What is a cgi-bin?
A cgi-bin is a directory used on your webserver account to process programs on the webserver which are stored in this directory. This directory is enabled with the cgi-bin upgrade so that these programs known as cgi-scripts can be processed by the server.
What does CGI stand for?
CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface. Normal web pages are flat inactive files which are downloaded by a viewer to their browser, in order to interact with the webpage (ie enter information, fill in a form or search the website) the data will need to sent to the server to be processed by a cgi-script which will then perform its function. CGI is the interface used to carry out this procedure and cgi-scripts are the programs used on the server to process the information they are sent.
Do I need a cgi-bin?
Not necessarily, if you are using Microsoft FrontPage you can make use of the server extensions available to you. This is Microsoft's version of CGI which is configured when you make FrontPage pages using forms, search engines and guestbooks.
If you are planning to use any form of cgi-script on the server you will need to have the cgi-bin upgrade.
What do I get with a cgi-bin upgrade?
This upgrade permits the use of a private cgi-bin directory in your website to run your cgi-scripts. We currently only offer a formmail cgi-script and html page which can be modified as necessary. There are a huge range of scripts available on the internet which can be used on our servers, please see our links page for some websites - just follow our setup guides to configure the scripts correctly.
The cgi-bin upgrade also allows the use of PHP4 and ASP.
Do I need to know some programming?
This is not essential but in order to configure and setup cgi-scripts some knowledge of html and script configuration is recommended.