Adding a Guestbook

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Adding a Guestbook

By adding a Guestbook to your site, you give your site's visitors the opportunity to express their opinions, offer suggestions about your website, and develop a sense of community.

The NetObjects Guestbook consists of two components: the Guestbook Component, which adds a Guestbook to your site, and the Guestbook Admin Component, which allows you to edit and delete Guestbook entries. To add a guestbook to your site, you drop the Guestbook component on a page, configure its settings, and then add the Guestbook Admin component.

Add a Guestbook to a page

  1. In Page view, from the Custom Components toolbox, select NOF Guestbook > Guestbook.
  2. Draw a box on the Layout to indicate where you want to position the Guestbook Component.

The NOF Guestbook dialog appears.

  1. If you have not created a Component Suite, create a new one by typing a name for the suite in the New name field. To include the component as part of an existing suite, click the Existing radio button and select the Component Suite that you want to add the component to. See Using Component Suites.
  2. From the Profile drop-down list, select the settings profile that you want to use for the component. If you have not created a settings profile, the default profile will be used. See Creating Component Profiles.
  3. Click OK to close the NOF Guestbook dialog.

The Guestbook dialog appears.

  1. Configure the Guestbook settings as described below.

You can only add one Guestbook Component and one corresponding Guestbook Admin Component per site.

Configuring the Guestbook settings

  1. In the Guestbook dialog, click the Settings tab.
  2. In the Add comment location fieldset, set the position of the Guestbook's form in relation to the Guestbook's comment list. You can place the form above or below this list or on a separate page.
  3. In the Captcha section, specify your preferences for the shown code:
    • Character Font. Select a character font from the drop-down list. The preview will display the Captcha image.
    • Background color: Set the color of the background image.
    • Foreground color:Set the color of the characters.
    • Number of characters: Use the arrow buttons to set the number of characters that will be displayed in the Captcha image
    • Space left between characters: Use the arrow buttons to set the distance left between two characters of a string.
    • Alignments: Select how you prefer the Captcha image to be displayed: Top/Bottom padding: Use the arrow buttons to set the space between the image's borders and the characters.
    • Right/Left margin: Use the arrow buttons to set the space between the image's margins and the characters.
  4. Check the Notify when a new comment is added check box so that the webmaster or site owner will be notified each time a new Guestbook entry is posted.
  5. Check The New entry requires admin validation check box so that it appears on the site only after the webmaster validates it.
  6. In the Comment Settings section, specify which optional form fields you would like your visitors to complete when signing the Guestbook.
  7. Click the Emoticons check box to display a panel of emoticons that visitors can use in their Guestbook entries.
  8. Click the Show time check box to display the time at which each Guestbook entry is posted.
  9. Click the Design tab to customize the appearance of your Guestbook by choosing a style from the Style drop-down list.

The default theme is the SiteStyle theme that is used for the current Active SiteStyle. When selected, a preview for this theme is only available from the Style view. A short description of the selected style and a preview image of the additional themes will be displayed in the dialog box.

  1. Click the General tab to configure the Guestbook's general settings.
  • Click the Publish scripts in debug mode check box to view in-depth troubleshooting information should the component not function properly when published.

Script type displays either ASP or PHP, depending on settings from the General tab of the Current Site Options dialog.

  • Select the language (English or German) of your component script.
  • In the Database settings field, specify the flat file database file to which you want to store the guestbook entries. The default file is ../db/guestbook.csv.
  • Click the Wizard button to launch the DB Creation Wizard. See Using the DB Creation Wizard. .

If you do not use the Wizard button next to the Database field and you leave ../db/guestbook.csv in the default value, then you will have to manually create the /db folder on the server (in the folder where you publish the site). Grant write permission to the /db folder.

  • Enter the Server (IP) address and Port of the server that will handle sending e-mails confirming guestbook submissions. Consult your host provider or site administrator to obtain this information.
  • In the E-mail field, enter the e-mail address to which you want testimonial submission notifications to be sent. You will receive an e-mail each time a site visitor submits a guestbook entry.
  • In the From field, enter the e-mail address from which you want to send visitors e-mails confirming that their guestbook entry has been successfully submitted.
  • If necessary check the smtp requires authentication check box and then fill in the Username and the Password fields with the SMTP user name and password.
  • Check the smtp requires ssl check box if the SMTP server requires a secure connection (SSL).

Note: Consult your host provider or site administrator to obtain details about the authentication and/or SSL possibly required by the SMTP server.

Note: The secure connection (SSL) and authentication for an SMTP server are used by some host providers to increase security and stem the flow of email messages propagating spam, viruses, and worms.

  1. To save the Guestbook Component settings as a profile that you can apply to additional NOF Guestbook components that you add to your site, click Save Profile. See Creating Component Profiles.
  2. Click OK to close the Guestbook dialog.

The Guestbook Admin Component

The Guestbook Admin Component allows you to edit and delete entries in your Guestbook. It can be placed anywhere on your website, and it is password-protected to restrict access by unauthorized users. To use the admin component when you log in to the Guestbook admin area, you can delete or edit any of the existing Guestbook entries.

To add the Guestbook Admin Component:

  1. In Page view, from the Custom Components toolbox, select Guestbook>Guestbook Admin.
  2. Draw a box on the Layout to indicate where you want to position the Guestbook Admin component.

The NOF Guestbook dialog appears.

  1. If you have not created a Component Suite, create a new one by typing a name for the suite in the New name field. To include the component as part of an existing suite, click the Existing radio button and select the Component Suite that you want to add the component to. See Using Component Suites.
  2. From the Profile drop-down list, select the settings profile that you want to use for the component. If you have not created a settings profile, the default profile will be used. See Creating Component Profiles.
  3. Click OK to close the NOF Guestbook dialog.

The Guestbook Admin dialog box appears.

  1. On the Settings tab, in the Administrator password field, enter a password that you will use to log in to the Guestbook Admin area.
  2. Enable the Emoticons check box to be able to see the emoticons that visitors use in their Guestbook entries. If not checked, the Emoticons option will not be available on the Admin Page.
  3. Click the Design tab to customize the appearance of your Guestbook by choosing a style from the Style drop-down list.

The default theme is the SiteStyle theme that is used for the current Active SiteStyle. When selected, a preview for this theme is only available from the Style view. A short description of the selected style and a preview image of the additional themes will be displayed in the dialog box.

  1. Click the General tab to configure the Guestbook's general settings.
  • Click the Publish scripts in debug mode check box to view in-depth troubleshooting information should the component not function properly when published.

Script type displays either ASP or PHP, depending on settings from the General tab of the Current Site Options dialog.

  • Select the language (English or German) of your component script.
  • In the Database settings field, specify the flat file database file to which you want to store the guestbook entries. The default file is ../db/guestbook.csv.
  • Click the Wizard button to launch the DB Creation Wizard. See Using the DB Creation Wizard.

If you do not use the Wizard button next to the Database field and you leave ../db/guestbook.csv in the default value, then you will have to manually create the /db folder on the server (in the folder where you publish the site) and grant write permission to the /db folder.

  • Enter the Server (IP) address and Port of the server that will handle sending e-mails confirming guestbook submissions. Consult your host provider or site administrator to obtain this information.
  • In the E-mail field, enter the e-mail address to which you want guestbook submission notifications to be sent. You will receive an e-mail each time a site visitor submits a guestbook entry.
  • In the From field, enter the e-mail address from which you want to send visitors e-mails confirming that their guestbook entry has been successfully submitted.
  • If necessary check the smtp requires authentication check box and then fill in the Username and the Password fields with the SMTP user name and password.
  • Check the smtp requires ssl check box if the SMTP server requires a secure connection (SSL).

Note: Consult your host provider or site administrator to obtain details about the authentication and/or SSL possibly required by the SMTP server.

Note: The secure connection (SSL) and authentication for an SMTP server are used by some host providers to increase security and stem the flow of email messages propagating spam, viruses, and worms.

  1. To save the Guestbook Admin component settings as a profile that you can apply to additional NOF Guestbook components that you add to your site, click Save Profile. See Creating Component Profiles.
  2. Click OK to close the Guestbook Admin dialog.

Managing Guestbook Entries

Once you have added each of the Guestbook component tools to your site, you will need to publish your site remotely to manage guestbook entries. On the published site, you access the page containing the Guestbook Admin component, where can add review, edit, and delete guestbook entries.

  1. On a published site, launch the page containing the Guestbook Admin page in a browser window.
  2. When prompted, enter your admin password as created when the Guestbook Admin component was added to the page.

The Guestbook Admin area appears.

  1. To edit a guestbook entry, click the edit button corresponding to the guestbook you want to edit.

The Guestbook form will appear.

  1. Modify the guestbook entry by editing the text in text fields.
  2. Click Update comment to apply the changes and return to the Guestbook Admin page.
  3. Delete a guestbook entry by clicking delete in the entry area.
  4. Click Log out to exit the Guestbook Admin area.