Frequently Asked Questions
1. I am receiving an HTTP 500 Internal Server Error when attempting to browse to the folder where the script is installed.
This error may mean that your server does not allow .htaccess overrides. Check the Apache error log; it may contain a more specific error message that will help identify the issue.
2. The challenge verification code does not display; I get a broken image instead.
It is possible that GD lib is either not installed or not enabled. The following link describes how to enable GD lib.
How do I get GD to work with PHP
Also, if you have customized the script, make sure that you are not outputting any content directly from the index.php controller script, as this may interfere with its ability to send the necessary HTTP headers and binary content. Customizations to the HTML should be made via the template files, not by editing the index.php controller script.
If all else fails, check the Apache log for any error messages that might help diagnose the problem. Also, try cutting and pasting the image URL into your browser address bar and loading it to see if you can view an error message.
If you are unable to get the challenge image working, the challenge-response test can be disabled by setting the $CHALLENGE_ENABLED variable to FALSE in config.php.
3. When attempting to add a guestbook entry, I receive an error such as "Unable to create guestbook file in data folder", "Unable to open guestbook file for writing," or "Unable to open lock file."
This usually means that the "data" folder, or one of the files inside of it, does not have write permissions enabled. On a UNIX server, the permissions can be changed with the "chmod" command.
4. I get the error message "Unable to send notification."
The notifications feature depends on the PHP mail functions being available. If you are getting this message, more than likely they are not. The following page discusses the requirements of these mail functions:
5. I am attempting to use non-ASCII (i.e. non-English) characters in the configuration or template files, but they do not show up correctly in the web browser.
In order to use non-ASCII characters, you must configure your text editor to save the file using UTF-8 encoding. It is also recommended that you save it without a BOM (byte-order mark), since some configurations of PHP do not handle the BOM properly. Notepad++ is an example of a text editor that has this capability.
6. How do I make it so that the dates are formatted in another language?
Try adding a line to config.php to set the locale, e.g.:
See the following page for more information about
7. How do I access the Administration Panel?
By default, the Administration Panel is accessed by browsing to the "admin" folder beneath the folder where DRBGuestbook is installed, for example:
If this does not work, it may mean that the admin folder is either missing, or was been renamed to something else by the person who installed the guestbook.
8. When I attempt to log into the Administration Panel, it just sends me back to the login page.
This probably means that the cookie is not getting set. Make sure that you have cookies enabled on your browser, and that you have disabled any browser plug-ins or other software that could be blocking the cookie.
9. How do I upgrade to the latest version of DRBGuestbook?
The README.TXT file that is included with DRBGuestbook contains instructions for upgrading your existing installation.
10. Is there a way to disable the pending approval feature?
Yes, set $MODERATION_ENABLED to FALSE in config.php to disable the moderation features. New posts will appear immediately after this change is made.
11. I am getting a lot of spam in my guestbook. What can I do?
DRBGuestbook contains a variety of features intended to reduce the amount of spam in your guestbook. That being said, no method of filtering spam is 100% effective. However, there are a number of settings in the config.php file that you can modify in order to fine tune the anti-spam features of DRBGuestbook; these settings are listed below. Note that you may need to upgrade to the latest version of DRBGuestbook in order to utilize some of these settings.
- Set $MODERATION_ENABLED to TRUE in order to require manual approval of all posts before they are displayed.
- Set $CHALLENGE_ENABLED to TRUE to enable the verification code.
- Increase the value of $MIN_POST_DELAY and/or decrease the value of $MAX_POST_DELAY; this may prevent some spam bots from posting.
- Increase the value of $MIN_COMMENTS_LENGTH.
- Set $PREVENT_URLS_IN_COMMENTS to TRUE. This will block spam postings that contain URLs.
- Disable the URL field by setting $ENABLE_URL_FIELD to FALSE.
- Use the "bad words" filter, accessible via the Administration Panel, to block posts containing questionable words that you find in spam postings.