A simple way of interacting with clients that visit a web site is to allow them to sign a guestlist and leave some comments. A guestlist form and custom CGI can be designed to facilitate such a task.


To install the comments form and CGI on your Virtual Private Server you will need to do the following.

  1. Install the Guestlist and Guest Entry Form
    You will need to download the Guestlist HTML source and Guestlist Entry Form HTML source and store it somewhere in your ~/www/htdocs directory structure. The Guestlist Entry Form can be customized by simply changing the values assigned to these variables:

    • MAXENTRIES is the number of entries that will be displayed in the guestbook. For example, if MAXENTRIES is set to 100, only the latest 100 entries in the guestbook will be displayed. If MAXENTRIES is set to negative or zero (or not included in the form at all), no entry restriction will be applied.

    • PATHNAME represents the pathname of the guestlist file relative to the ~/www/htdocs directory of your server. For example, if your guestlist file was named guestlist.html and was located in a subdirectory guest of your ~/www/htdocs directory, you would set PATHNAME to be /guest/guestlist.html.

    • ADDRESS should be set to the e-mail address where a copy of guestlist entries which include a return e-mail address are sent.

    Be sure that the variable name (MAXENTRIES, PATHNAME, PATHNAME, etc.) for each input field in the Guestlist Entry Form is not altered.

  2. Install the Guestlist CGI
    Connect to your Virtual Private Server via Telnet or SSH and issue the following command.

    % vinstall guestlist

    This will install the guestlist.pl and util.pl files into your ~/www/cgi-bin/library/guestlist directory.

  3. Customize the Appearance of the Guestlist CGI
    Two subroutines in the util.pl file are used to print out header and footer information. These functions are print_header_info and print_footer_info. Feel free to modify these functions such that the CGI outputs pages that are in synch with the motifs of the rest of your site.


Once you have completed the installation successfully, you will have a guestlist form like the one shown below (simulated).


Thank you for taking the time to sign our guestlist. Feel free to add your name, E-mail address, and comments to the guestbook by entering them in the form below.

Your Full Name:

Your E-mail address (optional):

Your comments (optional):

More Information

If you are unfamiliar with the <FORM> HTML element, or would like to learn more about forms, the following URL is an excellent resource:

Please note: the information on this page applies to ITS web hosting plans. It may or may not apply to other environments. If you are looking for a feature described here, or better support from your hosting provider, please consider hosting your site with ITS!

1555 N Naperville/Wheaton Road, Suite 107
Naperville, IL 60563
phone 630.420.2550
fax 630.420.2771