Getting Started

Table of Contents

Welcome to CrewDiscuss/phpBB administration. Follow the steps below to learn your way around and configure and customize the Crew Discuss Messaging Board and your phpBB.

There is very little of the board configuration you need to change as we have done it for you. The paragraphs below are mostly just to introduce you to phpBB administration.  Setting email addresses will be you biggest duty.

  1. Home Page
  2. Index Page
  3. Log In
  4. Your Duties as a User
  5. Your Duties as an Administrator
  6. ACP->GENERAL->Board settings
  7. ACP->GENERAL->Email Settings
  8. ACP->GENERAL->Cookie Settings
  9. ACP->GENERAL->Contact Page
  10. ACP->EXTENSIONS->COINTACT BOARD ADMINISTRATION->Configuration
  11. ACP->GENERAL->Spambot countermeasures
  12. ACP->EXTENSIONS->Announcement settings
  13. ACP->USERS AND GROUPS->Custom profile fields
  14. Customize the Email templates.
  15. ACP->EXTENSIONS->APPLICATION ->Settings
  16. ACP->GENERAL->User registration settings
  17. User Registration
  18. ACP->USERS AND GROUPS tab->ACP Add User
  19. ACP->USERS AND GROUPS tab->Manage users
  20. Forum Watch
  21. ACP->SYSTEM->Mass Email and ACP->SYSTEM->Mass Notification
  22. ACP->USER AND GROUPS->Inactive users
  23. Privacy Statement and Terms of Use
  24. Going Live

Back to Documentation

 

1. Home Page

When you click on your boards URL in the welcome email you will see the Home page seen by guests. You are a guest until you are logged in .

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  • The Home Page is defined by the PAGES extension.
  • Everything within the big red box is customizable using BBcodes or HTML
  • We recommend you provide a "Follow us" links for those guests that are unfamiliar with the use of the top and bottom bars where those links can also appear.
  • Of course, you will need to create an account on Twitter and Instagram if those services are necessary for guests. The CrewDiscuss Messaging board supports email notifications of new Topics and Replies so for The Crew Twitter and Instagram is not really needed.
  • Click on the Board Index link to go to the boards forum index.

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2. Index Page

When you click on the "Board Index" link you will be taken to the public board seen by guests or both the public and private board. when you are logged in. This is the public board. We have defined 4 public forums by setting the ACP->FORUMS->Forum Permissions to allow the Guest User Group.

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  • The "Be A Scout", "OUR STORE", and "Weather" Links are defined by the PAGES extension.
  • The "Donations" link is configured by the PAYPAL DONATION extension.
  • The FAQ describes how to use the board.  All Crew members should review this information.
  • Crew members will click the "Registration" link to register with the board.
  • The registration form configuration is at ACP->USERS AND GROUPS->Custom profile fields
  • The CREW RECRUITING AND REINFORCEMENT EVENT is configured by the Announcement extension.
  • At the bottom of the page are shown the donation statistics and is configured by the PAYPAL DONATION extension.
  • At the bottom of the page are links to the boards Privacy policy and Terms of use.

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3. Log in

To log in as an administrator user, use your administrator credentials provided in the welcome email. CrewDiscuss/phpBB has the Prosilver style initially.  You can set the style seen by guests at  ACP->GENERAL->Board settings. The forums/topics are in US English language.

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This is the board seen after a user logs in.  Users can set the style they prefer at  UCP->Board Preferences->Edit global settings.
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  • The "search" box is configured at ACP->GENERAL->Search settings
  • The "Be A Scout", "OUR STORE", and "Weather" and "Cash Book" and "Calendar" Links are defined by the PAGES extension.
  • The "Application Form" link is configured by the APPLICATION FORM extension.
  • The "Donations" link is configured by the PAYPAL DONATION extension.
  • The "ACP" link opens the Administrator Control Panel.
  • The "MCP" link opens the Moderator Control Panel.
  • The RECENT TOPICS is a Category and is configured using the RECENT TOPICS extension.
  • "WELCOME TO VENTURING"  is a category defined at ACP->FORUMS.
  • "What is Venturing" is a forum defined at ACP->FORUMS.
  • "LAST POST" (ie Re: The way We see it) is a topic that users create.
  • The block of Categories beginning with "CREW NOTIFICATION" are private.
  • The "Flags" category is configured by the NATIONAL FLAGS extension.
  • At the bottom of the page and overlaying it is the "Cookie Notice". Per privacy regulations this should always be presented to the guests and users.  When it is disabled and when the PRIVACY POLICY extension is configured, it is replaced by the cookie notice as required by the EU.

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Forums and topics are made private by setting ACP->FORUMS->Forum Permissions to disallow guest access.
First select the forum and click submit.
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The Manage groups screen will appear.  Select the groups that you wish to have their permissions removed and click remove permissions.
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The groups you selected will no longer be able to access the forum you selected.
privateforumpermissions.jpg
 

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4. Your Duty as a User

As a logged in user, you can set your profile, change your language, set your avatar, edit your contact information and set the style of the board. Go to your User Control Panel (UCP).

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Select  Board Preferences tab->Edit global setting tab and select your language and board style and time and date settings from the drop down lists.
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This is an example fo the Acieeed style.
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This is an example for the Philmont style.
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Select Profile tab->Edit profile tab and complete the required fields.
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Select Profile tab->Edit account settings tab and change your email address and password if desired. The email that you entered at time of purchase of CrewDiscuss is shown and is also the board address discussed later.  You may wish to have an email address other than what we presume was your personal email that you entered at the time of purchase, so create an email account and enter it here.  We recommend using gmail as your email provider.

The password we provided in the welcome email was generated randomly and is of sufficient complexity and we recommend using it.  You will have to enter that password to update your admin email address.
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Select Profile tab->Edit avatar settings tab and delete the current image, if any.  Browse to an image file on your PC. NOTE: You should use an image editor to crop and resize the image so that the image has Maximum dimensions; width: 90 pixels, height: 90 pixels, file size: <6.00 kilobytes. Click submit to set your avatar.
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5. Your Duties as an Administrator

Your next duties are to check various settings of your CrewDiscuss board as detailed in the following subparagraphs.
But you must be logged in to the admin control panel, so Click the ACP link in the top bar
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Log in to the ACP using the same credentials as you used to log in to the board (those you received in the welcome email).
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6. ACP->GENERAL->Board settings

Here you can determine the basic operation of your board .  Review all the "Board Configuration" and change all items that make your CrewDiscuss unique.
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  • Edit site name and description which will appear at the top of every page.  We recommend that you compose your text in a text editor and block copy it to the text boxes.
  • The board is delivered disabled.  You will enable the board once you completed customizing and testing your board.
  • The main website URL has been set to the your boards Home page.  See paragraph on Domain names.
  • You can select the board style for guests
  • You set the boards language and time zone and time/date format on this page from the drop down text boxes.

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7. ACP->GENERAL->Email Settings

This information is used when the board sends emails to your users.
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  • The Contact email address and From email address, we presume was your personal email that you entered at the time of purchase so your board should have a unique email address and we recommend that you use the email address that you created for your admin email address above.
  • Enter your desired Complimentary Close and Email signature which appears at the end of all emails.
  • You should Hide email addresses.
  • Click Submit then click Send a text message.
  • You should receive a test email at your admin email address.  Gmail will report the message as possible spoofed message because it was not sent via the gmail client and that is OK.  Other email service providers may just throw the email in the bit bucket and that is not good because admin will not receive mass emails nor emails from users.
  • You could create an email account just for the board to avoid the spoofed message warning when you receive emails from users.
  • Do not change any other settings.

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8. ACP->GENERAL->Cookie Settings

These details define the data used to send cookies to your users browsers.
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  • The Cookie notice should be enabled in the US.
  • The Privacy and Cookie policy extension should be enabled per the General Data Protection Regulation required in Europe.
  • Do not change any other settings.

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9. ACP->GENERAL->Contact Page

Here you can enable and disable the contact page and also add a text that is displayed on the page.
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  • contact page is disabled in preference to Settings of the Contact Board Administration extension
  • Do not change any other settings.

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10. ACP->EXTENSIONS->COINTACT BOARD ADMINISTRATION->Configuration

This is the settings for the preferred contact page.
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The Contact Admin page is shown when guest clicks the Contact us link in the top bar.
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  • Registered users cannot use this form and is intended for guests/non-registered users only.  See remarks regarding Check Username and Check email.  Registered users will use the board features to contact admin or other users.
  • The extension support posting the contact message to a forum. A user named contactbot has been defined and the forum to which these contact messages is posted is "Someone is Knocking on the Door" found in the Crew Notifications forum
  • The Admin user and the assistant admin users (Crew member/adult advisors) should subscribe to the forum so that they will be notified of the contact message and then can respond appropriately via email.  They should copy the contact email address to their email client and add Bcc to the other admins to keep them in the loop.  The message should be quoted in the response.
  • We post to a forum so that all admins can review the contact from the public and decide if the message is worth a response.  99 times out of 100 the message will be from a prospective crew member or prospective adult advisor so an email template might be used to respond uniformly and quickly.  The response may simply be a request that they register on the board so that they provide all the information pertinent to joining the Crew.

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11. ACP->GENERAL->Spambot countermeasures

Here you can select and configure plugins, which are designed to block automated form submissions by spambots
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  • Spambot countermeasures should always be enabled.
  • You should never allow guests to post to your board by disabling the permission.
  • We have selected question and answer (Q&A) countermeasures.  Click Configure to change the questions and answers.  All the answers to the questions can be found by reading the public forums.  The Q&A countermeasure is adequate and difficult for robots to figure out, we want  prospective crew members or prospective adult advisors to read the public forums before they send a contact form that way you will only receive well thought through requests.

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  • You should edit the What is our Crew number?  and the Who is Crew's xxxx Chartered Organization? questions and make sure all answers can be found in the public forum.
  • A note on "Spambot countermeasures". If you have select reCaptcha V2. This requires that your CrewDiscuss site be registered with Google which I have taken care of provided the key and secret codes are entered correctly. I will monitor my reCaptcha dashboard for suspicious registration requests and alert you of same.
  • You may consider using the Stop Forum Spam extension. See ACP->EXTENSIONS->STOP FORUM SPAM->Stop Forum Spam Settings.
  • Do not change any other settings.

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12.  ACP->EXTENSIONS->Announcement settings

Here you can manage and create a board announcement that will be displayed on each page of your board.
announcementextension.jpg

  • When you do not have a current announcement just check 'No' to not display it.
  • Select other options to suit.
  • Edit the announcement text using BBcodes .  The example below illustrates the use of the float=right BBcode which causes the text to float around the image.  You will have to size the image so that the announcement looks pretty and floats the way you want.

announcement.jpg

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13.  ACP->USERS AND GROUPS->Custom profile fields

This is where you specify the information collected during user registration. These information also appear in the User Control panel.
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  • You can edit the profile field by clicking the gear icon.
  • Click Activate or deactivate to enable or disable the field from being seen.  We have activated only those profile fields that we deemed important to the Crews activities.
  • select type of field and click create new field.

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  • You usually want to display the profile field on the User control panel and on the registrations screen.
  • Require the profile field to be completed.
  • You specify characteristics of the fields and the language translation by clicking Profile type specific options.
  • We used Google Translate  to translate the field description in various languages.the

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14.  Customize the Email templates.

You should review and possibly customize the Email templates.
We have written special programs to edit these templates
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  • First, go to ACP->EXTENSIONS->Manage pages->Admin Tools->View page
  • Do not edit the Admin tools page.
  • When the Admin Tools page opens, Click "Edit Email Template"

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  • From the drop down menu select the email text file you wish to edit

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  • Click Edit and the editor will be filled with the contents of the email text file
  • Probably only the admin_activate and admin_welcome_activated emails would have need for changing

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  • Edit the email text as you see fit
  • There are numerous template variables that you can insert in the text. A list of the available variables are at the bottom of the page.  The variable name with the bounding squirrely braces are required for the variable substitution to be performed when the email is sent.

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15.  ACP->EXTENSIONS->APPLICATION ->Settings

The purpose of the APPLICATION form extension is to allow potential Crew officers to spout their credentials and give reasons why they should be elected to those Crew officer positions.
applicationform.jpg

  • We have setup the Crew Officer forum to display all the submitted applications .
  • The election of Crew officers is likely a semiannual activity so that each Crew member gets an opportunity to serve and experience the various functions.  Enter the positions that are open for applications.
  • Enter the questions you would like each applicant to answer.
  • You could create a Yes/No type poll to determine how the wind is blowing which might motivate the applicant to do some more politicking.
  • To submit an application click the link in the top bar.  You might create a board announcement to advise everyone that applications are being accepted giving the date when elections will be held.

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16.  ACP->GENERAL->User registration settings

Here you are able to define registration and profile related settings.
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  • Admin will receive an email when someone has registered.  The Admin will review the registration details and activate the user.
  • Here you specify the password characteristics.
  • We have disallowed email address re-use.  Now, this may not be appropriate when the parents or guardian share an email address. Today, many email service providers provide a means for the parent to receive all email traffic of their children, so disallowing email re-use may not be a problem.

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17.  User Registration

It would be a good time for the assistant administrator and the Crew Secretary and adult advisor(s) to register.  But, if those people are not available then you can use the  ACP->USERS AND GROUPS tab->ACP Add User and add them with their permission of course.

I feel that when you post replies or start topics you should indicate a distinction of you as an administrator or as a crew member so you should log out and register as a crew member (or use the ACP Add User extension), maybe with a different avatar and signature and certainly with your personal email address different from the admin email address you created above.

To put it simply, you have two roles as an admin and as a user. When you are replaced as the admin by another Crew member then they only need to change the email address of the administrator replacing your email address.  They of course would need to create another email account just as you did above.
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  • Per the ACP->GENERAL->User registration settings we have required that there be no duplicate email addresses.
  • Per the ACP->GENERAL->User registration settings we have required that passwords be complicated and have at least 10 characters.
  • When a password is entered a measure of its strength is noted on the screen per the algorithm selected at ACP->GENERAL->User registration settings.  Currently, the password strength/complexity is not forced except by virtue of the Password complexity setting of ACP->GENERAL->User registration settings.
  • Registrants should use the password generator at https://passwordsgenerator.net/
  • At the bottom of the screen is the spambot countermeasure mentioned above.

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18.  ACP->USERS AND GROUPS tab->ACP Add User

Create a new user account. If your activation settings are to Admin Activativation only, you will have the option to activate the user instantly.
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  • The Add User form is nearly identical to the registration screen.
  • If you have cleared this action with the user(s) and entered a valid email, the user will receive an email containing account login details.
  • We assume you are adding admin users so the Groups selecion should be "Administrators"

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19.  ACP->USERS AND GROUPS tab->Manage users

Here you can change your users information and certain specific options.
useradministration.jpg

  • You as the primary administrator will need to give your assistant admins privileges
  • If you know the members name, enter it into the text box, or Click "Find a member. Then click "Select" for the user.  They must first be a user to appear in the list.

findmember.jpg

  • Click Select
  • You will be back at the ACP->USERS AND GROUPS tab->Manage users page and your assistant's username will be in the text box,
  • click "submit", which will take you to the User administration page. Click Groups from the select form drop down list.

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  • Click the Select form drop down text box and choose Groups.
  • On the next screen click submit to add user to group: Administrators.

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  • Now your assistant is shown both as a user and as an administrator.
  • Your assistant should be able to log in to the Administrator Control Panel using there username and password.

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  • Perform this procedure for all assistant admins.

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20.  Forum Watch

Here you can Subscribe User to Forums.  User will be notified of new posts in all forums.
It is important for Admins to subscribe to all forums so that they can monitor activity on the board.
Admins can unsubscribe by  marking the forum or topic and then press the Unwatch marked button at their UCP->Overview->Manage subscriptions.
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  • First, go to ACP->EXTENSIONS->Manage pages->Admin Tools->View page
  • Do not edit the Admin tools page.
  • When the Admin Tools page opens, Click "Forum Watch"

forumwatch_tool.jpg

  • From the drop down menu select the user name

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  • Click Forum Subscribe.  A list of all forum subscriptions for the user will be displayed.
  • Perform this procedure for all assistant admins and yourself.

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21.  ACP->SYSTEM->Mass Email and ACP->SYSTEM->Mass Notification

Here you can email a message to either all of your users or all users of a specific group having the option to receive mass emails enabled.
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  • You should test that mass email is working by sending test message to all administrators.

Here you can send a board notification to either all of your users or specific users or groups.
massnotification.jpg

  • You should test that mass notifications is working by sending test notifications to all administrators.

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22.  ACP->USER AND GROUPS->Inactive users

This is a list of users who have registered but whose accounts are inactive.
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  • When someone registers you should receive an email for you to review the registration and for you to approve it.
  • view the list of inactive users and Click on the user name

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  • Check the email the user entered and correct if needed
  • select Preferences from the drop down menu

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  • Check Language and timezone that the user entered and correct if needed

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  • select profile from the drop down menu

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  • Check the registration data that the user entered and correct if needed
  • select Groups from the drop down menu

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  • When a user registers they are put in the Newly registered group with limited permissions and post limits.  See ACP->GENERAL->User registration settings and ACP->USERS AND GROUPS tab->Group permissions.
  • If the user information looks good and you wish the user to have full access to the board, Click remove member from the Newly registered group
  • You can also add the user to the Administrator group at this time

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23.  Privacy Statement and Terms of Use

When a person registers, they are asked to agree to the Terms of use.  There is a link to the Terms of use at the bottom of every page.
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  • Submit a ticket if you need to change the TERMS_OF_USE_CONTENT found in /lanuage/en/ucp.php.

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  • Submit a ticket if you need to change the PRIVACY_POLICY found in /lanuage/en/ucp.php.


If the Privacy and Cookie policy extension is enabled then the General Data Protection Regulation statement required in Europe is seen.  See ACP->EXTENSIONS->Privacy policy settings  and ACP->EXTENSIONS->Policy Files editor.  For more information see the Privacy Policy extension.
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24.  Going Live

 

  • You will find that TeamViewer will be an aid in learning CrewDiscuss administrations.  The assistant administrator would allow Teamviewer remote connections while you the administrator would connect to your assistants PC using the ID and Password displayed on the assistants Teamviewer window. There is plenty of teamViewer help information to get you up an running.
     
  • The CrewDiscuss template has been preloaded with forums, topics and posts and with general information for a Venturing Crew and specific information relating to the St. Louis Area Council of the BSA. you should review all of this and remove or replace as appropriate.

    Then add forums, topics, and posts relevant to your specific Crew.  These works will be done directly on the board or in the case of categories, forums under categories, announcements, and forum permissions will be changed using the ACP.
     
  • Now you can set up your Cash book, Calendar, Ecwid store, PayPal, PayPal Donate button, advertising as instructed below.
     
  • Once you and your assistant have fully tested your board it is time to "Go Live". First open your Ecwid store front and then go to ACP->Permissions->Forum permissions and add the "Bots" group to all of the public categories and forums and topics (those are the ones where the Guest group has permission).  Once you have enable Bots to crawl your CrewDiscuss board then you should submit your site to Search Engines.

    The key to search engine optimization (SEO) is to provide terms that clearly and succinctly describe the content and external links outside your site and the external links of other sites point to your CrewDiscuss. This applies most significantly to your forum description and topic titles. See ACP->Forums. Just think about how your audience will most likely find your public forums on the web and use those search keywords liberally.

    Go to your BSA council site and request that they add a link to your CrewDiscuss. I will add a link to your CrewDiscuss Board on The Crew Directory

    You should be able to find your board through search engines by entering combination of keywords found in your site name and site description.  See ACP->GENERAL->Board settings
     
  • DO NOT UPGRADE THE PHPBB  VERSION.  if it is not broken don't fix it.

  • WE DO NOT RECOMMEND ADDING EXTENSION TO YOUR LIVE CREWDISCUSS PHPBB. Some of them do not work.

  • If there is a particular extension that you want, submit a ticket, and We will test it on a Demo board and install it on your live CrewDiscuss board when you so instruct.

  • SUBSCRIPTIONS - Registrants are automatically subscribed to receive email notifications when new topics are added to any  forum and to any reply to any topic. Users are automatically subscribed to all replies to new topics that they add.  See ACP->EXTENSIONS->USER DEFAULTS  Users can remove these subscriptions in their UCP. 

NOTE: If you need any assistance what so ever to set up your board after purchase please submit a ticket.  All assistance to Venturing Crews is free of charge. PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT PHPBB, PHPEVENTCALENDAR, OR BEGINNEER BOOKKEEPING FOR TECHNICAL SUPPORT!

This documentation relates to the CrewDiscuss product, one of a family of web presence products of Ten Mile High LLC. The parent company Ten Mile High also offers a soon to be released virtual IVR telephony  product and a SSH Explorer product.