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Phoca Guestbook Popular ComponentExtension Specific Addon

Phoca Guestbook is a Joomla! component. It is a simple guestbook with Captcha system.

- Joomla! 1.5, 2.5, 3


Demo (Joomla! 1.5):

Demo Phoca Guestbook and Joomla! 1.6:

Trying to prevent from spam

Please, read before making review based on spam issues

If you hate spammers, please don't blame Phoca Guestbook or other extensions which produce input form field on your site.

To not be spammed, you should make all the recommendations in this article:

and of course your server needs to have a lot of different tools to prevent from spam.

And you need to care about your inputs, because for example, you cannot prevent from human spammers automatically :-(

The situation with spam is really horrible (I know it from my experiencs where spam and ddos attacks makes my server down most of time)

If you have some input form, you need to care about it everyday.

Regarding Phoca Guestbook: I am regularly working on different protections for the Phoca Guestbook but reviews here based on spam issues (without reading the articles and making no other spam protections on the server) demotivate me like other "input form" developers. Maybe there will be nobody in the future who will do such extension because he/she will be blamed instead of the spammers :-( :-(

Phoca Guestbook is not the one who spams your sites, please think of it while making a review. And Phoca Guestbook is not the one who ignores the spam problems (just see the article and the features) but you should know that it is really difficult to fight the spam :-( :-(

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Reviews: 10
I upgraded my guestbook to Joomla 3.3 and the latest phoca guestbook and all items did not display in the correct order anymore. Even after one week of talking to phoca I was not able to get the items in date order. In the end I had to use another component.
Owner's reply

Hi, as written in Phoca Forum, if you want to change ordering, you need to set if ASC (ascending) or DESC (descending)

- Order by
- Order direction
- Order direction for comments


order by DATE - of course - this does not change anything until we will say what we exactly want, so we set:

Order direction: ASC - we have set ordering ascending and we can set ordering descending

If we want to change ordering, we must say how we want to have it, it means, we first set:

by which value we will order - if by DATE or USERNAME but this is very important, we need to say, we want order it ASCENDING or DESCENDING

I don't understand this review and I don't understand why did you do? I can record step by step instruction how to set it and record how it normally works. So this is definitely not a problem of the component. Of course I cannot say what exactly the problem was in your case when you cannot wait for the step by step solution in Phoca Forum.

This is really something wrong in our world - when we don't want to solve our problems but our goal is to make a complaint about the problem.

We don't accept that we can use free extensions with free support and get free time by the extension developer but if the developer waits e.g. one or two days with the answer (do you really think that you get answer in minutes by something what is done in free time? No such way it does not work, I need to go to my regular work, so I can then do free extensions) we just will make a complaint in other forum.

Normally, I am trying to solve user's problem step by step in the forum - asking the details of problems and suggest possible solutions and this takes some time but this requires patience.

So I really don't understand this :-(

Reviews: 5
Although I don't recommend to use guestbooks on any site, I think this is one of the best solutions of that kind.
Reviews: 2
I use this extension already for several years now and the new Phoca Guestbook works good with the new Joomla 3.x CMS.
Reviews: 4
Phoca Guestbook is an excellent component. I use it for past 4 years, and it didn't fail it's purpose so far.

The component is easy to install. You can set colors easily in configuration options, without need of editing .css files. Same goes for turning on/off other parameters.

I use this component with Phoca Guestbook Latest Entries Module and both, the component and module meet and exceeded my expectations.

If I had question regarding the component I could easily find answer in the detailed Documentation or Phoca Forums. The developer himself replies really quick on support questions too.

I worked with Joomla 6+ years and this Guestbook is easily my favorite, I'd recommend it to anyone who is searching to use Guestbook on their / client's Joomla website.
Reviews: 4
This component working great in my site, but i hope there is an option to reply to a certain message for an update version later
Reviews: 12
If you want an easy and effective guestbook you have to install Phoca Guestbook.
Reviews: 1
I have used this for two sites. Overall, I like the customization options, appearance, and ease of installation. However, the spam is amazing, and none of the options I've tried has made a difference. Some don't appear to work. I've used all the options for captcha, did not allow urls in text (still coming through). When people have commented on this, just referred to the same spam documentation. It's obviously a significant problem with this extension. I also have a problem with the form always showing when it should only show when a link is clicked. Others have also reported this, but the developer seems to be unable to fix this. Wish these items could be fixed -- love it otherwise, but these two issues are a problem.
Owner's reply

Hi, regarding spam, see above (in description of the extension).

Unfortunately, I cannot fix human behaviour. Spammers like all kind of form input fields and all kind of form input fields are spammed. :-(

But really no idea what is wrong on your server. For example, Akismet removes over 95% of spam (including human spammers) in my guestbook. :idea:


Reviews: 4
I would give this extension a excellent rating except that it doesn't work on Android phones. My guests can only type in the Subject box but no keyboard comes up when trying to type in the comment box.
Owner's reply

Hi, Phoca Guestbook works on Android with e.g. Firefox or Chrome. If you are using some browser which is not supported by tinymce editor, you can disable the editor in backend.


Reviews: 2
I started using this extension some time ago. I have kept up with any updates. I have worked with the spamming information they provided. In the past month, I have received thousands and I mean thousands of spam messages. It is hard to find the good ones among the spam. I have changed the different captcha items, randomized it and still the spam pours in. I have used the IP blocking section and I cannot keep up with inputting all the new IPs into it. I am not sure it is even working or I have missed a comma somewhere that has messed things up. I really did like this extension, but I cannot keep up with the spam. If they ever implement a way to quickly block an IP from the message, I would consider using them again. Overall this extension blended in well with the look of my website, but I just cannot deal with the popularity that has come with spammers of late.
Reviews: 8
Whatever you try, you're prone to get spammed if you install this, whatever measures you take. Spam is made through whatever backdoors this extension may prvoide, you'll never know how it comes, but its there. I've had enogh and I'll never recommend this again - nor do I install it - a least not until I hear that it's been vastly improved.
Owner's reply

Hi Chris, before making this review without any information and without any useful goals, please see:

Every input field on your site of course needs to be protected (guestbook, forum, contact) so set the guestbook right way.

What you mean with backdoors?

As written everywhere. IF YOU OR ANYBODY ELSE KNOWS THE BACKDOORS IN Phoca Guestbook, then just let me know. I WILL BE THE FIRST WHO WILL APPRECIATE SUCH information and will fix it. But until know, everybody is speaking about "backdoors" but nobody has any idea what exactly is the backdoor.

On Phoca Forum, you can see, that most of case, the problem was not by the guestbook itself but by other parts on the server, etc.

Of course, one of the method how to add a spam to the site, is through human spamming. But there is no protection for human spamming. If you have site with input fields, you will allways get such type of spam. I get every day over 50 human spams in my forum. I will never write a review of phpBB that it is not good software :-(

Thank you for understanding.

Reviews: 1
It is amazing,without doubt ! It works just as it has been illustrated.I will advise anyone to try it out with no regret.
Thanks for your good contribution to joomla family.
Reviews: 2
I've installed the PhocaGuestbook on 2 sites, 1.5 and now 2.5, and it works well on both. Installation and configuration was quick and easy. The reCaptcha seems to stop some spammers, but of course not all. There will always be those who like to spoil things.
I would not hesitate to recommend this component that I'm very pleased with, and the added bonus is that it's free. A big thank you for this guestbook!
Reviews: 15
I using this extension for pretty long time. While it was on joomla 1.5 it was definitely not best, but it got much better with Joomla 2.5
I generally don't have problem with this extension at all except...SPAMMERS! Oh, i don't know how but they bypass reCaptcha and sending tons of spam...
I know it's not extension problem, but everyone who wants guestbook should be ready to deal with spam.
Owner's reply

Hi, answered many times in forum and many times here (see below for more information about spam)

Every site which gets input from users and is known, it will get spam attacks (for example, I am solving now problems with over thousands attacks in few minutes on one server - no joomla, no phoca guesbook - easy html site with input :-( )

So protection against spam, attacks, etc. should be done mostly on server (e.g. with help of security modules on Apache, etc.) and needs to be checked regularly. :-( :-(


Reviews: 7
I have been using this guestbook extension for a number of years now and I really do like it. However, in the last year or two I am being plagued by spam Entries. Unfortunately the facility that the guestbook comes with to stop spam doesn't seem to work anymore. It would be great if the developer could work on developing a way of stopping spam Entries because believe me they are very annoying.
Owner's reply

Hi, see:


Reviews: 2
I found this extremely easy to deploy and configure; even for a non-technical person like me.
It looks good and professional, and is a real asset to my site.

Reviews: 4
Easy to install and setup, I like this extension very much. Had no problems with parameters, everything ok, I'd recommend this.
Additional goody: it's free!
Reviews: 2
have problem, only shift letters in input fields. And captcha is not work (because only shift).
Where is settings for shift and simple text input?
Owner's reply

Hi, I am sorry, but I don't understand what you mean with "shift letters". I think, this is should be a question for Phoca forum -

where you can get more advices.


Reviews: 9
This extension appears perfect for the job - very well put together, its quick, looks/functions great.

However, every site I install it on gets targeted by spammers within days. They don't reach the front end of the site as its set to require approval - but I've been suffering at least one spam an hour from every site its installed on, despite having ReCaptcha up and running.

This is seriously frustrating. I've had 2 complaints from clients, who, like me, don't have time to battle this imminent spam torrent. Simply put myself and clients have extra work to do now moderating spam every few hours. This is simply not acceptable.

If the spam issue was addressed (!out of the box!) I would give it 5 stars. As it curently stands, I'm not exactly queuing up to use it on my next site...

1 in 7 posts on Phoca's Guestbook forum are about spam. 665 posts. Of my last 7 emails received to my main inbox, 4 are spam from Phoca guestbook - from just ONE site.

Phoca should really nail this problem. Its hurting their otherwise perfect software.
Owner's reply

Hi, every new version of Phoca Guestbook gets some new feature of specific spam protection. I am using different products (forums, comments, etc. by external application) and everyday I fight spam - all website inputs made by different application get spammed, see:

I am using phpBB and it is great software, I have installed over 8 different spam protection methods there and get about 10 spams per days there and over hundreds attempts to spam it. phpBB is great software and I will never review it bad because of some stupid spammers (who of course are allways ready to cross every spam protection - as mostly spam is done by human spammers)

So yes, every new version gets new spam protection methods but ... just read the article mentioned above :-(


Reviews: 1
I like this extension and have been running it for over a year on my site. Very easy to use. I have recently, however, experienced a fair amount of spam despite using captcha. I have found a solution, a php program that analyses visitors activities and checks their IP against databases of known offenders. I tried to register on your forum to spread the word but it was offline due to too many spammers attempting to get in!
Reviews: 8
Like Phoca gallery : a good and easy extension.
Good support too
Does its job.
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