Installing Scripts For Your Site

You just downloaded a script program from HotScripts.com that you think will give your web site some very much needed features or maybe you decided that a complete content management system is what you need to base your site on, and now it is time to install that script or program. Except that all you keep getting are error pages and you cannot get your site working now!

Script installation can quickly become a nightmare if you do not know what you are doing or if you missed a step somewhere in the process. This is why programmers write installers for their scripts, but even a good installer cannot detect everything that could go wrong.

Here are some good tips to keep in mind when installing a script on your site:

Demo Your Script:

Although not always possible, most scripts that are popular have a demo site or demo area that show you what they do. This is the best way of seeing if a script is right for your site. A good site to try out most web based cms and blog scripts is OpenSourceCMS.com, who has demos and user comments on many open source scripts.

Research The Requirements:

All scripts have certain requirements, be it a specific version of PHP or MySQL, or perhaps a specific Perl module is required. Make sure your webhost account has these requirements, in cPanel most version and module information is located on the left, when you login to your account.

Choose The Correct Script:

Resist the temptation to install a beta or alpha version of a script, unless absolutely necessary. Even full releases of scripts can have defects, and so sometime it is better to wait a couple of days after a regular stable release.

Unless you are a programmer and want to rewrite the script, a good support site for your script is a must. This is even more critical if you are paying for the script. You will want to make sure the script is at least supported and if you run into a problem you have a resource to go to.

Never install a script without looking at some of the script’s source code. If the script is encoded, so you can not see the source code, you will want to make sure the author of the script is reputtable. Any script you install on your site has security risks and installing a script you know nothing about is just asking for trouble.

Read The Installation Intructions!

This can not be said enough, because even when you read the instructions, you might miss something, so make sure you follow each step of an installation process.

Most MySQL based applications will require you to creat the database and user account in cPanel prior to installing the script, so make sure you do this if needed.

A configuration file is often edited manually if there is no installer for the script.

If you run into problems running the installer or getting the script to run after installation, make sure you have the right file or folder permissions. Some webhosts require that all php scripts be set to 644 and all directories to 711 or 755, otherwise apache will return an error 500. You should be able to fix permissions with your FTP client or in cPanel’s File Manager.

Secure Your Script:

If the installation went fine, and everything is running okay, the final step is to go back and delete any installer file or reset permissions to 644 for certain configuration files. Again, go back to the script’s documentation and see if there is any manual cleanup or security changes that you need to make once the program is installed.

Filed under: Webmastering

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