Concrete5 configuration Tutorial

How to Locate and edit Concrete5 configuration file

 

The configuration file of all scripts is a place to find valuable details for your website. Such are the database details, domain name and much more. Each application has different ways of operating and this means that the information that you will be able to find in the configuration file will be different as well.

 

Further reading:

Concrete5 installation tutorial

How to manage users and create pages in Concrete5

How to install addons and themes in Concrete5

How to create and restore a backup in Concrete5



In Concrete5, you have one main configuration file that contains the database details for your website. What you need to do is to access the folder of your Concrete5 installation on the server and then navigate to application/config/. Within this location, you will find a file called database.php.

The file in question contains the hostname of the server (set to "localhost" if your database is stored on the same server as your Concrete5 installation), the database name and the user assigned to it with a specific password, etc. This is the best place to check your database details and use them for any manual data modifications.

return array(
'default-connection' => 'concrete',
'connections' => array(
'concrete' => array(
'driver' => 'c5_pdo_mysql',
'server' => 'localhost',
'database' => 'example_con5',
'username' => 'example_con5',
'password' => 'p4ssw0rd',
'charset' => 'utf8'
)
)
);

It may also come handy when generating or restoring a backup of your Concrete5 website.

 

Further reading:

Concrete5 installation tutorial

How to manage users and create pages in Concrete5

How to install addons and themes in Concrete5

How to create and restore a backup in Concrete5

 

How to enable Concrete5 maintenance mode

 

We will review the process of enabling or disable a maintenance mode on your Concrete5 website. This is an important core feature of the process that will allow you to work on your website, without allowing users to see the changes until you are ready for that.

The maintenance mode is one of the core features of Concrete5 and you do not need additional modules for that. If the maintenance mode is enabled and you log out of your account, you will see the following message on the front end of your website.

To enable maintenance mode on your Concrete5 website, you need to access your website as administrator and then click on the Dashboard button at the top-right corner. Select the System & Settings option.

Locate the Permissions & Access section and click on the Maintenance Mode option.

To enable the maintenance mode on your website, you simply need to choose the Enabled radio-button and then click on the Save button below.

To disable the maintenance mode on your website, you need to follow the exact same steps, as the ones highlighted above.

However, at the last step, you simply need to choose the Disabled radio-button and then click the Save button below.

 

Further reading:

Concrete5 installation tutorial

How to manage users and create pages in Concrete5

How to install addons and themes in Concrete5

How to create and restore a backup in Concrete5

 

How to configure SMTP in Concrete5

 

In this tutorial, we will review the steps on how to configure the mail service of your Concrete5 website with SMTP. This is a good way of sending all system emails on your website from a specific email account and ensure they are properly delivered.

To enable SMTP in Concrete5, you will need to:

 

Create an Email Account

To create an email account on your hosting package, you need to log into your cPanel. Then simply locate the Mail tab and click on the Email Accounts icon.

Fill in the information for the new email account and then click on the Create account button to keep the changes.

After you complete the steps above, your email account will be displayed just below the creation form. Next to your email address, click on the More button and then Access Webmail, from where you will be able to access that email account.

 

Configure SMTP

 

The next step is to configure the mail service of your actual website with SMTP. Log into the administrative area of your website and select the Dashboard button at the top-right corner of the screen. Locate and click on the System & Settings button.

Locate the Email section and then click on the SMTP Method option.

Choose the External SMTP Server and edit the following options:

  • Mail Server - mail.example.com (you need to change example.com to your actual domain name).
  • Username - Enter your email account created in the previous chapter.
  • Password - Enter the password for it.
  • Encryption - None
  • Port - 25 or 2525

Click on the Save button to keep the changes. The system will automatically configure your website's mail service wtih SMTP.

 

Further reading:

Concrete5 installation tutorial

How to manage users and create pages in Concrete5

How to install addons and themes in Concrete5

How to create and restore a backup in Concrete5

 

How to enable SSL in Concrete5

 

The use of SSL is always a good idea as it will improve the security for transactions through your website and protect your users. Not to mention that the actual use of SSL always looks more professional in front of your users.

To enable SSL for your Concrete5 based website:

 

Obtain an SSL Certificate

The first step is to purchase a dedicated SSL certificate for your domain. If you are an existing Todhost customer, you can purchase such a certificate via your Client Area. The process is entirely completed by our support team so you do not need to make any changes on your end. Alternatively, you can opt for a free Let's Encrypt SSL which is enabled for your hosting account by default.

 

Force SSL usage

 

The next step is to force the use of SSL on your Concrete5 website. To achieve that, you need to access your cPanel account first. Locate the Files tab and click on the File Manager service.

In the pop-up window, you need to select the Home Directory and "Show Hidden Files (dotfiles)" options. Then click on the Go button to proceed.

Navigate to the directory of your Concrete5 installation. In our case, this is the public_html/ directory. In there, you will notice a file called .htaccess (create it if there is no such a file). Select it and then click on the Edit button at the top-menu.

At the top of the file, you need to include the following code:

RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
RewriteRule^(.*)$ https://www.example.com/$1 [R,L] 

In the example code above, you need to change example.com with your actual domain name. Once done, simply click on the Save Changes button at the top-right corner of the screen to keep the changes. Now, once you access your website, you will be automatically redirected to the secured https protocol.

 

Further reading:

Concrete5 installation tutorial

How to manage users and create pages in Concrete5

How to install addons and themes in Concrete5

How to create and restore a backup in Concrete5

 

How to enable clean URLs in Concrete5

 

We will review how to enable clean URLs on your Concrete5 website. It is a good way of improving the SEO on your website and allow users to find pages from your website easily in the major search engines. It will also make the links on your website human-readable, which is easier to remember.

To proceed, please follow the steps provided below:

 

Enable Admin Options

 

The first step is to enable the Clean URLs via the administrative area of your website. Log in as administrator and then click on the Dashboard button at the top-right corner. Select the System & Settings option from the available list.

Locate the SEO & Statistics section and click on the Pretty URLs button.

Select the Enable Pretty URLs check-box and then click on the Save button below the keep the changes.

 

Edit the .htaccess File

When you enable the Pretty URLs from the admin area of your website, you will be presented with a code that you must add to the .htaccess file of your installation.

To edit the .htaccess file, you need to access your cPanel account first. Locate the Files tab and click on the File Manager service.

In the pop-up window, you need to select the Home Directory option and also enable the Show Hidden Files (dotfiles) and then click on the Go button to proceed.

Then you need to navigate to the location of your Concrete5 installation. In there, you will find an .htaccess file (create it if there is no such a file). Select it and then click on the Edit button from the top-menu.

Paste the code that you have been given via the administrative area of your website and click on the Save Changes button.

 

Further reading:

Concrete5 installation tutorial

How to manage users and create pages in Concrete5

How to install addons and themes in Concrete5

How to create and restore a backup in Concrete5

 

How to enable full caching in Concrete5

 

The current tutorial will follow the steps of enabling full caching on your Concrete5 website. This is a good way of improving the load time of your website and the objects on it.

To enable caching in Concrete5, you need to log into your website as administrator. Click on the Dashboard button at the top menu and then click on System & Settings.

Locate the Optimization section and click on the Cache & Speed Settings option.

In the Full Page Caching section, click on one of the following options:

  • On - If blocks on the particular page allow it.
  • On - In all cases.

The option you will choose depends on the way you have developed your website so it is up to you. You can, of course, test both options and see which one suits your needs best.

When ready, simply click on the Save button to keep the changes. The system will configure your website automatically for you, using the preferences you have specified above.

 

Further reading:

Concrete5 installation tutorial

How to manage users and create pages in Concrete5

How to install addons and themes in Concrete5

How to create and restore a backup in Concrete5

 

How to block an IP address in Concrete5

 

Sometimes, there are users that you do not want accessing your website. If you are aware of the IP address used by those users, you can block access to your website for them. This will make your website not avaialble for those specific IPs.

To block an IP address in Concrete5, you need to access your website as administrator. Click on the Dashboard button on the top menu and then select the System & Settings option.

Locate the Permissions & Access section and click on the IP Blacklist option.

Enter the IP address that you wish to ban within the Permanent IP Ban field. Make sure that you enter each new IP address on a separate line.

Click on the Save button and the system will automatically apply the change for you.

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