SITE REVIEW: Bigwebmaster Guestbook Script

  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi guys, I recently upgraded the guestbook script to version 1.02 and the website has a completely new look:

http://guestbook.bigwebmaster.com/

I am not sure if any of you remember my old design, but if you have please let me know if you like this one better. What I am basically really looking for with this review are any problems you see, anything unclear, or something I could do to improve the website so that people can follow and understand it better.

Also if you have time on your hands I would greatly appreciate if any of you would try and download the guestbook script, and follow the instructions to try and install it on your server. My goal is to make it easy for anybody to install. I would like to be informed of any installation problems so that I can fix them. Here are the changes I made for this version:

Version 1.02
  • Changed tpassword.dat to gbpassword.txt since most ftp programs by default upload tpassword.dat in binary format which will cause problems.
  • Changed directory structure around so that admin files are in a directory called admin, data files are located in admin/data, template files are located in templates, and document files are located in docs, and global files in global. My main purpose for this change is to make it easy for people to change guestbook styles by simply deleting all the contents in the template directory and uploading a new template package.
  • Added .htaccess file to help people use the script outside of cgi-bin where by default they cannot.
  • Added another .htaccess file to the data directory to prevent direct web access to that area.


I also have changed the default template from this style:

Image

to this new style:

Image

How do you guys like the new style compared to the old?

Thanks again for any and all feedback. I appreciate it.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I'm not blind, so I can see it's definitely a major improvement! nice work BigWeb, very nice indeed.

One question...

The Country box & the two dropdowns are blue outlined, the rest are black.. Are they supposed to be? Or do they all change from black to blue once you type in them, or when you switch from the default option in the drop downs?
  • RichB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like the new design. I was able to download, upload to my server and configure in about five minutes using the default template, so the installation directions seem fine to me. One minor thing is that you have guestbook.dat, adminlog.dat, and id.dat listed on the installation page with the chmod numbers, but in the zip that I downloaded they are .txt files. Obviously not a big deal since the filenames are the same, but I thought I'd point it out.

I don't know if you might want to make it a little more clear what the benefits are to be had purchasing the script as opposed to downloading the free version.
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Axe wrote:
One question...

The Country box & the two dropdowns are blue outlined, the rest are black.. Are they supposed to be? Or do they all change from black to blue once you type in them, or when you switch from the default option in the drop downs?


Oh interesting. I see that now. Yeah I will have to fix that. Thanks for pointing that out. Good job at looking at the details :)
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

RichB wrote:
One minor thing is that you have guestbook.dat, adminlog.dat, and id.dat listed on the installation page with the chmod numbers, but in the zip that I downloaded they are .txt files. Obviously not a big deal since the filenames are the same, but I thought I'd point it out.


Thanks, you guys are good at finding the details. They used to be .dat files but I changed them to .txt files to make sure people upload and download them in ASCII mode. I have just fixed that detail on the installation page:

http://guestbook.bigwebmaster.com/guest ... ation.html

Thanks for pointing it out :)
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

RichB wrote:
I don't know if you might want to make it a little more clear what the benefits are to be had purchasing the script as opposed to downloading the free version.


Well I was thinking about making a chart like many script sites do to point out the differences. However the chart would only have one line since the only difference is that the registered version does not have link backs to bigwebmaster.com and guestbook.bigwebmaster.com. So I am not sure that would fly. I will see what I can do. Thanks for the advice :)
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I do like the new design better. However, it's vaguely remeniscent of stock php stuff. I assume that's intentional? (I don't really like that trend, but I assume because it's so easy it's popular).

I was going to comment on the dropdown arrow colors too. My thought on that was that there was an earlier post (not sure where it is right now) in design somewhere on how to gain that effect on a website. I can't seem to find the link at the moment. I realize customizing the dropdown arrow image can be customized with programming script. I and others were wondering if it can be done in web pages. Any thoughts on that?
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Okay I fixed the country box so the outline is black. However, I do not think it is possible to change the color of the select boxes. I do not think CSS supports any attributes currently to change the colors for that. You can change sizes and text size in select boxes, but not outline colors. I remember I had done some research on it and came up with no results and had actually found posts saying it wasn't possible *yet. If any of you want to challenge me on this though, please do. I am fairly sure I am correct that I cannot change it from the blue outline.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I may not have made myself clear. In your old guestbook as well as your new one, the dropdown arrow graphic (which looks sorta on the XP side to me -- light blue with a black down arrow)

I think this is what this poster was asking about earlier:

http://www.ozzu.com/sutra40126.html#40126

I guess my question is how did you do that? If it was a script that called an API or graphic somehow, can that be used by some method to do what the poster in the link I provided wanted on a webpage? Did I make that more understandable?
  • RichB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I looked around last time that was posted and from everything that I read it cannot be done. I think the reason it looks that way is because the screen capture was done on xp.

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