ocPortal 101

ocPortal is a very comprehensive Content management system “CMS” That can be set up and used by just about anyone.

The Admin zone, where you will do most of your work, is chock a block full of help and tutorials, but occasionally a complete breakdown of “how to do” tutorials are needed and the tutorials that will follow over the weeks and months will show you step by step how to best use the ocPortal product.

Is ocPortal right for you?

It’s a fantastic CMS that allows you easily build the infrastructure for a vibrant web sites including Community sites, straight forward blog based, Portfolio and gallery sites, Information/brochure sites and finally you can even create an online store or a combination of all. If that’s your aim then yes ocPortal is the right product for you.

Free Trial

It costs you nothing to try out ocPortal. I would suggest that you click the following link and set up a 30 day demo account with ocPortals recommended host Arvixe web hosting. Why? Well you have 30 days completely free ocPortal optimised hosting to get used to working with ocPortal. Any work you do is saved and should you wish to purchase hosting its one click away.

Try out ocPortal with arvixe.com

It’s very simple to set up your demo.

ocPortal free trial

*Note*

The username will be used for the name of your demo site.

My user name was “ocptutor” therefore my demo site can be found at

http://ocptutor.ocportal.arvixe.com/

ocPortal demo site

Obviously we have nothing to look at except the bare bones of your fledgling site. So let’s log in and start building your site.

Log in to your site using the default username “admin” and the password you used to set up your trial account.

ocPortal set up

Next click on the “Admin Zone” link, top right, you will see the Admin Status page which includes a To do list, but for now let’s concentrate on the basic site set up.

ocPortal admin zone tutorial

Hover your mouse over the “Setup” link and a drop down menu will appear. Click on the “Setup Wizard” link. From here we can start to piece our site together.

ocPortal set up wizard tutorial

The step by step wizard is broken down into 10 sections so go-ahead and click on the proceed button. Read the splash page of step 2 and proceed onwards again.

ocPortal CMS

Step 3 as seen above is where the magic starts to happen, you can now start to configure your web site. Whilst you can choose to skip this step, I fully recommend that you don’t as this section includes setting up meta information which is crucial for search engine optimisation and can be the difference between your site being found on search engines or not.

Install Profile

Install options are:

  • Community
  • Blog
  • Portfolio/gallery site
  • Information/brochure site
  • Online store

I want to build a community web site, so I will select community. Don’t worry if your requirements are for another type of install profile just set up what you need.

The form is quite long but take your time. I have listed the form fields below with a brief explanation of what’s required.

Site Name

The default here is My ocPortal – It is most likely that the site name will be the same as your domain name, change accordingly.

Description

This appears beside your site name in search engine results for any content pages that don’t have their own descriptions/summaries. Make sure that you describe your web site as fully as possible in 2 or 3 lines of text.

Site Scope

The scope (topic) of your site. This should be a very short phrase that may be embedded within a sentence. For example, a site involving chocolate might choose ‘chocolate’ as the scope. The software may then use the scope in a larger sentence, for example “We hope that this is the best site for chocolate on the Internet.”.

Header Text

Appears across all site pages and will most likely be your domain name.

Site Copyright

What you put on your web site you should own, this applies to text and images. Having a site copyright helps protect your content. Just edit the My ocPortal text again you would probably use your domain name.

Staff E-mail Address

It is not essential to fill in this field as most messages are sent as notifications.

Keywords

Vitally important for search engine optimisation! Use words that are key to your site content separated by a comma and a space.

Google Analytics Web Property ID

This is not in the scope of this tutorial, I will write one up in the future but for now let it be known that Google provide a free service that allows you to see how many visitors your site gets, what pages were looked at and much, much more information. If you already have Google Analytics then go ahead and enter your web ID here.

Fixed-width

By default, the check box is checked. For now let’s leave it that way.

Finally you can chose to show or hide the ocPortal logo.

Click the Proceed Button

At this point click through to step 9 I would suggest you leave all the default values as they are, either by clicking “Skip this step” or the “Proceed” button. On step 9 you can opt to have a closed site or open it up to the public. By going public, viewers of your pages can see everything warts and all. In my case I want this but you may want to keep the site closed for now. Uncheck the checkbox if you want to go public!

Step 10.

Free CMS

The final step offers you four options for now let’s click “Go to main website” You can see my screen shot below and yours should be very similar.

ocPortal tutorials

Apart from the text content, nothing on the face of it has changed. However, ocPortal has created the basis for my community web site as we can see if I click on “Social”

ocPortal Forums tutorial

ocPortal has created the following for us:

    • Forums
    • Rules page
    • Member list
    • User groups
    • Chat lobby
    • Point Store
    • Personal profiles.

It’s easy to see from this initial install just how powerful and flexible ocPortal is, however the initial install includes so much more than listed above and I will work my way through these in other tutorials.

My initial aim here is to get you up and running as quickly as possible. Following tutorials will include:

  • Editing the front page
    An explanation of what the Front Page is and how to edit it including creating a new button link
  • Changing the forums
    Editing an existing forum, adding a new forum and a sub forum
  • Using the add new page wizard
    I create a simple About Us page.

That’s just about enough to get you out of the box and setting up your site quickly and easily. From this base I will build in more and more of the great feature that ocPortal has to offer so keep your eyes open for more tutorials.

Looking for quality ocPortal Hosting? Look no further than Arvixe Web Hosting!

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Author Spotlight

Jim Davidson

I have always had an inquisitive mind and have been providing tutorials and help for many years. I love to work things out and document my findings in layman’s terms so that the tutorials are suitable for all.

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