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- The best scripts also send an email to webmaster so he knows someone signed.
- A guestbook absolutely must be moderated. Any guestbook which does not allow for moderation must be discarded.
- The better scripts will filter out curse words.
When you design your site, you should include an easily found link to guestbook on every single page. Believe me, if your visitors want to say something good about your site you should make it easy for them to do so. The link can be anywhere ... just be sure to place it in same location on every page.
Once a guestbook has been selected and installed, it must be maintained. This is where game gets a little interesting. Here's what happens.
1) Someone visits your site, likes what he sees and navigates to your guestbook. He writes a comment and submits his entry.
2) Your guestbook script should send him an acknowledgement (assuming he included his email address). The acknowledgement must not be a blatant advertisement for your affiliate programs or products. It's purpose is to thank your visitors for their comments and to remind them to return to your site. You can also let them know of other features of your site that they may find of interest.
3) NEVER send more than one email to your visitor from a guestbook signing. One email is polite. More than one email is spam. The only exception to this is when visitor specifically asks you a question or asks for your response.
4) NEVER add your visitor's email to your mailing list because he signed your guestbook. This is spam.
5) Your script should also send you an email so that you know someone has signed. Read message and determine if it is appropriate for your site. If so, add message. If not, delete it.
You should moderate your guestbook, as you want to be sure that only comments that are appropriate end up being made public. This is a very critical part of guestbook maintenance. Guestbooks are intended to positively reinforce your work - not tear it down. You can feel free to delete any and all negative messages.
Another type of message that I usually delete immediately is pure advertisement. Guestbooks can provide links back to sites, but that is not their primary purpose. Leave advertisements to classified and free-for-all link pages.
I would be very cautious about making any changes to anything in a guestbook. This is a place for visitors to post comments (generally positive ones) about your site and it's contents ... it is not your editorial page.
Properly used, a guestbook is a useful and easy way to enhance your site and make it more friendly to your visitors. These scripts give your visitors a way to publicly post positive comments about your works for world to see. That in itself can be very useful and helpful.
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge. Web Site Address: http://www.internet-tips.net Weekly newsletter: http://www.internet-tips.net/joinlist.htm Daily Tips: mailto:internet-tips@GetResponse.com