A ''real'' guestbook requires
software support on the server. There is no support
for guestbook with free pages. One can, however,
simulate aspects of a guestbook with a simple mailto:
or an elaborate mailto: form.
After reviewing the following material you may decide
that you need more that a free site and a packaged
solution for your guest book but methods to implement
guest books in your free page are provided for your
The simple mailto: is described above
while the form is described below:
First, here is an example forms based guestbook:
And here is the HTML which created it:
<H3>Welcome to my FAQs Guest Book. Please make
Please enter your name:
<P>Your E-mail address:
<P>Your City, State, and Country:
<P>How did you locate FAQs?
<SELECT NAME="reference" >
<OPTION>Just surfed on in
<OPTION>From Net Ministries home page
<OPTION>From the Church Directory page
<OPTION>Found you on a web search engine
<OPTION>A friend gave me your address
What do you think of FAQs?<BR>
CHECKED>I think it is great.<BR>
NAME="I_Think" VALUE="OK" >It
NAME="I_Think" VALUE="not sure"
>I am not sure.<BR>
<P>Please comment here. <TEXTAREA
---------END OF HTML-----------
This HTML will get a CGI ''POST'' string to you.
Below we will describe method(s) for decoding the CGI
string. First, let's look at the HTML example:
These two lines indicate the start and finish of the
form. In the ACTION string you will want to indicate
an e-mail address to send the form to. Please do not
send them to me by leaving this unchanged. You can
leave everything else the way it appears above.
Within the form text type HTML tags behave as you
This INPUT tag specifies a field to receive input and
defines its size (in characters). The NAME specifies
the name of the data so you will know which fields
received which data.
<SELECT NAME="reference" >
These lines bounds a listbox or a dropdown list. The
OPTIONS in the list are defined by OPTION tags as
<OPTION>The statement is True
<OPTION>No it isn't
Another form item is a variation of the INPUT tag. It
is the RADIO type. With this type you may specify a
list of choices of which only one may be choosen,
like a radio button. To do this you specify a list of
input statments like those above with
TYPE="radio". Notice that the variable NAME
for all these INPUT tags is set to the same thing
(I_Think). This is necessary so that the browser
knows which inputs are grouped as one set of radio
buttons. A VALUE is specified in each INPUT tag so
you will know which button was selected. One of the
INPUT tags has a CHECKED attribute specified. This
indicates that it is the initial button selected.
To input freeform text you can specify a TEXTAREA
like that below:
This TYPE specifies a freeform text entry box of the
dimensions specified in COLS and ROWS.
The final TYPEs are ''submit'' and ''reset''. They
create buttons that permit the form user to submit or
reset the form contents. See below:
Note that if you specify a VALUE then the label of
the corresponding button is the VALUE specified and
if no VALUE is specified then the label is the TYPE,
Decoding CGI data
Programs exist to decode this data. One such
program for Windows can be found HERE.
Another solution for those who use Word is a word
macro that you can download by Clicking Here.
The Pre-packaged Solution
As you can probably tell by now, the
do-it-yourself solution is not easy and brings with
it on-going maintenance issues. You may want to visit Guest World