Guestbook Object

Step 4 - Pages >

Guestbook Object

Previous pageReturn to chapter overviewNext page
Show/Hide hidden text

The Guestbook lets website visitors leave their signature or a comment and/or give a vote. It's made up of a short form that visitors fill in, and a list of comments that have been made by other visitors.

WebSite X5 lets you customize the Guestbook, and manage the publication of comments using a specific online control panel and, if you use the Professional edition, the WebSite X5 Manager app.

Still in the Professional edition, comments can also be managed through services such as those offered by Facebook and Disqus, as an alternative to the Control Panel.

Click to expand/collapseReference: Guestbook settings

If you are working with the Professional edition, to create a Guestbook, you need to define the Comment management system that visitors can leave, choosing between:

WebSite X5: this is WebSite X5's built-in system and offers a specific online Control panel.

Facebook: this uses Facebook's Social Plug-in to organize discussions and comments.

Disqus: this is the system offered by Disqus.

In the Evolution edition, however, this choice is not available and you always use WebSite X5's built-in Comment management system. In this case, to create the guestbook, you must define the Content Type that website visitors can leave, choosing between:

Comment and Vote: visitors can write a comment and vote the website.

Comment: visitors can write a comment, but they can't vote.

Vote: visitors can vote, but they can't write a comment.

You can choose options for the Comments Settings, depending on  the Content Type you have selected:

View Mode: you can decide whether comments made by visitors are to be published immediately online, or whether they are to be approved first, using the commands in the online control panel.
View Order: you can define the chronological order to the published comments, from the most recent to the earliest, or vice versa.
Comments per Page: you can define the maximum number of comments to be displayed per page.
Show 'Abuse' button: select this option if you want an "Abuse" button added, so that visitors can report objectionable conduct.
Enable 'Captcha' anti-spam filter: you can add the Captcha anti-spam filter to the end of the comment form.

Use the command in the Privacy and Security | Security window to choose the captcha system that is to be used.

Vote Style: select this option to define the style of the element that visitors can vote (for example, 5 stars). This is the only option available if you select Vote as Content Type.

 

If you are working with the Professional edition and you choose to use Facebook as Comment management system, you must define the following Comments Settings:

Color: this sets light or dark colors for elements in the foreground, so that the contrast with the background is correct.
Visible Posts: this defines how many posts are to be displayed in the comments box.

For further information on how Facebook plug-ins work, see https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/

If you are working with the Professional edition and you choose to use Disqus as Comment management system, you can define the following Comments Settings:

Disqus Short Name: this is the name that identifies the website when setting up the service on Disqus. All the comments left on the website are automatically associated with the Short Name given here, so that they can be correctly loaded and displayed.

For more information on discussion and comment management with Disqus, see http://disqus.com/websites/

You can define the following Properties for displaying comments:

Height: you can define the height in pixels of the Guestbook Object. Each time a visitor leaves a comment and this is published online, the comment is added to the list of those already made: you can set the height of the object so that, after a certain number of comments, the list can be scrolled to view the rest.
Enable Automatic Height: if you select this option, the height of the Object is automatically calculated so that there entire contents of the Object can be displayed without having to show a scroll bar. This option is effective only if the Object is inserted in a line of the page layout table that does not contain other Objects.
Click to expand/collapseReference: Submitting Guestbook data

If you use the Control Panel in WebSite X5 to manage the comments, you can indicate how data submitted in the comments form is to be saved and handled by the website administrator in the Data Save Settings section.

If you are working with the Evolution edition, the data will be saved on the server, whereas if you are working with the Professional edition, you can choose to save it in a database:

Send data to a file: submitted data is saved in a file created in the specified folder on the server.

Send data to a Database: the data submitted in the form is automatically sent to the specified MySQL database, using a PHP script.

The following parameters depend on the method you have chosen for saving data:

Send data to a file:

Subfolder on the Server where data is saved: specify the folder on the server (with PHP write access) in which the submitted data is to be saved. The main server folder name is specified by the Server folder with write access option in the Data Management window. If you do not specify a sub-folder, the data will be saved in this one.
Send an e-mail to notify when comments are received: a notification e-mail will be sent automatically when new data arrive.
User e-mail address: enter the recipient address of the e-mail notifying data reception.

Send data to a Database:

Database: select the database from the list of those linked to the project.
Tables Prefix Name: enter the name of the table in the database where you want submitted data to be added. If the table doesn't exist, it will be created automatically.
Send an e-mail to notify when comments are received: a notification e-mail will be sent automatically when new data arrive.
User e-mail address: enter the recipient address of the e-mail notifying data reception.

Providers usually give write access to all folders on the server: if this is the case, you don't need to give the pathname of the public folder. In all other cases, contact your webspace provider for the complete public folder pathname.

You can check in the WebSite Test section of the online control panel whether the folder with write access, and any sub-folders inside i, actually exist and, if so, if you have write access to them (so that you can save the data).

You need to have already compiled the list of databases linked to the project in the Data Management window.

If you decide to use the Control Panel in WebSite X5 to manage comments, for this Object to work correctly, the page it is inserted in must be saved as a .PHP file.

Use the File Name Format option in the Page Properties | Expert window to specify page formats.

Furthermore, if you are using the built-in  Comment management system of WebSite X5, as well as the online Control Panel, comments can also be managed via the WebSite X5 Manager app for iOS and Android. You can use the commands in the Control Panel and WebSite X5 Manager window to install the app and enable push notifications.

You can choose to have push notifications sent automatically to the website administrator by the app each time a new comment is published.

 


Best practices:

-

How to manage comments in the Blog and Guestbook from the online Control Panel


Further information:

-

The online Control Panel and the WebSite X5 Manager app