Web Design For Dummies

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Adding a "Bookmark this page" Script To Your Site

I'm sure you have visited a site that had a link on their navigation menu that read, "Bookmark This Site". When you click on that link (in Internet Explorer) it automatically adds your website to the surfers Favorites menu, cool huh? Well, when I went searching for the script that accomplishes this, I found all sorts of complicated JavaScripts that needed to be embedded in the Head tag then placed in the body of the document. Their is no need to do all that. I have a handy little script that you can place right in your webpage wherever you want, even on a nav menu if it makes you happy. Just simply copy the text in the box below and fill in the URL of your web page and the Title of your site. Then paste it into your document.

Now that was simple wasn't it? Just make sure you check your links to see if it works, one little typo and it can render a script useless. Have fun!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Using Scripts on Your Website

I hope you had a great weekend. Today I would like to talk to you about using scripts, whether they be CGI or JavaScripts, on your website. Ever wonder what that folder on your web server is that is called "cgi-bin"? Well, that is a folder that is predesignated to hold perl scripts, or CGI scripts. CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface. Well, that clears it all up now doesn't it? Yeah, me too.

All you really have to know is that when you install a script it is usually uploaded to that directory. So what can scripts do for you? Well, for starters, they can automate many things that take up alot of your workday. First thing that comes to mind is email. There are TONS of free scripts out there that can do anything with email. From an autoresponder that automaticaly replies to emails while you are away, to bulk mailing scripts that you can plug your email subscriber list into and click a button.

There are also scripts that can manage your web content for you. You can even get a script that designs and uploads an entire website from a set of templates. One thing that I like scripts for is automated search engine submissions. I use them for the less important search engines, ones like Yahoo and Google I do manually.

Ok, so I got you interested in scripts, but what next? Well, the first thing to do is to do a little reading on the subject, now you don't have to learn Perl or Java or any other programming language (although it wouldn't hurt if you did) to use scripts on your site. All you really have to know is:

1. How to customize the scripts for your specific website.
2. How to set and read file permissions.
3. How to use an FTP program.
4. The absolute file paths on your webserver.
5. How to call a script from your webpages.

All of this information is on the net at your fingertips. This article is a great tutorial on installing and using CGI scripts. When you feel confident enough to try one out, be sure to visit the CGI Resource Index for a mountain of free scripts.

Now that you are aware of how scripts can enhance your web experience, you will find yourself looking to scripts to do new and better things more often.