I took down my earlier shoutbox, which was using Wordspew, after two people used it as their personal chatboard-writing close to 200 exchanges on their personal lives. The only option for moderation in Wordspew was to require registration, which I do not want to implement because this is a single-author blog and I do not want other users registered in the system.
When I deleted the entries, I could no longer recover the earlier messages posted by readers because these had apparently been overwritten, Worspew stores only the last 35 messages.
I looked for other shoutbox programs and found a link to Smiletag, an open source PHP message box that also uses Ajax. I immediately installed and used the program (see sidebar). The program isn’t a WordPress plugin but it’s very easy to install and configure to work with WordPress.
* Templating with easy to modify templates
* Smart auto-refresh-refreshes whenever new message is posted
* Flat file storage: XML
* Profanity filters with facility to add own custom words to filter
* Flood guard
* IP Address/Nick banning with support for both manual and automatic banning
* Customizable smilies, you can add your own images as many as you want
* Time Zone Control, sets the time zone to any GMT offset
* Logging of visitor IP Address
To install Smiletag, you merely upload the files into your server and CHMOD the messages.xml to 666. After that, you copy three pieces of code and paste these into your header.php and sidebar.php files.
In the Smiletag website, you are told to change the smiletag-script.js locations in the code to smiletag/smiletag-script.js. I suggest you use the full URL: http://www.yourdomain.co/smiletag/smiletag-script.js because if you use smiletag/ as location, the tagboard will display a File Not Found error when you view your tagboard in individual pages and posts.
Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu. He has written and edited for such publications as The Freeman, The Independent Post, Today, Sun.Star Cebu, Cebu Daily News, Philstar Life, and Rappler.
He is also a mobile app and web developer and co-founded InnoPub Media with his wife Marlen.
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