Scripts add functionality to websites. They can be run client- or server-side, and can do some really heavy lifting in terms of making sites interesting and dynamic.

js icon script.js

JavaScript (JS)

JavaScript is the third leg of the Web-Dev triad, along with HTML and CSS. These three languages work exceptionally well together to provide structured, styled, and interactive sites. JavaScript is ubiquitous; anytime you open up a page that does more than offer static information like animations or timely updates, JavaScript is most-likely the culprit.

  • Easy-to-learn, free or low-cost.
  • Incredibly popular; wide-usage with community knowledgebase.
  • Versatile. Basic JS can be used inline in HTML, and developing entire applications.
  • Because the code executes on the client's computer, it can be a security risk.
  • Interpreted differently across browsers; requires testing.
cgi icon script.cgi

Common Gateway Interface (CGI)

Another way to add dynamic content to a site is through a CGI. CGI programs (or scripts) are the most common way for web servers to interact with users. These files are good for processing data sets, for example, like those used in forms and counters. CGIs can be made using many programming languages like Python, PERL, or Java.

  • Work on a variety of servers.
  • Can be written in nearly any language.
  • Provides simple interfaces for the clients to interact with the web servers.
  • Can be memory-intensive, especially on sites with high-level traffic.
  • Creation is not entry-level; can require extensive programming knowledge to be effective.

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