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Building Online Communities with phpBB

Jeremy Rogers, Mike Lothar, Stoyan Stefanov

A practical guide to creating and maintaining online discussion forums with phpBB, the leading free open source PHP/MySQL-based bulletin board
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Book Details

ISBN 139781904811138
Paperback360 pages

About This Book

  • Simple, practical steps to build and customize your own phpBB-powered online community
  • Learn from experienced phpBB administrators and enthusiasts to get the most from phpBB
  • Full coverage of powerful features including customization, administration and developing your own modifications


Chapter 4 - Customizing Your Forum

Who This Book Is For

This book is written by phpBB enthusiasts for new and intermediate users. It's ideal if you are just starting with online communities and want a powerful and free tool, or if you've already started with phpBB and want to take it further. Anyone with a basic knowledge of HTML and a willingness to learn about phpBB will benefit from this book.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Foreword
Chapter 2: Introduction to phpBB
Online Communities
Building the Community—The Tools
The Name
The Environment
Why phpBB?
Example phpBB Sites
Chapter 3: Installing and Configuring phpBB
Post-Installation Tasks
Security Tips
Finding Help
Chapter 4: A Quick Tour of phpBB
Visitor Experience
Moderator Experience
Administrator Experience
Chapter 5: Customizing Your Forum
phpBB Styles
Structure of a Style
Editing phpBB Files
Installing a New Style
Create or Customize
Customizing Through the Stylesheet
Customizing through Images
Hacking phpBB
Chapter 6: Forum Administration
Making Your Board Multi-Lingual
Avatars: Enabling and Configuring
Managing Smilies
Understanding Forum Permissions
Understanding User Permissions
Usergroups and Group Permissions
Second Look into Database Backups and Restore
The Board’s Human Side: Flamewars and Banning
Chapter 7: Creating Your Own Template
Sketching the Layout
TPL Stands for Template
Making Your Template Folder
Editors for .tpl Documents
Ready, Set, Go!
Modifying the Forum Index in index_body.tpl
Modifying the Forum Body in viewforum_body.tpl
And the Story Continues
Icons and Images
Final Touches
Chapter 8: Creating a New MOD
Introduction to MODs and Hacks
Before You Begin
Creating a Simple MOD: A New BBCode Tag
Make Your MOD Accessible to the World
Chapter 9: Programming phpBB
Hello phpBB World!
Working with the Database
Using phpBB Messages
Using phpBB’s Multi-Language System
Using phpBB Templates
User Authentication
Recent Postings MOD

What You Will Learn

This book will give you the skills to setup your own phpBB-powered discussion forum and online community. You will learn how to create, customize, and manage your own phpBB-powered community.

  • Install and configure phpBB
  • Learn the basics of working with phpBB forums
  • Manage topics, postings, smilies and users
  • Understand phpBB themes and styles
  • Customize the look of your phpBB site
  • Master forum permissions to protect your community
  • Create a phpBB theme from scratch
  • Creating a phpBB modification
  • Packaging and making your modification available to others
  • Custom programming of phpBB


In Detail

phpBB is a free, open source Internet community application, with outstanding discussion forums and membership management. Written in the PHP scripting language, and making use of the popular MySQL database, phpBB is a standard among web hosting companies throughout the world, and is one of the most widely-used bulletin board packages in the world. phpBB short-circuits the need for you to be a web development master in order to create and manage massive online communities.
phpBB handles sites of all sizes, the largest known phpBB-powered site on the Internet handles over 1.5 million members and has 191 million posts to the forums!
The book begins with the initial installation and configuration of phpBB on your system, with troubleshooting tips to help you through. You will then go on a tour of phpBB and its features, stepping you through the basic tasks, growing your understanding and familiarizing you with the power of phpBB.
Everybody wants their community to look special, and customizing your forum is the next stop in the book. Beginning with a detailed rundown of styles and themes, you will then see how to customize your forum by first modifying existing styles, adding new elements, and even creating a new style from scratch.
The book then goes onto cover further administration of your community, creating hacks or "modifications" for phpBB, custom PHP programming with phpBB, and reference appendices with more phpBB resources, the phpBB file and directory structure, guides to the BBCode and permission systems, and the phpBB database structure round off this book.


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