SocialEngine Configuration Tutorial

Inthis tutorial, we will look at how to locate and edit the SocialEngine configuration tutorial, enable the SocialEngine maintenance mode,

 

Further reading:

How to Install and Upgrade SocialEngine Website

SocialEngine Management Tutorial

Social Engine Backup and Restore Tutorial

 

 

Locate and Edit SocialEngine Configuration File

 

The main configuration file of a certain script is something that you need to be aware of, even if you are not a certified developer. It is easy to use SocialEngine and customize it via it’s administrative panel, but the use of the configuration file is a way for us to locate certain information if your website is not accessible, for example.

In SocialEngine, there is a number of configuration files. However, in this tutorial, we will review the one that keeps the database details for your website. This will come handy when you intend to generate or restore a backup of your website.

To locate the main configuration file of your script, you need to first access the location of your SocialEngine installation. In most of the cases, this would be the public_html/ directory of your account, but you need to carefully review that option if you are using a subdomain or subfolder for your website.

When you access your SocialEngine installation, you need to navigate to application/settings/. The file that we will review is the database.php file that contains the database details for your website. If you are accessing the file using the File Manager service within your cPanel account, you simply need to select it and then click on the View button at the top menu.

The most important details that you need to review here are the host, dbname, username and password records on the page.

 

<?php defined('_ENGINE') or die('Access Denied'); return array (
   'adapter' => 'mysqli',
   'params' =>
   array (
      'host' => 'localhost',
      'username' => 'social_se',
      'password' => 'p4ssw0rd',
      'dbname' => 'social_se',
      'charset' => 'UTF8',
      'adapterNamespace' => 'Zend_Db_Adapter',
   ),
   'isDefaultTableAdapter' => true,
   'tablePrefix' => 'engine4_',
   'tableAdapterClass' => 'Engine_Db_Table',
); ?>


Further reading:

How to Install and Upgrade SocialEngine Website

SocialEngine Management Tutorial

Social Engine Backup and Restore Tutorial

 

 

Enabling the SocialEngine maintenance mode

 

One of the core features of SocialEngine is to enable maintenance mode on your website directly via the administrative area. This is a good feature as it will place a message on your website, informing your users that there is currently maintenance on the website and they should check later.

If you are making major changes on your website, but you do not wish your users to see them before you are ready, you can enable maintenance mode. The users on your website will not be able to see it unless they have the maintenance access code. Upon a request to your website, they will be displayed with a maintenance message.

Note that you can also change the maintenance page on your website, by editing a certain file of your website. Simply access the location of your website on the server and then navigate to application/maintenance.html and edit the file as per your needs.

 

To enable/disable maintenance mode in SocialEngine:

  • Step 1: Enable Maintenance mode
  • Step 2: Disable Maintenance mode

 

Step 1: Enable maintenance mode

 

To enable the maintenance mode on your website, you need to log into the administrative area of your website. Then simply navigate to Settings tab on the main menu and then General Settings.

 

Edit the following options:

  • Maintenance Mode: Set this to Offline to enable the maintenance mode.
  • Maintenance Mode Code: Enter access code for your website, while in maintenance mode.

 

Step 2: Disable maintenance mode

The process of disabling the maintenance mode is the same as when you enable it. The only difference is that once you access General Settings, you need to set the option for Maintenance Mode to Online.

 

Further reading:

How to Install and Upgrade SocialEngine Website

SocialEngine Management Tutorial

Social Engine Backup and Restore Tutorial

 

 

Edit SocialEngine Site Information

 

In this section, we will review the process of editing the basic information on your SocialEngine website. This is one of the first steps of your website development and you need to complete it earlier.

The basic information on your website will allow you to set the name of the website, description, SEO keywords, default timezone, etc.

There are two main features that you can use:

  • Step 1: Locale Settings
  • Step 2: General Settings

 

Step 1: Locale settings

 

The first step is to set the timezone and locale for your website. To achieve that, you need to log into the administrative area of your website. Navigate to the Settings tab on the main menu and then Locale Settings.

 

Edit the following options

  • Default Timezone - Enter the default timezone on your website. This is a drop-down box with pre-defined values
  • Default Locale - Enter the default locale for your website. This is a drop-down box with pre-defined values

 

Step 2: General settings

 

The next step is to set the main website information on your SocialEngine installation. You need to log into the administrative area of your website. Navigate to the Settings tab on the main menu and then General Settings.

 

Edit the following options:

  • Site Title - Enter a title for your website
  • Site Description - Enter a short description of your website
  • Site Keywords - Enter SEO keywords for your website. This will improve SEO optimization for your website

 

There is also a number of other configuration options that will allow you to set your website’s access rights for users that are not registered. Review those carefully and set them as per your needs.

 

Enable SSL in SocialEngine

 

The use of SSL on your website will provide additional security for transactions going through your website. If you have paid subscriptions on your website, the SSL is a must and it will also make your website look more professional in front of your users.

The configuration of SSL on SocialEngine is easy. The script will generally work with both the http and the https protocol, if you have an SSL installed on your domain. However, you can force the use of SSL on your website as well.

 

Step 1 Get a valid SSL

 

The first step is to get a valid SSL certificate for your domain. This is a paid service and if you do not have such an SSL certificate, you can purchase it via your Client Area.

 

Step 2 Force SSL use

 

To force the use of SSL on your website, you need to edit the .htaccess file of your website. For that purpose, you can access your cPanel account, locate the Files tab and then click on the File Manager service.

Select the Home Directory and Show Hidden Files (dotfiles) options and then click Go.

Navigate to the location, where your SocialEngine script is installed. This is usually within the public_html/ directory of your account, but be careful if your website is installed on subdomain or a subfolder. Once you access your SocialEngine installation, locate the .htaccess file, select it and then click on the Edit button at the top.

 

Locate the following code:

RewriteEngine On

 

Replace it with:

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

 

Where example.com is the domain you are using on your website. Confirm the change by clicking on the Save Changes button at the top-right corner of the screen.

 

How to Enable SMTP in SocialEngine

 

The use of SMTP for the mail service of your SocialEngine website is considered a good practise. It will allow you to send the system emails on your website through a certain email account and ensure their successful delivery.

 

To configure SMTP in SocialEngine, you need to:

  • Step 1: Create email account
  • Step 2: SMTP Configuration

Step 1: Create email account

 

Email Accounts

Our packages allow you to create unlimited email accounts. We also have an excellent tutorial on how to manage cPanel email accounts.

 

You need to access your cPanel account and then navigate to the Mail tab and Email Accounts.

 

You can enter the new email account name and the password for it. When you are ready with the configuration, simply click on the Create Account button.

To access the email account you have just created, simply click on the More button next to it. You will notice two options, one of which is Access Webmail. It will allow you to access your account on the server.

 

Step 2: SMTP Configuration

The next step is to configure your SocialEngine installation with the new email account. To set SMTP on your website, you need to log into the administrative area first. Then simply locate the Settings tab on the main menu and then Mail Settings.

 

Edit the following options:

  • Contact Form Email: Enter the email account that you created in the previous step. All emails from the contact form will be sent to it
  • From Name - Set the name, which will be used when you send system emails
  • From Address - Enter your email account
  • Mail Count - Divide the sending of emails into batches. This is a good way to avoid shared hosting limitations
  • Send through SMTP - Set this option to Send emails through an SMTP server
  • SMTP Server Address - mail.example.com (change example.com to your actual domain)
  • SMTP Server Port - 25 or 2525
  • SMTP Authentication - Set this to Yes
  • SMTP Username - Enter the email account created in the previous step
  • SMTP Password - Enter the password for it. >> Use SSL or TLS: None

 

How to change logo in SocialEngine

 

The use of your own-customized logo for the SocialEngine website is something that will make you look more professional in front of your users. It is also a good way to make your brand more recognizable. In this tutorial, we will review the process of placing your own logo on your SocialEngine website.

 

To set customized logo in SocialEngine, you need to:

  • Step 1: Design Logo
  • Step 2: Upload Logo
  • Step 3: Set custom logo in SE

 

Step 1: Design logo

The first step is to design your own logo. For that purpose, you can use multiple pieces of software, such as Photoshop or even Paint. Alternatively, you can also hire a professional that will be able to design such a logo for you.

 

Step 2: Upload logo

The next step is to upload the logo to your website. To achieve that, you need to log into the administrative area of your SocialEngine installation. Then simply navigate to the Layout tab on the main menu and then File & Media Manager.

Click on the Upload New Files button and select the logo from your local computer. The upload will start automatically and you will see a progress bar to inform you on that.

 

Step 3: Set custom logo in SE

The last step of the process is to set the custom logo on your actual website. For that purpose, log into the administrative area of your website. Navigate to the Layout option on the top menu and then Layout Editor.

In the Editing section, choose the Site Header option.

Click on the Edit button next to the Site Logo block.

In the Site Logo drop-down box, you need to select the logo file that you have uploaded in the second step of this tutorial. Then hit the Save Changes option to complete the process.

You will be taken back to the Layout Editor page. Note that you once again need to click on the Save Changes button on it so you can keep the changes that you have just made on your website.

 

How to change website favicon in SocialEngine

 

This section will review the process of adding your own and custom favicon image on SocialEngine website. This is a good practise that will make your website look more professional in front of your users. The use of a custom favicon image allows you to promote your brand to your users.

 

Step 1 Create favicon image

The first step is to create the favicon image that you wish to use. For that purpose, you can design the favicon image using multiple pieces of software, such as Photoshop or even Paint. The important thing to consider is that the image should be 16x16 pixels.

Once you design your favicon image, you need to convert it to .ico format and you can use a few online tools that will do the job for you. They are available here, here and here. You can equally resize an i,age and save with any format then upload the image and use the file manager to rename it to a .ico image

 

Step 2 Configure favicon image

Once you complete the creation of your favicon image, it is time to upload and configure it on your SocialEngine website. Note that for the upload, you can use your favourite FTP client or even the File Manager service within your cPanel account.

 

Upload Files

There are two ways of uploading your files to the server - using an FTP client, following our FTP tutorial, or uploading directly through your cPanel account > File Manager, following our cPanel tutorial.

Once you connect to the server using one of the ways described above, you need to locate your SocialEngine installation directory. This is usually the public_html/ directory of your account, but be careful about the exact location if your website is installed on subdomain or subfolder.

Once you locate your SocialEngine installation, simply upload the favicon.ico image in the root of it.

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