- 1 Introducing the phpBB2 forum
- 2 Installing the phpBB2 forum – Fantastico De Luxe
- 3 Installing the phpBB2 forum – Manually
- 4 Using phpBB2 forum
- 4.1 Posting
- 4.2 Private messages
- 4.3 Usergroups
- 4.4 Watching topics
- 4.5 User Profile
- 5 System Administration: Manage your phpBB2 forum
- 5.1 General Management
- 5.2 Moderators
- 5.3 Forum Admin
- 5.4 Group Admin
- 5.5 Style Admin
- 5.6 User Admin
- 6 Backup and Restore phpBB2 database
Introducing the phpBB2 forum
An open-source bulletin board written in PHP, phpbb 2.0 is a free software available under the GNU General Public License. It will create a means of communication between your website visitors which would sometimes lead to creating a community of its own. The latest release of the phpBB2 project is 2.0.23.
Installing the phpBB2 forum – Fantastico De Luxe
- Step 1: Login to your Admin cPanel http://www.yourdomain.com/cpanel
- Step 2: Locate and click on the Fantastico De Luxe Icon
- Step 3: Under the “Discussion Board” section, find and click on “phpBB”
- Step 4: In the right panel, select “New Installation”
- Step 5: on page 1 of the installation process, you will be prompted for the installation directory. To have phpBB2 installed on your website’s main page (http://www.yourdomain.com) leave it blank else, insert the directory of your choice (http://www.yourdomain.com/forum). Fill out all the required information accordingly and click “Install phpBB2”.
- Step 6: A summary of the installation details will be posted. Once read, click “Finish Installation”. You will also see the link to your freshly installed phpBB2 forum.
Installing the phpBB2 forum – Manually
Installing the phpBB2 forum manually is not that hard procedure. It’s usually automated, but you are required to do some additional steps in advance. Follow these steps and you should get your phpBB2 forum up and running in no time.
- Step 1: Go to the download section of phpBB website, and get the latest legacy version of phpBB2 (2.0.23).
- Step 2: Uncompress the downloaded file to a specified directory on your desktop.
- Step 3: Upload the extracted files (keeping the directories structure intact) to your web hosting account via FTP to a specified directory of your choice (e.g. /phpBB2).
- Step 4: Login to your Admin cPanel, locate and click on MySQL Databases.
- Step 5: Create a MySQL database and save its name along with the username and password for future use.
- Step 6: Using your browser, go to the location of your newly uploaded files: http://www.yourdomain.com/phpBB2
- Step 7: The first installation page will be displayed. Fill in the required fields. The database name, username and password are the one you created earlier in step 5. The domain name required should be the domain you registered. Also select a mail, username and a password for the forum admin and save them. Those will be used to access the administrative panel of the phpBB2 forum. When done, click on “Start Installation”.
- Step 8: After the install procedure takes place, the final page will be displayed, stating that the installation is successful and asking you to delete the /install and the /contrib directories. Please delete those folders so you can access your newly installed phpBB2 forum using the respective path: http://www.yourdomain.com/phpBB2
This sums up all the installation procedure. You should have your forum up and running.
Using phpBB2 forum
In order for a user to post a message on the forum, he has to simply browse the forum and reply on a certain topic. Nevertheless, the administrator can prevent unregistered users from posting there message from the forum admin panel. This will be covered in the “Forum Admin” section
The private message section is just as an email system inside the forum. You have an inbox with messages coming through, which could be deleted, forwarded and replied to.
Registered forum users can exchange private messages between them. Once a message is received, the user can see it by clicking on “Private Messages”.
Usergroups are groups inside the forum that have some privileges in common different from other users. They may have moderator permissions, private permissions. The power of this section lies in its functionality, as u will only need to change the privileges of the group once, and all its members will inherit those privileges without having to edit every single user on its own.
A usergroup may have its own Moderator to manage it, without having full forum administrative privileges.
Watching topics is a wonderful option on the phpBB2 forum. If a user would like to track the answers of a certain topic, then he could subscribe to watch that topic and every time a reply is posted, the forum sends a mail to the subscribed users notifying them of that new post.
An un-subscription option is also available that would stop sending the user topic updates.
Here is where every user can edit his personal settings. The user can edit his email, password, online status, email and private messages (PM) notifications, signature, and so on…
System Administration: Manage your phpBB2 forum
Managing the Board as a whole should be done from the administrative panel. To be able to do that, you should login to this panel with the administrator username and password that you provided in the installation phase. To access the admin panel, click on the “Go to the Administration Panel” at the bottom of the forum index page.
Be aware that you will be asked twice for a username and password, the first time for the regular login and the second time when you try accessing the administration panel.
Once inside this panel, you can manage the whole forum board from there. General management would range from editing the domain name, changing the server port, Disabling/Enabling the Board, account activations, user login settings, General Board layout, etc…
Moderators are registered forum users, but with higher privileges. On the other hand, moderators are not forum administrators, as they have less access rights. They fit between regular users and forum board administrators. Moderators can edit, delete, split, or move topics in a forum. They may also edit or delete any post in a topic in that forum.
To become a moderator, the forum board administrator should change the privileges of a user from the administration panel and set him as a moderator. Once the user level is set to moderator, a new option will appear on the bottom left of the forum that enables the moderator to manage a specific topic.
Forum management is done by the board administrator(s). From this section of the administrative panel, they can add/delete/edit/move forums, categories, topics, and even change forum permissions.
There are 7 forum permissions modes from which an administrator can choose from: Public, Registered, Registered [hidden], Private [hidden], Moderators, and Moderators [hidden]. Each of these permissions has its own privileges which provide the administrator with the best tool to manage the board.
There are also 10 permission types that refer to specific behaviors inside the forum. These types are: view, read, post, reply, edit, delete, sticky, announce, vote, and poll create.
The “Group Admin” panel is the section where the administrator can create, delete and edit groups for his forum. Every group created has its own options from group name to group status, etc…
Each of the created groups has specific permissions which are passed by to the users of this group. For example if a certain group is given moderator privileges over a private forum, then all the users inside that group would have moderator privileges.
The look of your board lies in here. From this section, you can change the layout, the theme, the font, the color, the graphics, etc… These factors, joint together result a style. (Style = Template + Theme)
In addition to changing the style, you can add new styles that were either created by you or downloaded from the internet. In case you need to add a new downloaded style, you just click “Install” and the panel will automatically detect all the uninstalled templates available in the template folder. You also have the option of creating a new style of your own based on a pre-installed template.
Styles can furthermore be exported to be used on a board other than the current one, by using the export option in that panel.
This panel gives the administrator(s) full control on the board users. They can edit users information like changing there password, activating/deactivating a user, they can also ban users according to certain criteria as per IP address, username, or email address or they could even delete the user.
Also the admin can disallow certain usernames from being registered like “root” for example.
Another option that is available inside this panel is setting ranks for users. For example, if the user has a certain amount of posts, then he is eligible of becoming a moderator. Ranks can be edited as per administrator’s choice and you can add to them rank pictures.
Backup and Restore phpBB2 database
There has never been easier an easier to backup a database than the one in phpBB2 administrative panel.
- Step 1: Log in to the Administration Panel
- Step 2: Locate the “General Admin” Section
- Step 3: Click on “Backup Database”
- Step 4: Select the backup option of your choice
- Step 5: Click “Start Backup”.
- Step 6: Save the file to a safe place
Restoring the database is even easier:
- Step 1: Log in to the Administration Panel
- Step 2: Locate the “General Admin” Section
- Step 3: Click on “Restore Database”
- Step 4: Browse for the database file.
- Step 5: Click “Start Restore”.
You’re done again!
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