How to manage your phpBB3 board

This tutorial covers how to restrict the access for user's IP address, how to reply to an existing topic, Pruning your existing forums, manage styles, manage private messages, smiles, foru management, language installation, template installation and ban emails,

 

Further reading:

phpBB3 Configuration Tutorial

Managing Users and Permissions in phpBB3

 phpBB3 Installation Tutorial

Main Features of phpBB3 Forum

phpBB3 Web Hosting

 

Restrict the access for user's IP address

 

Banning an IP address from your Board will mean that the person behind it will no longer be able to access any of the forums on your Board. Usually this feature can be successfully used if you would like to block the access of some malicious users or spam bots.

 
To ban a user's IP address, you need to complete the following steps:

    Step 1: Access the Ban IPs feature
    Step 2: Configure the Ban

Step 1 Access the Ban IPs feature

Since banning an IP address is an administrative function you will need to login into the Administration Control Panel of your Board. Once logged in you will need to navigate to Users and Groups>User Security>Ban IPs.
 

At the top of the accessed page you will notice detailed information regarding the feature and what an IP ban will cause.

 
Step 2 Configure the Ban

Now that you are well aware what are you planning to do it is time to place the actual ban. You will notice a section on that page called Ban one or more IPs and this is the section where the ban should be applied.

The first field in that section is called IP addresses or hostnames and as the name suggests you will need to input the IP address(es) you would like to place bans for.

The second field called Length of ban is for selecting the period you would like the specified IP address blocked.

The third option named Exclude from banning is used if the IP address you are banning is already included in other blocks so it can be excluded. This is particularly useful if you have already placed a temporary ban for the IP address but now you would like to place a permanent ban.

The next two fields are quite self explanatory and you will be able to fill them based on your reason for banning that IP address.

Once you are ready with filling those fields you will need to simply click on the Submit button at the bottom of that section so the ban can be placed.

 

Further reading:

phpBB3 Configuration Tutorial

Managing Users and Permissions in phpBB3

 phpBB3 Installation Tutorial

Main Features of phpBB3 Forum

phpBB3 Web Hosting

 

Reply to an existing topic

 

Replying to an existing topic is one of the main functionalities of your Board and it is the way how the actual discussions usually happen. In this tutorial we will show you how to post a reply on an existing topic in one of the forums you have already created on your Board.

 
To reply to an existing topic in phpBB3, you need to:

    Step 1: Choose the Topic
    Step 2: Write and post your reply

Step 1 Choose the Topic

In order to be able to post a reply you will need to of course login into your Board as a registered member on the board. Once you are logged in you will be presented with a list of the available forums on your Board where you should choose the forum you like.

Then you will need to choose the topic you will be replying to.

 
Step 2 Write and post your reply

Once you are in the Topic View where all of the replies on the topic are presented you should simply use the Post Reply button in order to begin posting your reply.

This action will direct you to the Post a Reply page where you will be able to fill the Subject and the Body of your reply. Once this is done you should either use the Preview button to preview your post or you should directly Submit the post so it can be presented in the topic as last one.

Once you submit the post you will be able to review it in the topic you have chosen.

 

Further reading:

phpBB3 Configuration Tutorial

Managing Users and Permissions in phpBB3

 phpBB3 Installation Tutorial

Main Features of phpBB3 Forum

phpBB3 Web Hosting

 

Pruning your existing forums

 

Pruning a forum means that you will remove all of the topics which are older than a specific age in days which you will be able to select of course. phpBB allows you to perform this action in quite an convenient way via the implemented Prune Forums feature.

 
In this tutorial we will show you how you should prune a specific forum with topics older than 30 days following few easy steps.

 
To prune your forums in phpBB3, you will need to:

    Step 1: Access the Prune Forums feature
    Step 2: Configure the Prune Forums feature

Step 1 Access the Prune Forums feature

Since the Prune Forums feature is available only in the Administration Control Panel of your Board, you will need to login there and navigate to Forums>Prune forums.

On the Prune forums page you will be presented with more information on what exactly the pruning action will achieve and also a list of your forums where you should select the forum you would like to prune.

Once you have selected the forum please use the Select a forum button so you can proceed with the pruning process.

 
Step 2 Configure the Prune Forums feature

On the next page the process continues with the configuration of the terms the forum you have selected will be pruned with.
 

A good practice and maybe a mandatory for you will be to input the age of the posts that should be removed. This can be easily achieved by entering the number of days since the last posts in the forum has been performed. This will ensure that post older than the entered age will be pruned.

Once you have configured the pruning procedure you should click on the Submit button so you can proceed. On the next page you will be asked for a simple confirmation which after confirmed will trigger the actual pruning process for the selected forum.

Finally you will be presented with a statistic for the pruned topics and posts upon a successful pruning.

 

Managing the styles of your board

 

The Style of your Board is the way how your board will look like as design and colors. A Style consist of template, theme and imageset. All of these components can be easily managed via the Administration Control Panel of your board and in this tutorial we will demonstrate you how.

 
To manage the styles of your board in phpBB3, you need to:

    Step 1: Access the Styles page
    Step 2: Activate a Style
    Step 3: Manage Themes and Imagesets

Step 1 Access the Styles page

In order to access the page where you will be able to manage the look of your forum you will need to login into the Administration Control Panel of your board and navigate to Styles>Styles.

On that page you will find a useful information on  what styles are and how they can change the look on your website.

 
Step 2 Activate a Style

Now let’s discuss how the styles actually work. You can have countless styles activated for your Board but only one set as default. All of the activated styles will be available for selection by the users of your Board.

 

In order to activate a style you will need to simply press the Activate link next to the style you would like to activate for your Board.
 

In order to make already activated style Default which basically mean that this will be the default style for your Board you will need to click on the Details link next to the style you would like to make default.

 

The link will take you to the Edit Style page for the style you have chosen and there you will notice that you can set a Template, Theme and Imageset for the template.

 
Note: This is the only way to get the Templates, Themes and Imagesets configured to be displayed on your board.

 

This is particularly useful if you would like to mix these elements in order to receive a nice looking style for your Board.
 

In order to make the style default you will be able to do so if you change the Make Default Style value to Yes and then press the Submit button in order for the style to be saved as default.

 
Step 3 Manage Themes and Imagesets

Now that you know how to manage the styles of your Board we will discuss the themes and the Imagesets. Both of these components are available under the Style Components menu group.
 

As we have informed you earlier a Style consist of the selected Theme and Imageset (the Details edit of the style). If you go to themes you will probably notice the currently available themes for your Board which you can choose from when you are editing your Styles.

The actions you are allowed to take with the themes are to basically Export and Delete these.
 

The Imagesets are basically the icons your Board uses and again you will probably notice that these are already installed with the default templates which are provided with the default phpBB installation. Again the actions you can take with these are to Export and Delete them.

The important thing here is for your to understand how the Themes and Imagesets are affecting your Board’s Style of look. These cannot be activated separately not if you search any activation options on their pages you will find such.

The Themes and Imagesets are exclusively selected when you are editing the style you are about to activate or set as default.

 

Sending private messages

 

The personal communication between the users registered on your board is performed via the “Private Messaging” feature implemented by default in the phpBB platform.

In this tutorial we will show you how to use that feature in order to send a Private Message to one of the users registered on your Board.

 
To send private messages in phpBB3, you will need to:

    Step 1: Access the Private Messages page
    Step 2: Access the Compose Message section
    Step 3: Write your Message

Step 1 Access the Private Messages page

In order to access the messaging features of the phpBB platform you will need of course to login as a member or administrator in the frontend of the platform. Once logged in you will notice a statistic about the new messages at the top of the page.
 

Now click on that link and you will be redirected to the User Control Panel page and the tab Private Messages will be automatically displayed.

Click on that tab so you can access the Private Messages section.

 
Step 2 Access the Compose Message section

In order to have a private message created you will need to click on the Compose Message link from the left vertical menu on that page.


This link will redirect you to the actual page where you will be able to write your message and to respectively send it.

 
Step 3 Write your Message

For a valid message to be send successfully you will need to fill all of the mandatory fields on that page like the nickname of the member, the subject of the message and the body of the message.

Once you are done filling these required fields please use either the Preview button for previewing how the message looks like or the Submit button to send the message to the selected member.

 

Managing Smilies


Smilies or the so called Emoticons are an easy way to express your feelings or thoughts in the posts of your Forum. phpBB provides large amount of these for the users of your forum which can be easily used when a post is created.

In order to manage the emoticons on your Board phpBB provides you with easy to use admin page which we will present you with in the next lines of this tutorial.

 
To manage the Smilies in phpBB3, you will need to:

    Step 1: Access the Smilies page
    Step 2: Edit the Smilies
    Step 3: Delete Smilies

Step 1 Access the Smilies page

In order to access the smilies management page you will need to login into the Administration Control Panel of your board and to navigate to Posting>Message>Smilies.
 

There you will be presented with a short description of the page and also a table view for all of the smilies you have currently available for your users.

 
Step 2 Edit the Smilies

In order to edit an emoticon you should click on the green circle in the Options column of the table view next to the emoticon you would like to edit

 

This action will redirect you to the editing page where you will be able to edit the Smiley Code, Smiley width, Smiley height, if the smiley should be displayed on posting pages and the order of the smiley being displayed.
 

Once you are ready with these edits please use the Submit button in order for the edits to be saved for the smiley.

 
Step 3 Delete Smilies

In order to delete an emoticon  you will need to use the red circle button in the Options column next to the smiley you would like to edit in the table view.
 

Then you will be asked for a confirmation if you are certain that you would like that smiley deleted and once you confirm that action the deletion will occur ending with a message indicating the successful deletion.

 

Manage Forums in phpBB 3



The forum management is a process of editing the forum name, description and other settings related to already existing forum on your phpBB platform.
 
To fully manage your forum in phpBB3, you will need to:

    Step 1: Forum Management page
    Step 2: Modify existing Forum
    Step 3: Delete existing Forums

Step 1 Forum Management page

In order to access the forum management page you will need to login into the Administration Control Panel of your Board and then to navigate to Forums>Manage Forums.
 

There you will be able to see under the Forum administration section a table view presenting all of your existing forums.

 
Step 2 Modify existing Forums

In order to modify existing forum you will need to click on the green icon next to the forum name.
 

Next you will be redirected to the Edit forum page where you will be able to edit all of the forum settings you will need.
 

Of course there are quite a lot of other settings which basically includes any information you might want to change on your already existing forum.

Once you are done editing the information please scroll down and use the Submit button in order for the changes you have applied to be saved.

 
Step 3 Delete existing Forums

Deleting a forum is also quite an easy task and you will be able to perform it via the red icon next to the forum name in the table view presenting your forums on the Manage Forums page:

This action will redirect you to the next page where further information on the deletion of the forum and a confirmation of course will be requested.

As you can see you have the option to delete the forum but preserve its posts by moving those into another already existing forum. Please choose the option which will fit the most to your need and hit the Submit button once you are ready to delete the forum.

 

Installing new languages



By default the phpBB 3 platform comes with a single language support – English and most probably you would like to display the forums of your board on some different language.
 
The platform provides you with the additional option to install different language packs and we will show you how this can be achieved in few easy to follow steps.

 
To install a new language in phpBB3, you will need to:

    Step 1: Download a Language Pack
    Step 2: Upload the Language Pack on your website
    Step 3: Access the Language Packs Management page
    Step 4: Install and Activate the Language Pack

Step 1 Download a Language Pack

In order to install a language pack you will need to of course download it first as it is an additional resource which is not included in the default installation of the platform. The location where you can find a list of the languages you can choose from is available at the official phpBB 3 website.
 

All of the languages are structured conveniently in alphabetical order and you should be able to easily find the one you are looking for.
 

Once you find the language and download its installation archive you should decompress it and you will be presented with a single folder named based on the language pack you have chosen. Inside that folder you will find two folders – language and styles.

 
Step 2 Upload the Language Pack on your website

Now that you have the folders prepared on your local computer it is time to upload these folders on your phpBB board so the language pack can be installed. This can be easily achieved via the FTP service for your account. If you are not fully aware of how to use that service please check our full FTP tutorial series.

These folders should be uploaded in the root folder of your phpBB 3 installation or the so called installation folder of your Board. Usually if your board is directly accessible on the primary domain for your account you should upload these folders directly in the public_html folder of your account.

 
Step 3 Access the Language Packs Management page

Now that you have the folders containing the language files uploaded on your Board it is time to perform the language pack installation. In order to do so you will need to login into the Administration control panel of your Board and to navigate to System>General Tasks>Language Packs.
 

There you will find a complete list of the language packs currently available on your Board.

 
Step 4 Install and Activate the Language Pack

The language pack you have just uploaded as files should be listed under the Uninstalled language packs row of the table view on the same page. Next to the language pack you will notice a link named Install. If you click on that link the language pack you have just uploaded will be installed.


Now the language pack will be listed under the Installed language packs row which indicates that it has been installed successfully.

This is an optional step just in case you would like to make the just installed language pack a default language for your board.

In order to enable a language pack as default for your Board you will need to login into the Administration Control Panel and to navigate to General>Board Settings>Default Language.
 

There you will be able to find the newly installed language pack and once you change it you will need to use the Submit button at the bottom of that page in order to activate it.

 

Installing a new style for your board

 

The style of your Board is one of the most important things you need to consider after of course its contents. The styles your applications uses is the way how its design get changed and generally managed.

 

So basically in order to have the style of your phpBB 3 Board changed you will need to install a new style and in this tutorial we will show you how this process should be handled in few easy to follow steps.

 

For the purpose of this tutorial we will use a style provided from the phpBB 3 team officially. You can find more styles from the authors of the script at their official website.

We will use the WoWMaevahEmpire style for illustrating the installation process.

 
To install a new style in phpBB3, you need to:

    Step 1: Download and upload the files of the Style
    Step 2: Activate the new Style

Step 1 Download and upload the files of the Style

Assuming that you have downloaded the style you have selected you should receive an installation archive containing the files required by the template. These are conveniently packages into a single folder within the downloaded archive which is usually with the same name as the style you have selected.

Once you extract the content of the archive you will need to upload the template main folder on your hosting space. The folder you will need to upload the content of the archive (e.g. The template folder) at is located in the installation directory of your phpBB 3 platform and it is called styles. So basically if your phpBB 3 platform is installed into the public_html folder you will need to upload the style’s folder into the public_html/styles folder.
 

In order to upload your style we recommend using the FTP service for your account. If you are not quite sure how to connect to that service or how to use it please check our FTP tutorial series for full information on the matter.
 

In the styles folder by default there will be 2 folders which are related to the already existing styles on your Board – Prosilver and subsilver2. Once you have uploaded the new style you are currently installing you will be able to see it in the same folder.
 

We are done with the uploading part and in Step 2 we will move forward with the installation via the Administration Control Panel of your phpBB 3 Board.

 
Step 2 Activate the new Style

Now that you have the style uploaded you will need to activate it. In order to do so you will need to login into the Administration Control Panel of your Board and to navigate to Styles.
 

There you will be able to find the newly uploaded template in the table view as the last one. Now you will need to click on the Install button so the template can be installed.
 

The next page you will be redirected to is a simple confirmation page where you can directly activate the installed style as a default one by changing the last option on the page – Make Default Style.
 

Once you hit the Submit button these settings will be saved and you will be presented with a message indicating the successful installation.

Now if you check your Board’s home page you will notice how the style has been changed to the one you have just added.

 

How to Ban Email Addresses from Registering



Banning an email is not like banning an IP address and it is commonly used if you would like to disable the access to the user account owning that email. Other reasons for blocking an email account is if multiple spam registrations were created with the same email account and you would like to restrict their access.

 
To restrict email addresses from registering, you will need to:

    Step 1: Access the Ban E-mails feature
    Step 2: Configure and submit the Ban Emails form

Step 1 Access the Ban E-mails feature

Since you will be placing an email ban you will need to login into the Administration Control Panel of your Board. Once logged in please navigate to Users and Groups>User Security>Ban e-mails.

At the top of the page you will find useful information regarding the action you are about to take which is recommended to be read carefully before you proceed with applying the actual ban for the email account you have chosen.

 
Step 2 Configure and submit the Ban Emails form

On that page you will also notice a single section called "Ban one or more e-mail addresses” where the actual ban is placed.


There are the following fields you will need to fill in this section:

 

    E-mail Address – The actual email account you would like to ban
    Length of ban – The period you would like that email account to remain banned
    Exclude from banning – If the email account is already banned in of your other existing bans this option will disregard the existing ban and will place a new one
    Reason for ban – The actual reason you are placing a ban for that email account
    Reason shown to the banned -  The reason for the ban which will be presented to the user using that email account

 

Once you are ready with configuring the ban please use the Submit button at the bottom of that section in order for the ban to be placed.

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