One of ocPortal’s biggest strengths is its large amount of features. However, to a new user the adminzone may initially look a little overwhelming. This post is a brief look at the different screens to help you find your way around when you have installed a new ocPortal website. I’m not going to go into great detail for every single option within the adminzone or you will end up reading a 10,000 word essay! This post is to show you where the most common options are.
The Status Screen
When the adminzone initially opens, you will be presented with the Status screen. The Status screen is a quick overview of your website. On this, you can set a number of reminders to help you keep on top of the necessary regular tasks you need to do to keep your website running smoothly.
When you have a new install like the one in the attached image, there are a number of tasks added for you to work through to get your site ready to go live. Regular tasks on this list include items such as adding news or blog posts, changing the polls and choosing the image of the day. Depending on your site make up some of these may not be used and they can be removed from the list.
You can also add specific tasks to remind you to do certain things and there are a number of custom tasks to help ease you through the process of setting up your site such as submitting your site to Google and adding content to your site. Underneath this section there is a list of all the activity on your site so you can quickly see the most recent interactions and below this section you can add other competitor sites to give you an overview of their site.
In the right hand column, the first item is the status of the software and an update if any new versions have been released. This is followed by any posts in the staff forum if it is being used. The next three items are tips relating to the software which can be left or dismissed, a section to add notes and news relating to the software. The final section is a list of useful links to software and websites which you might need in the process of setting up your website.
The Audit screen
The Audit screen is probably one you won’t use that often for your site, at least in the first stages. This section deals with a range of options from the error log on the site to potential security issues. There is also the information relating to quizzes and your quiz winners if you use it. I’ll go into more detail about this screen in another blog.
The Security screen
Depending on if you are going to allow others to add content, you may want to configure the word filter before you open up your site. Also in this section you have very detailed controls for your site permissions. If you are going to restrict the site to just yourself as site admin you may not need to change very much in this section. ocPortal utilises high built in security as standard. However, you also have the ability to ban users by IP address if you have any issues with members.
The Setup screen
It is very likely that the first place you will need to visit is the set up screen. I would recommend running through the set up wizard before doing anything else, as this will help you quickly configure the basic site. You can also choose a range of site types which will reconfigure your site to some common website types. For example, if you are planning to use ocPortal for a blog you can choose the blog option and the software will remove some of the features you may not need.
The first page also includes space to input your site’s keywords, header text and description. On this page you can also add your Google analytics ID if you have set this up. The second page gives you the choice to remove a lot of the ocPortal features which you might not want to use or you can leave them all turned on.
Going through this wizard will save you a lot of configuration time including setting one of three levels of strictness for your site rules when other users sign up. The site rules can also be changed on this process and you will be taken to the theme wizard which we will cover more in another post.
Also in the setup screen is the main configuration section where you can change a whole host of options relating to your site from Administrative options to accessibility. Site Block options which are the elements of each page (e.g. news blocks, RSS feeds etc) can be configured within this area. I will cover this in detail in another post. There are also Privacy options, forum options and security options. Site options within this section covers a lot of things such as opening and closing the site, staff email addresses, SEO related options and notifications.
The last option on this list is the installation options where you can change settings such as database settings. I strongly advise against changing any options in this section unless you are sure of what you are doing as it is possible to completely break your site!
Also under the set up screen you can add custom comcode tags. Comcode is used for adding and configuring blocks of information on your site. Custom comcode is often used to make embedding videos from YouTube or Facebook quicker and easier than using the normal embed code.
I have split this post in to two parts for ease of reading. Read part 2