One of ocPortal’s core features is the forum. While forum usage might be on the wane in some areas due to the prevalence of Social Media, forums are and continue to be a key feature within ocPortal, and a large part of many online communities.
ocPortal forums include many of the common forum features found within other well-known forum systems such as PHPbb, SMF and VB forums. Like most forums, ocPortal forums utilise a tree structure. A huge benefit of ocPortal’s forum is the complete integrated nature of the forum and the main website software.
Unlike many other forums or CMS which can either have a content management system- like software tacked on, or a forum module added to the main CMS, you can be sure that both CMS and Forum seamlessly flows from one to the other on an ocPortal website. ocPortal forums have a comprehensive set of options.
This is a ‘how to’ post for some of the most common forum administration tasks.
Adding a new forum category or grouping
The basic forum has two forum groupings set up as standard, which are General and staff. General includes a general discussion section and a forum which houses all of the comment topics from content elsewhere on the site. The Staff section is a private section of the forums for staff to use and also is where reported posts and website comment posts appear.
To add a new forum, navigate your way to the Forum admin screen which can be found under the structure section of the Adminzone. From here click ‘add new Forum grouping’ and fill in the online forum which includes the name of the group and a description. You can also choose whether the group is expanded by default. Once you have added the group, the software will take you to a follow- up admin screen comprising of many of the most common tasks such as adding a new forum to your new group.
Adding a new forum
You can add a new forum by clicking the add forum option on the forum adminzone screen. The Add new forum form is split in to three sections. There is a general section which you need to complete, an advanced section and a permissions section.
The General section includes options such as the Name of the forum and a description. You also need to choose in which group the forum will appear, and if the forum is a sub forum of another forum you have created. If the forum is not a sub forum choose the “Forum home” option in the parent section.
The Advanced section can be left unedited or you can edit this section as required. The advanced section includes options to:
- turn off the normal incremental adding to the users post count in this section
- make the sub forums order alphabetically if you do not want to do this manually
- set an introduction question and answer to make sure the user has read the forum rules
- choose how the topics are ordered and whether you want to use a tree structure to the topics.
The Permissions section allows you to give various user groups different permissions within this forum such as making member of a usergroup a moderator of this forum. By default this will use the standard forum permissions set.
Once this is complete you can click on the add your forum button
Re-ordering your forums
To re-order your forums, click on the ‘edit forum’ option in the forum adminzone screen. From here you can access the edit screen for each forum and also re-order your forum groups and individual forums.
To re-order the grouping so a new group appears at the top, you can change the numbers which appear on the blue bar next to each forum group name. To re-order the forums within a group, simply change the numbers in the dropdowns as required next to each forum that you want to re-order.
Once you have the forums ordered as you like click ‘re-order forums’.
Performing basic moderation tasks
- Pinning or unpinning the topics
- Marking threads read or unread
- Moving or deleting topics
- Opening and closing topics
To activate any of these options simply select the tick-box to the right hand side of each thread, choose the moderation option you want and click proceed. In some cases you will be taken to another screen which allows you to add a reason why a thread is being deleted so other staff and the original thread poster are aware.
Are there any other common tasks I have missed? Tell me in the comments and I will add them.