1. Technology

Installing a Guestbook

Put up a Useful and Fun CGI on Your Site


When you create a website, sometimes you want to add more to it than you can with just HTML. That’s where CGI scripts come in. CGIs can seem very tricky to use and install. But you will find that they aren’t as hard as you would think.

What is a Guestbook

Guestbooks allow your visitors to post a public message showing that they visited, and what they thought of your site. It also allows you to stay in contact with your readers without going to the difficulty and expense (time or money) of a forum.

The first thing you need to decide is where you are going to host your guestbook. Many hosting providers decide this for you by not allowing CGI programs on their servers, but if you have the time and want extra flexibility (and your server allows it) you can host your own CGIs. Otherwise, there are many companies that will host the guestbook for you.

Remote Hosting a Guestbook

This is the easiest way to add a guestbook to your site. You simply sign up for a guesbook, and then link to it from your site. The remote host does the rest. There are many free options, and some will even let you customize your guestbook to look more like your own site.

First you need to choose your guestbook company. There are many choices, you can choose based on price, most people want a free guestbook, and there are a lot to choose from.

For this article, I chose to use MyComputer.com Guestbook. I chose this site primarily because they offer a privacy policy so I know exactly how and if the information that I provide to them will be used. They also seem fairly easy to use and straightforward. Note: this guestbook is not free.

The first thing to do to get a guestbook at MyComputer.com is to sign up. You need to have a MyComputer.com account. The account includes standard account information, like name, email, where you heard about this service, and so on.

Once you have an account, it’s easy to build a guestbook. Just click on "Begin". Your first guestbook is built right away. Then you can do things like change the title, background color, header information and much more. Once you have a look you like, you click on the link that reads "View Code". This shows you the HTML tags you should use to link to your guestbook.

If you want to host your own guestbook, this is possible as well. This article Installing a Guestbook - Build Your Own should help you get started hosting your own guestbook.

This article is part of the HTML Forms Tutorial

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