myPHP Guestbook V. 4.10.5

FAQ - Frequently asked questions

 

Below are answers or tips to some questions that have been repeated over the years. Additions will follow if the occasion arises.


  • 1. Installation:

The error messages are usually due to the fact that the program cannot connect to the database. Two "classic" errors are the cause in most cases:

1. When entering the access data to the database (database host, database name, user name, password), a blank space is inserted unnoticed, usually at the beginning or end of the entry. This can most likely happen if the access data is not typed in, but inserted into the input fields by "copy and paste".

Solution: The avoidance of this error is obvious.

2. Another reason that can be encountered from time to time may be the password for database access. If this password contains special characters such as $ or / or similar, it is possible that these are masked by the installation script and thus the password is falsified.

Solution: Change the database password so that it contains no special characters or only the special characters that the program displays as being problem-free. When entering potentially problematic special characters, the input field is highlighted in red and marked with a warning symbol. When moving the mouse over the warning symbol, the unproblematic characters are displayed.

The session necessary for logging in cannot be created, the necessary directory on the server is missing. This is a problem that occured in the early days of myPHP Guestbook, but is very rare today.

Solution: See the description in the "ReadMe.pdf" attached to the download.

In principle, this is possible. The data of the SQL table with the guestbook entries must be imported for it from the table of the "old" guestbook into the appropriate table of the myPHP Guestbook.

The difficulty here is that practically every provider of such a PHP Guestbook Script uses their own names (labels) for the corresponding table and their respective columns with the User names, Times, Posts and so on. Therefore, using a simple backup of the "old" table to import the data into the "new" table will not work because the labels do not match.

Solution: Mr. Pierre Linssen (Netherlands) has taken the trouble to write a tutorial describing step-by-step how to perform such a data transfer quickly and easily using the program "phpMyAdmin" provided by practically every provider. You can find these instructions here as a printable PDF file.


  • 2. Usage:

This is a critical point that is asked for again and again, although its avoidance has been described repeatedly in the "Help" for the myPHP Guestbook as well as in the guestbook on this website. During the installation of the myPHP Guestbook, the system automatically checks whether the connection to the installation file is via a secure https connection or not. The result of this check is saved in the configuration file. If a switch from "http" to "https" is made subsequently, the internal links of the Guestbook must be adjusted according to the specifications in the configuration file.

Solution: Download the file "config.inc.php" from the directory "includes" from the server to your own computer. Open the file with an editor. Change the path for the variables $url and $url02 from "http" to "https", save the change, reload the file to the server. That's it.

Same cause and identical solution as the question before, see above.

Yes, the predefined protection after an installation, that every newly uploaded image and every image posted in a guestbook entry is initially blocked and only becomes visible after the individual case has been checked and approved by the admin, can be deactivated if desired.

Solution: See the instructions in the "More configuration options" section under the "Help" link in the admin panel.

If a new version of the myPHP Guestbook receives a new CSS file, then only because this is considered necessary, e.g. because new functions have been added that affect the display on the screen, because optical features have been added or display deficiencies have been corrected. To ensure that the calling browsers also load and use the new CSS and not the old file from the cache, not only the content respectively code is simply changed, but the file is also given a new name.

To continue using the earlier CSS file, it would either have to be renamed to the current name or the path for inclusion would have to be adjusted accordingly. Whoever does this, however, should not be surprised or complain about subsequent deficiencies in presentation.

It is basically neither advisable nor necessary to make any changes to the outsourced, external CSS file. This makes an update of the script unnecessarily difficult and complicated. Every individually desired adjustment of one or more styles can (and should!) be done in the admin area under the block "CSS Style" and there the link "Edit Style". This also applies to styles that are already contained in the external file. This is because the code that is set under "Standard Style" in the admin panel is read in after the external file and thus overwrites any other styles in this outsourced CSS.

This stereotypically repeated request is the classic. For understandable reasons, I will not put a to-do list on the net at this point. - Therefore, here are just two hints for now:

1. Check your e-mail box once in a while.

2. If you only forgot your password, but at least know your username and the admin email address, you can get a replacement password after three unsuccessful login attempts using the "Forgot password" function.

For what goes beyond that: Contact me.

No, a captcha or any security queries, calculation tasks to be solved or similar are not necessary. The built-in automatic spam filter reliably checks entries in the guestbook for typical characteristics of spam when clicking on the button to enter/save and reliably prevents critical bot entries.

And please: If you are reading this now, you don't need to sit next to it to prove that you are still capable of posting any brainless crap. - The spam filter is designed to prevent automated bot submissions, not to protect against human spinners. The latter cannot prevent a captcha either.

If an older version of the myPHP Guestbook is installed and suddenly stops working, the reason is usually that the provider has switched to a newer, more current PHP version. E.g. the PHP versions 7.0, 7.2 and 7.4 marked some functions in PHP as deprecated or partly removed completely from PHP, which are still needed in the old guestbook versions.

This problem can be avoided if the latest version of myPHP Guestbook is always installed and, if necessary, an appropriate update is performed. Which PHP version is compatible with which version of the myPHP Guestbook can also be checked HERE.

There are two possible reasons why the automatic e-mail sending provided by the program for certain actions may not work:

1. The deposited email address of the Admin contains a spelling or typing error. Please check it, also for incorrectly saved blanks and correct them if necessary.

2. The most common cause, however, lies elsewhere:

The myPHP Guestbook uses the function "mail()" implemented in PHP for sending mail. Some providers restrict this function. This can be done in different ways.

Sometimes simply the number of mails generated and sent this way with PHP within a certain period of time is limited, which is usually no problem for the use of the myPHP Guestbook, because the number of mails sent is limited.

Other providers have configured the server in such a way that the header of the mail must contain as sender a mail account that was created with the respective provider. - This is also unproblematic for the myPHP Guestbook, because the sender email address can be stored individually in the admin panel.

Repeatedly there was a problem with the automatic sending of mail also due to a possible setting at some providers to accelerate PHP applications. With one provider this is called "PHP Boost", with another "PHP turbo" or similar. This setting should be deactivated, which often solves the problem.

And finally, there are cases in which a provider has completely prevented the sending of mail with PHP. - Of course, this cannot be changed with the program. In this case, contacting the provider and asking them to release the "mail()" function can help.


  • 3. Privacy policy:

In the database table, in which the individual guestbook entries are stored, no IP is saved for the respective entry. As far as the IP of a visitor is recorded for certain functions to protect against misuse, this is usually only done anonymously and for a limited period of time in separate database tables. The anonymised IPs can no longer be personalised and can therefore not be assigned to any person or connection.

Only IPs of spam entries are saved in plain text for a limited period of time. This serves to protect legitimate interests. However, this function can also be deactivated in the admin area, so that no IPs are recorded at all, neither for spam entries nor in anonymous form.

The script myPHP Guestbook uses, depending on the configuration, up to four technically necessary session cookies, but only a maximum of two of them concern the "normal" visitors of a website. The other two concern only the admin and are only active within the admin area.

The maximum of two cookies, which can affect anyone, do not record any personal data of the user, but one contains only a session ID formed by the server, and the other contains the language setting chosen by the visitor, if applicable. Both cookies become ineffective and are deleted when the browser window is closed by the user. The setting of these cookies can also be completely deactivated by the admin. For further details see the section "Privacy and the myPHP Guestbook" under the link "Help" in the admin area.