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Homepage layout basics


Steve Silver

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Just struggling a bit to discover the basics of how to layout the homepage here;

Appreciate any tips, advice and refs to setting up initial homepage layout and styles, like;

1. What's the best way to get some intro text and widgets to the top of the homepage?  whilst then seeing the forums below,
I'm set at the default forum page view - which is fine, but can't figure out how we can add something above the forums?

2. The user guide suggests there's a header, sidebar, footer areas, but how do we access those to use as the homepage? (not clear in user guides)
or - is that done by setting up a Page template and then making that the default homepage?  
If so, can the full view of forums then be included, or do we need a different widget to do that?

3. Anyone got a list of 'must have' widgets and plugins - for these communities?

Thanks in advance for any advice and info

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Do you see a small button on the left hand side of your screen that opens up the Block Manager? 

You can add blocks to any of the hotzones, such as the header, footer, and sidebar.  IPS ships with several default blocks and you can also create your own.  

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Thanks Joel, yes - I've accessed the block manager in Pages, but can't see where / how a header/footer/sidebar is accessed in a Forum view?
i.e my default homepage shows FORUMS, but how do I get to see and edit and place something above the Forum views? sidebar and footer?
Should blocks also be useable with Forums?
Is there somewhere to create and edit a homepage Footer?  or do we have to buy an add-on widget? 

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18 minutes ago, Steve Silver said:

Thanks Joel, yes - I've accessed the block manager in Pages, but can't see where / how a header/footer/sidebar is accessed in a Forum view?
i.e my default homepage shows FORUMS, but how do I get to see and edit and place something above the Forum views? sidebar and footer?
Should blocks also be useable with Forums?
Is there somewhere to create and edit a homepage Footer?  or do we have to buy an add-on widget? 

No, I don't mean the Block Manager in the ACP.  I mean the Block Manager on the front-end.  

You will see hot zones where you can drag and drop blocks.  

 

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FANTASTIC - THANKS Joel R
I'd not found that version of the editor! presumed all the editing/creating facilities were in the admin panel! That's exactly what I was looking for!  Had to be logged in as a moderator to access it, as you / that useful guide shows, on the front end - 'easy once you know how'
All looks good now - I can add what/where I want,  THANKS AGAIN, Much appreciated Joel 🙂  Steve,

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