Buying a URL - Info required...

  Blitzer 00:00 04 Sep 2003

A little background info first...

Due to my ISP not providing support to run cgi scripts that I require to process a couple of forms on my site, I have been looking at my options...

1. Provide a text based form for download, user fills it out then e-mails it back. Not a great solution.

2. I could write a small utility on my website for download that the user downloads and runs to create a file that they e-mail back to me. Doing this is better from my point of view as I can effectively have a great deal of control over the output. No very user friendly though - can't see people liking the idea of needing to download and run an executable file on their computer.

3. I've been offer some free space on a server (kind of know the owner) that does have the ability to provide/run cgi scripts but the owner tells me I need to provide him with a URL to use with that space. However, not being too clued up on this I'm not 100% sure how to go about this or more importantly where/who are safe/good to buy the URL from if this is the path I choose? Can anyone provide me with a little more of explaination as to what I need to do?

I did consider the use of remotely hosted scripts but I'm not keen on the idea of using an unknown source for this service and the risk of any security to both myself and users of my website. I would not want myself or users of my site to find themselves on numerous mailing lists for example.

Please help! :(

Thanks in advance. :)

  Foolsbane_1 00:04 04 Sep 2003

Take a look at Joynic (click here). They provide a simple, no-cost solution to acquiring an appropriate domain name and, despite some translation problems, their service is pretty good.

  harristweed 08:46 04 Sep 2003

does your isp host support PHP?

  Blitzer 21:38 04 Sep 2003


TBH, I don't know. But I have a feeling that seeing as it's NTL that's probably going to be a no! :(

As it happens I'm currently in the throws of messing about with some space I've been provided with as per mentioned above in 3. I'm using this space with just an IP address ATM which may suffice my needs - only need the space to store some forms on and run some cgi scripts to process them. I'm assuming my next step up would be to get a Domain name and get it assigned to the IP address of this space.

  Forum Editor 22:59 04 Sep 2003

from one of the hundreds of sellers you'll find on the Internet, but a few words of warning:-

You'll need to have the domain hosted by the provider of your server space, that is the name will be retagged to your host's name server. It usually takes around 24 hours before a domain name that has been moved from one name server to another is propagated on the DNS databases around the world - during which time any site that's on the domain will not be visible online.

This business of retagging names is one where the very cheap domain name sellers often let you down. They have a vested interest in the name being parked on their server, because then they'll get a chance to charge you for something in one way or another - for extra hosting services, or for the renewal when it falls due. This often leads to problems in actually getting the name moved - all kinds of delays occur. For this reason it's best to make sure that you find out exactly what the procedure will be, and what charge the company makes for retagging, before you buy the name.

Once you're happy, buy the name and ask the seller to retag it to your chosen host's name servers. You'll have to provide the primary and secondary name server details, and you can get these from your host.

Then you can upload your site to your server space, and wait for it to show online. It sounds as if a basic site will do, and I imagine that your host may already have the form handler that you need in his cgi bin on the server.

  Blitzer 23:36 04 Sep 2003

[b]Forum Editor[/b]

Thing is is it really necessary for me to go to the extent of getting a URL for this space being provided to me FOC? My plan ideally would be to just use this space to store the forms and provide cgi based processing for them to be sent to the e-mail address as provided by my ISP (NTL).

All I was planning to do was continue with the bulk of my site remaining on my NTL webspace and then simply place the pages with the forms on, on effectively a remote server (ie. the FOC webspace with CGI support). Then naturally have those forms processed/sent from the remote server to my NTL e-mail address. All seems feasible to me by just linking to the remote pages using the IP address and not worrying about the use of a Domain name? Or am I totally missing something here? =-s

  harristweed 08:20 05 Sep 2003

I regret I don't know anything about the services NTL provide (or don´t provide) as I live in Spain.

However I see no reason why your idea of a remote server for your form pages would not work as you suggest.

If you use a frame page the customer would be unaware that this was happening, because the URL number address would not show in the address bar of the browser.

  Blitzer 17:12 05 Sep 2003


I'm just having trouble getting the form to be posted to my ntl e-mail address now. I guess it must be an issue with the configuration of the cgi script (FormMail) that is causing the problem. Daft thing is at some point last night it did work at some point but I do not know what I had set to what for it to work! Even then it was only doing half the things I expected.

As it happens my site uses two frames anyway so that's not a problem. ;-)

  Forum Editor 17:31 05 Sep 2003

why you shouldn't run the forms on a remote server, but surely, if you have the space anyway would it not be better to move your site there, and purchase a domain name?

It's not a costly process, and you could run a form handler in the web itself - returning the results either to a directory on the same server, or to an email address (your host will provide you with a POP3 mailbox on your domain), or both.

You'll find this arrangement easier to handle, and far more versatile - you may want to run other scripts in the future.

  harristweed 10:20 07 Sep 2003

Try Form Mail - it's easy to set up

get it here click here

  Blitzer 12:00 07 Sep 2003

I was trying to use FormMail as it happens, although it seems it I was using the copy already running on the Server that was not set-up to allow sending to e-mail addresses not on that server. In the end I just got it set-up so any mail going to the e-mail address on that server was redirected to my NTL account. Basically, I'm not using the free space provided to me as a remote host for cgi scripts. :)

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