flatPHPbook. A free PHP guestbook engine.

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No database needed!

In my opinion, this is the the biggest feature of all and the reason why I wrote this. You only need PHP version 4 installed because the guestbook stores all the posts in one single text file (which you could easily edit with a text editor of your choice if you wanted to).
This is especially useful if you want your own guestbook on your own homepage and you do not have MySQL available since you do not need it for anything else and it would cost just too much for "just a guestbook"!

Easy to localize / translate

The script reads all the language-specific content (yes, that is all text, all button descriptions, headlines, notifications, ...) from an external file. A default file for English is included, while German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Swedish and French can be downloaded as well. Please keep in mind that I personally only do the English default and the German versions, other languages might be released later on. If you want one in your own language, just open the default english.lang file and edit the phrases!
Of course, if you completely translate it to a new language, it would be nice of you to send it in, since then I could publish it here for everybody to use, with credit to you, of course!


BBcode is something well known from other web boards, discussion forums or guestbooks. It is used for letting the users format the posts or even enter links, e.g. [url]www.hettenhausen.net[/url] to create a link to www.hettenhausen.net - but without letting them include HTML in their text which could pose a potential security risk!

Email notification

If you want to, you can set the guestbook to send you, the admin, an email if a new post is made. This should work on both Unix/Linux and Win32 servers by using either the servers own MTA like Sendmail or Exim, or via plain SMTP.

Page spanning

You can choose to display all posts on one long page or split them onto more than one page if the number of total posts exceeds a set amount of posts per page - which is a number you yourself can set, of course!

Previewing the post

Before submitting the post, you can preview it with the same formatting used in the guestbook so you can see how the formatting is going to turn out as well as correct spelling mistakes. The script also notifies you via this mechanism if you did not fill in the required fields (a name and the message itself).

Supports custom Themes or Skins

The layout and style of the guestbook is created with an (annotated) external CSS stylesheet file, so if you know a little HTML and CSS, you can easily adopt it to your own styles. I plan to also make more styles than the default own available for download and already have one very different from that one in the works.

Admininstrator mode

You as the guestbook administrator can log into a special admin mode which allows you to delete unwanted posts, modify existing posts or even add your own comments to these posts! You can also configure the behaviour of the script via a simple web interface of course oyu can also just edit the configuration file manually).
This feature uses either Cookies (default) or PHP sessions, whatever works best for you.

Customizable behaviour

You can customize almost every feature of this guestbook: whether viewing and signing the guestbook is split onto two pages, whether the order the posts are to displayed is newest first or oldest first, whether the buttons for formatting the post with BBcode are displayed (and if so which of these), if you want to be notified via email for every new post made, how many posts fit onto one page, ...

Standards-compliant HTML used

The output the script produces (the HTML pages the browser displays) validates correctly as HTML 4.01 Transitional, and as far as I know it works with Mozilla, Internet Explorer, Opera, Konqueror in their current versions.

And all this is released under the GPL, so you can modify and redistribute it to your liking, as long as you use the GPL for it again!