educational

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Stephen Yagielowicz

In my last installment, I gave you a little background info on my plans to build "My First TGP." This time, I will setup a site, select a script to build and automate it, and then I'll install and customize the script, ending up with a "finished" and functional TGP. Check it out:

Something Borrowed
The first order of business was to locate a home for My First TGP. I own a few domains that I have used for a variety of projects, and so finding a donor was easy. While I had concerns over excessive bandwidth costs, I decided to use my own paid hosting rather than free hosting, or a hosted service. This gave me the added flexibility of choosing my own software, and managing all of the revenue streams.

With this in mind, I looked over my available choices and selected "The Smut Factory" as the most appropriate property. This seemed like a "catchy" name for a TGP or other traffic pump, and I believe that it could be readily branded. Perhaps not the "best" choice in the whole world, but it was in place, lowering my barrier to entry. I have used this site for a variety of different projects, and a TGP would make a logical progression.

Virtually hosted and offering the flexibility of running both CGI and PHP / mySQL based solutions, this site will be fast and reliable, and it offers plenty of room for My First TGP. I set up a new directory (/tgp) for this project, and built a new "warning page" for the root directory as the initial gateway.

Something Blue:
This warning page featured a modified version of my standard template, and included a brief terms and conditions disclaimer, easy book-marking script, and raised JavaScript "enter" button. I also used the <NOSCRIPT> tag to provide an alternative text link for those surfers who have JavaScript disabled, or whose browser's do not support it.

I added a SexTracker counter, as well as my copyright and contact information. A brief '2257 blurb was included, and I registered the site with IRCA and ASACP, displaying their buttons to show my support of both organizations. Next, I added the ICRA META tag and cleaned up the HTML coding a bit.

Finally, I settled on a navy blue background with gold link color scheme, highlighted with red, yellow and blue accents. I want to make this site clean and simple, and I find this to be an attractive design that will suit this project well. It will employ the same basic look and feel as its parent site, PORN WORKS — my primary traffic filter, and another old workhorse site of mine. Now that everything was prepared, I found that I was missing one small thing: a script to build and operate My First TGP...

Hey, I'm A Busy Guy!
While I could maximize the control I have over the look, feel, and function of this site by doing everything manually, I simply do not have the time available to do that, besides, why should I become a slave to My First TGP? There is simply no need for me to invest an excessive amount of time maintaining this site, when there are myriad free, hosted, and commercial solutions for automating TGP site construction and daily maintenance.

I went on a quick search to find some helpful tools, and sought recommendations from other Webmasters. I also checked out the Server Software listings at XBiz.com's "Resources" area. One software name that came up repeatedly was AutoGallery from CGI Works.

I checked out the various feature sets that this script offered. It was available in free, "Pro," and mySQL versions. I chose the "Pro" version of the script, as it seemed to provide the best balance between ease of use and optimum performance, and the $55 price tag was quite reasonable for such a fully featured package. After verifying that my server system would support this software, I downloaded the zip file.

A Scripting We Will Go
Installation following the easy step-by-step instructions was a very straightforward process, and I soon had the script set up and running. The methodical installation process wasn't complicated, and the ample help files and other support resources (including the online help forums), really were comforting. I didn't need them, however, as I experienced no difficulties during setup. I verified my site's server path, the path to perl, and the path to "sendmail" as well as the URLs that I wished to use.

I verified my site's server path, the path to perl, and the path to "sendmail" as well as the URLs that I wished to use. This information is needed during the setup process, and I also recorded it on a text file, along with all my other site setup information. After setting a few simple variables according to the installation instructions, I uploaded the necessary files to my cgi-bin, creating the proper directory structure while I was at it. I then set the file permissions, and pointed my browser to the initialization file's URL.

It worked! After logging in, I was greeted with a series of online control panels that allowed me to set up My First TGP's required files. I selected all of the default values, and then clicked on the "Execute" button: within moments the script generated My First TGP! This is how the site looks now, very simple, and in its default configuration:

I now own a TGP site, that while functional, is not very much to look at, nor does it offer any opportunity for profit. Fortunately, AutoGallery Pro is template based, and after I go through all of the docs, and examine all the files, I'll massage My First TGP into shape. Stay tuned for more, things are about to get interesting... ~ Stephen

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