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Thread: Tips on forum design & creation.
      
   

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Tips on forum design & creation.

    Greetings People

    Most people who build a web site for what ever reason, want to have a forum of some type or another Vodahost offer phpbb and simple view to install through Fantastico in your C-panel . These tips mainly deal with phpbb, though some elements go for what ever forum you use.
    The easiest way to get your phpbb forum is by installing through Fantastico , when you have installed you get the standard no thrills SubSilver skin, this in it’s self is ok if you just want a forum with no frills.
    But more often then not people want there forum to look good and more importantly a bit like there web site. This is mainly why I am writing this thread. I have had my own far share of up’s and down’s doing my forum and at one point almost lost it, and if it was not for Racefan20 my forum would not be up today.
    So it has come time for me to pass on some of the info I have learnt.
    These Tips are for those of you who wish to add skins, mods, hacks, etc.
    1/ Install a second forum through Fantastico and call it Test forum ( this is so you can test mods on that forum with out any harm coming to your main forum ). If you mess up the test forum you can always uninstall then reinstall a another one.
    2/ find and install any skins you wish to use, to both forums. ( this is better done before you add any mods, but not essential as it will only mean change the tpl files of that skin).
    3/ To help with installing mods or hacks you can download a program called easymod which you can get here
    http://www.phpbb.com/phpBB/catdb.php?cat=26 you need to follow the instructions to install on to your forums.
    4/ when using the above program you may find that some mods will not install , this does not mean that the mod will not work it’s just that the easymod does not recognise a command this in it’s self is not a problem it just means you have to install it by hand.
    5/ BYE HAND your having a laugh I here you say. Nope sometimes it’s better to do this. Mainly because you will learn a lot. But you will need Dreamweaver 8 or something like wise.
    6/ Always, Always make two copy’s of any file you download from your forum to your computer .( this is because if you mess it up you have one that works to put back up until you find what you did wrong ) this is one of the reasons for having a test forum. Bet your glade you did now.
    7/ Some mods come with instructions to add tables into the datebase of your forum. This is done through
    C-panel - My-SQL Database scroll to the bottom of the page and find a link to phpMyAdmin when you first go there it looks a bit terrifying, Please if you are not sure what to do come running back here and ask for some assistants . DO NOT TRY AND DO IT if your not sure.
    8/ Skins : you’ve found one you like but don’t like the header image. Well these images are kept in the templates images folder, now to change , find the image you don’t want write down the size and name ie.250 x 127 Name logo.gif . Now find a image you want to use resize to 250 x 127 then save as logo
    ( making sure the file type is gif ) then upload to the same folder of the old image is in .
    9/ you can get phpbb mods from here
    http://www.phpbb.com/mods/ or you can search the net just type in what you want ie, I want something mod for phpbb .
    10/ last of all I think, if you have any trouble or you do not fill confident enough but would really like to do something then please don’t be hesitant post on the forum here and ask, someone WILL help you through it.

    Well that’s about it, I would just like to say that almost what ever you want to put on your forum, there’s probably a mod out there that will suit your needs, from security to music from photo albums to links to yours site.
    I have put a link here to my forum to show you some of the things you could do . Click Here

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    hey i found what i am looking for thanks.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    No Problem

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Aliens, your post was very informative, but I am still unable to figure out how to actually get the forum to appear on my site. Is there anything you could do to walk me through once I arrive in my admin acct at phpbb?
    Thanks
    Nish

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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aliens Anonymous
    Greetings People

    Most people who build a web site for what ever reason, want to have a forum of some type or another Vodahost offer phpbb and simple view to install through Fantastico in your C-panel . These tips mainly deal with phpbb, though some elements go for what ever forum you use...

    GREAT POST! Very insightful, very informative and it comes from someone who has been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. The one correction I would make is that no additional software is needed to edit the .php files by hand - I've always done it with Notepad or WordPad. WordPad is much easier to use, in my opinion, and I wish I'd learned that much earlier in my phpBB education. LOL

    Again, a great post, my friend, nice work.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Quote Originally Posted by nish1959
    Aliens, your post was very informative, but I am still unable to figure out how to actually get the forum to appear on my site. Is there anything you could do to walk me through once I arrive in my admin acct at phpbb?
    Thanks
    Nish
    You need to provide your visitors a link to your forum and you do this in your site builder, not through the forum admin panel (link to the forum just like you do any secondary pages on your site). This can be done in any number of ways, but most do it the way I've done it on this page: Click here and then click Forum on my page.

    If you're unsure how to hyperlink, you can learn about that here: http://www.vodahost.com/vodatalk/hyp...mages-etc.html

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Thanks, Racefan. I'll give it a try tonight.

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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Quote Originally Posted by racefan20

    GREAT POST! Very insightful, very informative and it comes from someone who has been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. The one correction I would make is that no additional software is needed to edit the .php files by hand - I've always done it with Notepad or WordPad. WordPad is much easier to use, in my opinion, and I wish I'd learned that much earlier in my phpBB education. LOL

    Again, a great post, my friend, nice work.
    Thanks Race i had Forgotten about this post. i have not tried wordpad, but i found it hard in notepad as there is no numbered lines and when easymod says error could not find ----------- on line 536 for example it gave me a headache. Have you seen the forum lately i've had to tighten up Security for one reason and another, it's taken me to weeks to sort out and resulting in banning two members, one a mod. thanks agian Race for all your help.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Aliens or Anyone with the knowledge-
    I need to add a link back to my home page from my forum page. I have very little experience with HTML.
    First I need to know WHERE I will be doing this - in my cpanel? And where in the Cpanel if so. I really need someone to help me one step at a time.
    Thanks,
    Nish

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Hi nish1959
    open your ftp manager, on the right side find the folder that is your forum open it and find the templates folder, open and find the skin you are using, ( if you are just using the standard one it will be subSilver ) open that and look for the file called overall_header.tpl, now copy that file back down to your computer ( the left side of screen ) in a safe folder were you can find it, copy a second time into another folder this a spare just incase you mess things up you will have a good copy to put back.

    now open the tpl file using what ever script editer you have notepad - wordpad - dreamweaver.
    look for the lines that look like this.

    &nbsp;<a href="{U_GROUP_CP}" class="mainmenu"><img src="templates/subSilver/images/icon_mini_groups.gif" width="12" height="13" border="0" alt="{L_USERGROUPS}" hspace="3" />{L_USERGROUPS}</a>&nbsp;
    now copy the hole line on to notepad so you can edit.
    Now the text in red is the link it's self put the full URL there of the page you wish to go back to.
    the one's in green are the text link that appears on the forum page, so you will need to put something like Home Page there.

    So you will end up with something like this.
    &nbsp;<a href="http://aliensanonymous.org/tell_a_friend.html" class="mainmenu"><img src="templates/subSilver/images/icon_mini_music.gif" width="12" height="13" border="0" alt="Tell a Friend" hspace="3" />Tell a Friend</a> &nbsp;

    now copy / paste the line back to the file in the place you want the link to appear.
    so the file should look something like this.

    <!-- END switch_memberlist -->
    &nbsp;<a href="{U_GROUP_CP}" class="mainmenu"><img src="templates/subSilver/images/icon_mini_groups.gif" width="12" height="13" border="0" alt="{L_USERGROUPS}" hspace="3" />{L_USERGROUPS}</a>&nbsp;
    <a href="{U_ALBUM}" class="mainmenu"><img src="templates/subSilver/images/icon_mini_album.gif" width="12" height="13" border="0" alt="{L_ALBUM}" hspace="3" />{L_ALBUM}</a>&nbsp;
    &nbsp;<a href="{U_MUSIC}" class="mainmenu"><img src="templates/subSilver/images/icon_mini_music.gif" width="12" height="13" border="0" alt="{L_MUSIC}" hspace="3" />{L_MUSIC}</a> &nbsp;
    &nbsp;<a href="http://aliensanonymous.org/tell_a_friend.html" class="mainmenu"><img src="templates/subSilver/images/icon_mini_music.gif" width="12" height="13" border="0" alt="Tell a Friend" hspace="3" />Tell a Friend</a> &nbsp;
    <!-- BEGIN switch_user_logged_out -->

    now all you have to do is copy the file back to the same place you downloaded it from ie: templates/subSilver

    now all you have added is the link and text if you wanted to change the little image or you using a different skin that uses buttons or images you will need to make and change the images acordingly.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Aliens, thanks. But do I have a scriptwriter with bluevoda? If not,I don't have any of the products you've mentioned.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    If you our using windows it comes with notepad and word. you can find notepad by clicking start go to all programs then accessories you should see notepad in there.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Thanks again! I'll play with this all weekend. Hopefully I won't rip all the hair out of my head!
    Nish

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Aliens, I didn't get far at all. Are you talking about the BV FTP Manager? I see nothing that shows a forum folder. Please help!
    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Yes when you open your ftp manager and connect on the right find the the folder that has your forum is in, if you installed though cpanel the chances are it will be named phpBB, open and find the templates folder, open that if you are just using the subSilver skin open that, in that folder you will find the file you are looking for.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Aliens,
    I go to cpanel, click on FTP manager, then when it opens I see this


    With the FTP account utility you can control FTP accounts for your users or if your account has sub-domain support you can add FTP accounts for your sub-domain(s).


    Here you can change how anonymous FTP users should be treated and change the anonymous upload policy as well.


    You can edit the anonymous FTP welcome message that users will see when they login to your FTP site.
    This utility allows you to disconnect users or time out FTP sessions.

    What am I doing wrong?
    PS My phpbb was installed thru fantastico if that has any bearing on this.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    On your desk top click start, then all programs look for BlueVoda Website Builder on mouseover you will get three options click the blueFTP.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Aliens, Okay, I got that to work, thank you, but when I click on the forum folder, nothing named Templates comes up. Any solutions for me?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Did you open the folder on the right of your ftp the folder should be in there if not your forum would not work or you opened the wrong folder.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    I open the folder, and it just says UP DIR. All the way on the left, there is a tempaltes option. If I click that templates I dont see anything related to my forum. Just alot of BV elements for my website pages.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Quote Originally Posted by nish1959
    I open the folder, and it just says UP DIR. All the way on the left, there is a tempaltes option. If I click that templates I dont see anything related to my forum. Just alot of BV elements for my website pages.

    Open BlueVoda. On the top toolbar, select Tools > FTP Manager. Enter the same username and password you use to access your Cpanel and the IP address you were given in your Welcome email from VodaHost.

    Once the FTP Manager is open and connected, you'll two lists of files and folders. The ones on the left are in the BV directory on your pc. The ones on the right are on the web server. Somewhere in the list of folders on the right is a folder marked "Forum". Double click that and you'll see a list of all the folders in your forum directory. You're looking for the Templates directory as seen in this pic. Click here

    Open the folder named Subsilver. Now you're looking for the file called overall_header.tpl. In most instances, you would need to edit this file to get a link to your main site onto your forum pages. No offense, but you have no business editing any files in there - you're having a tough enough time with the basics. (Not that I'm criticizing, everyone has to learn about all this stuff, I just don't want to see you mess up your board.)

    With that in mind, I went ahead and did the edits for you. So, what you need to do is download and unzip this file: http://www.daysofblunder.com/overall_header.zip

    Unzip it to a place you can easily find again on your pc and then, using the FTP Manager, navigate on the left side of the manager until you locate the file on your pc. Once you've found it, click it ONCE and then, at the top of the manager, click Copy To. It will move into your forum directory and overwrite your old file.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Racefan, thanks I'll try it.

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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    You old know it all Race he he

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Race, I think I just managed to screw up my files in ftp.
    I'm sorry. I may have to switch to a company with phone support. This isn't fair to you guys.
    Thanks for trying. But my ftp never had a templates folder on the right side.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Email me with your Cpanel username and password and I'll have a look for you. racefan20n11******.com

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    WOW..this is cool...gave me a headache, sure, now you got me itching to make my forum more inviting, geezz..
    http://www.beebrothers.org

    Success is not a doorway. It is a staircase.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    it can be very infectious, we have lots of tips, mod info, does and don'ts at the The Showcase.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    ok, glad I found this thread . . . think it will be VERY helpful. Get ready, guys, cause I'm headed into phpbb in the next few days! LOL

    Be VERY afraid!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    hi there
    Well I got the forum and i managed to change the apperance well the colors at least then it came to changing the logo instead of there logo... well i am not sure what i am doing i have read everything and still i come to a great big impossible wall.... maybe i am more stupid than i thought i was but normally i can work things out but this time i have really come to a stand still. i dont want anything fancy just my logo at the top. and a return to home page button.
    HELP!!!!! sorry i know that you have written everything so wonderfully but stupid me cant understand it. I chnaged the colors in the edit just put different hex codes but i still need to modify a little bit more. foe example the blue bars i need in a different color. and the logo
    i have been trying to do it for the past week and am about to throw the computer and myself out of the window..
    please help
    thanks
    James

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Racefan is Awsome..if it was not for his help i would have the keyboard embedded in my forehead from bashing my head against the desk..now i have gotten to where i can change the colors of my forum added my logo to the main logo that came with the theme ..my only issue now is getting into the wiki....but for those of you wanting to learn xhtml and css which go hand in hand I would recommend going here http://www.newbiesparadise.com/ but if your looking for forum templates there is http://www.phpbbhacks.com/ and http://www.templatesbrowser.com/phpb...ndex.php?s=394 .....these will help you get started

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Tips on forum design & creation.

    Hi there
    well i thought that it was impossible but i tried and i did it have the link to the homepage logo colors everything i changed the code and now i am doing it on everything. learnt something and found it is quite easy really
    so i am more than happy
    have a good one
    james

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