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Building Forums with vBulletin

Book Description


Configure, manage and maintain your own vBulletin discussion forum

  • Get your own forum up and running quickly

  • Extensive coverage of the Administration Control Panel to put you on the right track for managing your board

  • Customize the appearance of your vBulletin forum

  • Change the site's behavior by developing and installing hacks

In Detail

Written specifically to allow you to create a discussion forum, vBulletin, provides all of the tools, features and functionality for you to set up and develop a vibrant community. Because it specializes in this one aspect of your website, all the features are geared towards this goal, and you can leave the improvement and additions to the vBulletin developers while you get on with managing the rest of your website. If you are either already running a community forum based on vBulletin, or are planning on establishing one, then this is the book for you. This book will guide you through installing, configuring, managing and maintaining a vBulletin discussion forum on your own website. The book begins with the initial installation and configuration of vBulletin on your system. You will then go on a tour of vBulletin and its features, for both users and administrators. This will grow your understanding and familiarise you with the power and possibilities of vBulletin. vBulletin's Administration Control Panel is where you can control every aspect of your board. From users, forums and word filters to skins, templates and maintenance, everything can be done through the web-based control panel. The book devotes significant sections to covering these, getting you up to speed on the options available to you, and offering advice to help you make the right choices with your board administration. To make your forums stand out from the rest, we cover skins and templates to take your first steps in customising your forum. vBulletin is one of the most popular forum platforms available. Well known for its power and speed, it drives many of the most popular discussion forums on the Internet.

A step-by-step guide to running your own vBulletin installation


Table of Contents

  1. Building Forums with vBulletin
    1. Building Forums with vBulletin
    2. Credits
    3. About the Authors
    4. Preface
      1. What This Book Covers
      2. Conventions
      3. Reader Feedback
      4. Customer Support
        1. Downloading the Example Code for the Book
        2. Errata
        3. Questions
    5. 1. Introduction to the vBulletin Board
      1. What is vBulletin?
        1. Why Have a Discussion Board?
          1. Benefits of a Discussion Board
        2. Why vBulletin?
        3. History
        4. Development
      2. The vBulletin Advantage
        1. Versatile
        2. Performance
        3. Customizable
        4. Easy to Maintain
        5. Other Features
      3. vBulletin Licensing Options
        1. Leased License
        2. Owned License
        3. Choosing a License
      4. Example vBulletin Sites
      5. Summary
    6. 2. Installing and Configuring vBulletin
      1. Requirements
        1. Disk Space
        2. Bandwidth
        3. System Resources
          1. Shared Hosting
          2. Semi-Dedicated Hosting
          3. Dedicated Hosting
          4. Other Options
      2. Installing vBulletin
        1. Tools
        2. Downloading the Installation Files
        3. File Extraction
        4. Upload Preparation
        5. Creating the Database
          1. Command-Line Database Creation
          2. cPanel Database Creation
        6. File Editing
        7. Uploading the vBulletin Files
        8. Running the vBulletin Installation Script
      3. Troubleshooting
        1. Database Access Issues
        2. Images/Styling Not Showing
        3. PHP Errors
      4. The vBulletin Control Panel
      5. Importing Data into vBulletin
          1. Downloading the ImpEx Script
          2. Compatibility
          3. Preparing for Upload
          4. Editing the Configuration File
            1. Target Database Settings
            2. Source Database Settings
          5. Upload the ImpEx Script
          6. Running the ImpEx Script
      6. Default Usergroups
      7. Securing vBulletin
      8. Help & Support
      9. Summary
    7. 3. A Tour of vBulletin
      1. The vBulletin User Experience
        1. How to Get to the Board?
        2. What the End Users See
          1. Site Logo
          2. Forum Title, Login Box, and Navbar
          3. Welcome Banner
          4. Main Body of the Forum
          5. What's Going On
          6. Footer
        3. Touring the Main Forum—Unregistered Users
          1. No "New Threads" for Unregistered Users
        4. Registering on a vBulletin Board
        5. Touring the Forum—Members
          1. New Threads
          2. Replying
          3. Editing a Message
          4. Private Messages
          5. BB Code
            1. What Does BB Code Look Like?
            2. Using BB Code
          6. User Tools
          7. Display Modes
          8. Navbar Changes for Members
      2. The vBulletin Administrator Experience
        1. Forum and Thread Tools
          1. vBulletin Options
            1. vBulletin Option Tools
      3. Forum Management
        1. Editing and Adding Forums
          1. Editing Existing Forums
          2. Moderation Options
          3. Forum Styling
          4. Access Control Options
          5. Forum Posting Options
          6. Enable/Disable Features
      4. Branding
        1. Changing the Logo
          1. Undoing the Change
      5. Summary
    8. 4. Customizing Your vBulletin Board
      1. Types of Customization
      2. CSS Modifications
        1. Changing the Table Title Text
        2. Viewing Changes
        3. Undoing the Changes
      3. Phrase Modifications
        1. Searching for Phrases
        2. Making Changes
        3. Viewing the Changes
        4. Undoing Changes
      4. Template Modifications
        1. Accessing Templates
        2. Exploring a Template
        3. Template Structure
        4. Adding a FORUMHOME Sidebar
          1. Two Changes
      5. PHP Code Modifications
        1. PayPal Modification
        2. File Modification
      6. Hacks
        1. Pros and Cons of Hacking a vBulletin Board
        2. Finding a Hack
        3. Installing a Hack
        4. Backing Up a Hack
        5. Commercial Hacks
      7. Summary
    9. 5. Administering Your Forum
      1. Setting Up a Forum
        1. Creating the Forum
        2. Forum Permissions
          1. Viewing Permissions
        3. Opening the Forum
      2. Super Administrators
        1. Creating a Super Administrator
      3. Other Changes to the config.php File
        1. Admin Log Viewing Permission
        2. Admin Log Pruning Permission
        3. Query Running Permission
        4. Undeletable and Unalterable Users
      4. Maintaining the Database
        1. Backing Up the Database
        2. Repairing and Optimizing the Database
      5. Some Maintenance Issues
      6. Smilies
        1. Editing a Smilie
        2. Adding a New Smilie
        3. Uploading a Smilie
        4. Creating Your Own Smilies
      7. Avatars
        1. Adding Avatars
        2. Storing Avatars
      8. Summary
    10. 6. Upgrading vBulletin
      1. When to Upgrade
      2. Preparing for Upgrade
      3. Migrating Changes
        1. File Compare Utilities
      4. Uploading the Files
      5. Running the Upgrade Script
      6. Testing the Upgrade
      7. Unveiling the Upgrade
      8. Summary
    11. 7. Changing the Look of vBulletin
      1. Styling vBulletin
      2. Template Lifecycles
        1. Lifecycle 1—Constant Change
        2. Lifecycle 2—Working Behind the Scenes
      3. Editing the Default Style
        1. Changing Image Paths
        2. Other Editable Elements
        3. Some Tips about Editing Styles
      4. Adding a New Style
        1. Editing the Style
        2. Saving the Style
        3. Downloading the Style
      5. Making the New Style into the Default
      6. Distributing a Style
      7. Installing a New Style
      8. Summary
    12. 8. Developing a Hack
      1. Hacking vBulletin
      2. Making the Changes
        1. Locating the Template
        2. Hacking the pm_newpm Template
        3. Testing the Hack
      3. Hack Distribution
        1. Tips for Hack Distribution
      4. Plugins and Products
        1. Getting Plugins and Products
        2. Adding a Product
        3. Adding a Plugin
        4. What If Things Go Wrong?
      5. Summary
    13. 9. Programmer's Reference
      1. Default Usergroup Settings
        1. (COPPA) Users Awaiting Moderation
        2. Administrators
        3. Moderators
        4. Registered Users
        5. Super Moderators
        6. Unregistered / Not Logged In
        7. Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
        8. Banned Users
      2. Default vBulletin Database Tables
      3. Moving Servers in Six Easy Steps
        1. Cookie Check
        2. Back up Database
        3. Download the vBulletin Files
        4. Transfer to New Server
        5. Database Restoration
        6. Back Online
      4. Graphics
      5. Global Post Text Find and Replace
      6. Programming Standards
        1. Braces
        2. Indenting
        3. Give Operators Space
        4. String Quoting
        5. Return Values
        6. AND and OR
        7. AS
        8. SQL Queries
        9. Naming Conventions for Functions
      7. Summary
    14. A. vBulletin Directory Structure
      1. vBulletin Directory Structure
      2. Notes
    15. B. vBulletin Resources, Hacks, Add-ons, and Templates
      1. Official vBulletin Sites
      2. Main vBulletin Hack Site
      3. vBulletin Styles and Templates
      4. vBulletin Add-Ons
      5. General Discussion Board‑Related Sites