This guide covers our old ProBoards v4 software. Click here for the ProBoards v5 Help Guide.
The Admin Panel of each ProBoards hosted forum contains all the tools forum administrators use to manage, control and customize the various elements of a forum. In order to access the admin panel, the account used to log into the forum must have administrator authority. Without the proper authority, the admin button will not be visible in the top navigation bar.
After logging in and clicking the admin button, you'll be taken to the forum Administration Area. Functions include creating and modifying discussion boards, adjusting member permissions, customizing the look of the forum and much more. Below is an explanation of each of the individual categories in the Administration Area and what you'll use them for.
Boards are the areas where forum users actually submit their posts and participate in topical discussions. Boards appear on the main page of online forums and display titles and descriptions indicative of their content. As the administrator of a forum, keeping discussion boards organized and up to date will sometimes require using maintenance functions in this category to delete, move or reorder boards. The boards section is also where administrators will create new boards when the forum is being built.
A category is an organizational identifier used to sort boards by topic on the main page of the forum. Category titles generally define and represent the content of the boards nested beneath them. Forums are required to have at least one top level category to accommodate or, contain discussion boards. Forum administrators are responsible for creating new categories as the need arises, and maintaining the relevancy of existing categories using the Delete, Modify & Reorder functions.
Maintain Your Board
This section of the admin panel contains two links; one enables forum administrators to recount topics and member-post totals for the entire forum, the other allows you to remove the entire discussion forum from service. The Recount feature ensures all post and topic counts in the forum are up to date and accurate. These features can only be accessed by the main admin account on the forum.
The Live Chat section of the Admin Panel allows for the integration of a traditional chat-room environment within the forum where members can interact with each other in real time. When Live-Chat is implemented, participating forum members will see responses instantly without having to refresh the page. ProBoards chat service is provided by AddonInteractive and requires an account be registered with them before the feature can be used.
Customize Your Forum
Customizing the look and feel of a forum is achieved in the Customize Your Forum section. Here you can set default member options for avatars, enable the news fader marquee tool, change visual elements for headers and footers, create new color and formatting schemes called skins, and much more. Moreover, the General Settings tab is where administrators set a variety of system preferences for their forum.
Managing members is useful for all forum owners. In the Manage Members section, administrators will find tools to ban forum members to varying degrees (for specified periods or permanently), communicate with the member base using the Email All or PM All tools, search for members, view and approve/disapprove pending accounts and, modify the forum rankings of existing members.
The Manage Posts section provides additional tools for maintaining an orderly forum. Here forum administrators can review and take action on reported posts, view attachments members have uploaded, and delete obsolete or offensive posts.
The Paid Features section of the admin panel lists discussion forum upgrades available to ProBoards forum owners for a fee. Paid features include removing all advertisements from message boards, changing the URL address, or linking a personal domain name to the forum.
The Member Groups section is where forum administrators assign admin powers to other trusted members of the forum. It can also be used to restrict access to specific categories or message boards. By default, all ProBoards hosted forums have three pre-established member groups: Administrator, Global Moderator, and Moderator. Forum members can be assigned privileges by putting them into any one of these three groups. This section can only be accessed with the main admin account on the forum.
The Forum Restrictions section in the admin panel has two links for administrators to create specific restrictions on the forum; one restriction is for words that will be prohibited in discussion threads (Censored Words); the other for usernames and display names that will not be available for account registration (Reserved Names).
Promote Your Forum
The Promote Your Forum section of the admin panel provides options to help forum owners promote and grow their forum communities. Here you'll find instructions how to get your discussion forum listed in the ProBoards Forum Directory as well as a link explaining how to get your forum featured on our busy ProBoards.com homepage. This section can only be accessed with the main admin account on the forum.