Use CGI to Automate Your Web Site

Written by Shelley Lowery

Continued from page 1

Master Syndicator

If you write articles, Master Syndicator will enable you to syndicate your content. You simply copy and paste your article into a form and click on submit. Your article will instantly be ready for syndication. To display your content, webmasters will need to place two small lines of JavaScript within their web page where they'd likerepparttar article to display. Each time you update your article, every web site using your code will automatically be updated.

The Master Series scripts can be found here:


This great script will enable you to set up your own forum. Unlike most bulletin board scripts, WebBBS stores messages as simple text files and creates HTML pages as needed.

This great script supports automatic quoting of message text and email notification of those who want to be informed of new posts.


Set up a rotating banner system on your web site and track response rates. WebAdverts will enable you to not only set up a rotating banner system, but if you'd like, you can set up your own banner exchange. Banners can be displayed on your pages using SSI tags, IFRAME tags, or standard IMG tags.

The great thing about this script is that you can include banners on CGI-generated pages. In addition, you can filterrepparttar 107134 banners by allowing certain banners to appear only on certain pages. This script is a little complicated, but well worth it.


If you've ever wanted to set up a directory, this great script will make it simple. It is modeled after Yahoo and inspired by The CGI Resource Index. It can be completely customized to matchrepparttar 107135 look and feel of your web site.


The Personal Open Directory script will enable you to pullrepparttar 107136 contents ofrepparttar 107137 Open Directory Project into your own web pages. It is completely customizable and will enable your visitors to have access to this great directory without leaving your web site.

Learn more about CGI:

Locate CGI Scripts:

If you're not utilizingrepparttar 107138 full benefits that CGI has to offer, you're missingrepparttar 107139 boat. Not only will it save you a great deal of time, but it will also process your information aroundrepparttar 107140 clock. Scripts can assist you in making your web site an interactive community and bring your site to life.

Shelley Lowery is the Webmistress of Your Guide to Professional Web Site Design & Development. Subscribe to Syndicator Etips for fresh, original articles to assist you in Web Design, Internet Marketing & Ecommerce

CGI Security Issues

Written by Richard Lowe

Continued from page 1

The spammer essentially "hijacks"repparttar FormMail CGI routine and causes it to send out emails as fast and furiously as they can. I know of one instance where a spammer sent over one million emails in a single day before someone noticed that their web server was going very slowly (I wonder how long it would have taken hadrepparttar 107133 spammer tried limitingrepparttar 107134 load onrepparttar 107135 server so it didn't show up as much). What happens here is very simple. The FormMail CGI routine is simply called remotely byrepparttar 107136 spammer, once for each spam email that he wants to send.

Ah, you say, but you could coderepparttar 107137 FormMail routine to checkrepparttar 107138 referrer field. This would surely prevent a spammer from using it remotely, as his referrer would not berepparttar 107139 website URL.

Sorry, no. The referrer field is actually a text string passed torepparttar 107140 CGI routine byrepparttar 107141 browser. The spammer is most likely using a program which appears, to your web site, to be just another browser. Sincerepparttar 107142 spammer controlsrepparttar 107143 program he can code it to sendrepparttar 107144 CGI routine whatever value he wants forrepparttar 107145 referrer field.

As it turns out, it is very difficult to make a CGI routine such as FormMail even relatively secure, and it may be impossible to make it bullet-proof. All you can do is check enough things and put in delays here and there to slow down and discourage spammers.

You could, for example, only allow one posting per IP address per hour. You could also check referrer just to block outrepparttar 107146 more ignorant spammers. I suppose you could countrepparttar 107147 number of timesrepparttar 107148 routine is called, and have it just stop working after a certain amount. For example, only allow one hundred calls per day from anywhere.

The point here is not to tear apartrepparttar 107149 FormMail routine. The goal is to show how difficult it can be to make anything secure onrepparttar 107150 internet, and demonstrate that some assumptions (thatrepparttar 107151 referrer field is a valid check) may not be true in all cases.

What do you do? Before you implement any CGI or similar interface, be sure and do a little research to be sure you completely understand and handlerepparttar 107152 ramifications. If you don't do this, you may find yourselfrepparttar 107153 victim of a hacker or spammer.

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.

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