We’ve just updated both versions of our popular Taming the Beast Tell-A-Friend scripts to v1.3 and v2.1; so if you’re using a copy of either from prior to today, I suggest updating. Upgrading is pretty simple – and of course, both scripts are still free :).
The new versions have improvements to security and may also address some of the random glitches on certain server setups I’ve seen cropping up from time to time.
Like the previous versions, these updated scripts have been kept as simple as possible for easy implementation.
If you’re currently using either of our recommendation scripts, you won’t need to change your input forms if going from v1.2 -> v1.3 or from v2 -> v2.1, just the form processing script component – but remember to personalize the indicated sections in the form processor.
The difference between the two recommendation scripts:
Tell A Friend Script v 1.3 is a very basic form and script which allows your visitors to send a link to your site to up to 3 of their friends. Simple code for a popup window to display the form is also included. You can customize the email their friends will receive and you also receive notifications when the form is used.
Tell A Friend Script v 2.1 does the same as v1.3, but has a feature that includes the URL of the page from where the tell a friend link was clicked in the recommendation email. In the notification you receive, you also see from which page the form was invoked.
If you have any questions regarding the scripts, I’d appreciate you reading the troubleshooting FAQ and if that doesn’t provide a solution; post your queries below, rather than emailing me directly. That way the answers to frequently asked questions can be available for everyone’s benefit :). Please read over other people’s questions and my responses in the thread below before posting – you may find the answer already there.
Need more features?
If you’re looking for a recommendation script with more features, try Tell A Friend King. It allows you to create tell a friend forms quickly and easily with a point and click interface, there’s no complex scripting, incorporates solid spam prevention, tracks and monitors usage, allows for pre-defined messages (text and HTML) or for users to enter their own and much more!
September 2007 – Given this thread has been around for a while, it’s accumulated quite a lengthy number of comments, questions and solutions; so I’ve just deleted many of the comment entries to consolidate everything into a troubleshooting FAQ of sorts – should save you some reading :)
By the way, thanks to everyone for your feedback and positive comments on these free recommendation scripts! It’s really been pleasing to see how broadly they’ve been used over the years!
Issue 1 – Should FTP upload mode be type be binary or ASCII?
Solution – ASCII, but most ftp programs should autodetect this anyway.
Issue 2 - When submitting the form the next page just shows the contents of the script.
Solution – this usually means your hosting account doesn’t support PHP
Issue 3 – when submitting the tellafriend form, the resulting page shows an error like this:
>>> Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by.. etc.
Solution – This usually occurs if you have characters before < ?php at the beginning of the script or after ?> at the end of the form processing script – even spaces can do it at times.
Issue 4 – Form submits correctly, but you don’t receive the test email
a) There’s extra characters in the script that have been added in by the editor you’re using, but they don’t appear when viewing the script in the editor. Packages like Dreamweaver, FrontPage and Golive are notorious for this. Try using notepad or another plain text editor and you may see extra characters such as Ê at the end of some lines which shouldn’t be there; remove those characters as they will interfere with the operation of the script.
b) Your test emails have been filtered out by your email service provider. Check your bulk folders.
c) On rare occasions I’ve found some hosting services with restrictions in place that prevent mail function from working. It’s worthwhile sending the script to your host and asking them if there’s anything at the server level that would be preventing the emails from being sent.
Issue 5 – You want the popup to show scroll bars, resize etc
Solution – You can change settings in the manually triggered popup by changing values like this:
scrollbars=0 to scrollbars=1
Issue 6 – Version 2.x doesn’t show the referring URL in the recommendation email while you are testing.
a) If you’re just going straight to the form while you are testing, there would be no referring URL :). The form needs to be linked to from your site pages in order to capture the referrer information.
b) Version 2.1 of the script requires that the form be saved as .php (not .htm, html etc.) as it has php scripting elements in it in order to capture the URL of the referring page.
Issue 7 – You’d like to add an extra field so users can add their own comments
Solution – The reason why we haven’t added this is that it would be abused by some of the more anti-social visitors who might visit your site. It allows them to send abusive emails to people and cover their tracks. We may create a version 3 in the future with this option though.
By the way, if you decide to add extra fields or customizations yourself that are beyond what the script is currently designed to do; sorry, but I can’t help you with any issues you may experience as a result.
If you’d like to be notified of updates to the Tell a Friend scripts; please subscribe to our free newsletter – subscription box is towards the top of this this page in the left hand menu.