Managing Your Community

  1. General Posting Control

    In the AdminCP under Settings you will find the Posting section which is another one of the more important settings areas as these options control how your members post content throughout your Suite. These are your general settings and individual apps can override these settings depending on their specific feature set. It's a good place to spend some time thinking about how you want things to look and work on your community. General Allow remote images = You can completely disable the ability for members to embed images from external sources in posts. Maximum Image Size = Controls the largest size an image can be posted on your community (in dimensions not file size). If someone uploads an image that is larger than these defined dimensions then the system will generate a thumbnail up to the size defined here. Example: The settings on this site are set to max of 500 x 350 yet I uploaded an image with a dimension of 1300 x 936 so the system saved both my original image and also created a new thumbnail with a width of 500. The thumbnail is shown above. I can also resize the thumbnail down and even change positioning of the thumbnail as you can see by the smaller thumbnail that is right aligned here. If I click either thumbnail I am shown the full-size original image scaled down to fit in my browser window (larger the window the more you will see). Finally, I can click to view full size and the image then opens in a new window without any styling.   Acronym Expansion A basic but pretty useful feature which allows for commonly type acronyms to contain a tool type. Example: ACP Polls Some apps have the ability to show polls and here you can define the Suite-wide options for how you want to handle polls. The more important options define if a user can see what other people voted for, are required to vote before seeing results, and if they can change their vote. Depending on the nature of your community and how you use polls these can be very important settings to consider. Profanity Filters You can of course use these filters to filter out profanity on your site. But beyond that you might also use them to replace commonly misspelled words, block out references to your competitors, or wherever you might want to do a word replacement. As with many features in IPS Community Suite, you can be creative with how you apply this one. Tags Many applications support the use of tagging and you can use tags to associate content with similar purposes across all your various apps and areas of the Suite. By just clicking a tag a member can see everything related to that tag regardless if it's a forum discussion, gallery image, or blog entry. This settings pane controls some important global options for tags but note that some apps can override these settings if they have local configuration options. URLs Members will always post URLs linking people to other sites and here you can define how you want those URLs handled and if you want to enable any restrictions to what people can link to.    
  2. IPS Spam Service / Spam Prevention

    The best spam prevention is on registration, not after, this is where the built in tools are valuable. 1. Ensure you have the question and answer system setup for registrations, do not use a simple math or color question, get creative with your question, tailor it around the topic if your site and not something anyone can google the answer for. 2. Setup the IPS spam service to not allow registration on level 3 & 4, then adjust the others as needed to tighten things up, admin validation can be used also for some levels if needed. 3. Require email validation. If you do the above, you won't have to deal with spam much at all. Keep in mind there are humans registering too, and spamming too, not much you can do about those, this is where the "Flag as spammer comes in though" Be sure to set that up as well to delete content, ban account etc, all with one click!    The IPS Spam service uses a multitude of data and magic however to process registrations and score them, you can alter the actions per score as above to suite your needs.
  3. Terms, privacy policy, and guidelines

    In the AdminCP under Terms & Privacy Policy you will see three options: Site Guidelines Privacy Policy Registration Terms & Rules These items are available during member registration (they must agree to them) and Privacy Policy is available in the footer. You can choose to show text or link to an external page for Site Guidelines and Privacy Policy. If you change your policies, the system will prompt you to force existing members to re-acknowledge before they can do anything else on your community.  
  4. Email Settings

    You can configure your incoming, outgoing, and server-level email settings in the AdminCP under System -> Email Settings. By default, the Suite will use your local server's PHP mail but some system administrators may want you to use SMTP. Tip When you change any email-related settings, always use the Test Settings button to be sure your changes are working. Email Error Logs can help you diagnose any issues. Outgoing email address = When the Suite sends an email out to a member this is the email address in the "From" field. Incoming email address = Some error pages display this email and the Contact Us form sends messages to this address. Primary email color and Email Logo= This is a quick setting to set the header colors and logo in the HTML email templates. See the Customization guides on how to further customize email templates. Advanced Settings For most communities, PHP mail will be sufficient and no additional parameters will be required. You can optionally choose to use SMTP as well. IPS uses and you will see it referenced under Community Enhancements in the AdminCP. We receive no referral income from recommending Mandrill - we simply think their service is good. If your SMTP server requires SSL or TLS you may need to prefix your SMTP Host with ssl:// or tsl:// to have the system recognize these requirements.   Email Debugging For power users, you can write full email logs to disk. If you need to debug the emails being sent from the Suite, you can create a folder named _mail (with appropriate write permissions) in your Suite root directory, and then add in your constants.php (editing the example path provided): define( 'EMAIL_DEBUG_PATH', "/full/path/to/the/folder/_mail" ); This will cause every email to be logged to a flat file under this _mail folder. The email will not actually be sent. You should not leave this on for long, especially on a production forum. The emails will not be delivered to the recipients The files written are in plain text, and viewable via a web browser if you know the correct URL A high-traffic forum can generate many hundreds or thousands of debug files in a day The debug switch is useful, however, to determine the raw contents of the email being sent to identify any problems, and to confirm the emails you expect to send are being generated and passed to the mail transport agent.  
  5. Setting up your menu

    The Menu Manager in the AdminCP under System Settings allows you to fully control the top-level menu of your community. You can create one or two-levels of menu items and all menu items can have drop down menus as well. Menu items available include: custom link = link to any URL you want special Suite areas = specific apps are special app functions activity streams = access to a specific activity stream Pages = link to any page you create in the Pages app All menu items support full permissions. You can either set them to honor the permissions of the item they're linking to or set custom permissions. If you do not set any second-level menu items then that bar will automatically hide and only the top tabs will show.    
  6. Community Enhancements

    In addition to the standard features of the suite, you can also activate various community enhancements on your site from the following location. System>Site Features>Community Enhancements Once in this location  you will see a screen similar to the below. You can enable and configure these using the links provided.
  7. Purchasing and adding a new IPS product

    There may come a point after the installation of your product, that you wish to purchase another part of the IPS community suite. The following instructions will show you how to do this. Purchasing a new product Purchasing a new product for your suite can be done directly from your client area, in the following manner Log into the client area, using your client credentials Go to the "Manage purchases" tab  Select the license in which you would like to add the new application Select "Manage your community" From this page you can add any product you have not already purchased for that license. In addition, you can purchase any extras from that area, such as priority support, copyright removal, or even an increate in your chatroom limit. Once selected, you will be given the option to pay for the new product in the top right, as seen below.   Adding a newly purchased application If you have purchased a new application, you then need to add this to your community suite. In order to do this, you would do the following. Download a fresh set of files from your client area. If you are unsure on how to do this, please see the following guide which will show you how to get this.
      Unpack, and uploads the files. Do not delete any existing files, however please do overwrite where there are files that already exist on the server. You may find this guide helpful if you are unsure on this
      Log into your admin CP, and visit "System>Site Features>Applications". From here you will see that you can install your new application, using the install button provided. For example here, we will install the gallery application, using the + icon shown.
  8. Community Enhancements: Google Maps

    Enabling integration with Google Maps provides autocomplete functionality when a user enters an address (which is particularly useful if you are using the Commerce application) and can display maps when looking at IP addresses and elsewhere. Warning You need to enable three different API services. Make sure you follow all of the following instructions carefully. To enable Google Maps integration: Go to the Google Developers Console and sign in if you are not signed in already.
      In the top-right corner is the project selector.

    You may already have a project if you have previously integrated Google login on your community. If you do not have project, click the dropdown and create one.

      Select "Enable API" in the top left of the screen

      Click the "Google Maps JavaScript API" link and then click the "Enable" button.


      Click "Go to Credentials" and create an API key for a web browser. Make sure that "Google Maps Javascript API" is selected.

      You will be presented with an API key. On your community, to AdminCP > System > Community Enhancements > Google Maps and fill this into the "Google Maps API Key" field.

      Select 'API Manager' in the top left of the Google Developers console and repeat step 3 to 4 for the Google Static Maps API, Google Maps Embed API and the Google Maps Geocoding API. (You may need to select 'more' under the Google maps APIs to see these)
  9. Adding 3rd Party Content

    Whilst the IPS4 product provides most of the functionality that you will need, there may be niche items that you would like to add to your site. Our marketplace contains  many 3rd party plugins and applications that you can install on your site to add functionality. Applications will generally add new areas to your site, whist plugins will tend more to add to existing areas on your site. Warning 3rd Party applications and plugins are not supported by IPS and are used at your own risk. Basics to adding/updating 3rd party applications To add a 3rd party application you have downloded, you will need to visit "System>Site Features>Applications" in your admin CP. From here you will be able to select the install button to install a new application. If you already know that you have the application and you are looking to upgrade, you will need to select to upgrade in the menu next to the application you are upgrading. Warning IPS4 applications are not upgraded in this manor. For information on how to upgrade the IPS4 applications themselves, please see the following guide.   In the popup that you are given, you will select the tar file from the application that you have downloaded. Warning These are basic guides to installing and upgrading 3rd party applications. Always ensure that you follow the instructions of the applications developer when installing 3rd party products.     Basics to adding/updating 3rd party plugins  To add a 3rd party plugins you have downloded, you will need to visit "System>Site Features>Plugins" i your admin CP. From here you will be able to select the install button to install a new plugin 1 or select the upgrade button to upgrade an existing plugin 2 Once you have selected one of these items, you will then need to select the xml file that you downloaded which will install your plugin.   Warning These are basic guides to installing and upgrading 3rd party plugins. Always ensure that you follow the instructions of the applications developer when installing 3rd party products.  
  10. Previewing post content

    There will be times when topics and replies can become quite large in nature. They may contain BBCode and other elements which cannot be seen in the editor at the time of writing. In addition you may want to see how your topic/post/other looks on a mobile or tablet. For this purpose we have introduced a post preview button for the editor, which will allow for quick and easy previewing of posts.   Previewing content You will see in the image below, I have created a small post using some old BBCode tags.      Clicking on the icon provided for post preview.  This will allow me to see how it will look on desktop, mobile, and tablet views. Giving me an easy way to see how it looks on each. You can use the x in the corner to close the window and return to the editor.      Cant see the preview button? If you cannot see the preview button within your editor, then you may have upgraded from an earlier version and had already. You will need to add this using the toolbar editor within your admin CP. If you are unsure on how to add new buttons to your toolbar, you can see the guide referenced below, which will show you how to do this.