I'm seeing a number of smallish (not terribly high-traffic) ecom sites written in PHP running in a shared hosting arrangement. Some of these sites are decrepit and could possibly use a rewrite, and it might be nice to use Perl for that. But, the argument I see coming from the old PHP guard (ex. current site maintainers and management) is that there's no way to do in Perl what you can so conveniently do in PHP, which is, you can just drop in a .php file and have it automatically run when a user accesses that page.
Is there a way to make Perl as convenient as PHP in that regard?
Note, I realize that high-powered LAMP-based sites will almost certainly be running on dedicated servers using mod_perl. But there is a lot of shared hosting out there, and a lot of smaller sites that don't need their very own server, and a lot of people who've seen how darn convenient PHP is (with regard to just dropping a php file in place -- not necessarily the language itself).
Perhaps what I'm really asking is, what's the easiest way to get a *fast* (i.e. persistent) Perl webapp running when you *don't* want the expense of (and responsibility for) dedicated hardware?