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The Beginner's Tutorial
How To Create Own Website with CMS Made Simple

Guestbook on the website

Would you like to have a guestbook on your band website or personal homepage? You can allow your visitors to  write into the guestbook and even make list of customers' compliments from the module if you like.

Features of module Guestbook

  • Filter and replace "bad" words with your own black list
  • Easy integration with Smiley or Captcha module
  • Maximum number of characters per post
  • Moderate messages before display on the website
  • Spam protection with minimal time span between posts (in seconds)
  • E-mail notification to website administrator if a new post has been submitted
  • Guestbook posts are searchable with Search module

Live guestbooks made with CMS Made Simple

Guestbook ExampleGuestbook ExampleGuestbook Example

To install the module go to the admin console and select Extensions » Module Manager. On the tab Available modules choose the letter G. Find Guestbook and click on Download & Install. The module will be installed and can be used after successful installation. Read How to install module if you face issues.

There are two ways to add Guestbook on the your website.

Using content type Guestbook

The first one is to use a special content page installed with the module. This way is easier, you do not have to use any Samrty tags and will make all your settings on the page itself. Go to admin console in » ContentPages and click on Add New Content. Select "Guestbook" as Content type!

Guestbook Content Type

Switch to the tab Parameters and modify them according to your requirements. Save the page. The guestbook is ready to use. Test it on the page. To view new entries, edit them or delete you open Content » Guestbook in the admin panel. This is the most easy integration. However, in this case you are going to loose a lot of control of the page itself. E. g. additional preferences normally found on the tab Options for the ´normal content pages are not available on the page of the content type "Guestbook". If you need these options you have to work with normal content pages and choose another way to add guestbook to the website.

Adding guestbook with Smarty tag

Go to admin console and select Content » Pages. Click on Add New Content and leave the content type of the page as is.  Fill in title of the page and menu text and and add

{cms_module module="Guestbook"}

into the "Content" field. Save the page. You have nearly the same result as you had using the first way, but now you have full control on your page settings. And you can also control your guestbook with Smarty parameters listed in the help section of the module. Here is the small list of some of them:

  • textleng="1000" - sets how many characters can be entered per post. The default is 1000 characters.
  • number="10" - maximum number of entries shown on a page. If there are more entries the pagination is created automatically.
  • timespan="0" - minimal time spanin seconds between posts (spam protection)
  • sortasc="0" - Sort guestbook items in ascending date order (new posts will go to the end)
  • shownow="0" - Shows messages right after submission, without approval by moderator (not recommended!)
  • smiley="0" - translate text-based smileys to image smileys and shows the smiley table on the entry submit form. Module Smiley hast to be installed.
  • captcha="0" - this will enable captcha on the guestbook entry form. Module Captcha must be installed.
  • showaddform="0" - shows the insert form on the first page. Replaces the "New Guestbook Entry" button.
  • mailnoti="" - e-mail address to send a notification to if a message was submitted. The CMSMailer module will be used for sending the e-mail if it is installed (otherwise PHP's mail function is used).

You can mix all this parameter to refine the output of the guestbook. The order of the parameters is not important. For example:{cms_module module="Guestbook" mailnoti="" showaddform="1" captcha="1"}

This Smarty tag will display the entry form on the first page of your guestbook (showaddform); you will get a notification if new post is submitted to your email (mailnoti); module Captcha should be used in the form (captcha).

To test it create a new entry in your guestbook right on the page. Check if you receiv notification about new entry per e-mail and go to the admin panel. Select Content » Guestbook. On the tab Manage Guestbook Entries all guestbook entires entered are displayed. But only the active messages are shown on the site. See the column Active in the message list. You can approve the entry with click on red cross.

Style and design

Additional stylesheet Guestbook (default/example stylesheet) is installed along with the module. This stylesheet can be found and modified in the admin console (Layout » Stylesheets).  If you would like to use this default style for your guestbook go to Content » Pages and click on the template name in the column Template beside the page that includes your guestbook. The template will be opened. Click on the blue CSS icon beside the button Apply at the very top of this page. On the next page choose Guestbook (default/example stylesheet) from the drop-down field below the list of attached stylesheets and click on Add a stylesheet. The style is now added to the list of stylesheets and will be loaded with this template.

Comments to "Guestbook on the website"

  1. Alina July 12, 2009, 12:40 am

    I have added the guestbook on my website and had 2 comments within 20 minutes. It is just what my friends needed to say what they think about :) digg stumbleupon buzzup BlinkList mixx myspace linkedin facebook google yahoo

CMS Made Simple Beginner's Guide