I received a request from a friend on how to install and set up phpbb. At the same time, he wants each registered users to have their own blogs. I can’t find a detailed tutorial on how to do it. So I think I will write one for those who wants to set up phpbb.
Step 1 Install phpbb
If your hosting provider provides you with cpanel, this tasks become easy. You can install phpbb using Softaculous. Softaculous makes the installing of software much easier. Simply click on install after you found phpbb in Softaculous. After that you just need to set up the domain, installation path, database name, admin user name and password for it. So it doesn’t require much configuration.
Step 2 Configuring phpbb
This is the most complicated part as there are so many configuration options with phpbb. Most of the time would be spent on finding where is the configuration and how the configuration would affect the forum.
Step 2.1 Disable New Member Post Limit
This step is optional. If you don’t make any change to it, newly registered members are within the Newly Registered Users group until they reach 3 number of posts. In another word, a newly registered members are required to post at least 3 posts and it should be approved by moderator, after that they will be moved to a normal Registered Users group. If you don’t want to approve a newly registered user’s posts then set the number to 0. Refer to below screenshot on where you can set it.
Step 2.2 Allow Users Posts without Approval
When you first install, phpbb requires posts to be approved before it is view-able by public. To disable this, refer to below screenshots on where you can set it.
Step 2.3 Install Styles
Phpbb comes with a lot of free styles to decorate your forums. You can view the list of styles at https://www.phpbb.com/styles/demo/3.0/ Select the styles that you are satistified from the top left drop down menu. After that you need to click download to download the style. After that you need to unzip the style and FTP upload to your website’s phpbb installed directory under folder styles.
After that you go to the styles tab in Admin Control Panel, you should see the uninstalled styles. Click install to install it. You can set the installed style as default from there.
Step 2.4 Install AutoMOD
AutoMod is a script for making your life easier when installing phpbb modifications(modules). I consider this as a must have tools. You need this to install the user blog modules later.
Go to https://www.phpbb.com/mods/automod/ and download the automod. If you unzip it and you will find install_mod.xml installation guildlines inside. Basically it asks you to copy all folders under /root to your website server under the phpbb installed directory. So copy all of them and overwrite if necessary.
Point your browser to the page http://yourdomain/phpbb_installdirectory/install/ You should see below
Go ahead and install it and make sure in the end you see every modifications are success. After the successful installation, delete the install folder you just uploaded to the server. Now when you go to Admin Control Panel, you should see the AUTOMOD tab.
Step 2.5 Install User Blog Module
User blog module is a phpbb module that allows registered users to have their own blogs. To read more about it, go to https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/mod/user_blog_mod/. To install the module, you need to goes to the page and download it. Once you finished downloading, goes to AUTOMOD tab in Admin CP.
Upload the zip files you just downloaded. After that when you go back to AUTOMOD tab, you will see below.
Not that this module is for phpbb 3.0.7. So it might not be compatible with your phpbb version you are installing. My phpbb version is 3.0.12 and I have tested it out they are compatible. So I ignore the warning and proceed to install.
After you install the module, you need to run the database migration (Sorry i am a Rails guy=)) by point your browser to http://domain/phpbb_installationdirectory/blog. If you happen to see warning “Information: This version of UMIL is outdated.”, then you need to update your UMIL version. If you can recall, UMIL is one of the folders you uploaded to server when you install AUTOMOD. Some introduction to UMIL from phpbb website. “UMIL (Unified MOD Install Library) was built by EXreaction under the supervision of the MOD Team. This utility enables MOD Authors to create simple installation scripts for their MOD that allow the user to install, update, or uninstall a Modification quickly. Released under the GNU GPL license, UMIL is included within MOD Packages to make MOD Installations simple and automatic.”
To update your UMIL, go to https://www.phpbb.com/mods/umil/ and download it. Unzip it and upload to the root folder where you installed phpbb. You need to overwrite existing umil folder. Now go back to http://domain/phpbb_installationdirectory/blog, you should be able to install without any warning.