Frequently Asked Questions

See also: Shared FAQ

How do I configure/customize VisitorLog?
How do I change VisitorLog's styling?
How do I use the /visitors shortcut URL?
I get an Internal Server Error!
I get an error saying "undefined function virtual" or "request execution failed."
Can you add feature XYZ to VisitorLog?


How do I configure/customize VisitorLog?

Just edit your visitors_prefs.cgi file in a text editor.  This file is normally in your server's cgi-bin directory, or it may be in your visitors directory on Windows servers.  The prefs file contains many adjustable settings along with documentation for them.  You'll need to set the $PREF{database_*} settings right away, and you'll probably want to adjust the $PREF{enabled_output_widgets} setting, for example.

You'll notice that many lines in the prefs file begin with a "#" character.  These lines are inactive "comment" lines containing instructions and examples, so don't change anything on them, because it won't have any effect on VisitorLog.  If you see a pref that you want to adjust, but it's on an inactive line, that usually means it's just an example included as part of the documentation, so you should look for another instance of that same pref on a line that doesn't begin with a "#" character – that will be the active version of the pref, so that's the one you should adjust.


How do I change VisitorLog's styling?

To customize the styling (look and feel), adjust the CSS code in the $PREF{css} setting.  If you want to include an external CSS file, use a CSS @import statement:

$PREF{css} = qq`

\@import url("/mystylesheet.css");

[rest of VisitorLog's CSS here]


Notice that the @-symbol on the @import statement must be escaped with a backslash, otherwise Perl will treat it as a variable, which will result in an error.


How do I use the /visitors shortcut URL?

On most servers, you can use instead of to access VisitorLog.  But first, you must get the full visitors.cgi URL working.  Once that's working, you can try these shortcut URLs:

If one or both of those works, then delete the index file that doesn't work (if any), and then you should be able to use this shorter URL:

If neither index page works, then try instead.  If that works, then edit the index.php file, remove the "#" from the front of the call_vl line, and add a "#" to the front of the virtual line.  Now should work, and if you delete the index.shtml file, then should work too.

If your server runs IIS rather than Apache, you can also use the Default Content Page feature to enable the shortcut URL.  Open your IIS manager, find the /visitors/ directory, right-click on it and choose Properties.  Go to the Documents tab, check the "Enable default content page" box, and add "visitors.cgi" to the top of the list.

If your server doesn't support any of the above methods, and you don't want to upgrade to a better hosting company, then you can use the not-quite-as-nice META Refresh method.  Copy the /visitors/index-redirect.html file to /visitors/index.html and then edit the index.html file.  In it, replace "" with your domain name.  Now will auto-redirect your visitors to


I get an Internal Server Error!

If this happens after you edit your visitors.cgi file, then the simple solution is: don't change visitors.cgi at all.  Instead, only edit visitors_prefs.cgi, as explained above.

But if you haven't edited your visitors.cgi file and you still get an Internal Server Error, or if you absolutely need to edit visitors.cgi, then see the Internal Server Error page for solutions to this problem, which is most likely caused by an installation issue and not a problem with VisitorLog itself.


I get an error saying "undefined function virtual" or "request execution failed."

The "undefined function virtual" error means your server doesn't support PHP's virtual() function.  This is only a minor issue, and it is not a problem with VisitorLog itself.  It just means you need to use a different method for calling VisitorLog from a shortcut URL.  (See the shortcut FAQ item for more details and alternatives to the virtual() function, but read the rest of this FAQ item first.)

The "request execution failed" error most likely means that your visitors.cgi isn't installed quite right.

Either way, the first thing to do is get VisitorLog itself installed and working: visit and make sure that works.  Only after that works properly should you try to get the shortcut URLs working ( or or  If your visitors.cgi gives you an Internal Server Error, it's most likely a chmod/permissions problem, but see this page for full details on how to fix it.


Can you add feature XYZ to VisitorLog?

Yes, we can usually add custom features to VisitorLog; just contact us and ask.

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