No one wants to read a glossary of terms so we will keep this short but it's important to know what we are talking about when we use a term or abbreviation.
AdminCP/ACP = Administration Control Panel which is the backend control area of your Suite
Member = Any user account in the system
Member Group = Control permissions and settings for members assigned to that group. All members are part of one or more member groups.
Guest = Someone who is browsing your community but is not logged in
Admin = A member who is in a group or otherwise has permission to access the AdminCP
Moderator = A member who has permission to perform any sort of control over other member's posts on the front end
Permissions = Throught the Suite you will see permission options and be presented with a huge selection of checkboxes:
These permission checkboxes define what each member group can see or do within the area of the Suite you are working with at the time. The columns define the various options.
If you use IPS Community in the Cloud you can either upgrade yourself as described here or you can choose to have us to it for you. Just submit a ticket if you prefer to have us handle upgrades.
When an upgrade to your Suite is available you will be notified in a few different ways. You will probably want to first set up a notification email for upgrades in the AdminCP under General Configuration:
When an upgrade is available you will receive an email notifying you:
And also a banner visible only to admins will show at the top of your screen:
A complete list of what's new in the release will also show in your AdminCP Dashboard.
If a release contains a security update then every method (banner, email, and dashboard) will warn you that a security update is avaialbe. You will not be able to dismiss the update banner until you apply the update.
There are a two main ways you apply an upgrade: download the zip from the client area or upgrade right in your AdminCP. If you download the full zip in the client area, just upload all the files in the zip and then go to /admin/upgrade to run the upgrade routine.
It is generally much easier to just upgrade in the AdminCP. When an upgrade is available just click the button to start the upgrade. When possible, the Suite will automatically apply the files and redirect you to the upgrader to step through the process. If it's not able to automatically apply changed files then it will prompt you to download a zip with just the files you need to upload. Either way you will end up at /admin/upgrade to follow the easy upgrade prompts.
Upgrading from IP.Board 3
If you are upgrading from IP.Board 3 to IPS Community Suite 4, please refer to the following set of guides
Now that you have successfully installed your IPS Community Suite, the first thing you will want to do is login with the username created on install. Your initial username is in the administrator member group and therefore has full access to all areas of the Suite.
The AdminCP (ACP) is the administration control panel area for your community. It is the place that administrators go to change settings, customize, and implement policies for how members interact on the community.
Quick Search Menu
Learn to love the quick search menu as it will save you so much time! From here the system will search the entire AdminCP, member list, Commerce support requests, and more. If you are looking for a member's account to edit you can either go to the Members tab or just enter their name here. Let's say you need to edit a setting but cannot remember where it is: just enter the name and the system will take you there. Perhaps a client has give you their support request number for support: again, just enter the number and there you are. It's a real time saver.
While not nearly as exciting as the Quick Search Menu, the ability to reorder the menu is also quite useful. You can move menu items around and, if you change the root item, when you login that will become your AdminCP landing page. So let's say you are primarily involved in sales on your site: in that case make Commerce your top menu item. Perhaps you are a designer? Make Customization the top item. Then when you login you are taken directly to the most commonly used area for you.
The Dashboard of the AdminCP is normally the default view when you login unless you have chosen to reorder your areas or are restricted.
It serves as a customizable overview of what is going on in your community. There are several widgets you can add/remove from this page and move them around to give you an overview that suits your needs. As you install additional apps new, app-specific widgets may also appear.
There are two widgets in particular that are important to note:
Users Awaiting Admin Approval
If you enable the option to review registrations on your community, this widgets shows a quick overview of those pending approval and allows you either to quickly approve/deny or visit the full list. It's a great way to remind yourself to check registrations as soon as you login.
There are various actions throughout the Suite that cause tasks to be queued for background processing. Sending a bulk email, notifying people of new activity, deleting/moving large amounts of content, rebuilding post content, building the search index, and many more intensive actions. These actions are queued for work so you can continue to use your Suite while these intensive tasks occur without any further interaction from you.
The Background Processes widget allows you to monitor the status of these queue tasks and see their progress.
One of the first basic things you will want to set up in your admin CP will be your general configuation. This can be found in System>Settings>General Configuration, or using the search methods described above. From here you can enter your sites name, address, copyright, and email addresses that will be notified when there are any updates to the product.
Whist installing your IPS Community Suite, you will be given the opportunity to choose your default application. However, we realise you may not know at that point in time, or indeed change your mind on what you want the default application for your suite to be.
What is your default application?
In a nutshell, your default application is what your user sees when they visit your sites main URL. So for example, if you set this up as gallery, then the first thing that people will see on your site would be the gallery home page.
Setting up a default application
You set up a default application from your applications section within the admin CP. This can be found at System>Site Features>Applications, and will look similar to the following.
In the above image you will see one of the stars is selected on the right. This is what denotes the default application on your site. You can select any of the star icons so change the default application.
Why would I have System as default?
You will note you can set up system as the default application, but then what would show? If you expand the system application, you will see that you can also set a default module. In the example below, I have set this to be the status updates page.
If you are experiencing a technical issue with your community please login to your Admin CP and go to System -> Support, and choose the "Something isn't working correctly" option. This tool will fix most common issues for you or advise upon action you need to take to resolve the issue.
Once within the support tool, you will see the following screen. Whilst most are self explanatory, we will briefly discuss how the system works below.
Where you see items with a green tick, these items can be ignored and are found to be correct. If you see any which are in red with a cross, then you would need to action these items.
You may at times see text stating that you are running the latest version, however issues have been found with the software which have been patched prior to the next release. You can download these patches using the links provided, and upload to your server for a fix to your problem.
A common source of issues comes from modified themes or using third party plugins and applications. Selecting "Disable Customisations" will create a default, unmodified theme and disable all third party plugins/applications as part of the process.
You should check to see if your issue is resolved during this steps. If it is solved you should disabled the problematic change. If it is not resolved the Support system will restore your customizations.
If you are experiencing a problem that the support tool cannot fix, or if you have any account or payment questions please submit a ticket in your Client Area by clicking on the "Support" tab and our team will be able to help you further. When submitting a ticket please ensure that you provide the Admin CP and FTP access details for your community as we may need them while investigating.
You can also get peer-to-peer support on the Community Forums along with advice on customizing your community, creating add-ons and help with server-side issues.
Whilst most security related items would be taken care of by your hosting company. There are a few recommendation that we would make with regards ensuring your site is safe and secure. These can be found within the following area in your Admin CP
Here you will see various recommendations for security improvements. Each of these containing either buttons to enable the setting automatically, or instructions on what you would need to do in order to action that item.
Within this area, you will also see a "Show Administrators" button which will show the names of everyone on the system who has administrator rights. This can be helpful if you have a few groups set up, along with members that are all set up as admin, as this is a very easy way to see exactly which members are set up.
The settings shown below should only be used if you either know what you are setting them for, or you are asked to do so by a member of the support team. With the exception of the "Show adminCP link to administrators setting.
Behind the security settings button at the top, you will see a few more advanced options.
From here you can chose to switch off the link to the admin CP for administrators, so it could only be visited if the link is known. The other 2 options relating to IP addresses may be useful in situations where you want proxy IP addresses to be trusted, or need to ensure IP addresses are not checked for sessions. These can be especially useful in an intranet environment.
The 'Trust IP addresses provided by proxies?' setting that you see within this area can be useful if you have a situation where your hosting company is proxying your visitors IP. In this situation, you may see all IPs are the same for every member. Switching on this setting should resolve this issue