WordPress Guestbook Generator Plugin

I created a couple of posts that demonstrated how to make a WordPress Guestbook. Some of you might have found it a bit daunting, so here’s a plugin that will do everything for you!

Plugin Name: Guestbook Generator
Description: Generates a guestbook for WordPress blogs. Once activated, click on Options > Guestbook Generator.
Version: 0.8
Author: Andrew dela Serna
Notice: Compatible only with WordPress 2.1. Support for older versions will continue but updates/upgrades will be focused on the newest versions of WordPress. Scroll down to download Version 0.7 which is designed for Wordress 2.0.X.


1. No files to edit. Just upload the plugin, activate it then run the generator.
2. Guestbook template seamlessly integrates with your current theme.
3. When changing themes, simply run the generator to create the necessary files.
4. Like a true-blue guestbook, entries are arranged from newest to oldest.
5. Remember the time when guestbooks were the “in” thing? Hopefully this plugin will bring back the ol’ days. Hehe.


1. Download the plugin from http://www.alleba.com/blog/wp-downloads/guestbook-generator.zip. If you don’t want paged comments, download this one instead.
2. Extract and upload the contents of the archive to ‘yourserver.com/wp-content/plugins/guestbook-generator/’
3. Login to your WordPress admin panel and browse to the Plugins section.
4. Activate the Guestbook Generator plugin.
5. Go to Options > Guestbook Generator to create your guestbook.
6. That’s it!

On a side note, if you already followed my instructions from my previous posts, you have to delete your current guestbook page and guestbook template files (guestbook.php, guestcomments.php) for the plugin to work. However, I suggest that you stick to your guestbook if you already have a lot of people who signed it. You may use this plugin if you’re switching themes.

I have tested Guestbook Generator on a lot of themes. Some still required a little tweaking especially on the wording. You might want to check out my reloaded instructions if you decide to edit the files in the Theme Editor.

Lastly, since this is the initial release, I would love to hear your comments, complaints or suggestions. Hope you like it.

Update: There is an issue with the guestbook not being found/viewable right after generating it. I’ll fix this tomorrow. In the meantime, you can edit the guestbook and save it. That should do the trick.

0.2 Update: The above issue has been resolved and so far the plugin works perfectly in all the blogs I tested it on.

0.3 Update: Cleaned up some coding.

0.4 Update: Added better error handling. Reversed the order of comments from newest to oldest (Thanks Ulaan B.)

0.5 Update: Even more error handling. Noted issues with the older Default theme and K2 theme.

0.6 Update: Corrected to avoid errors with K2 theme.

0.7 Update: Fixed some replacement mechanisms that will avoid errors with any theme.

0.8 Update: Solved compatibility issues with WordPress 2.1.

0.9 Update: Added paged comments functionality. Requires the Paged Comments plugin.

Version 0.7 for WordPress 2.0.x
For those experiencing problems with chmoding your theme folder, please download this version (WordPress 2.0.x)


  1. Hi,
    Great plugin, no problem to install it on my website. I would like to knov how is it possible to change the order of the “post” : the older at the end of list, not at the beginning (not a list like : 1-2-3-4, but a list like : 4-3-2-1). Like this, you can read the last comment immediatly.
    Thanks a lot, kinds regards,

  2. Hi Ulaan, I implemented your idea into the plugin. Please install the latest version, delete guestbook.php and guestcomments.php from your current theme folder and run the generator again. Don’t delete your guestbook page.

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  4. I wish there was a language file for this plugins! I would like to translate it to Hebrew and my only option currently is hard-coding the translations..

  5. Hi Sarit! Sorry for the inconvenience. I might be able to implement other languages soon, but I’m not familiar with Hebrew.

  6. @Kristin: Yes it does use the usual comments system and will work with Akismet if you have it installed.

  7. greatest plugin!!

    only one thing: how can i put another order to the comments? the newest always on the top?

    kind regards


  8. Just what I was looking for, as my old guestbook script was vulnerable and I was always getting spammed. I am going to install it ASAP. I wish I could import those 400-something comments from the old GB, but guess I’ll just make archive pages;) Thank you so much!

  9. Hi,
    I’m getting the following error when I visit my guestbook page:

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING in /home/klinehom/public_html/wp-content/themes/k2/guestcomments.php on line 26

    Any suggestions? Thanks! Evan

  10. Hi Evan. Can you email me the file so I can take a look at it? — andrew at alleba.com … I tried it on the K2 template, but didn’t encounter your error.

  11. I`m using the Misty 101 Theme and got this message: “The required template files were not found in your current theme. Guestbook cannot be generated.” What do i have to do?

  12. You can try copying index.php and saving it as single.php. Run the generator and tell me how it goes.

  13. This is excellent- I have so been needing a guestbook- this is perfect. Thank you.
    I have one problem though. I am using WP2.0 with the 3c-blackletterhead-1.0 theme. The plugin installed with no problem but there is no where for a reader to click to leave their comment. Am I doing something wrong?

  14. Actually, I got it to work, I removed the whole thing and reinstalled. It did not create the guestcomments.php and guestbook.php files. I made those manually via your other guide.

  15. Hi!

    Migrating my current webpage and guestbook to WordPress and your plugin helped me a lot.

    However, I was wondering if me migrating screwed something up or if it is not possible to show only a subset of guestbook comments, say 10, and then be able to walk back-and-forth (i.e. previous and next)?

    With 396 comments it takes a while…


  16. What a beautifully simple idea!

    Is the plugin supposed to change the line:


    Without the help from “How to Create a WordPress Guestbook Reloaded”, I would not have been able to edit the guestbook.

  17. the above should read:


    From step number ten in “How to Create a WordPress Guestbook Reloaded”

  18. hi Andrew, great work! thanks for this great plugin.. one thing though, how do I remove the “Posted by… on…” on top of the guestbook page? Also, like other post that has “filed under” a category, the guestbook page also has “filed under” a category. How can I remove those so it really looks like a page, not a post?


  19. Hi, I ran into the same problem as Evan said above:
    “Parse error: parse error, unexpected T_STRING in /home/conniesl/public_html/blog/wp-content/themes/k2/guestcomments.php on line 26”
    It looks like you have solved Evan’s problem, but how could I make it? Thanks! ^_^

  20. Hi, I noticed the following error:

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING in /home/www/dae6f20f31415ca73b20394922f2ef9e/web/blog/wp-content/themes/gluedideas_subtle/guestcomments.php on line 25

    What can I do ??

  21. very cool. Be sure to “chmod 777” your theme directory (ie: themes/water), or else it will claim to have succeeded but files won’t be created.

    feel free to check out my custom version at wiredtom.com.

  22. @Dee Dee: The plugin looks for the single.php file inside your theme folder. If it doesn’t exist, the plugin won’t work.

  23. I get the follow error & wondering if you have any suggestions:
    Warning: fopen(/home/joben/public_html/barnes/wp-content/themes/default/guestbook.php) [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Permission denied in /home/joben/public_html/barnes/wp-content/plugins/guestbook-generator/guestbook_utility.php on line 27

    along with a page of subsequent warnings…

  24. Andrew, I figured out how to preserve my code, but that link is for the default theme. I am using the classic theme, and it doesn’t appear to have a new one. I tried another theme and it too doesn’t have the “single.php” code. So I guess I can’t use this unless I change my theme…

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