Chapter 8. Building Your Forum

The Forums application is designed for the group discussion and user-generated content in which participants with common interests can exchange their opinions on a subject.

The chapter provides you a guide to use all Forums features or to make Forums work in your desired manner.

  • Regular user

    Detailed instructions on how to do common actions that are for regular users, such as creating topics and posts, subscribing, using BBCode, or changing user settings.

  • Moderator

    Introduction to the Moderation tasks that are for moderators, and steps to perform them, including: moderating forums/topics/posts, viewing all pending moderation tasks, or banning IPs.

  • Administrator

    Details about advanced tasks that are for administrators only, including setting up the Forum portlet, managing categories/forums/users and other administrative tasks.

In Forums, the role of each user group is clear and very important. Each role has a set of tasks that they can execute. Administrators and moderators are responsible for setting up and maintaining Forums. With the highest rights, the administrators are in charge of the entire management tasks, including form configurations, users management, permissions, categories, forums, topics and messages. With sub-sets of administrative permissions, the moderators will manage the respective sub-sets of the forum.

The user interface will indicate which features are available to you, based on your role.

  • As a regular user, you will have the User bar and Action bar with the basic actions.

  • As a moderator, you will have the User bar and Action bar with a sub-set of certain capabilities.

  • As an administrator, you will have the Administration bar which is basically the User bar with more administrative actions. You also see the Action bar with the advanced actions on forums and categories. Most of management tasks are shown via these bars.

To have an overall look of actions which users of each role can do in the Forums application, see the following table:

FeaturesDescriptionAdministratorModeratorRegular userGuest
Subscribing to RSS feeds Gets a link to a forum for easy sharing.
Attaching a file Uploads an attachment to a topic/post, previews and downloads it.
Bookmarks Bookmarks a category, forum, topic.
Creating a post Posts a reply, quote, private post, quick reply.
Editing your post Edits a post, quote and private post.

Deleting your post Deletes a post inside a specific topic.
Creating a topic Starts a new topic.
Editing a topic Edits a topic in a specific forum.

Deleting a topic Deletes a topic inside a specific forum.

Locking/Unlocking a topic Locks/Unlocks a topic inside a specific forum.

Adding a pollAdds a poll to a topic.
Rating a topic Evaluates a topic by rating stars.
Adding a tag Creates a new tag and tags a topic.
Sending private messages Sends or receives private messages.
Watching Subscribes to a category, forum, topic to receive email notifications of new posts or topics.
User settings Changes profile settings, personal forum settings.
Sticking/Unsticking a topic Sticks/Unsticks a topic inside a specific forum.

Locking/Unlocking a topic Closes/Opens a topic inside a specific forum.
Splitting a topic Divides one topic into two separate topics.
Merging topics Combines two or more topics into one.
Managing a poll Creates, edits, deletes, closes and reopens a poll.
Moving a topic/post Moves one topic/post from a forum/topic to the other forum/topic.
Approving a topic/post Changes a new topic/post from pending status to normal status so that guests and normal users can view.
Uncensoring a post Allows a topic which has censored content to be displayed.
Showing/ Hiding a post Allows a post to be shown/hidden.
Managing pending tasks Manages all topics/posts waiting for moderation in one place.
Managing a watch Manages the subscription (watch), edits and deletes a subscribed email.
Banning users Bans users from accessing specific forums or categories.
Adding a forum Adds a new forum to a specific category.
Editing a forum Changes the title, description, moderator, permissions of a forum. However, moderators cannot set moderators for a forum.

Deleting a forum Deletes a forum from a specific category.
Locking/Unlocking a forum Locks a forum so that it can be viewed only.
Closing/Opening a forum Closes/Opens a forum. The closed forums are still manageable by administrators and moderators.
Moving a forum Moves a forum from one category to the other.
Exporting a forum Exports a forum in the format of a .zip or .xml file.
Importing a forum Imports a forum from a .zip/.xml file into the Forums application.
Adding a category Adds a new category.
Editing a category Edits a category and changes its properties.
Exporting a category Exports categories in the format of a .zip or .xml file.
Importing a category Imports a category from a .zip/.xml file into the Forums application.
Deleting a category Deletes a category and all forums, topics, posts inside it.
Administrating Sorting Sorts forums, topics according to specific conditions.
Administrating Censor Defines keywords that will be censored in a forum.
Customizing an email notification template Defines content of the email notifications.
Customizing BBCodes Adds, edits and deletes the BBCode tags used in writing posts/topics.
Setting up auto-pruning Sets up auto-pruning to clean a large amount of obsolete and inactive topics based on criteria.
Banning IPs Bans IPs in the whole Forums application (only administrators) and in specific forums only (administrators and moderators).
Managing users Manages user's profile, promotes users, bans users, views a topic and post of a specific user.

Note

(*): Regular users can only edit/delete their own posts/topics.

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