• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

What is CGI and Do I need It


Overclocked Like A Mother
Hi Guys,

What is CGI and do I need it? I am trying to start up a webbased business and registered my domain with No-IP.com. They resolve my dns, and I do have win2000 server OS. No-IP also supplied me with an FTP address and a mail address as well with my domain registration. I know I am going to use a shopping cart app. Thanks in advance.

To use CGI is to execute code on the webserver, mostly used for dynamic web pages, such as your webshop. Normally this is compiled code or scripted code (often Perl). You could also use PHP and ASP which (afaik) do not count as CGI. So depending on what that app is written in, you may or may not need CGI.


Overclocked Like A Mother
Hi Zedric,

So in your opinion, since No-ip is resolving my DNS for my other stuff (FTP server), will it be enough to avoid CGI? No-IP will resolve DNS for my webpage as well.


The one has nothing to do with the other. CGI is about webserver configuration, DNS is about finding a computer on a network (the internet).

If anything you want to run on the webserver needs CGI, you need CGI, otherwise not. But it never harms to have it enabled.


Overclocked Like A Mother
Thanks Zedric,

I kinda knew I was climbing up the wrong tree. I am adding a shopping cart to the site, so the only real I am confused about is this CGI, Will Apache or IIS have this integrated, or am I in the wrong tree again. I guess I am trying to figure out if I need it. Sorry, I am a noobie to this part. So if the shopping cart app needs it then I must get it?

Thanks so far,



I may actually be insane.
Abbreviation of Common Gateway Interface, a specification for transferring information between a World Wide Web server and a CGI program. A CGI program is any program designed to accept and return data that conforms to the CGI specification. The program could be written in any programming language, including C, Perl, Java, or Visual Basic.

CGI programs are the most common way for Web servers to interact dynamically with users. Many HTML pages that contain forms, for example, use a CGI program to process the form's data once it's submitted. Another increasingly common way to provide dynamic feedback for Web users is to include scripts or programs that run on the user's machine rather than the Web server. These programs can be Java applets, Java scripts, or ActiveX controls. These technologies are known collectively as client-side solutions, while the use of CGI is a server-side solution because the processing occurs on the Web server.

One problem with CGI is that each time a CGI script is executed, a new process is started. For busy Web sites, this can slow down the server noticeably. A more efficient solution, but one that it is also more difficult to implement, is to use the server's API, such as ISAPI or NSAPI. Another increasingly popular solution is to use Java servlets.

Self-referentially short for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, an open source, server-side, HTML embedded scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages.

In an HTML document, PHP script (similar syntax to that of Perl or C ) is enclosed within special PHP tags. Because PHP is embedded within tags, the author can jump between HTML and PHP (similar to ASP and Cold Fusion) instead of having to rely on heavy amounts of code to output HTML. And, because PHP is executed on the server, the client cannot view the PHP code.

PHP can perform any task that any CGI program can do, but its strength lies in its compatibility with many types of databases. Also, PHP can talk across networks using IMAP, SNMP, NNTP, POP3, or HTTP.

Abbreviated as ASP, a specification for a dynamically created Web page with a .ASP extension that utilizes ActiveX scripting -- usually VB Script or Jscript code. When a browser requests an ASP, the Web server generates a page with HTML code and sends it back to the browser. So ASPs are similar to CGI scripts, but they enable Visual Basic programmers to work with familiar tools.


Overclocked Like A Mother
Gots it me friend. Thanks for clearing that up. By adding the PHP and ASP made me realize what CGI is, Thanks, Speedy.



php and asp are better than cgi .. I don't look for cgi to be around very much longer, everyone is moving to php because it's more secure.

Members online

No members online now.

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me ...
What a long strange trip it's been. =)

Forum statistics

Latest member