Interactive Features

Written by Richard Lowe

Continued from page 1

So do keep in mind that by using outside services to perform these functions (especiallyrepparttar free ones), you are (a) increasingrepparttar 134647 chances that your visitors will go elsewhere, (b) slowing down your website, and (c) reducing your customization capabilities.

The ideal solution is to load your site on a host which allows server-side scripting. These can include CGI (Perl, TCL, and languages such as Visual Basic and C++) and more involved solutions such as ASP, PHP and SSI. The difference between these is that CGI isrepparttar 134648 creation of an external program which is invoked by your web pages, while ASP, PHP and SSI involved addingrepparttar 134649 scripts directly to your web pages. You can also use client-side options such as Java applets, JavaScript and VBscript.

Just because you want to use CGI does not mean that you need to learn how to write your own scripts. There are plenty of scripts that have been written by others which work perfectly well. Many of these are very customizable and work very, very well. Just be careful to get your scripts from a reputable source. I usually start from cgi-resources, which has a very comprehensive selection of all types of solutions. Note that many scripts are free for private use ... sometimes free scripts may impose a fee for commercial use.

So in conclusion, you can add interactive features to your web site using outside, remotely hosted services or you can hostrepparttar 134650 scripts yourself. You also haverepparttar 134651 choice of writing your own scripts or obtaining them from a script library. In any event, all of these features will give your visitors a way to interact, thus increasingrepparttar 134652 chances that they will recommend your site and return themselves.

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge. Web Site Address: Weekly newsletter: Daily Tips:

Graphics for the Web: Plug-Ins

Written by Richard Lowe

Continued from page 1

Plug-ins include:

- Macromedia flash (quickly becoming one ofrepparttar most popular formats) - Adobe Acrobat Reader (nowrepparttar 134646 standard for web document publication) - Quicktime (a video format) - Shockwave (another popular plug-in - Real Player (a very compressed video and audio format)

There are hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of other plug-ins and ActiveX controls available for your browser.

Web Site Design Notes

Okay, this is all fine and dandy, but do you really need or want plug-ins on your web site? Well, that's up to you. Some ofrepparttar 134647 reasons for including plug-ins are:

- You can make your web site more interesting and different.

- Plug-ins can be fun to use

- You can add things to your web site that cannot otherwise be added

Why wouldn't you want to include plug-ins?

- They tend to scare away visitors who don't know what they are

- Your pages become unattractive or non-functional if your visitors do not choose to download and installrepparttar 134648 plug-in

- Ifrepparttar 134649 provider ofrepparttar 134650 plug-in ceases business operations, then you may be stuck with a website that you cannot maintain or improve

- Plug-ins are often frowned upon because they add a security risk to your visitors systems, they require long downloads (and sometimes reboots for installation), and they can make systems unstable.

- Your site sometimes inheritsrepparttar 134651 reputation ofrepparttar 134652 plug-in. For example, many people consider Comet Cursors to be spyware and very intrusive (as well as obnoxious and unnecessary) and will not visit your site if you've got those on your pages. Thus, you site may be considered "bad" even though it might be excellent.

In generally, Flash, Shockwave, Acrobat, and Real player are pretty safe bets. If you want to improve your site with plug-ins, these will do well.

Surfing Notes

Here'srepparttar 134653 strange thing about plug-ins (as well as ActiveX controls) - they require you (the surfer) to make a decision: do you or don't you trustrepparttar 134654 source of this software?

Personally, I have learned through long and hard experience a golden rule of owning or using a personal computer:

The less you install on your computer system,repparttar 134655 more stable your computer will be.

You see, plug-ins, especially ActiveX Controls, tend to install things into your system - things over which you have no control. Worse yet, plug-ins need to be updated - which means a formerly safe plug-in may become unsafe due to sloppy coding practices or other problems.

My advice is very simple. I have installedrepparttar 134656 major plug-ins: Acrobat, Flash, Shockwave and Real Player. These are made by large companies and have established track records for safety and value. There are a few other plug-ins which are reasonably safe: Crescendo comes to mind. I would use extreme caution when installing other plug-ins and especially ActiveX controls. If you don't know, and I mean know without a shadow of a doubt, thatrepparttar 134657 thing is safe, then don't install it. If you do decide to install something, make sure you've got a good backup of your system and data.

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge. Web Site Address: Weekly newsletter: Daily Tips:

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