Simple Forum PHP HELP

How to install Simple Forum PHP? How to use the Simple Forum PHP script? Using of the options. How to put the forum on the web page. How to manage replies.

How to install Simple Forum PHP?

Set up MySQL database
Simple Forum PHP require PHP 5.2 or higher version and MySQL 5.0 or higher version to run on your server - you can see the current version of PHP and MySQL in the control panel of your website.
Before starting the installation wizard of the script you will need to create a database for the script:
- Open the Control Panel(CPanel, Plesk or any other) of your hosting account.
- Find the Databases section, where you will create a MySQL database.
- Durring database creation you will need to supply a Database name, Database user and Database password. You will aslo need to know the database server name — usually 'localhost'. Save all these details on your local machine for future reference on something such as Notepad.
- If you use your hosting account's 'CPanel' to create your database you must set Privileges to ALL for the Database user.
- If you have problems with creating a database - ask your web hosting company - normally they provide 24h email, phone or chat free support. Also, you may send us an email request and we will create database and install the script on your website.
Unzip or unrar, upload and install Simple Forum PHP
- Unzip the .zip file received from us. You can use programs such as Winzip, Winrar, or Stuffit Expander (Mac). They have all have trial versions.
- Next, upload all files to your website. You can either upload the complete folder (for example named "SCRIPTFOLDER") or you can upload all the files individually to a folder you created in the root directory of your website.
- Next step is to run the installation file:
https://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/SCRIPTFOLDER/installation.php
* note that, you should replace "YOURDOMAIN" with your real domain name and "SCRIPTFOLDER" with the folder you created into the root of your website.
- On your screen will appear the Installation wizard and will ask you to complete the form below:
Simple Forum PHP installation wizard
- This information is what you saved when creating your database:
  • MySQL server name which is usualy 'localhost'
  • MySQL username - when you create a database you need to assign minimum one user
  • MySQL password - this is the password of the user assigned to database
  • Server path to script directory, Full URL to script directory, script directory name - they will appear automatically. You can change if they are different - usually on windows web server.
  • Admin Username - this will be your username for the protected administrator pages
  • Admin Password - this will be your password for the protected administrator pages
* note, that sometimes the servers does not send correct information about the version of MySQL and a message "Server version of MySQL is not ok!" might appear. The minimum requirements of MySQL for all of our scripts is version 3.0, so if you already created a MySQL database - go ahead and install the script.
- Click on 'Install Script' button and if all the database details are correct, you will see intermediate screen with message "Script successfully installed" and a link to the admin login form "Login here":
Simple Forum PHP - message for successful installation
- Once you click on the link 'Login here', you will be redirect you to the administrator login form.

How to use the Simple Forum PHP script?

First you need to enter Admin username and password (you set earlier):
Simple Forum PHP - admin login form
When you login, you will see the administration area -> list of topics(the list will be empty after inicial installation). From here you will be able to preview and approve/edit/delete forum topics:
Simple forum PHP script - admin landing page

Using of the Options.

Go to Options -> Admin options and fill the administrator email. All notifications for new topics or replies will be send to this email.
Then you can choose the captcha image. There are 5 choices - reCaptcha(the most secured), Mathematical captcha, Simple Captcha, Very Simple Captcha, and No Captcha(without captcha verification code).
There is one option that is relevant to RSS "URL of the page where you placed the forum on your website" - you should copy the code of the page where you placed the forum and paste it into this text field.
If there is a time offset between your time zone and time zone of the server you could set the time zone you wish in "Set Default Time Zone" option.
Below you can see 3 choices for emails. First is for email notification for the person who posted the topic and this topic is approved by admin. Second email notification is for the same person, but when someone replies on its topic. The third email notification option is for those who post replies to the topics and their replies are approved by admin:
Simple Forum PHP script - Admin Options
Go to Options -> Topic/Reply options where you can choose whether to approve the uploaded topics and replies or they automatically to be posted.
Below are the replies order - new replies on the top or new replies at the bottom.
"Number of topics per page" - you could choose how much topics per page to be listed.
"Use Icon/Avatar on Topics/Replies" - choose whether or not to use Icons(Avatars) in the forum
Next option is the width in pixels of the Icon(Avatar) image for topics and replies.
You have also option to use the default icon, if not uploaded - just set "yes" on Show sample icon option.
Allowable HTML tags are the html tags that are allowed when the visitor write the topic or reply message. I have added this option just to stop malevolent persons for unwanted formatting.
Banned words option is also to prevent the forum from unwanted topics or replies - just add bad words like - viagra, cialis, pills etc... separated by comma and topics/replies with these words wouldn't be submitted:
Forum admin area - Topic/Reply Options
Go to Options -> Visual options and tweak the css visual style to fit the design of the page on your website. Here you can adjust font-family, font-size, font-color, background-color, forum width, font-weight of all the front end of the forum. Here are also the date and time formatting options:
Simple Forum PHP - Visual options(CSS)
Go to Options -> Language options and translate each word or sentence in to your language. Simple Forum PHP support any UTF-8 language:
Simple Forum PHP - Language options - translation

How to put the forum on the web page?

There are two easy ways to put the forum script on your website –either iframe or php include(). I recommend you to use iframe embedding for .html or .htm pages and php include for .php pages. Just copy one of these codes and paste into the html code on the page where you want forum to appear. Don't forget if you use php include method to copy and paste the session_start() code on the very top of the page, above the html code:
How to put forum on a webpage of your website
Once the forum is placed on your website you could create categories in admin area -> Categories -> Create Category. Also you are able to edit or delete categories at the later stage. Once categories are created, they will appear above the forum on the front-end as a drop-down menu, so your visitors will be able to submit topics in different areas. The list of categories in admin area will look like this:
Create Categories in Simple Forum PHP
If the "Approve" option(in Topic/Reply options) is checked, then admin will be able to preview replies before decide to approve or delete replies:
List of replies in admin area of the forum
If the manual above is not clear enough, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@simplephpscripts.com
Also, if you don't find answer of your question, please refer our FAQ section.