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What is PHP Shoutbox?
It's a cool way of allowing visitors to your site to chat, leave messages to you or others, and voice opinions. Think of it like IRC chat on the web.
Who wrote PHP Shoutbox?
Dan Allen wrote it under LGPL and you can get it at
How do I use it?
Just pick a screenname, fill in your text in the message box and click 'SEND.'
How will I know when there are new posts?
Ah, that is the beauty of PHP ShoutBox. While you are active (either you post or mouseover the shoutbox area) a special request will be sent via javascript to find out if there are any new posts since the last one was displayed in your box. If new posts are found, the shoutbox iframe refreshes. This check occurs every 10 seconds while you are active, but starts to increase exponentially as you become idle (so as to avoid unecessary requests to the server). So this is like chatting in REAL TIME! When you change from idle to active (like when you come back from dinner), within 10 seconds a new request will occur and you will be back in the ballgame.
Is there a way to find out when a particular shout was posted?
Hover your mouse over the shout and a tooltip will appear with the date and time when it was posted. Thanks to javascript reporting your timezone, the date and time will be in your localtime.
Can I do smileys?
Sure, many smileys are suppored. Just try your favorite smiley code and see if it comes up. If your favorite smiley is missing, just request it on the project page.
Can I view the history?
Sure, just click on the history link. The messages are archived by day, splitting on GMT. All history besides the current day show the posts in GMT dates since they are static and need to be timezone free for all viewers (this is still under review).
Are there any special tricks?
You can use CTRL-Enter to send instead of hitting the 'SEND' button. If you are posting a lot, this can prove to be quite useful. PHP ShoutBox also implements channels similar to IRC.
How do I use channels?
Channels are just like side conversations. For instance, if you want to talk about a particular subject, you can enter a channel with other users and get away from the main conversation. To see the channels that are active, just type /list and press 'SEND.' To join a channel, type /join #name and press 'SEND.' When you are in a channel, you will see all the messages from that channel but not from any other channel. To leave a channel, just type /part and press 'SEND,' which will take you back to the main conversation. (As a side note, /part always takes you back to the main conversation no matter where you are. If you are confused, type /part and press 'SEND.'