phpBB3 Configuration Tutorial

This tutorial covers the following topics:

  • Basic phpBB3 Configuriation
  • Configuring Word Censorship
  • New user registration
  • Profile editing
  • Using polls
  • Enabling SSL
  • Disallowing usernames
  • Disabling phpBB3
  • SMTP configuration
  • Creating a topic
  • Creating forms

 

Further reading:

Main Features of phpBB3 Forum

 Managing Users and Permissions in phpBB3

 phpBB3 Installation Tutorial

 phpBB3 Web Hosting 

 

Basic phpBB3 Configuriation

 

Once you have your Forum installed you probably would like to configure it depending on your personal needs. phpBB provides large amount of options in its configuration and in this tutorial we will show and explain all of these options.

 
The Board Configuration process includes:

    Step 1: Access the Board Settings page
    Step 2: Page overview and Configuration

Step 1 Access the Board Settings page

In order to access the configuration page for your Forum please login into the Administration Control Panel and navigate to Board Configuration > Board Settings.

 

Board-Settings

 

This link will redirect you to the Board Settings page where you can set all of the basic settings for your forum.

 
Step 2 Page overview and Configuration

The Board Settings interface contains the following fields:

 

    Site Name – The name of your website
    Site Description – The description of your forum
    Disable Board – Option to disable your forum and present the users with message what is the reason for disabling it
    Default Language – The default language your board will be displayed in
    Date Format – The format of the date. Note that the date will be displayed on each and every post/topic  of your board
    Guest Timezone – The timezone of the blog presented to the users viewing your board not as registered members. Usually the bots are also considered as such
    Enable Summer Time/DST – If the time on your forum should consider the Summer Time/DST change.
    Default Style – The template your board will be using as default
    Override user style – If the user selected board template should be overwritten by the default template you have configured in the previous setting
    Warning duration – The duration of warnings/notifications. After the configured period the notification/warning will expire

 

Once you are done editing all of these settings please use the submit button in order to save those.

If the options were configured properly you should receive a successful message indicating the change.

The next set of settings is called Board Features and it is located in your Administration Control Panel>Board Configuration> Board Features.

Most of the options on this page are presented as Radio buttons with simple “Yes” or “No” value.

The included features you can enable/disable are quite intuitive and also self-explanatory so you will be able to change them on your needs.

 

Configuring Word Censorship

 

Word censoring is one of the most probably best features of the phpBB Forum platform and at the same time a mandatory for such type of platform where the users have the option to post content. It is a convenient way of controlling the content in order to reduce the amount of unpleasant contents on your Forum.

In this tutorial we will show you how to use the Word Censoring feature in order to add words which should censored  and of course how to edit and remove a censored word.

To manage the censorship of words in phpBB3, you need to:

    Step 1: Access the Word Censoring feature
    Step 2: Add a Word for Censoring
    Step 3: Edit a Censored Word
    Step 4: Remove a Censored Word

 

Step 1 Access the Word Censoring feature

 

In order to begin with this tutorial you will need to login into the Administration Control Panel of your forum and navigate to Posting>Messages>Word Censoring.

This action will redirect you to the Word Censoring feature page where you will notice a single interface presenting a table view of your censored words. Most probably the first time you access this feature there will be no censored words as the phpBB platform does not include such with its default installation.

 

Step 2 Add a Word for Censoring

 

In order to add a new word for censoring please use the Add new Word button located at the top right corner of the interface.

The button will lead you to a page where you will notice a single interface with two fields. The form presented in that interface is fairly simple:

    Word – The word you would like to censor
    Replacement – The word which will replace the censored word

Once you are ready with these fields you should use the Submit button in order to save the censored word and its replacement.

Of course this will bring a successful message indicating that the censor has been successfully added.

Returning to the previous page will land you on the Word Censoring page once again, however this time you will notice the newly added word in the table view of the interface.

With this the process of censoring a word is completed.

 

Step 3 Edit a Censored Word

 

Now let’s edit the censored word and its censor of course. In order to do so you will need to click on the green icon under the Action column for the concrete censored word you would like to edit.

This will bring the same interface you have used for adding a word with the two fields Word and Replacement which you should edit appropriately based on your needs and then using the Submit button to save the edit.

Once you submit the forum the edit will be saved and you will be presented with a successful message indicating that.

 

Step 4 Remove a Censored Word

 

Finally let’s delete the censored word. In order to do so you will need to once again access the Word Censoring page so you can be presented with the table view of the censored words. Then you will need to click on the red icon located in the Action column of the table view for the concrete censored word you would like to remove from the list.

This action will need to be confirmed at the next page and once you confirm it the censored word will be removed from the list.

 

Configure New User Registeration


In order to have a big community of users which will be posting n the forums you are creating on your Board you will need to ensure a flawless registration process but in the same time equally secured from spam bots.

 
To register a new user in phpBB3, you will need to:

    Step 1: Locate the Register Button
    Step 2: Accept the Terms
    Step 3: Fill out the Registration Form

 

Step 1 Locate the Register Button

 

Assuming that you are the user who will be registering an account on your Board (maybe for example a testing account) you will be initially landed on the home page of your Board where the forums you have created will be listed.

You will notice in the top right corner of your Board the Register button which is the one that will redirect you to the registration interface.

 
Step 2 Accept the Terms

 

The first page from the registration process is the Registration Terms and Conditions which every user should agree with when his/her account is created.

By clicking on the “I Agree to these terms” you will confirm the agreement and the registration process can now proceed.

 
Step 3 Fill out the Registration Form

 

On the next page you will be presented with the default fields required for each registration on your Board to be created with. Such fields are the Username, E-mail address, Password and of course the Confirmation Code. It is actually a simple registration form you should be able to easily fill.

Once you are done with filling the required fields please use the Submit button in order for the information to be submitted and the profile to be created.

Finally you will be presented with a message indicating the successful creation of your account and you will be able to login now using the registered username and password.

 

Edit your profile

 

Once you have a profile on your Board it is time to edit the information about you displayed to the other members. The phpBB Platform allows you to add large amount of personal information to your profile and you are the one who should decide what pieces of information should be available publically.

In this tutorial we will how you how to edit your profile information using the integrated tools in the phpBB platform.

To begin you should login into your profile and once you are landed on the home page of your Board (where all of the forums are listed) you should navigate to the User Control Panel link displayed in the top left corner of the Board.

The link in question will redirect you to the actual User Control Panel page where you should simply click on the Profile tab where the information for your profile can be edited.

The available profile fields for edit will be then listed in the center of the page under the Edit Profile section. In the left part of the section you will notice that you can edit also your Signature, Avatar and also Account settings.

 
Note

You will need to submit the changed fields every time you change those so the settings can be actually saved.

 

If all of the changes were successfully applied you will be presented with the respective message indicating those changes.

 

Setting up a poll

 

Polls are usually used as voting system for certain query or subject you would like to discuss with your members. For example if you would like your members to vote on the subject of new forums on your Board.

In this tutorial we will show you how to create a new topic with an integrated poll inside the topic.

 
To manage your polls in phpBB3, you will need to:

    Step 1: Create a new Topic
    Step 2: Configure your Topic with a Poll

 

Step 1 Create a new Topic

 

In order to create a new topic please login into the frontend of your Board and choose a forum where the new topic with the poll will be created.

For the purpose of this tutorial we will add a topic to the Your First Forum forum. Thus you should click on that forum in order to access the topics list and then click on the New Topic button so you can begin creating the topic.

This action will redirect you to the topic configuration page.

 

Step 2 Configure your Topic with a Poll

 

As usual for the new topic you will need to enter a Subject and a Body.

Now let’s add your actual poll. If you scroll down below the POST A NEW TOPIC section you will find a tabbed section with few tabs in it. You will need to click on the Poll creation where you will be able to insert the Pool question and the Poll Options.

When you are ready with the configuration of your poll please scroll up a bit and find the Submit button which will directly submit your Topic with the poll you have just created.

On the next page you will be presented with message indicating that the Topic has been successfully created and the option to view it.

 

Activating SSL support

 

SSL stands for Secure Socked Layer and its basic use is to encrypt the information sent from your users’ devices to your website. Such information is the usernames and passwords, the personal information in the user’s profile and also any custom files you have set for the user registration.

In this tutorial we will show you how in few easy to follow steps you will be able to activate the already installed SSL certificate for your domain on your phpBB 3 Board.

Since the enabling of the SSL certificate on your Board is an administrative function you will need to first login into your Administration Control Panel and then you will need to navigate to General > Server Configuration > Cookie Settings.

This is the default configuration page for the cookies handling by your Board. On that page you will probably notice a single section of settings containing few fields. The good news here is that you will need to only change a single field in order to get the SSL certificate activated for your Board. The last field called Cookie secure is the one you are looking for and you will need to simply change its value to Enabled.

Once you have this done you should simply press the Submit button at the bottom of that section so you can have the configuration saved.

That is all you need to activate the SSL certificate on your phpBB 3 Board. How easy and straight was that?!

 

Disallowing Specific Username Registration

 

Disallowing the use of certain usernames is something you should indeed consider in order to avoid having users with offending usernames registered on your Board. By default phpBB comes with the option to fully manage such restrictions via the Administration Control Panel of your Board.

In this tutorial we will show you how to disallow certain username from being registered and also how to remove existing restrictions related to the disallowed username.

To disable registration with certain usernames in phpBB3, please:

    Step 1: Access the Disallow feature
    Step 2: Disallow Usernames

 

Step 1 Access the Disallow feature

 

In order to access the Disallow Usernames  feature you will need to login into the Administration Control Panel of your website and navigate to Users and Groups>Disallow Usernames.

The form you will be presented with for disallowing the use of certain username is fairly simple and it contains a single field called Username.

 
Step 2 Disallow Usernames

 

You will need to input the username you would like to disallow from being registered in the text box on that page.

The “*” character is used for instructing your Board to disallow any character in the username. In the above provided example we are disallowing any username containing the “dog” word in it no matter where in the username that word can be found – e.g.  dogshow (at the beginning of the username); showdog (at the end of the username); showdogshow (anywhere in the username).

Once you are ready filling the string you would like to disallow please use the Submit button so you can save it. Once the string is saved it will appear in the list bellow in the “Remove a disallowed username” section.

Which lead us to the removing action. In that interface you will be able to select the disallowed username you have already added to the list and respectively remove it from the list using the Submit button.

 

Disabling the Access to your forums

 

Disabling a phpBB 3 Board entirely for user access is commonly used for any updates or if you would like to deploy some major change on your Board that will affect all of the users registered on it.

 
The board disabling process in phpBB3 includes these steps:

    Step 1: Access the Board Settings page
    Step 2: Disable your Board

 

Step 1 Access the Board Settings page

 

First you will need to login into the administration control panel of your Board and to navigate to General>Board Configuration>Board Settings.

There you will be able to locate most of the basic settings for your Board.

 
Step 2 Disable your Board

 

One of the Basic settings is called Disable Board and it is exactly the one you need to use in order to disable your Board.

Please choose the Yes option and if you would like to you can also specify a friendly message to your users providing them with more information on the reason why your board is disabled. Apply the changes by using the Submit button located at the bottom of the page.

One you hit that button you will be presented with a confirmation message that the change was applied. If you then logout and check your Board’s index page you will notice that the whole Board will be disabled and the message you have filled will be displayed.

 

Enabling and Configuring the SMTP protocol

 

The SMTP abbreviation stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and it is used for sending outgoing messages from the mail service installed on the server where your website is hosted. By default the phpBB 3 platform comes with activated mail function for handling this type of emails.

This basically mean that the platform is using directly the php mail(); function which is not the best solution especially if you would like your emails to be properly delivered to your recipients.

In this brief tutorial we will show you how to configure your phpBB 3 Board to use the SMTP protocol for handling the outgoing emails in few easy steps.

 
To enable SMTP in phpBB3, you need to complete the following steps:

    Step 1: Access the Email Settings page
    Step 2: Configure the SMTP Settings

 

Step 1 Access the Email Settings page

 

Since this is s tweak in the global configuration of the platform you will need to login into the Administration Control Panel of the platform and then to navigate to General>Client Communications>Email Settings.

This link will lead you to the default page for the mail configuration of your Board where you will be able to configure the SMTP protocol. More on the subject in the next step.


 
Step 2 Configure the SMTP Settings

 

Once you are landed on the E-mail settings page you will notice that the page is separated on two sections. The second section labeled SMTP settings is the one you will need in order to activate and configure the SMTP protocol.

 

The section contains the following fields you will need to configure:

 

    Use SMTP server for e-mail – A simple yes or no configuration which in order to activate you will need to set as Yes
    SMTP Server Address – On all our server this address should be “mail.yourdomain.com” where you will need to change yourdomain.com with your actual domain name
    SMTP Server Port – The port you will need to setup is 25 as this is the default mail port of the SMTP protocol
    Authentication method for SMTP – The value of this field you remain PLAIN  as this is the default supported authentication method
    SMTP Username – Any email account you have created via your cPanel > Email accounts. Example: admin@yourdomain.com
    SMTP Password – The password for the used email account

 

Once you have the configuration completed you will need to save it and this can be easily handled via the Submit button located at the bottom of that page.

On the next page you will receive a simple confirmation that the configuration has been saved and now all of your mails will be sent from the SMTP protocol.

 

Creating a Forum Topic

 

The topics on your forum are the places where the posts on your forum will be stored. They are the next logical hirarchy after the Forums and can be easily created from withing the Forum you create.

In this tutorial we will show you how to create topics into your already existing Forums.
To create a new Topic in phpB3, you will need to:

    Step 1: Access the New Topic page
    Step 2: Create a new Topic

 

Step 1 Access the New Topic page

 

You should begin by logging into the frontend of your Board and once you are logged in you should simply choose one of your existing Forums.

Then you will be redirected to the list of topics in your Forum where you will be able to add a new topic using the New Topic button.

The button will direct you to the page where you should insert the information related to your new topic.
 

Step 2 Create a new Topic

 

The available fields on that page are:

 

    Topic Icon – Choose the icon for your topic if you would like the same to be displayed with such
    Subject – The subject or more precisely the headline of your new topic

 

The last field is the actual text field where you will be able to post the description of your new topic.

Once you are ready with the fields on the form you can simply use the Submit button which will save the new topic and if you navigate to the Forum you have added the topic to you will be able to notice the new topic appearing in the topics list.

 

Adding forums to your board

 

phpBB is a forum platform which will allow you to create multiple forums and to manage those via a centralized interface provided in the Administration Control Panel of the platform.
 
To create a new forum in phpBB3, you need to:

    Step 1: Access the Forums Management page
    Step 2: Configure your new forum

 

Step 1 Access the Forums Management page

 

To begin you will need to login into the Administration Control Panel of your board and then navigate to Forums>Manage Forums.

There you will be able to easily create forums by entering the name of your new forum in the text box before the Create new forum button and then by pressing that button.

Then you will be redirected to the forum creation page where there are quite a large amount of options to configure.

 
Step 2 Configure your new forum

 

The first interface from the forum creation feature is called Forum settings and it contains the following settings:

    Forum Type – The type of your forum
    Parent Forum – If the newly created forum should be a child forum of another already existing
    Copy permissions from – If the forum you are creating should use the permissions of another forum
    Forum name – The name of the forum. Usually if you have already entered the name of your new forum in the previous step the name will be automatically filled in this field
    Description – The description of your forum
    Forum Image – Any image that should be associated with the forum
    Forum Password – Password for protecting your new forum
    Forum Style – The style your new forum should use

 

The next interface with settings is called General forum settings and it contains mostly radio buttons with simple “Yes” or “No” options.

 

    Forum status – The status your forum will be created with
    List subforums in legend – If the  subforums of the forum you are creating should be listed in the legend of the current forum
    List subforum in parent-forum’s legend – Displays this forum in particular into the legend of any other forum parent to this one
    Enable post review – The option allows for the users to review their post if new posts were made to the topic while users wrote theirs
    Enable quick reply – Simply enables the quick reply feature.
    Enable search indexing – Enables the posts made to this forum to be indexed by Search Engines
    Enable topic icons – If the icons for this topic should be enabled
    Display active topics – Topics made to this forum will be shown as active
    Topics per page – The total amount of topics displayed per page

 

The next section of settings is called Forum prune settings and it is related to the prune of your newly created forum from topics. The section contains the following settings:

 

    Enable auto-pruning – Enables the auto pruning function of your forum
    Auto-prune frequency – The period between pruning events
    Auto-prune post age – The number of days after the last post in the topic is submitted
    Auto-prune post viewed age – The number of days after the topic has been viewed for last time
    Prune old polls – Remove topics with polls not voted in for post age days
    Prune announcements – If the announcements of your forum should be also pruned
    Prune Stickies – If stickies should be also pruned

 

The last section is called Forum rules and it is  used for specifying or linking existing forum rules to the rules for the forum you are currently creating.

 

As soon as you are ready with all these changes you should go ahead and click on the Submit button so your Forum can be created and all of the settings saved.

 

If you go back to the Manage Forums page now you will notice that the new forum was added to the list of your currently existing forums.

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