Wizards Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ and their Answers about the PHP, Perl, JavaScript Wizards.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Wizards(FAQ)

http://www.thesitewizard.com/wizards/faq.shtml

This page lists the answers to frequently asked questions on the scripts generated by free script wizards on thesitewizard.com.

Important

The questions and answers specific to the Feedback Form Wizard have been moved to another page. Please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Feedback Form Wizard instead.


General Questions

Perl / CGI Questions

Installation Questions

Web Host Questions

Support Questions

Answers to Common Questions

Why do I see the source code of the script when I run it on my website?
When you run the script, and see the source code of the script in your browser instead of the expected results, it probably means that your site is hosted on a web host that does not support the execution of the type of script you chose, whether PHP (What is PHP?) or Perl (What is Perl?). To fix the problem, you will need to get a new web host. If you don't know which to choose, you can take a look at my current favourites.
Will there be more Wizards for other scripts and web pages?
It is my intention to write wizards for more scripts and web pages as well as extend and improve existing wizards. If you would like to be informed when such wizards are available or updated, you might want to consider subscribing to thesitewizard.com's RSS feed. If you don't know how to do that, check out my FAQ on How to Subscribe to or Read ATOM and RSS Site Feeds. As and when I have new wizards (or new major versions of existing wizards) I will announce it in the feed.
Do you have a Wizard for... (name your script)?
If you cannot find a wizard for a particular type of script, try looking at the Wizards Index and see if it available under a different name or guise.
Will there be ads (advertisements) displayed on my site?

If you are using the PHP scripts, Perl scripts, JavaScripts and web pages generated by the Wizards and installing them into your own web server account, there are no advertisements displayed other than what you place yourself (or what your web host places, if you use a free web host).

You can of course use any of the suggestions given on the Link to Us page, or, for that matter link to any page on thesitewizard.com any way you like. If you have found this site useful, please reciprocate by linking to it.

Why is the HTML/Perl/PHP code I copied to my editor in a mess?

I have observed this behaviour while using Internet Explorer 4.0 on Windows as well. When you copy the code generated by the Wizard from the text box and try to paste it into an editor somewhere, you may end up with code that appears garbled and interspersed with rectangular boxes.

What happens is that the code copied has each line terminated by carriage returns (CR) instead of carriage return and line feed pairs (CRLF) or just line feeds (LF). If you use an editor like Notepad that does not recognise carriage returns as line terminators, all your lines will run into each other.

The solution is to use another browser for the purpose of cutting and pasting the code generated by the wizards. Opera and Firefox do not appear to have this problem.

Note that if you encounter this problem, you cannot just ignore it and hope that it will go away when you upload the file with your FTP program. My experience is that some Windows FTP programs don't know how to handle local files like that and will translate it wrongly when uploading it to the server.

What is the path to Perl on my web server?
There is no point telling me your web host's name and expecting me to tell you where Perl is located on your web server. Such information can only be obtained from your web host. If you cannot find it on your web host's site, try contacting their support department and asking them. Remember, Perl is only available for use on your site if your web host allows CGI access and has installed Perl.
How do I install the CGI scripts generated?

You basically need a few things before you can get started:

  1. You will need a web host that gives you CGI access. You may not get this if you use a free web host, so you may need to go with a commercial web host. For example, the web host I currently use provides both CGI/Perl and PHP access. In addition, you cannot just create a directory named "cgi-bin" and think that you have CGI access. Creating the directory by itself does not add CGI access. It needs to be provided by the web host.

  2. Find out the directory where you can install your CGI scripts from your web host (usually "cgi-bin" in your web directory, but not always).

  3. You will need to know your account username and password to access your site by FTP.

  4. Another thing you'll need is a text editor. Note that this is not the same as the wordprocessor that you use to type your documents. If you use Windows, you already have a text editor on your system called Notepad. Warning: Do not use Wordpad or Microsoft Word for this. In fact, if the program you're considering allows you to do things like underline text or put text in bold, it's the wrong program. If you can't find how to get Notepad to work, or if you don't use Windows, you can get other text editors from the Free Text Editors, Free Programmers' Editors page. They're all free.

  5. Another required piece of software is an FTP program. This is a computer program that will let you transfer (ie, upload) your CGI scripts to your website. Some web hosts allow you to do it with your browser via a "File Manager". If so, be sure that you have a way to upload in ASCII mode and change permissions on the file. This guide assumes that an FTP program is used. You can get a free FTP program from the Free FTP Programs page.

Do the following to install your CGI scripts:

  1. Generate the script that you want using the Wizards. The script will appear on a page with brief instructions on what to do.
  2. Copy the CGI script from the box into your text editor. Do not re-type the script. Select the script in the box and use the Copy function in your browser. This will cause the text to enter into your system clipboard. Then open your text editor and use the Paste function in the editor to create an identical copy there. Copy and paste functions are available in most modern operating systems.
  3. Save the file in your text editor using the name suggested by the Wizard. This is important, because either the script or the HTML code that calls the script may depend on it.
  4. Fire up your FTP program. Change the directory to the correct directory for the CGI scripts (usually "cgi-bin") and upload the script to your web server. Critical: You will have to upload the file in ASCII or Text mode. Do not rely on the auto-detection facility of your FTP program since the FTP program might assume that the file you're uploading is a binary file from its unknown extension.
  5. If your web server is a Unix system, you will probably have to change the permissions on the uploaded file. Change it so that it is readable and executable by everyone. If you are using a Unix FTP program, change the permissions to 755. If you are using a Windows FTP program on Windows, see if you can right click the file you've just uploaded (on the web host, not your local file) and choose "chmod" or something called "permissions" (the actual words vary from FTP program to FTP program). You'll be presented with a dialog box where you should check "Read, Write, Execute" for the owner, and "Read, Execute" for the group and everyone else.

Congratulations. You've installed your CGI script.

Note: You might also want to read my tutorial on How to Upload or Publish a File Using FileZilla (FileZilla is a free FTP program for Windows).

How do I install the PHP scripts generated?

Firstly, check up from your web host whether they have PHP support. If this is not available, simply uploading the PHP script to your server is not going to work. Once you are sure that your web host supports PHP scripts, simply upload the script to your site the same way you upload your other web pages. No other special actions are needed.

Note that if you are using Windows, you can check out my tutorial on How to Upload a File to Your Website Using FileZilla. FileZilla is a free FTP client.

Why do I keep getting 500 Internal Server Errors?
Please read my article, Perl CGI Debugging: Solving a 500 Internal Server Error.
How do I upload my PHP scripts, CGI scripts and web pages to my web server?

Most web hosts allow you to upload files using what is known as an FTP program or client; there are a few free FTP programs/clients available on the Internet. After downloading and installing one, please read the program's documentation on how to use it to upload your files.

Some web hosts also allow you to upload files via your browser, using what is often called a "File Manager" (or the like). If so, instructions on how to use the "File Manager" should be available from your web host.

Uploading and installing CGI scripts require special additional actions. Please read our installation instructions for CGI scripts on this.

Note that if you are using Windows, you should check out my tutorial on How to Upload a File to Your Website Using FileZilla. FileZilla is a free FTP client.

How do I install the JavaScripts?

If the Wizard tells you to insert the JavaScript into your web page:

  • If you are using a simple text editor or a specialized raw HTML editor to write your pages, just cut and paste the code from the Wizard-generated page to your web page. Do not manually re-type or you might accidentally introduce errors into the code.
  • If you are using a WYSIWYG editor (like DreamWeaver, FrontPage, Mozilla Composer or Nvu), you will need to find instructions from that editor's documentation on how you can insert raw HTML code into your document. Do not simply paste onto the page - the code will not be inserted correctly.

If the Wizard tells you that you need to upload a JavaScript as a file to your website, copy the code generated into a plain text editor (like Notepad), save it using the name supplied by the Wizard, and upload it to your web server.

Which web host should I choose?
If you're looking for a commercial web host, you can find the list of my personal favourites (places where I host this site and others) in my FAQ page on Which Web Host Would You Recommend?.
Which web host has Perl/CGI support?
Many commercial web hosts, including the web host that I currently use, support Perl/CGI.
Which web host has PHP support?
Many commercial web hosts, including the web host that I currently use, support PHP.
Your script does not work!
Before you rush out to file a bug report, remember that my scripts run on hundreds of websites around the world. Chances are that you have done something wrong. Read this page as well as the instructions given by the wizards to figure out what went wrong.
What sort of support do I get?
None. The scripts come without warranty and without support. It is likely that if you write to me for help, your message will not be answered. Your best bet is to read the documentation on this site, this FAQ and any documentation that came with your script or web page.
Can you help me solve this problem?
Please see the answer to What sort of support do I get?
How do I report a bug?
Simply use the feedback form to report it. Remember to specify which script you're referring to and give as many details as is relevant. Important note: support requests disguised as bug reports will be ignored. Be sure you read the FAQ (this page) before reporting anything. Please be forewarned that although I read all messages sent by the form, it is likely you will not get any reply, particularly when the answer is already given in one of the FAQs on this site.
Can you install my CGI/PHP script for me?
No. I do not have the time to hand-hold thousands of users per day in installing the scripts. Please read the step by step instructions given on this page on how you can install it youself.
Can you install my JavaScript for me?
No. Read How do I install the JavaScripts? for more information on how you might do this.
Can I request for new features or new scripts?

You can make suggestions about existing scripts or about possible new scripts (or even about the Wizards and the website itself) by using the feedback form.

Please be forewarned about a few things: (1) while I read all messages sent through that form, I may not reply to you. I receive too many messages per day to be able to do that and still expect to "have a life"; (2) I have my own plans and implementation schedules for the wizards and thus may not take up your suggestion.

Copyright © 2000-2014 by Christopher Heng. All rights reserved.
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