View Full Version : CGI and pulldown question

02-20-2005, 10:54 PM
Im in the process of devolping a "professional" website, heres a few questions that I hope someone can answer.

* What is cgi, from what I kinda of understand its a place to "dump" all of the responses I get from forms, is this correct. If so, when Im purchasing a host company (ie godaddy.com) what steps need to be done to access this information from the forms.

*When you click on the quick links button, a pull down menu comes down. What is the correct term for this feature so that I search for this coding on the web.

*I purchaced a program called Publisher Pro. I orginally bought this to design flyers, postcards, etc (which I highly recommend.) It also comes with a web site designer. Im in the process of designing a "professional" website and I tried to upload it on the web using my old host (homestead.com) and had no luck. From what I understand homestead is one of the cheaper quality hosts. Will I have the same problem using godaddy.com?

Any help would be appreciated.

02-20-2005, 11:50 PM
good questions, elite.

1.) if you aren't a web geek, and want an interactive site, you really don't want godaddy as a host. they are a domain name company 1st and seem to put hosting a very distant 2nd. from my experience helping others with their godaddy sites, the support, and especially even help files is pretty much non-existent.
as for cgi, it's a place you can have an executable program of sorts that handles various processes, such as the form handlers. the form results don't get dumped there, but it is the facilitator holding folder.

2.) drop down (or dropdown) menus, dhtml menus, pull down (or pulldown) menus, script menus, tree menus. there are loads of these out there, often available at any script resource site. unless you have the need for many sub-sections of content, i don't think they are too applicable to the typical lco site. i've used them on dozens of sites but don't use them on my own. my thought is that the typical site has a home page, services pages, etc. for the lco, you might want to have the main services page as an intro to services, and if actually needed, sub-services (mowing, etc) as it's own page from there. unless you have more than a paragraph or two, you might be better served to have them on their own page. i've been to enough sites that have you click "mowing.htm" from the "services.htm" page and after a huge picture loads, it simply says, "we offer mowing to fit all your needs.".

3.) i have the new version of publisher pro. i typically use higher-end software for print layouts, but picked this up for my wife to use. i've used some of the stock photos it came with, as well as playing around with it to do some newsletter layouts. i really liked. as for it's web publishing capabilities, i can only go by the test i just did to see what your problem might be. the site published fine for me, so i can't tell you what the problem might be. could you be more specific as to what the problem is? using it for building the website seems like it might be fine for a brochureware site, but you want a contact form which it doesn't seem to provide, nor did i notice any facilitation of scripting.

any more, just yell.


02-21-2005, 11:47 PM
Thanks tonygreek,

You had helped me out in the past with a few problems and I appreciate it.

The site Im building now is to promote local businesses in my area along with providing classifieds. I talked about in one of the threads I started. I found that its more profitable with a website than it is with a catalogue. This is the reason Im asking about pull downs and cgi.

The Publisher Pro does has an insert option for html, but I like the windows type approach to Frontpage, as compared to the dos format of html. (Ive never used frontpage, but it seems to use the "drag and drop" the images or text boxes instead of the labor intesive coding of html. Am I correct in saying this?)

Is there any program does not cost too much, I saw front page 2003 for $80 on ebay, but is also easy to use for someone like me. Also what host do you recommend that isnt too high priced. I will be advertising the site to about 20k homes along with postcards at local businesses and hope to have a high amount of usage each month so I will need a high bandwidth. Also, I like how godaddy offered 500 email accounts, it may be a good selling point to the businesses.

As far a publishishng the site using the Publisher Pro, Ill have to play around with this, Im missing a key step when copying the files to the homestead desiner.

02-23-2005, 11:39 AM
if you don't want to deal with code, frontpage is great, as is netobjects fusion. between the two, i much prefer the fusion software. check out netobjects.com

i'm not sure i understand the 500 email accounts reference. are you going to be offering email accounts up to these other businesses or....? if you aren't the most web savvy person (from a dev standpoint), handling accounts for people is a big step. either way, i really wouldn't recommend godaddy for hosting. if you don't want to post any specifics on what you're doing with regard to the business and accounts, shoot me a pm or email.

just by going with what you are telling me, i don't see bandwidth being an issue for you unless i'm missing something. 20k homes drilled down to people that might actually visit your site more than likely equates to significantly lower traffic than you might realize. do you have bandwidth/traffic projections you've come up with and a realistic forecast of businesses that will sign up with you?


02-23-2005, 02:55 PM

The goal of the website is to have companies from every aspect of our live advertise themsleves. Think of it as a more professional version of the classified ads in the newspaper.

Say you had a problem with your plumbing and you needed someone to come out. You would pick one of the plumbers out of the classifieds section just by the 8th of a page ad they had. But if you instead went to my website, you could check each of the plumbers by their websites. The sites would show a lot more information than the little ad in the paper.

Im also including a section on current events in the town. Along with chances to win $50 gift certificates to one of the businesses on my site. (This is to keep the people comming back, and this is where I need the CGI script to get the information from the people). I will also have classifieds for people to advertise yardsales, junk, cars, home, etc. With these features, Im hoping for a large turnout each week.

As for the email accounts. This site will end up being like a host. I will be making 90% of the sites that will be advertised with me. If my main website address is www.elite.com, one of the plumbers websites that I make will have an address of www.elite.com/plumberusa.html, or www.elite.com/stopleaks.html. The email addresses I would give them would be plumberusa@elite.com or stopleaks@elite.com. This is where the great number of email addresses would come into play.

Does this makes sense at all, Im not sure if Im wording correctly. If not, check out the store section of ebay, I think its kinda the same setup. If you need books, you would go to the book section and it has different sites listed.

02-23-2005, 03:49 PM
makes sense to me if you've done realistic projections. having classifieds means you will be at the mercy of those posting what they are selling, including support/troubleshooting. minor screw-ups, especially in a small area such as yours, can be the death of a start-up such as this. this is especially true with managing email accounts. in theory, plumberusa@elite.com is a nice feature but do you realize the support effort that goes into policing, maintaining, and troubleshooting user accounts?
what if they already have a website and/or email address? will you allow them to use that?
not trying to shoot down your idea, but i'm just making sure you realize the efforts required for something like this.

given what you are trying to do, i'd seriously recommend a decent host and not something that isn't the most extensible for beginners, ala godaddy. maybe try a local that you can cut a bartering deal with?

02-24-2005, 09:22 AM
I didnt think there would be a lot of issues with the email accounts, with homestead you just log onto their site, enter email address and password and a window much like yahoo mail comes up.

Thanks for your time and effort with my questions. Im definately considering everything you told me. I hope to have this up within a month for critiquing.

02-24-2005, 09:46 AM
I didnt think there would be a lot of issues with the email accounts, with homestead you just log onto their site, enter email address and password and a window much like yahoo mail comes up.

if that's the assumption you are working under, you might be in for a surprise when it comes to web-based businesses. :waving:

best of luck and let us know when you want us to take a peak at it.

oh, and with having an lco, is this something you will be able to manage during business hours?

02-25-2005, 07:13 PM

I just wrote a lot but hit the wrong button and erased it all. Heres the short version

Thanks for the tip about email, Im going to check that out. I know im going to find other problems along the way, but that what all the fun is about.

Ill juggle the lco and the website just like Im juggling the 65hr work week now and the website. Theres a lot of work up front but the benefits may surpass the effort. If it doesnt work out then Ill at least know how to make a nice looking website. Which may lead to a new business adventure.

Ill have my updated lco site within a week or two, I just have to figure out how to ftp it. I have some instructions, so it should be too bad. Ill let you know when I have that up and also when I have the other site as well.