When you click on the Main Menu and you select CMS this will be the first page that you will see.
The selections you see are of the layouts/templates for the portal itself.
- Global Blocks: These blocks can be seen on every portal page.
- 3 Columns: Your main page is set to a 3 column layout.
- 2 Columns: Your main page is set to a 2 column layout.
- Central Block: You just have one area to insert blocks a single page style layout.
- Quad Layout: Main page has four sections you can put blocks into.
Now if you click on '3 Columns’ this will take you to this screen:
This page shows all the blocks that you currently have installed into this template. From this window you can do the following:
- Move block up or down: This is based on the position you have chosen for the block on the main page and you can now put it at the top, middle or bottom by just adjusting on where it falls in the list.
- Edit: You can edit the options and layout of the block you select.
- Delete: Delete a block from the template.
Note: You will loose all work you have done to this block (ex: html code or any special coding you have done) so be careful before choosing this selection.
- Add Block: Add a new block to the template. You will configure it and assign its position on the page.
The other columns show all of the rest of the information you would need to help manage your template:
- 1. Position
- Status: Tells you whether you block is active/inactive in the template.
- Content: It will show 'block file’ if you chose any predefined blocks, but if you select ' -- Text or HTML Block -- ' the first option it will show up as 'Text’.
- Type: Only is used on the custom block ' -- Text or HTML Block -- ' ( it shows which style of block it is whether it is BBcode or HTML).
- Cache: Shows whether this block is cached or not on the mainpage.
- Usergroups: This shows you all the user groups which have permission to see this block.
Adding or editing a block:
Right now you are in the '3 Column’ template configuration or in a template of your choosing. At the bottom-middle of the screen you should see a 'add block’ button. You can either click on this or click on edit on an existing block in the list. When you do you should see this screen:
All the fields you see on this screen are the same for every block. Some blocks have additional configurations besides this screen depending on what you choose as the 'block file’. Let’s discuss the fields and what they do.
- Title: An entry here will name your block so you know what it is in your listing on the previous page (template layout). It also will be used as a heading for the block when its on your screen so label it appropriately.
- Position: This is what section of the template you want the block to appear. Since we are working with the '3 Column’ template you will have the (left, center and right) columns available for you to choose from. Now do remember this just selects which area to place the block you still have too in the template layout area to use the 'Move Up & Move Down’ buttons to actually place it where you want it.
- Status: Turn the block on or off. Meaning making it visible or not-visible.
- Block File: This is where you select which type of block you are inserting into your portal.
Note: The “--Text or HTML block --“ is a blank block and you pretty much design it yourself with html, java, BBcode etc.. to create content for this area. We will use this Block File for our example later.
- Cache: This is used for storing info for example the shoutbox, if you want to store all of the chat entries for a 24hr period you would turn this on and set 'Cache Duration’ to 86400 (60s * 60m =1h * 24h = 86400) this number is in seconds.
- Cache Duration: Is the time period you want to cache this blocks information for. This is calculated in seconds.
- View By: If you selected 'Status: Enabled’ for your block you will now need to assign who is allowed to see this block (ie: All Users, Guest Users Only, Registered Users, Moderators and Administrator).
- Show Border: Graphical setting to turn the borders on/off.
- Show Title Bar: Graphical setting to add/remove the title section of the block.
Note: Remember the title you give this block (first field) will be inserted as the title of this block on the portal screen that’s why this feature is here, just incase you don’t want that title displayed.
- Localize Bar: Choose whether the title of the block should be taken from the lang file (Localized) or from the input value.
- Show BG: Graphical setting to turn the background on/off on the block.
- Usergroups: If you have created user groups you will have some groups you can enable to have access to certain blocks.
Ok, now we are done with our explanation of the fields for creating a block and how they work.
Let's Create our Test Block:
Select ' -- Text or HTML Block -- ' in the Block File field and give a title of 'Test’, set position to 'Center’. Enable the block and don’t set it too cache and turn on all the graphical options. Now make it viewable by all. Now click 'Submit’.
You should now see this screen:
Now you see a box that’s almost identical to the forum posting box. Just choose what type of data this will be either BBcode or HTML. Basically if you are writing just text and inserting images or formatting of the text you might want to choose BBcode because it’s much easier to use and edit. You would use HTML if you were going to cut/paste links or entire code blocks into your block for use in the portal.
For this example I will use HTML and this is what it looks like:
You can use the 'Preview’ button to see what your work would look like in the block. If you click on 'Reset’ it will blank out all the work and you will start from a fresh screen. We’ll lets click on 'Submit’. We’re almost done and have your first custom block complete.
Now you will get a 'Block was Added’ message. This means your block is now viewable on your page. The only time it wouldn’t be available is if you don’t have it enabled or the group or user that you are doesn’t have the permission to view it. But since right now you are administrator you shouldn’t have any issues. Here is what it looks like:
That was easy. Now you should have a good handle on editing and creating blocks for your portal. Next we are going to talk about CMS Configuration (preferences) and CMS Page Permissions.
CMS Page Permissions:
From the main CMS configuration view find 'Page Permissions’ and click on it.
Now you should see a screen that looks like this:
On this page you can control block/global permission for users. You have four selections to choose from: ALL, REG, MOD, ADMIN. If you select 'ALL' on a permission for a block everyone should be able to view this certain block or page. Here is an example (see above image):
Let’s say you want only registered users to be able to view/access the 'Links’ view in the main menu. Right now its set to 'ALL’ so anyone can click on this link whether they are registered or not and view this area. You can now restrict access by changing this one permission from 'ALL’ to 'REG’. Now only registered users will be able to access this area.
Note: The users will still see the 'Links’ link in the main menu bar, but they will see this message if they are not logged in as a registered user and they click on the link.
The 'Global Blocks' column is just to acknowledge that this block is a global block as well and you want the permissions to extend to all blocks of that type no matter where they are located.
To go to the configuration screen you need to click here on 'CMS Configuration’ on the main CMS screen. (See Image Below)
Once you have clicked on the link you should see a screen that looks like this:
Here is a description of each of the options in this configuration panel:
- Default Site Page
This is just the same as making a portal page default in Page Management. The dropdown list contains all the portal pages you have created using Page Management and you can easily select one to make the portal default page.
- Enable system-wide header and left blocks
When enabled, header (left column) blocks will be available for all pages in your forum.
- Enable system-wide right and footer
When enabled, footer (right column) blocks will be available for all pages in your forum.
- Enable Cache System
You can opt to enable or disable the cache system being used by the Portal. Take note that the cache system, when enabled, will give increased performance for your website.
- Global Left Column Width
You can define the width of left column in pixels on portal and forum pages.
- Global Right Column Width
You can define the width of right column in pixels on portal and forum pages.
- Cache File Locking
Enable/disable cache file locking and when enabled, can avoid cache corruption under bad circumstances.
- Cache Write Control
Enable/disable write control (the cache is read just after writing to detect corrupt entries). Enable write control will lightly slow the cache writing but not the cache reading.
- Cache Read Control
If enabled, a control key is embedded in cache file and this key is compared with the one calculated after the reading.
- Cache Read Control Type
Type of read control (only if read control is enabled). The available choices are: md5 hash control (best but slowest), crc32 hash control (lightly less safe but faster, better choice) and length only test (fastest).
- Cache File Name Protection
If set to true, you can use any cache id or group name. If set to false, it can be faster but cache ids and group names will be used directly in cache file names so be careful with special characters. (you don't have to worry about assigning cache id or group name because it is automatically handled by the portal engine). False setting is faster.
- Cache Automatic Serialization
It can be used to save directly data which aren't strings but it is slower. It is ideal to set it to true but if you want faster performance, you can opt to set it to false. As of now, no problem is being reported for setting it to false. But in case of problems when setting it to false, just leave the item set to true.
Screenshots and info are based on Icy Phoenix 126.96.36.199 RC.