Adding Guest Book and Forum to web page?

  Paul-has-more-of-a-clue...:@) 12:15 04 Feb 2005

Hi Gang,
Ho can I put a guestbook and a forum into my site?

Thaks all

PS I am developing using Netscape Composer)

  igk 19:49 05 Feb 2005

I would suggest using a third party Guestbook and Forum,just do a google search on either,most are very good and they save a lot of work especially forums as I understand that there can be legal implications so they have to be monitored/moderated 24/7.Hope this helps.

  Taran 21:46 05 Feb 2005

First you need to find out what your web host supports. Any good guestbook and forum application will require CGI/Perl or PHP to run.

You can get ASP and other languages, but the majority of web hosts run Linux/Apache web servers and most of them support either or both CGI and PHP.

Assuming you have the necessary support from your web host you can use any of the many free applications from a number of sources. Try these links to get you up and running:

CGI and Perl guestbooks: click here

CGI and Perl forums: click here

PHP guestbooks: click here

PHP forums: click here

Remotely hosted guestbooks: click here

Remotely hosted forums: click here

Note that remotely hosted applications are, as the name suggests, hosted for you on a different web server to your site. They usually cost money or, if supposedly free, they demand advertising space in return for your use of the script. This means you will have to feature whatever adverts the remote host wants to put on your pages - you don't get a choice in the matter - and you also have no control over how the remote host uses your members details for their own purposes.

Finally, guestbooks are all well and good (I never use them) but they serve little purpose on their own. Forums have their own range of headaches, not least of which is the potential minefield of anyone posting something offensive, defamatory, libellous or otherwise illegal. You are responsible for the content of your own site, so make sure you know what you are letting yourself into before allowing every man and his dog to post what they like on it.

A good forum depends on the people who frequent it as well as the people who run it. Nothing looks quite as sad as a forum with half a dozen registered members and no regular traffic, so think on it long and hard before taking the plunge. If your site enjoys a healthy volume of traffic it may benefit from a discussion board. If your site has relatively few visitors a discussion board on its own is not going to attract more in. Content does that.

  Paul-has-more-of-a-clue...:@) 18:54 07 Feb 2005

Ironically I have already set up what 'forum member' suggests, but glad of the advice on forums...

Just have to work out best way of getting my site ....OUT THERE and SEEN...:@)

  MegaManExtreme2005 22:16 07 Feb 2005

I'm about to build my site shortly and i need to know the HTML behind forums.

  Taran 01:07 08 Feb 2005

You may be better off starting a new thread if you want to chase a specific issue.

To answer your question, in brief at least, the pages that make up a forum are HTML. Almost all web pages you see are HTML of one sort or another (I am including XHTML in the HTML bracket). Some pages are XML but let's not go down that road just yet.

Forums usually run on a dynamic basis, which means they read the page content from a database and write to it when you or I post replies to threads. The dynamic web language used is processed by the web server which then spits out the web page as HTML to the browser that requested it.

You can get some forums that run using writeable text files instead of a fully blown database but they are pretty clumsy by comparison.

Try some of the links I posted above for some general information - HTML on its own though is static and is unable to produce a fully fledged forum system.

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