Using the BellaBook Guestbook
If you were looking for the cPanel Guestbook script, you have been re-directed to this page because the current program is no longer operational with the current releases of cPanel. The following tutorial covers another free guestbook solution available to you through cPanel.
The following article uses a program called BellaBook Guestbook and will walk you through obtaining the software, installing it, and running it on your hosting account.
What is BellaBook Guestbook?
BellaBook is a simple PHP-based guest book program that you can run on your website. A guest book is simply a book that allows people to sign in and allow visitors to see who's come and visited your site. The BellaBook program allows this and also provides for comments, an email address and spam protection without using a database. The advantage to this is that the program is not dependent on the database server in order to run. The disadvantage would be that the program can only display a certain number of entries and would not have the search capabilities that a relative database can provide. There are many other guestbook programs that you can obtain if that is your primary need, but bear in mind that with added functionality you get more complexity. The BellaBook program is simple and meets the basic needs of a guestbook.
NOTE: BellaBook is available through Softaculous, but at this time the installation will not work in the latest version of cPanel (11.38 build 15). The installation instructions that follow will explain how to install it manually.
Installing and Configuring BellaBook
- Upload the BellaBook zip file.
- You can either extract the file locally on your computer, or you can upload the zip file and uncompress/extract the file within the cPanel File Manager. Doing this in the cPanel file manager would be much easier. If you extract it locally, then you will need to use an FTP client in order to move the extracted files and folders without any complications.
- Once you have the extracted BellaBook folder extracted, you will notice that by default a folder called "BellaBook" is created with all of the files in it. You can use this folder, or move all of the files into a different one. Note that the instructions from BellaBook's author can be found in the README.TXT file.
Look through the list of files that you uploaded (or extracted) and then look for the prefs.php. The text below is a copy of the contents of the prefs.php.
//----------------------------------------------------------------------------- // BellaBook Copyright Â© Jem Turner 2004-2007,2008 unless otherwise noted // http://www.jemjabella.co.uk/ // // This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify // it under the terms of the GNU General Public License. See README.txt // or LICENSE.txt for more information. //----------------------------------------------------------------------------- $title = "My BellaBook Guestbook"; // set your guestbook title here $admin_name = "admin"; // admin username $admin_pass = "password"; // admin password $admin_email = "firstname.lastname@example.org"; // admin e-mail address $admin_url = "http://example.com"; // your website url - used in guestbook footer $admin_gburl = "http://example.com/bellabook"; // your guestbook url - used in the sign notification emails $admin_sitename = "my site"; // your website name - used in guestbook footer $secret = "pleasechangeme"; // this is like a second password. you won't have to remember it, so make it long and random $dateformat = "d M y h:ia"; // date format, more details: php.net/date $stylecolor = "bigblue"; // bellabook theme (download more from jemjabella.co.uk/scripts) $showemail = "yes"; // show email addresses in guestbook - write yes or no $emailentries = "no"; // email new entries - write yes or no ($admin_email must be filled in, above) $emailrequired = "yes"; // make email field required - write yes or no $perpage = "5"; // Pagination - amount of entries per page. $smilies = "yes"; // convert text smilies like :) to images? - write yes or no // spam protection options $captcha = "no"; // captcha on? - write yes or no $moderate = "no"; // new entries have to be approved first - write yes or no $floodcontrol = "no"; // allow flood control? - write yes or no $allowlinks = "no"; // allow urls in comment; choosing no cuts down on spam
- You will need to set the following values (in the table below) by editing replacing each of the default values. You will need edit the file by using text editor like Notepad in Windows or the code editor available in cPanel under the File Manager. Replace the values by simply replacing the existing text within the quotation marks. For example, replace $admin_name="admin" with $admin_name="marktheadmin".
Admin name Administrator User name Password administrator password Admin_email email of the administrator Admin_url URL used for the website. This URL is displayed in the guestbook footer Guestbook URL Guestbook URL. This URL is used in the notification emails Website name Non-URL name of the website used in the guestbook footer Secret Second password used for security (per their documentation you don't need to remember it) Optional - dateformat Date format in PHP format. For more information go to php.net/date Optional - Stylecolor This is a color scheme for the application. You can get more from BellaBook website
- After your changes are complete, save the file
The next step in setting up BellaBook is to change the permissions on four of the text files files that were uploaded in the BellaBook directory:
Change the permissions from 755 to 666. You can easily accomplish this by using the cPanel File manager.
Using the Advanced options to help manage Guestbook entries
Bellabook controls entries by using the following options:
- Captcha - allows you to force a user to enter a code before they can place an entry in the guestbook
- Moderate - allows you set that all entries be approved by an administrator before they can be seen
- Floodcontrol - helps to provide a flood of entries into the guestbook
- Allow links - Allows URLs in the comment (defaults to NO in order to help cut down on spam)
These entries are found at the bottom of the prefs.php file. Simply change "no" to "yes" in order to activate the feature.
This completes the instructional tutorial on using the BellaBook Guestbook program. For more information on BellaBook, go to the their main website. This is a very basic program, but when running you will see that it looks something like this:
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2014-05-28 6:46 pm
Please note that the download link included in this article is not necessarily always the most up to date version of BellaBook. If in doubt I recommend sourcing from the github repository:
2014-05-28 8:11 pm
Hello Jem, and thanks for the comment!
Thanks a lot for pointing that out! I've gone ahead and updated the article to reflect that GitHub URL for the download link.
Also thanks for creating this awesome guestbook software so we have something to write about!