Should I use an unmoderated guestbook script?

We strongly recommend against using an unmoderated guestbook script (such as the FrontPage guestbook or "Matt's Guestbook") on your website.

An unmoderated guestbook script is one that allows visitors to post comments about your site without your review and without proving that they're human beings. Unfortunately, these types of guestbooks allow any stranger to submit any text, and spammers will take advantage of that to fill your guestbook with links to their sites.

Most of our customers who use unmoderated guestbooks have found their pages filled with thousands of messages advertising pornography, gambling, and prescription drugs. (Spammers use automated software to add guestbook entries much faster than a human being could do it.)

One alternative to an unmoderated guestbook is to use a feedback form instead. A feedback form allows people to send you comments, which you can then add to your website yourself if you wish.

Another alternative is to switch to a guestbook script that asks the visitor to type a special code from a picture to prove that he or she is a human being. For example, here is a modified version of "Matt's Guestbook" that does this. However, doing this will prevent visually impaired visitors from adding guestbook entries, so it's a good idea to include an alternate way for visually impaired visitors to contact you and add entries.