This guide covers our old ProBoards v4 software. Click here for the ProBoards v5 Help Guide.
The General Settings tab, found under the Customize Your Forum section of the admin panel, is where you'll find a variety of tools, options and features to customize your online forum. Here you can change the forum title, modify how advertisements are displayed, enable/disable security features, and much more. The General Settings page contains the following categories:
Personalize your board with the name of your choosing. The Board Title (name) will display in the web-browser's title bar as well as the top-left corner of the discussion forum. You can choose any name you like and use BBCode to add text effects or images. You also have the option to insert a personalized logo in this area which can be added in the Skins / Forum Colors section of the admin panel.
Banner Ad Preferences
ProBoards allows you to select between two types of advertising for the top of your forum: Leaderboard (728x90) or Rectangle. Rectangle ads are 300x250 wide and are the standard with your online forum. Maintaining the default rectangle ads also provides an additional two features:
Custom Message: You can display custom messages to guests and members of your forum.
Recent Topics: The most recent topics registered members have participated in will be displayed at the top of the page when they login to their accounts (next to the rectangle ad).
Rectangle Ad Preferences
The options here control how your Custom Message (mentioned above) and Recent Topics will display to the right of the Rectangle Ad. Below is an explanation of each:
Enable/Disable Info Box: The Info Box is the area to the right of the 300x250 Rectangle Ad. Enabling the Info Box allows you to display a Custom Message as well as the most recent topics registered forum members have participated in. If you Disable Info Box, the Custom Message and thread listings will not appear and the Rectangle Ad will move to the center of the page.
With the Info Box enabled, you can also select the number of recent threads that will display. From the drop-down menu, choose a value between 0-7. Selecting 0 will prevent any topics from displaying.
Display this message to guests on my forum: Enter a custom message here to display to guests visiting your discussion forum. If you choose, your message can include HTML. By default, a guest message is provided. Leave the box empty if you don't want to display a message. To insert a log-in form, type [login_box] anywhere in this content box.
Display this message to members on my forum: This box allows you to display a message to registered members logged into the discussion forum and will appear at the top of the most recent topics list. Leave the box blank if you don't wish to display a message.
The Forum Preferences section provides controls for various functions such as adjusting forum security, modifying how information is displayed, as well as setting the global time for the forum. Below is a description of each:
Maintenance Mode: When set to Yes, Maintenance Mode will only allow staff members to login to make changes to the discussion forum. Members and guests will see a message stating the forum is in Maintenance Mode. This is typically used by staff members to make significant changes to the forum. Disable Maintenance Mode by setting this option to No.
Enable Tynt: This feature automatically attaches your forums URL (web address) to any large strings of text copied from your online forum. When the copied content is pasted in its new location (another website or text document), Tynt inserts a reference link back to your forum within the copied text. This helps bring visitors to your discussion forum and lets them know where the information originated. To enable, set to Yes.
Display # of Users Viewing Boards: On the forum main page to the right of board names, this feature displays the number of members viewing each of the different boards on the forum. Set to Yes to display the number of active viewing members.
Display # of Sub-Boards: This feature allows users to see the number of sub-boards inside top-level parent boards. The sub-board count is displayed to the right of the board name on the forums main page. Set to Yes to display the number of sub-boards.
Show Info Center: This option allows you to show/hide the Info Center at the bottom of the forums main page. The Info Center displays count totals for posts/threads made on the forum, what the latest post was, who the newest member is, which members are currently logged into the discussion forum, along with a list of members that have logged in within the last 24 hours. Set to Yes to display the Info Center. Set to No to remove.
Text Menus: By default, the navigation menu at the top of the forum is represented by graphical images. If you'd like the images replaced with standard text links, set the Text Menus option to Yes. Once set, the navigation links at the top of the page will appear as: [Home], [New Topics], [Help], etc. To keep the button graphics, set this option to No.
Enable Karma: Karma can be defined as a peer rating system. With Karma enabled, each member will have a Karma rating appended to their profile. Members can then Exalt one another to show approval for message board contributions thus raising a members Karma count. To Smite a member is the equivalent of showing disapproval and will reduce that member's Karma. With Karma enabled, members are limited to Exalting or Smiting other members once per hour. Set option to No to disable Karma.
Warning System: This feature allows you to assign and display a warning-bar icon indicating a members behavior on the forum. You can also stipulate who on the discussion forum will see warning-bars levied against members. See the following options in the provided drop-down:
Disabled: In Disabled status, the warning-bar will not display to anyone on the forum, including staff members.
Staff Only: In Staff Only mode, the warning-bar will display to staff members but not the warned member or other registered members or guests or guests on the forum.
Warned Member and Staff: With this setting, the warning-bar will display to staff members as well as the warned member. The warning-bar will not display to regular discussion forum members or guests.
Everyone: The Everyone setting will display warnings to everyone on the forum, including other registered members as well as guests.
Warning Display: If a member has a warning, this setting specifies where the warning will be displayed in their profile. The options are:
Display Instead of Membergroup: When a member has been warned, this setting replaces the Membergroup displayed in a member's profile with the warning-bar.
Display As Well As Membergroup: When a member has been warned, this option displays the warning-bar below the Membergroup listing in their profile.
Custom Title Display: A custom title is a message that can be inserted in any member account by forum staff and will appear under the members display name. Custom titles are created in the Admin Functions section of a members Modify Profile page and there are 2 choices how they can display in member profiles:
Display As Well As Membergroup: With this setting, the Custom Title will display below the listed membergroup in the user's profile.
Display Instead of Membergroup: With this setting, the Custom Title will display instead of the listed membergroup in the user's profile.
Disable Signups: With this option set to Yes, only forum staff with the authority to create new member accounts will see a Register button in the menu bar when they are logged into their accounts. With this option set to No, anyone can create a new member account.
Limited Registration: When set to Yes, new accounts will have to be approved by discussion forum staff before new members can login and make posts. With this option enabled, a Pending Members link will appear in the Manage Members category of the admin panel, prompting staff to review and approve/deny pending accounts.
Once an account has been approved/denied, an email will be sent to the registered member notifying them of the action. With the Limited Regitration feature is set to No, all new members will be able to make posts to the message board after they've logged in for the first time.
Guests Must Login: When enabled, message board content will not be visible to visitors until they login to an existing member account or, create a new account. When set to No, anyone can view message board content.
Default Time Zone: This option allows you to set the default forum Time Zone for visitors and new members. Once registered, members can change Time Zones on the Modify Profile page for their account. The drop-down list at the right of this option allows you to select the default Time Zone for your forum.
Display Recent Posts: The Info Center on the forum main page contains a link in the Forum Statistics section that reads 10 most recent posts. When clicked, you'll be taken to a page displaying the 10 most recent posts made on the forum. This option allows you to change the number of posts from 0 to 100. The info center link will then update to the number you specify.
The Boards section of the General Settings page allows you to change the number of threads displayed in a board on the forum, as well as the number of posts displayed per page in a thread. Additionally, there are two options to specify how particular page elements display.
Quick Reply: When enabled, Quick Reply is a dialogue box located under the last post on each page inside a thread that allows members to reply to topics without having to visit the actual posting page. Selecting No will prevent the Quick Reply box from being displayed.
Threads Per Page: Here you can specify the number of topics displayed in a single board. The default is 20, meaning up to 20 topic threads will appear in the thread listing per page. This can be set from 5 to 50 threads per page.
Posts Per Page: This allows you to specify the number of posts displayed on a single topic page. By default, this option is set to 20 but can be set from 5 to 30 posts per page.
Posts for Hot Thread: This is the number of post replies required to classify a message board thread as a Hot Thread. Once reached, the folder icon to the left of the thread will change to red signaling the topic is hot. The default is set to 15 replies but can be set to any level as long as it doesn't exceed the value assigned to very hot threads, described below.
Posts for Very Hot Thread: This option signals even higher levels of activity for popular threads. Once a message board thread has generated X number of replies, the folder icon to the left of the thread will be replaced with an image you define. If you don't supply an image, the default Hot Thread icon will be used. The number set here is your choice but must be higher than the value set for Posts for Hot Thread mentioned previously.
To define a new Very Hot Thread image, click the Admin button at the top of the page, then click the Skins/Forum Colors link. On the next page, click the Customize Images link and you'll be taken to a page containing a drop-down list of skins you've installed on your discussion forum.
Select a skin from the drop-down menu and click Continue. On the next page, you'll see a list of all images available on the forum. Form the Folders category, the image you'll want to replace is in the left-hand column, third from the top.
The default image is a red folder that's on fire. Replace the current image URL with a direct URL of an image you have hosted elsewhere. Once set, click the Save Changes button. Topics that reach the minimum post-level defining a Very Hot Thread will now display this image.
The option titled Allow BBCode in Signatures, lets you control whether or not forum members can use BBCode in the Signature area of their profile. BBCode enables text styling, the addition of images, and the embedding of links in member Signatures which appear at the bottom of every post they make.
The calendar feature provides a few options allowing you to determine who can view the Calendar and who can post messages in the calendar. Descriptions are as follows:
Show Calendar: When set to Yes, a Calendar button will appear in the top menu bar of the forum allowing users to check for Member's Birthdays and upcoming forum events. Set to No, the calendar will be disabled and will not be available to anyone on the discussion forum.
View Calendar: This allows you to choose who can view the forum calendar. From the drop-down list, you have the following options:
Everyone: With this option selected, everyone including guests can view the forum Calendar.
Registered Members: This option allows only logged in registered members to view the Calendar page.
Staff: With this option selected, only forum staff can view the Calendar. Forum guests and members without staff privileges will not be able to access the Calendar.
Post messages: Here you can select who can post to the Calendar. The Registered Members setting will allow any member logged into their account to create and post to the Calendar. That post will also display in the Info Center on the main page during the month the event takes place. If you only want forum staff to be able to create new calendar events, set this option to Staff.