What are CGI Scripts?

By | August 4, 2009

When you choose the good hosting companies and go through the prismdetails of he packages you will definitely get this option i.e. CGI Scripting. Hosting companies understand the need of the clients.

CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface.  It is a standard for creating web pages. CGI scripts are popular it actually refers to writing a program that will control how the websites content is displayed to the visitors.

When you talk about the CGI Scripts there are some basic things that you should look at. In CGI Scripting there is a basic mode of the web communications is Client server mode. To access a web page, the client computer communicates with the server computer and when the server responds then it can access the data i.e. files and the downloads. As you are aware that the website and all its elements are kept on the server and the server sends the information to the client as needed and requested.


The client initiates the request to the server with some information and server responds back with it, this is how the web servers handle static files. However depending upon the website owner he may want a request to go through to the several steps before granting the access to the static files. For example he may want the user to be a paid member to view a file. This requires an executable program which directs the server to implement the steps needed to perform the intended feature. This is where the CGI Scripting comes into picture.

In short we can say that it is standard protocol for interfacing external application software with the information server i.e. a web server. The server responds in two ways:

  1. If the request is for a file stored, returns the content.
  2. If the request identifies an executable command, then it runs the command and then returns the output.

For the second option the CGI defines the standard way of doing it.

There is one problem in using the CGI Scripts, every time the script is executed a new process is started. For Busy websites this can considerably slow down the server.