Gwolle Guestbook


Gwolle Guestbook is the WordPress guestbook you’ve just been looking for. Beautiful and easy.
Gwolle Guestbook is not just another guestbook for WordPress. The goal is to provide an easy and slim way to integrate
a guestbook into your WordPress powered site. Don’t use your ‘comment’ section the wrong way – install Gwolle Guestbook and
have a real guestbook.

Current features include:

  • Easy to use guestbook frontend with a simple form for visitors of your website.
  • List of guestbook entries at the frontend with pagination or infinite scroll.
  • Widget to display an excerpt of your last or your best entries.
  • Simple and clean admin interface that integrates seamlessly into WordPress admin.
  • Dashboard Widget to easily manage the latest entries from your Admin Dashboard.
  • Easy Import from other guestbooks into Gwolle Guestbook.
  • Notification by mail when a new entry has been posted.
  • Moderation, so that you can check an entry before it is visible in your guestbook (optional).
  • 5 anti-spam features, like Honeypot, Nonce, Akismet, Custom Quiz Question and CAPTCHA.
  • Simple Form Builder to select which form-fields you want to use.
  • Simple Entry Builder with the parts of each entry that you want to show.
  • Multiple guestbooks are possible.
  • MultiSite is supported.
  • Localization. Own languages can be added very easily through GlotPress.
  • Admins can add a reply to each entry.
  • A log for each entry, so that you know which member of the staff released and edited a guestbook-entry to the public and when.
  • IP-address and host-logging with link to WHOIS query site.
  • RSS Feed.
  • BBcode, Emoji and Smiley integration (optional).
  • Easy uninstall routine for complete removal of all database changes.

… and all that integrated in the stylish WordPress look.

Import / Export

You may have another guestbook installed. That’s great, because Gwolle Guestbook enables you to import entries easily.
The importer does not delete any of your data, so you can go back to your previous setup without loss of data, if you want to.
Trying Gwolle Guestbook is as easy as 1-2-3.

Import is supported from:

  • DMSGuestbook.
  • WordPress comments from a specific post, page or just all comments.
  • Gwolle Guestbook itself, with Export supported as well (CSV-file).


If you have a problem or a feature request, please post it on the plugin’s support forum on I will do my best to respond as soon as possible.

If you send me an email, I will not reply. Please use the support forum.


Translations can be added very easily through GlotPress.
You can start translating strings there for your locale. They need to be validated though, so if there’s no validator yet,
and you want to apply for being validator (PTE), please post it on the support forum. I will make a request on make/polyglots to
have you added as validator for this plugin/locale.


Check out the demo at


  • Frontend View of the list of guestbook entries. On top the button that will show the form when clicked. Then pagination. Then the list of entries.
  • Widget with different options.
  • Main Admin Page with the overview panel, so that you easily can see what's the overall status.
  • List of guestbook entries. The icons display the status of an entry.
  • The Editor for a single entry. The Actions are using AJAX. There is a log of each entry what happened to this entry.
  • Settings Page. This is the first tab where you can select which parts of the form to show and use.
  • Dashboard Widget with new and unchecked entries.


How do I get people to post messages in my guestbook?

You could start by writing the first entry yourself, and invite people to leave a message.

Which entries are visible on the Frontend?

Starting with version 1.0, the following entries are listed on the Frontend:

  • Checked
  • Not marked as Spam
  • Not in the Trash

Before that, in 0.9.7, all the ‘checked’ entries were visible.

I have a lot of unchecked entries. What do I do?
  • For the entries that you consider spam, but were not automatically marked as spam, you can manually mark them as spam, and they will not be visible anymore.
  • For entries that are not spam, but you still don’t want them visible, you can move them to trash.
  • The entries that you want visible, set them to checked.
I want to translate this plugin

Translations can be added very easily through GlotPress.
You can start translating strings there for your locale. They need to be validated though, so if there’s no validator yet,
and you want to apply for being validator (PTE), please post it on the support forum. I will make a request on make/polyglots to
have you added as validator for this plugin/locale.

What about Spam?

By default this plugin uses a Honeypot feature and a Nonce. If spambots try to post guestbook entries this should work sufficiently.

If you still have problems there are more options:

  • Honeypot feature: Hidden input field that only spambots would fill in.
  • Nonce: Will verify if you really loaded the page with the form first, before posting an entry. Spambots will just submit the form without having a Nonce.
  • Akismet: Third party spamfilter by Automattic. Works really well, but not everybody likes to use a third party service.
  • Custom Anti-Spam question: Use a simple quiz question to test if you are human.
  • CAPTCHA: Fill in numbers and letters from an image. This should be your last resort, since it has bad usability and will scare off some visitors.
I enabled the CAPTCHA, but I don’t see it in the form.

The CAPTCHA uses the one provided by the Really Simple Captcha plugin.
Please install and activate that plugin.

If it still doesn’t show, it could be that the plugin has no write permission in the ‘/tmp’ folder of the Really Simple Captcha plugin.
Please fix this in your install.

How can I use Multiple Guestbooks?

You can add a parameter to the shortcode, like:

[gwolle_gb book_id="2"]

This will make that page show all the entries in Book ID 2.

If you use the template function, you can use it like this:

show_gwolle_gb( array('book_id'=>2) );
With multiple guestbooks, how do I keep track?

There is no need to use id’s that are incrementing. If you have a lot of guestbooks on lots of pages,
you can just use the id of the post as the id of the guestbook. That way you won’t have double id’s.
You can set the book_id automatically to the post_id with this shortcode:

[gwolle_gb book_id="post_id"]
I don’t see the labels in the form.

This plugin doesn’t apply any CSS to the label elements. It is possible that your label elements have a white color on a white background.
You can check this with the Inspector in your browser. If that is the case, you have a theme or plugin that is applying that CSS to your
label elements. Please contact them.

I don’t get a notification email.

First check your spambox in your mailaccount.

Second, on the settingspage you can change the From address for the email that is sent.
Sometimes there are problems sending it from the default address, so this is a good thing to change to a real address.

There are also several SMTP plugins, where you can configure a lot of settings for email.

If it still doesn’t work, request the maillog at your hosting provider, or ask if they can take a look.

I want to show the form and the list on different pages

There are different shortcodes that you can use. Instead of the ‘[gwolle_gb]’ shortcode, you can use ‘[gwolle_gb_write]’ for just the form,
and ‘[gwolle_gb_read]’ for the list of entries.

There is also a widget that can display the latest entries in a widget area, that has many options. Alternatively you can use the shortcode ‘[gwolle_gb_widget] to display the latest entries in widget layout. Parameters are:

  • book_id, int with an ID.
  • num_entries, int with the shown number of messages.
  • num_words, int with the shown number of words per entry.
I want to show the form immediately, without the button

The shortcodes ‘[gwolle_gb]’ and ‘[gwolle_gb_write]’ have a parameter for the button. You can use them as ‘[gwolle_gb button=”false”]’ or ‘[gwolle_gb_write button=”true”]’, to deviate from the default.

Moderation is enabled, but my entry is marked as checked

If a user with capability of ‘moderate_comments’ posts an entry, it will be marked as checked by default, because he can mark it as checked anyway.

Moderation is disabled, but some entries are still unchecked

There is validation of the length of words in the content and author name. If the words are too long and it looks
abusive, it will be marked as unchecked. A moderator will still be needed to manually edit and check these entries.

When opening the RSS Feed, I get a Error 404

You can refresh your rewrite rules, by going to Settings / Permalinks, and save your permalinks again.
This will most likely add the rewrite rule for the RSS Feed.

I use a caching plugin, and my entries are not visible after posting

When you have moderation disabled, Gwolle Guestbook will try to refresh the cache. If it doesn’t on your setup,
please let me know which caching plugin you use, and support for it might be added.

You can also refresh or delete your cache manually. Most caching plugins offer support for that.

I use a Multi-Lingual plugin

There are 2 settings that you need to pay attention to. If you saved the settings for the form tab, you should save an
empty header and notice text. It will fill in the default there after saving, but that is okay.
As long as you saved an empty option, or it is still not-saved, then it will show the translated text from your MO file.

I use a theme with AJAX

Using a theme with AJAX navigation can give issues. Only on the guestbook page is the JavaScript and CSS loaded.
So you would need to load it on every page to have it available for the guestbook. You can add the following code to functions.php of your theme:

function my_gwolle_gb_register() {
add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'my_gwolle_gb_register', 20);
What capabilities are needed?

For moderating comments you need the capability ‘moderate_comments’.

For managing options you need the capability ‘manage_options’.

Can I override a template?

You can look at ‘frontend/gwolle_gb-entry.php’, and copy it to your theme folder. Then it will be loaded by the plugin.
Make sure you keep track of changes in the default templatefile though.

What hooks are available for customization?

There are many hooks available in this plugin. Documentation is included in the zip file in /docs/actions and /docs/filters. Examples are included. If you have a need for an additional hook, please request this in the support forum.

I want to change the word Guestbook into something else.

First, this plugin is a guestbook. If you want to use it for a different usecase, you will need to do that in code.
Take a look at the previous question about hooks.
You are probably wanting to use the hooks for ‘gwolle_gb_write’ and ‘gwolle_gb_button’.

This question gets asked a lot. You can also take a look at the support forum.

Should I really not use WordPress comments for a guestbook?

Sure you can if you want to. In my personal opinion however it can be a good thing to keep comments and guestbook entries separated.
So if you already have a blog with comments, the guestbook entries might get lost in there, and keeping a separate guestbook can be good.
But if you don’t use standard comments, you can just as easily use the comment section for a guestbook.


stellar support, too


Thanks, Marcel, for telling me how to configure multiple Guestbooks on the same blog. That was a quick support reply that nailed the topic straight out of the box. No jargon, just a clear and easy-to-follow explanation. Thank you!


Krome City

It's OK. There is some good functionality and the author has done a lot of work on it, but I can't use it because the entry fields are not customizable and there is not enough room in the text area box on mobile for people to write long comments. Please fix and I will use it and support the plugin

Read all 44 reviews



  • 2017-02-13
  • Add CSS for responsive design for the form.
  • Add CSS for the form inside a .widget and .widget-area.
  • Add class .button to buttons on frontend form.
  • Query for widgets checks on meta field.
  • Make our custom fields protected.
  • Only save custom fields on page edit.
  • Improve error handling on import with missing finfo_open.
  • On entries list, icon column gets header ‘Status’.
  • Don’t update caches on wp_query.
  • Remove Polish from zipfile, it is maintained in GlotPress.


  • 2017-01-19
  • Borrow pagination CSS from bbPress.
  • Add shortcode for widget layout: [gwolle_gb_widget].
  • Improve HTML formatting of widget.
  • Remove Italian and Swedish from zipfile, they are at 100% in GlotPress.


  • 2016-12-24
  • Add rel=”nofollow” to website link.
  • Improve HTML formatting of entry.
  • Add filter gwolle_gb_author_link_to_buddypress.
  • Add filters for prefill of the form.


  • 2016-11-06
  • Wrap text ‘(no entries yet)’ inside the standard div#gwolle_gb_entries so we always list the submitted entry.
  • Add filter for gwolle_gb_admin_reply_header.
  • Long words check shouldn’t match http, https or ftp strings.
  • Explain scan for long text better.
  • Again fix for Twenty Sixteen and Twenty Seventeen.
  • On import, run the clear_cache function only once.
  • Slightly improve error handling for admin AJAX.


  • 2016-09-07
  • Security fix: fix XSS on editor view (Thanks Radjnies of
  • Security fix: fix CSRF on admin pages (Thanks Radjnies of
  • Use str_replace on quotes the right way (no need to escape).
  • Add Nonces to admin pages and check on them.
  • Check the max number of checked entries on bulk edit on admin list.
  • Flush cache on mass delete.
  • Update text of metaboxes on main admin page.


  • 2016-08-23
  • Fix html validation in form buttons.
  • Add setting for the scan for long text.
  • Set that scan from 80 chars to 100 chars.
  • Support persistent object cache.
  • Flush cache on saving an entry on admin too.
  • Add save-hook to mass edit.
  • Add save-hook to AJAX admin actions.
  • Add save-hook to importer.
  • Load admin CSS on all pages (not JS).
  • Offer MultiSite uninstall through a filter.
  • Set wpdb prefix correctly on uninstall.
  • Rename most files with prefix.


  • 2016-08-19
  • Fix loading images in CSS.
  • Better AJAX icon.
  • Improve a11y of toolbar menu-item.


  • 2016-08-16
  • Fix upgrade in MultiSite.
  • More subtle styling of AJAX icon.
  • More consistent naming in error fields.
  • Append Infinite Scroll load message to div#gwolle_gb_entries.
  • Don’t use ‘focus()’ in form ajax, no point to it.
  • Rename CSS and JS files.
  • Rename infinite_scroll.php to ajax-infinite_scroll.php.
  • Rename captcha-ajax.php to ajax-captcha.php.
  • Rename admin/upgrade.php to admin/gwolle-gb-upgrade.php.


  • 2016-08-08
  • Add AJAX Form Submit (default).
  • Add container div around gwolle_gb_messages div.
  • Small adaptations to form-posthandling.php.
  • Function ‘gwolle_gb_clear_cache()’ is now hooked to ‘gwolle_gb_save_entry_frontend’ action.
  • Moderator and author mail are now hooked to ‘gwolle_gb_save_entry_frontend’ action.
  • Rename frontend/write.php to frontend/form.php.
  • Rename frontend/posthandling.php to frontend/form-posthandling.php.
  • Rename admin/ajax.php to admin/ajax-management.php.
  • Remove more br elements from BBcode lists.
  • Add a ‘read more’ link to each entry in the widget in the form of a ‘»’.
  • Set CSS width of ‘.input input[type=”email”]’ and ‘.input input[type=”url”]’ to 100%.
  • Set z-index for infinite scroll load message.
  • Make CSS reset for MarkItUp more specific.
  • Add some bootstrap classes to the form.
  • Add comments for translators.
  • Cleanup changelog. Add changelog.txt for v0 and v1.

Contributors & Developers

This is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


Browse the code