CGI scripting and would like greater control over these scripts, you may prefer not to use AccountManager's Script Manager but to work with these scripts directly. The NetNation UNIX Platform Manual provides detailed information on working with these scripts as well as information on using your own scripts.