What are custom scripts?
This page contains a basic description of custom scripts, as well as links to more information elsewhere.
On this page:
- About custom scripts
- Where do custom scripts come from?
- Using scripts written by others
- Creating your own scripts
About custom scripts
Custom scripts are software programs that add interactive features to your Web site. For example, some of the more popular scripts add search boxes, guest books, discussion boards, shopping carts, or clocks to your Web pages.
If you've ever wanted to add something to your site that allows your visitors to see something, or interact with you, in a way that isn't possible with a standard Web page, a custom script can probably do it.
Using or creating custom scripts can be intimidating if you haven't done any programming before. On the other hand, many sites on the Internet offer tutorials designed for beginners that you can follow along with. This page should help you decide whether you want to use custom scripts to enhance your Web site.
Where do custom scripts come from?
We provide standard features on our server that make it possible for you to install and run your own custom scripts, but we can't create them for you.
Therefore, using custom scripts involves either obtaining and installing scripts that somebody else has written, or writing the scripts yourself in a computer programming language (such as "Perl", "PHP", or "C").
Using scripts written by others
There are literally thousands of scripts available from other people on the Internet. Many of them are completely free. Some of the most popular sources of scripts are:
- The Perl and PHP sections of HotScripts.com, with thousands of scripts available.
- The Perl and PHP sections of scriptsearch.com, a source for scripts, tips and more.
- The CGI Resource Index, offering thousands of Perl scripts from access counters to Web site promotion.
Any script you download should have instructions explaining how to configure and install it. Together with some specific information about our server, found on our Installing and Configuring Custom Scripts and General Script Questions pages, a person with some Web site skills, confidence, and patience should be able to install and use many of these scripts.
Creating your own scripts
Again, there are many resources on the Internet that can help you learn how to create custom scripts, especially scripts written in the Perl or PHP programming languages. To start with, we recommend:
- Google's directory of CGI tutorials has links to many introductory descriptions of how CGI scripts work in general.
- The directory of Perl tutorials, also from Google, has links to pages describing how to create scripts using the most common CGI programming language.
- For the PHP scripting language, Google's PHP directory has a great deal of information.
We should emphasize once more that while we encourage you to try creating your own scripts (it can be a rewarding experience), we can't offer support if you have programming trouble. There are many public forums where you may be able to get help for technical script questions.
Finally, you should read our section on what to do next if you're still struggling.