Frequently Asked Questions

While the other sections of this documentation covers everything you need to know to start using HashOver on your website, some information didn't fit into the other sections nicely. Here is some more information in the form of answers to common questions. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me on my website. Also feel free to edit this file on GitHub, by adding your question and submitting a pull request, I will merge the pull request along with an answer to the question.

What HTML does HashOver allow in comments?

Users may post comments with a limited number of HTML tags. These tags include <b>, <em>, <u>, <i>, <s>, <big>, <small>, <strong>, <sub>, <sup>, <pre>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>, <blockquote>, and <code> escapes HTML.

Users may also include an image in their posts using [img][/img]. Images in comments are not shown by default, they appear as a Polaroid-esque icon, which must be clicked for the image to be shown.

All other HTML in a comment will be escaped. The allowed HTML tags are case insensitive, but they must appear exactly as stated, no attributes or odd spacing, otherwise they too will be escaped. The hyperlink tag <a> is not allowed in comments, instead users can post URLs as-is and they will become links. This is done to help protect users against scams and SPAM, since links can't say something different than where they actually link to, thereby preventing phishing attacks.

Does HashOver support Markdown in comments?

Yes, HashOver supports a limited type of Markdown. The syntax is: **bold**, _underline_, *italic*, ~~strikethrough~~, `highlight`, and ```code``` escapes HTML. Additionally, __bold__ will force the underline styling and allow it to span multiple lines. Markdown support will always remain limited, it will never support the []() hyperlink syntax, but all of the allowed HTML tags will eventually be supported as Markdown at least. HTML and Markdown may be used together in comments.

Why am I not being sent email notifications?

Before assuming HashOver is not sending email notifications, you should first confirm that you are supposed to be receiving email notifications about the comments being posted in the first place, as HashOver does not send email notifications under some specific circumstances.

Email notifications are not sent when either of the following is true:

  1. A comment is posted with the same email address as the notification email address. That is, the $notificationEmail setting.

    This is done to prevent the admin from being sent notification emails about comments they themselves posted. In the same way as a normal user does not receive email notifications about the comment they posted on your website, neither should the admin receive email notifications about comments they post on their own website. This is especially useful in testing HashOver, as it allows you to post test comments without receiving email notifications.

  2. A reply is posted with the same email address as the comment being replied to.

    This is done to prevent normal users from being sent email notifications when they reply to themselves. The admin will receive an email notification in this case, as long as the user posting the reply is not the admin.

It is common for people testing HashOver to post comments using the notification email address, in which case HashOver is not sending email notifications. Ensure you are not doing this before assuming email notifications are not working.

There are multiple reasons why you may not be receiving email notifications: Hosting providers not allowing email to be sent from their servers, ISPs blocking port 25 or otherwise restricting email support, your email provider marking the notifications as junk or SPAM, and/or incorrect server configurations. Any one of these things can cause the email notifications to not be sent, received, or both.

If you are using a hosting provider with cPanel, you should be able to see what email has been sent and received by the server by going to the "Track Delivery" page under the "Email" section, from there you should be able to see if the email notifications were rejected and why. If you are not using cPanel, you can find useful information in the /var/log/mail.log or /var/log/mail.err files (these files are located in different places depending on what operating system you're using) or by checking the mail for the www-data user.

You should test whether you can send email from your server at all. You can do this at the command line with:

echo 'Test' | sendmail

Or via PHP with the following code in a PHP file:


    mail ('', 'Test', 'Test');


Change out "" for the email address you're using in the $notificationEmail setting.

If you cannot send email using these examples, your hosting provider or ISP is preventing you from sending email from the server. Fixing that problem is outside the scope of this documentation. You might consider using SMTP to send the email notifications instead.

If you can send email using these examples or other software on your website is able to send email, but HashOver is not sending email notifications, please report it as a bug to me either by email or on GitHub.