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Author Topic: Guestbooks - what do you use?  (Read 688 times)
fatgrrlz
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« on: July 29, 2023 @747.60 »

I've been thinking about implementing some kind of guestbook in my website and that got me wondering.

If you have a guestbook on your website, what do you use? Do you host your own guestbook (if you host your own website as well), or do you use a website like SmartGB that provides it for you? Do you like the solution you use?
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2023 @756.78 »

123guestbook.com! works great for me.
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2023 @759.63 »

I currently use 123Guestbook for my site as well, but I have been considering of replacing it with Ayano's comment section widget.

If you wish for more recommendations, there's Cbox, HTML Comment Box and Disqus (I guess). However, I would personally suggest checking out Ayano's widget. It's great! :ha:
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2023 @861.03 »

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fatgrrlz
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2023 @927.19 »

I currently use 123Guestbook for my site as well, but I have been considering of replacing it with Ayano's comment section widget.

If you wish for more recommendations, there's Cbox, HTML Comment Box and Disqus (I guess). However, I would personally suggest checking out Ayano's widget. It's great! :ha:

I forgot about Ayano's widget. I think with how my site is that may work best.

https://github.com/ThatRoboticFish/minigb

https://geckof.dimension.sh/blog/pay-to-have-https-on-a-guestbook.html please avoid smartgb if possible

Yikes! Didn't realize something as important as HTTPS is locked behind paywall... :tongue:
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xandra
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2023 @942.50 »

i use smartgb, though custom guestbooks are super cool! lostletters has a unique guestbook setup that's pretty neat! (check the Q&A tab!)

def don't want to hijack this thread, but wanted to chime in on this:

https://geckof.dimension.sh/blog/pay-to-have-https-on-a-guestbook.html please avoid smartgb if possible

is the problem here just that they're charging for a premium product? as someone who paid the $14.95 annual fee for smartgb's premium version, i stand by doing so even though i could set up a free or self-hosted option. (and i still might someday!) i also pay $5 a month for neocities supporter even though i'm paying dreamhost for other websites and could wrap up my site in that hosting instead. if i'm using a product that has a premium version and i see a larger value in what the service is doing, i'll pay for it because i have the ability and i want to support projects, especially ones that serve "this side of the web."

it is very hard to get monetary support for projects (just look at cohost, which has been financially failing because folks aren't supporting it). the sad reality is that web services need people to pay or donate to them in order for the projects to stay alive. i'm paying $14.95 a year because it's ultimately a $1.25 donation a month so that new web hobbyists who don't know how to make a guestbook or may be getting into web-building have an option for a guestbook. it's a small thing, but these services die out once the money runs out. it's happened so much already to services over the past 20 years time and time again.

i find that alongside these conversations, there's often hang-ups about web services that a) people are entitled to other's labor for free and without needing to support anything, and b) that if someone does charge or ask for money, that they have ulterior motives or they're selling out in some way. most projects that are free with no freemium features, no strings attached, no data collection, etc., die out fairly quickly and become abandonware unless they're open-source, self-hosted, and forked to maintain, which requires additional learning and lift. even self-hosting services becomes expensive at a certain point due to bandwidth and traffic and money comes into play again. this community depends a lot on the internet archive for instance, which is heavily reliant upon donations in order to exist. how do you incentivize people to donate? offering features that do not exist on the free product.

unfortunately, web services are not held up by good vibes and solidarity. money has to pay for things like server space, but if they're also spending a lot of time developing it, i also want them to be able to support themselves as well. animosity toward services that charge for features that have additional lift (e.g. no ads, which helps pay for the service, or HTTPS, which can be exploited by mass spammers and phishers hosting embedded iframe guestbooks) feels misguided and extreme. if you can't pay for the services or don't want to, that's OK! nobody is saying you have to—but i hope this helps in understanding why folks pay for, and IMO should pay for, the services they enjoy using so they can stay alive. (at the end of the day, it's that person's money, right?)

in my opinion, the people who can support projects financially should. a lot of free digital services we enjoy are having to be paid for at some point.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2023 @945.19 by xandra » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2023 @974.83 »

is the problem here just that they're charging for a premium product?

no
I would rather be inundated with ads than use pathetic marketing tactics like the one I mentioned (and also because I don't trust them)

it is very hard to get monetary support for projects (just look at cohost, which has been financially failing because folks aren't supporting it). the sad reality is that web services need people to pay or donate to them in order for the projects to stay alive. i'm paying $14.95 a year because it's ultimately a $1.25 donation a month so that new web hobbyists who don't know how to make a guestbook or may be getting into web-building have an option for a guestbook. it's a small thing, but these services die out once the money runs out. it's happened so much already to services over the past 20 years time and time again.

bro, hosting/running an fucking stupid guestbook (and I MEAN for PERSONAL USE) where almost nobody will use it (based on how inactive are some) isn't expensive and there's also a lot of free alternatives out there lmao (like using GitHub, a JavaScript-based one as the one sent by someone here, via Discord Webhooks or just leave a chatbox, which seems to be used by everyone now as a replacement for these things) but I would prefer to host it myself (either locally or on a pubnix, which usually allow users on their web space to run small CGI/PHP scripts like I do) because you have more control on the backend
if you complain about that and don't want to believe in alternatives it's because you are lazy, simple

or HTTPS, which can be exploited by mass spammers and phishers hosting embedded iframe guestbooks

?????????????????????????

if the bots end up being a nuisance I'd rather block all IP addresses of host providers and VPNs and if needed also exclude my GB from search engines (with a noindex/nofollow metatag or robots.txt, because a guestbook shouldn't be listed on there in the first place)

you should also know better how a guestbook works inside before you throw out this nonsense argument
« Last Edit: July 30, 2023 @66.98 by GeckoF » Logged
Grimlock
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2023 @995.15 »

is the problem here just that they're charging for a premium product?

charging for a premium product is fine when its not having basic security measures online behind a paywall imo. guestbooks have lots of alternatives so you really have to make a premium product worth it over alternatives/self hosting a guestbook, because you'd want to be paying for convenience and not to prevent basic cybersecurity risks for guests on your site.
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kurohaato
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2023 @48.54 »

To answer the initial question(s): I use both a cbox and a smartgb guestbook. The guestbook I've had since last september-ish, and the cbox I got back in april. I get way more interaction with my cbox over my guestbook, but I still keep them both around. You kinda have to go out of your way to leave a message in a guestbook, at least compared to a chat box, so to me the messages I do get there feel extra special. :4u:
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xandra
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2023 @156.84 »

bro, hosting/running an fucking stupid guestbook (and I MEAN for PERSONAL USE) where almost nobody will use it (based on how inactive are some) isn't expensive and there's also a lot of free alternatives out there lmao (like using GitHub, a JavaScript-based one as the one sent by someone here, via Discord Webhooks or just leave a chatbox, which seems to be used by everyone now as a replacement for these things) but I would prefer to host it myself (either locally or on a pubnix, which usually allow users on their web space to run small CGI/PHP scripts like I do) because you have more control on the backend
if you complain about that and don't want to believe in alternatives it's because you are lazy, simple

i agree that hosting your own guestbook isn't expensive and that there are a lot of free alternatives out there. however, i do a lot of outreach and having accessible web services (meaning accessible to a broad audience of skill level) is important to me. having a variety is good, and having more services benefits everyone. it might be easy for you to code something, but that doesn't mean that it's easy for everyone. i'm interested in getting more people involved in the web hobby sphere, and that includes having web services that allow people to participate without having to learn how to deploy git. what might seem lazy to you might be the beginning stages for someone else; you never know what will spark folks into wanting to learn more. perhaps someone who started out using a free hosted guestbook becomes someone who wants more control over their guestbook, so they finally decide to learn how to host it themselves. but typically, someone isn't going to go from learning how to bold text to knowing how to find, set up, or code for that matter, scripting for a guestbook.

if the bots end up being a nuisance I'd rather block all IP addresses of host providers and VPNs and if needed also exclude my GB from search engines (with a noindex/nofollow metatag or robots.txt, because a guestbook shouldn't be listed on there in the first place)

you're coming at what i said from the user's perspective, i was referring to the service's perspective. i have no insight as to why they put HTTPS behind a paywall, but i can see the argument being made that if they had a problem with fraudulent users signing up for guestbooks to phish users by embedding them in HTTPS websites (via iframes, for instance, as you are unable to have an http iframe inside of a https website), they might make it harder for accounts to do that (i.e. a paywall). i wasn't referring to bots spamming a personal website's guestbook.

you should also know better how a guestbook works inside before you throw out this nonsense argument

this is super presumptuous about me and my history, and i wasn't attempting to argue with you! i only wanted to provide you with another person's perspective, so i hope this has been helpful. it's okay to disagree, by the way, without coming off as rude. like i said, i do not care whether you pay for anything, but no reason to criticize others for doing so.

for the record, you are coming off super aggro here and there's really no need! you threw out a point about something i happened to have insight on, and i was providing information to your point as you mentioned in the post you linked that you couldn't understand. i do not care one way or another if you want to pay for guestbooks personally. i'd wager that most people do not, and you should have no issues operating within the personal web space if you want to use a free guestbook. there's alternatives that allow for HTTPS if you prefer, as you mention. i'll just ask that you re-read my post now that you have additional context and seemed to miss what i was initially saying.

i apologize, i thought i was being helpful by providing a perspective you did not have. i'll call it there and hope you have a good day!

charging for a premium product is fine when its not having basic security measures online behind a paywall imo. guestbooks have lots of alternatives so you really have to make a premium product worth it over alternatives/self hosting a guestbook, because you'd want to be paying for convenience and not to prevent basic cybersecurity risks for guests on your site.

totally valid. i suspect, as i said above, that they had an issue with people using the HTTPS security illegitimately; it doesn't really make sense to put it behind a paywall otherwise.

to others, apologies for hijacking the thread! this became larger than i intended. i just personally use smartgb and have had no issues, but i think ayano's widget is super cool!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2023 @160.17 by xandra » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2023 @243.58 »

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if you complain about that and don't want to believe in alternatives it's because you are lazy, simple

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you should also know better how a guestbook works inside before you throw out this nonsense argument

Please note the language and tone used in this post is not ok! The post has been left in place to maintain context, however the posters account has been put on hold for the time being.

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