Invision Power Board 2 A User Guide Your guide to creating forums with Invision Power Board pdf pdf


Invision Power Board 2:

A User Guide David Mytton


  Invision Power Board 2: A User Guide

  Copyright © 2005 Packt Publishing All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews. Every effort has been made in the preparation of this book to ensure the accuracy of the information presented. However, the information contained in this book is sold without warranty, either express or implied. Neither the author, Packt Publishing, nor its dealers or distributors will be held liable for any damages caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by this book. Packt Publishing has endeavored to provide trademark information about all the companies and products mentioned in this book by the appropriate use of capitals. However, Packt Publishing cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

  First edition: June 2005 Published by Packt Publishing Ltd.

  32 Lincoln Road Olton Birmingham, B27 6PA, UK.

  ISBN 1-904811-38-8

  www. pac k t pub. c om

  Cover Design by www. v i s i onwt . c om

  Credits Author

  David Mytton Technical Reviewer

  Rikki Tissier Layout

  Paramita Chakrabarti Indexer

  Niranjan Jahagirdar Illustrator

  Dinesh Kandalgaonkar Commissioning Editor

  Douglas Paterson Technical Editors

  Paramita Chakrabarti Niranjan Jahagirdar Proofreader

  Chris Smith Cover Designer

  Helen Wood


  Invision Power Board is the culmination of nearly six years worth of work from me and the other developers at Invision Power Services. My ideas and designs have developed over this time in different products, but the desire to create a product that is not only feature-rich, but also easy to use, has remained constant. My formative years with the Internet began in 1999, and I joined a few discussion boards to help further my knowledge. The ability to communicate with other like-minded people from around the world fascinated me. The discussion boards of the time were fairly primitive and I began writing enhancements for them. My combined background of design and programming gave me a good foundation for improving on the basic formula. Invision Power Board is the result of those first tentative steps. I have always believed that the best way to develop a product is to garner the thoughts and ideas of the end user and our thriving community of customers is vital to our success. Some of the best concepts have developed from a nucleus of an idea contributed by a user of our products. This symbiosis is at the very core of our development ideals and this book cements this relationship. For the first time, a comprehensive book is available to guide and instruct fledgling administrators on how to get the best out of their Invision Power Board—a product developed in line with the wishes of our customers who are seasoned administrators. Although the Internet is a great resource for information, I don’t think that you can beat a good book to hold in your hands to consume the knowledge contained within. This book will take pride of place on my bookshelf, fitting in neatly between programming references and instructional guides. I hope it finds a place in your bookshelf, too. Matt Mecham Cambridgeshire, UK. C.E.O. & C.S.A. Invision Power Services, Inc.

  About the Author David Mytton

  is a young web developer based in the UK. Although he spends much of his time programming for the Web, he is also a keen writer having written articles for web development resource and International PHP Magazine, as well as his own website. These articles included interviews of famous personalities such as Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski (PHP architects and Zend Founders), Matthew Mecham (Invision Power Services CEO and Lead Developer), and Nick Lindridge (ionCube Founder). He does all this in between running his software development company, Olate Ltd ( www. ol at e. c o. uk ), scuba diving, and fencing.

  Table of Contents Introduction 1

Chapter 1: Invision Power Board

  5 What Is Invision Power Board?

  6 History 6

Development 7

What is New in IPB2?

  7 The IPB Advantage

  8 Performance 8

  Customizability 8 Maintenance Ease

  9 Versatility 9

  Example Websites

  10 Chapter 2: Installation and Configuration

  13 Minimum Requirements

  13 Licenses 13 Purchasing and the Client Area

  14 Installation 16

  Step 1: Uploading and Setting Permissions

  16 Step 2: Web-Based Installer

  18 Your Server Environment

  19 Your Database Environment

  19 Your Administrator Account

  20 Step 3: Post-Installation

  21 Conversion 21

  Other Downloads

  22 Summary 23 Table of Contents

Chapter 3: Tour: User Front End

  42 Edit Avatar Settings


  50 Edit Storage Folders

  49 Message Folders (Inbox, Sent Items, and Saved)

  49 Compose New Message

  Private Messaging

  46 Searching 47

  46 Moderator Tools

  46 Change E-Mail Address/Password

  45 Board Settings

  45 E-Mail Settings

  45 Manage Ignored Users

  44 Options 44 Manage Your Attachments

  42 Change Personal Photo

  25 The Index Page

  26 The Member Bar

  41 Edit Profile Info Table of Contents Empty PM Folders

  38 Messenger 40 Subscriptions 40 Personal Profile

  38 Control Panel Index

  37 User Control Panel/My Controls

  37 Fast Reply

  37 Add Reply

  36 Attachments 36 Post New Topic/Preview Post

  34 Post Options

  34 BBCode and Smilies

  28 Topics 31 Creating a New Topic

  28 Viewing Forums

  28 Lo-Fi Version

  27 The Footer Bar

  27 Forums and Categories

  41 Edit Signature

  50 PM Buddies/Block List

  51 Message Tracker

  51 Calendar 51

  Moderation 52 Summary 52

Chapter 4: Administration Panel Tour: Settings

  53 The Menu

  66 Settings: Full Text Search Setup

  72 Summary 74

  72 Settings: Warn Setup

  72 Settings: User Profiles

  71 Settings: The Trashcan Setup

  69 Settings: Topics, Posts and Polls

  68 Settings: Security and Privacy

  68 Settings: Search Engine Spiders

  68 Settings: Personal Message Setup

  67 Settings: News Setup

  67 Settings: General Configuration

  64 Settings: E-Mail Setup

  55 ACP Home

  62 Settings: Date and Time Formats

  53 Admin CP

  61 Settings: COPPA Setup Table of Contents

  60 Settings: Cookies

  60 Settings: Converge Set Up

  59 Settings: Calendar and Birthdays

  59 Settings: Board Offline/Online

  58 Settings: Board Guidelines

  56 Important Settings

  56 System Settings

  61 Settings: CPU Saving and Optimization

Chapter 5: Admin Panel Tour: Forum Control

  75 New Forum

  75 Quick Setup

  76 Basic Settings

  76 Forum Redirect Options

  77 Permission Settings

  77 Postable Forum Settings

  77 Allow HTML to be Posted?

  77 Allow BBCode to be Posted?

  78 Turn on the Quick Reply Box?

  78 Allow Polls and Vote Bumping?

  79 Posts in this Forum Increase Member's Cumulative Post Count?

  79 Moderation 79 Password Protection

  79 Sorting 80

  Permission Access Levels

  80 Create this Forum

  82 Manage Forums

  82 Categories 82 New Forum

  82 Permissions, Edit, and Delete

  82 Ordering 82

  Forums 83

  Settings 83 Permissions 83 Forum Rules

  83 Skin Options

  83 Resynchronize 84 Delete and Empty Forum

  84 Ordering 84 Permission Masks

  84 Create New Mask

  85 Edit 86 Preview 87


Moderators 87

Add Moderator

  88 Multi-Moderation 90

Summary 90 Table of Contents

Chapter 6: Admin Panel Tour: Users, Groups & Other Features

  91 Users and Groups

  91 Manage Members

  92 Edit Member's Profile

  93 Change Member's Name

  96 Change/Reset Password

  96 Suspend Member

  96 Delete Member

  97 Add New Member

  97 Manage Ranks

  97 Add a Member Rank

  97 Edit/Delete Rank

  98 Manage Usergroups

  98 Add a New Member Group

  99 Edit Group 102 Delete 104

  Manage Validating 104 Custom Profile Fields 104

  Add New Field 105 Editing 106

  Deleting 106

  IP Member Tools 106 Member Settings 107

  The Post Office 107

  Creating an E-Mail 108

  Filters 109 Sending 109

  Manage Bulk Mail 110 View E-Mail/Error Logs 110


Subscriptions 110

  Payment Gateways 111

  Gateway Configuration 111

  Subscription Packages 112

  Add New Subscription Package 112 Currency Setup 113

  Transaction Searching 113


Languages 114 Table of Contents

BBCode 114

  Add New BBCode 115


Maintenance 127

Backups 128

Summary 128

  Editing a Template Bit 140


  The Board Wrapper 135 Templates 137 Template Bits

  Skin Menu 134

  Skin Manager 132


  Changing the Logo 130 Change the Default Font Type, Font Size, and Font Color


Chapter 8: Skins and Templates 129

Common Tasks 130

  Prune/Mass Move 126


Filters 116

  Add a New Multi-Moderation Action 125 Using the Multi-Moderation 126 Edit/Remove 126

  Inline Moderation 123 Multi-Moderation 124


IPB Moderation Tools 122

  Your Forum/Website 116 Members 118 Moderation and Problems 120


Chapter 7: Forum Maintenance and Administration 115

Hints and Tips 116


Statistics 117

Summary 117


  Bad Word Filters 116 Ban Filters

  CSS Editing in Easy Mode 141 CSS Editing in Advanced Mode 143

  Table of Contents

  Replacement Macros 144

  Adding/Editing 144

  Edit Skin Settings 145

  Basics 146 CSS Options 147 Image Options 147 Set Author 147

  Skin Tools 147

  Rebuild Master Templates 148 Rebuild Skin Set Cache 148 Update Members Skin Choice 148


Search and Replace 149

Skin Import/Export 149

  Export 149 Import 150


Summary 151

Chapter 9: First Steps—A Guide 151 Initial Configuration 151 Licensing 152 User Groups

  Adding a Moderator User Group 153

  Adding a Member to the New Moderators Group 155

Forums 155

Tweaks 156

  Ranks 157 Profile Fields

  157 Bad Word Filters 158


Skins and Templates 158

Modifications 159

  Robots.txt 159 Bot List

  160 Securing Uploads 160


Other Modifications 161

Promotion 161

Managing Your Forum 162

  152 Table of Contents

Summary 162


Appendix A: Files and Directories 163

Directories 163

Files 165


Appendix B: Further Resources 167

PHP/MySQL Resources 169


Index 171


  This book is about obtaining, downloading, installing, configuring, managing, and maintaining a copy of Invision Power Board (IPB) 2 on your own website. It covers general forum management, user moderation, templates, and skins.


www. i nv i s i onboar d. c om

  Invision Power Board ( ), originally called

  IBForums, allows website owners to add a community to their existing site within minutes. Visitors are able to register and post threads discussing any topic, reply to existing messages, and generally participate in active discussion with other members.

  If you are reading this, it is probably because you are either already running a community forum, or are planning on establishing one. You may already be using Invision Board 2, an earlier version, or perhaps one of the rival products. Either way, by working through the chapters, you will be introduced to, and provided with, detailed information about Invision Power Board 2 and how to manage it.

  If you are interested in using IPB2 for your website or want to learn more about its implementation, then this book is for you.

  What This Book Covers

  The book starts with an overview of Invision Power Board (IPB), its history, advantages, and some sites that are using IPB.

  Chapter 2 walks you through an installation of IPB, including the necessary preparation work and post-installation tasks. Chapter 3 takes you through the user front end of your new forum. This

  includes a visit to forums, topics, posts, searching, the calendar, and the user control panel. This is the section that your visitors will spend all their time using and this chapter ensures that you are familiar with how everything works.


Chapters 4 and 5 give you an in-depth tour of the area you will initially

  spend your time in, changing settings, creating forums, and later managing your entire user base. Every option has been discussed so that you can effectively manage everything IPB offers.

  Chapter 6

  provides you with details about what running a real forum is about. It includes hints and tips from other forum owners and takes a good look at how to manage topics and posts using the advanced moderation tools IPB includes.


Chapter 7 takes you through the various aspects of user management for

  creating a successful community and provides useful tips for running a successful board.

  Chapter 8 guides you through one of the most important aspects of

  creating your own, personalized forum—the skins and templates. The look of your site is what distinguishes it from other competing forums so this chapter is important to help you make your copy of IPB unique.

  Chapter 9

  is a step-by-step guide to getting your forum up and running in the shortest time possible. It explains exactly how to get going right after you have installed IPB onto your website. It provides sample settings so you can be ready to launch it in almost no time at all.

  What You Need for Using This Book

  The only requirement for using this book is that you have a copy, or have access to a copy of Invision Power Board 2. It does not even need to be installed or working since Chapter 2 takes you through the full installation process.

  Invision Power Board is available as a commercial product from the

  ht t p: / / www. i nv i s i onboar d. c om Invision Power Services website at .

  You can either purchase a license or you can obtain a free trial. Although the free trial is limited (see IPB website for details), it will allow you to work through everything in this book, with the exception of being able to bulk e-mail your members (which is disabled in the trial).

  Introduction Conventions

  In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning. There are three styles for code. Code words in text are shown as follows:

  pr i nt _r ( )

  "To illustrate the difference, you can the results of both functions". A block of code will be set as follows:

  <i mg s r c =' s t y l e_i mages / <#I MG_DI R#>/ t _addpol l . gi f ' bor der =' 0' al t =' Add Pol l ' / >

  When we wish to draw your attention to a particular part of a code block, the relevant lines or items will be made bold:

  <% NAVI GATI ON %> <! - - I BF. NEWPMBOX- - > <% BOARD %> <% BOARD FOOTER %> <% STATS %> New terms and important words are introduced in a bold-type font.

  Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in our text like this: "clicking the Next button moves you to the next screen".

  Tips, suggestions, or important notes appear in a box like this. Any command-line input and output is written as follows:

  >\ . my dump. s ql Quer y OK, 1 r ow af f ec t ed ( 0. 00 s ec ) Reader Feedback

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  1 Invision Power Board

  Now developed by Invision Power Services ( www. i nv i s i onpower . c om ),

  www. i nv i s i onboar d. c om

  Invision Power Board ( ), originally called IBForums, was created to add more to the existing bulletin board market. Released on June 12, 2002, Invision Power Board (IPB) version 1.0 allowed website owners to create their own community within minutes. Visitors could register and then post threads discussing any topic, reply to existing messages, and participate in active discussions with other members. Actively developed to keep up with the rival products, IPB quickly distinguished itself as one of the top three bulletin-board applications. Created using the open-source programming language, PHP: Hypertext

  Processor (PHP), and powered by a MySQL database, the software can be deployed on almost any server platform, adding to its popularity.

  The top forum applications today are Invision Power Board, phpBB ( www. phpbb. c om ), and vBulletin ( www. v bul l et i n. c om ). However, many other bulletin-board packages (both paid for and free) are available.

  Now in version 2.0, IPB has matured into a tool used not only for personal websites, but also for product feedback, corporate communities, and as an internal communication tool for intranets. This book will focus on obtaining, downloading, installing, configuring, managing, and maintaining a copy of Invision Power Board 2 on a website. We will also discuss general forum management, user moderation, template design, and hints and tips from Invision Power Services team members.

  Invision Power Board What Is Invision Power Board?

  A community adds extra value to almost any website. One of the many goals of website owners is to keep visitors returning for more content. Launching a bulletin board (also known as a forum) can have that effect—members participate in discussion about (but not limited to) topics they are visiting the website for. This can provide extra help, answer questions, and introduce another support channel into your website. All this adds to the 'stickiness' of your website. But how do you go about creating a community? This is where IPB steps in. Written specifically to allow you to create a discussion forum, IPB provides all the tools, features, and functionality that you need to set up and develop a vibrant community. And because it specializes in this one aspect of your website, all its features are geared towards this goal; you can leave the improvement and additions to the Invision Power Services developers, while you manage the rest of your website.


  Charles Warner and Matthew Mecham created Invision Power Services in February 2002. Both were working for the company that acquired an existing bulletin board solution called Ikonboard ( www. i k onboar d. c om ). Both of them noticed the software was left wanting on the development front, and they left the company to join together and launch Invision Power Services. While Matt created IBForums, later renamed Invision Power Board, Charles was selling hosting packages and other services through Invision Power Services.

  Ikonboard was created using Perl and Matt felt that even though Perl was a great language, PHP offered greater advantages—mainly its being actively developed. As a result, IPB was created using PHP. Charles managed the business side of the company, and Matt worked hard on the development of IPB 1.0. On June 12, 2002, the final stable version 1.0 was released. Right away, work started on version 1.1. This was finally launched on January 16, 2003, and included enhancements such as an events calendar, improved skin support, private messaging additions, and various other changes.

Chapter 1 Version 1.2 was hot on the heels of 1.1 and was released on August 6,

  2003. Version 1.3 followed on November 19, 2003. Version 1.3 was the last of the 1.x range (with the exception of bug fixes). Matt began work on version 2.0, which included PHP5 compatibility, unlimited subforums, more attachment support, a rewrite of the templates system, multi-line moderation, and many more new features. The first 2.0 alpha release was announced on November 25, 2003—just six days after 1.3 was released! Beta tests followed this up to the last public release test, which was made available on September 10, 2004. The final, stable version of 2.0 launched on 21st September, 2005 has brought Invision Power Board to the forefront of the bulletin-board software market.


  In an interview in April 2004, Matt Mecham provided a deep insight into exactly what has gone into IPB2's development. Although he is the CEO and co-founder of Invision Power Services, Matt focuses mainly on the product development side, and is the sole developer of Invision Power Board. He does all the coding and is backed up by outsourced template designers and support team employed by Invision Power Services.

  Based in the UK, Matt works with Charles (in the US) to discuss business management, but works alone when it comes to writing the PHP source code for the application. Using an Apple Mac development environment, Matt works in nine-hour blocks, stopping only for coffee-breaks! You can read the full interview at www. ol at e. c om/ ar t i c l es / 199 to find out more about the development process.

  What is New in IPB2?

  Invision Power Board 2 is the latest version and has many feature enhancements and improvements to make your life as an administrator much easier.

  Invision Power Board

  The major feature highlights include:

  • Inline moderation
  • Lo-fi content version
  • Custom BBCode
  • Improved calendar
  • Attachments Manager • New Emoticons Manager • Threaded, Outline, and Linear + View Mods These additions, plus all the other features, are covered in the relevant chapters of this book.

  The IPB Advantage

  There are many different forum software packages available either for free, or to purchase. Why should you use IPB2?


  Running a successful website or forum with thousands of members and threads can place considerable strain on your web server. Yet with IPB2, this is not the case. It is designed to scale extremely well, and has demonstrated the ability to do so on massive forums! Using advanced caching for templates and language files to reduce the number of database queries (and coming in version 2.1, even more caching and load-reducing features such as Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) to allow instant changes to be made with no page refreshing), and content caching, IPB will certainly stand up to anything you can throw at it.


  Look is an extremely important aspect of any website, and IPB certainly does not disappoint. It provides an extremely flexible template system and even includes web-based CSS editing, template revision reverts, macros, and replacement variables.

Chapter 1 In this book, you will learn all about this system including how to

  download and import templates created by other people, and how to make your own templates.

  Maintenance Ease

  The unique and intuitive moderation controls present in IPB2 come as a direct result of the developers using their own software. For example, the multi-moderation feature allows actions to be defined through the Admin Control Panel, and they can be performed on multiple topics and posts at once (for example, rename the title and post an auto response).

  In addition, the Admin Panel itself is extremely well designed to allow access to every option from a left-hand menu. Each section is color- coded and includes descriptions for every option to help the maintenance of the board as it grows. Development is based around the experiences of customers and IPS themselves. Version 2.1 shows this with refinements to the moderator controls and the admin panel.


  Not only can IPB be used as a forum, but also as a bug tracker by taking advantage of the features provided by the multi-moderation tools allowing mass actions to be performed. The fact that all the source code is available to view means that many modifications can be downloaded or bought—especially those created by

  IPB. These include:

  • Invision Gallery: The Gallery product plugs directly into your forum to allow members to upload their own photos and to create a community photo gallery.
  • Invision Blog: Take advantage of the massive growth in use of web logs (blogs) by allowing you and your members to create blogs, through your forum.
  • Invision Power Chat: Bring your community even closer by operating a chat room built into the IPB member database.
Invision Power Board

  • Invision Top Site List: Create a classified list of websites and useful links that you and your members can add to using the Top Site List product.
  • Invision File Manager: A free product to add to your forum: allow members to manage their own files and download them directly from within your forum.

  All the products above are integrated directly into IPB itself to take advantage of the built-in member database. This can be coupled with the Converge system, which you can use if you are a developer, to ensure your members need to log in only once at your website.

  Example Websites

  Many busy websites use live versions of Invision Power Board 2. At the time of writing, the second biggest IPB-powered forum was S2KI

  www. s 2k i . c om/ f or ums /

  ( )—a Honda S2000 owners' community. This had over 4.5 million posts and over 32,000 members. The largest forum was i dol f or ums . c om —a point of discussion for the American Idol TV Series. At over 6.3 million posts and with over 34,000 members, it certainly shows off how IPB can scale to any size! One of the best examples of this is the Invision Power Services

  ht t p: / / f or ums . i nv i s i onpower . c om

  Company Forums themselves. At , they use the very latest version on a live site with 700,000 posts and 50,000 members! My own website uses IPB and takes advantage of the Converge member system to integrate into my own products. This means customers only need to register once to get access to all resources. This is very easy to achieve using the PHP classes and documentation built directly into the

  IPB source code. You can see my company forums at

  www. ol at e. c o. uk / f or ums .

Chapter 1 Other websites using IPB include:

  • ac ne. or g/ mes s ageboar d
  • bl ac k adder hal l . c om/ f or um
  • c r edi t boar ds . c om
  • dr unk f oundat i on. c om/ f or um
  • f or ums . amd. c om
  • f or ums . nv i di a. c om
  • f or ums . r ev or a. net
  • gmai l f or ums . c om
  • i nv i s i oni z e. c om
  • s quar e- eni x - f or ums . c om
  • t hi r dwat c h. net / f or um

  This demonstrates how scalable IPB can be—from the very smallest of member bases to millions of posts and thousands of members.

  You can view the latest statistics for the biggest IPB-powered forums at www. bi g- boar ds . c om/ i ndex . php?t y pe=I nv i s i on .

  Choosing an Open Source CMS:

Beginner’s Guide

  ISBN: 978-1-847196-22-4 Paperback: 340 pages Find the best CMS and start working with it to create web sites, blogs, communities, e-commerce sites, and intranets

  1. Understand different types of CMSs and select the one that best fits your needs

  2. Install and customize a CMS with themes and


  3. Learn key concepts of Content Management Systems and how to systematically assess your requirements

  4. Introduction to the major CMSs including Joomla!, Drupal, WordPress, Plone, Magento, Alfresco, and more

  5. A hands-on, easy-to-read guide that gives you practical tips on hosting, project management, working with specialists and communities, and finding experts phpBB: A User Guide

  ISBN: 978-1-904811-91-6 Paperback: 176 pages Set up and run your own discussion forum

  1. Simple, practical steps to create and manage your own phpBB-powered online community

  2. Learn from experienced phpBB administrators and enthusiasts to get the most from phpBB Please check for information on our titles

  2 Installation and Configuration

  As of the stable version 2.0 release (21st September 2004), the full version of IPB cannot be downloaded for free. You have the option of purchasing a full license (of which there are two varieties) or obtaining a restricted version, which is limited to five thousand posts, one thousand topics, and two hundred members. In addition, you can purchase a hosting account that includes a full lifetime license (for the duration of the hosting), although the forum is encoded to work only on the IPS servers.

  Invision Power Services is one of the many web-hosting companies available. A simple search on Google will reveal many other top companies.

  This chapter will focus upon the purchase, download, installation, and configuration of IPB2 at the end of which you will have a fully licensed and working copy of Invision Power Board 2.

  Minimum Requirements

  In order to use IPB, you need to have the following available to you: An operating system that supports PHP and MySQL e.g. Linux or Windows A PHP/MySQL-compatible web server e.g. Apache ( www. apac he. or g )

  Installation and Configuration

  If you are using the restricted version, you will need the ionCube or

  www. i onc ube. c om

  Zend Loaders, which can be downloaded from and www. z end. c om respectively

  www. php. net

  PHP 4.1.0 (or better) available at

  • MySQL 3.23 (or better) available at www. my s ql . c om Although the Zend-encoded version of IPB requires loaders to be installed, ionCube has a feature to allow run-time loading so that you do not always need to install the loaders. If you are unsure, you should contact your web-hosting company.

  You only need one MySQL database—IPB supports table prefixes. You will need your MySQL access details—username, password, and database name. You will also need approximately 2MB of free web space and 3 MB of SQL space for installation and a moderately sized community. You can obtain advice from your web-hosting company about this.

  Licenses IPB2 is not free software. In order to use it, you must purchase a license.

  Once purchased, you have access to the software and the additional services that are offered by Invision Power Services. Two different licenses are available for purchase:

  Yearly License at $69.95: This license provides access to IPB for

  one year. During this time, you can download the latest version and all updates released for use on one installation. Installation is also allowed on a private server with no public access or registrations disabled for testing purposes. At the end of the year if the license is not renewed IPB will continue to run, but you cannot download any updates or new versions released.

  Perpetual License at $185.00: Purchasing the Perpetual License allows access to all future product upgrades and releases for life.

  Free support is provided for the first year with an annual renewal fee of $30.00. Your purchase does not just include a license to use the software and upgrades—several extra services are included with all licenses:

Chapter 2 Support Service: You can submit tickets to obtain technical support

  from the IPS support team as well as via the Live Chat support services. Free telephone support is also included. (US customers use a toll-free number. International customers will have to pay international dialing rates to call the United States.)

  • Installation and Upgrades: You can have the IPS staff install or upgrade existing versions of the product onto your hosting account within 24 hours.

  Purchasing and the Client Area

  Once you have decided which license you would like to buy, ordering only takes a few moments. When you visit www. i nv i s i onboar d. c om/

  ac t . i ps / downl oad

  you are presented with a number of extra options including different database drivers (MySQL included) and copyright output removal. Clicking Continue will then provide you with a summary of your order. You are also notified that orders can take up to 24 hours to verify due to fraud prevention checks. The following steps collect personal information about you and allow you to set up an account: Installation and Configuration

  Payment is accepted through Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB Diners credit cards, Electronic Check drawn on US bank accounts, PayPal, United Kingdom Debit Cards (Delta, Maestro/Switch, Solo, Electron), and check or money order from US or UK banks.

  Once your order is completed, you can log in to the Client Area at

  ht t p: / / c us t omer . i nv i s i onpower . c om . You will be presented with

  various options. Click on Invision Power Board on the right hand side, under Purchased Services. This will show you a list of the licenses you have purchased, a form to submit a technical support ticket, and (at the bottom of the page) a link to download the latest version of IPB.

  Click on the Download IPB Now link and after a few seconds, the ZIP package will be offered as a download. Save this to your local computer and get ready for the next step.


  The first part of the installation is uploading the IPB files and setting the correct permissions. Once that is completed, the automated, web-based installer guides you through the setup of the database. Finally, the installer file must be deleted for security reasons. The entire process is completed in three steps.

  Step 1: Uploading and Setting Permissions

  Once you have obtained the

  I PB . z i p package, you need to extract all

  the files. This can be done using the extraction tool WinZip

  www. wi nz i p. c om

  ( ) or by using any of the many free tools available (see www. s napf i l es . c om/ f r eewar e/ downl oader / f wz i p. ht ml ).

  Doc ument at i on

  Once extracted, you will have three directories— , Tool s _And_Sc r i pt s , and upl oad as well as a r eadme. ht ml file. See Appendix A: Files and Directories for the full directory structure

  upl oad/ listing of .

Chapter 2 Next, you need to upload the

  upl oad/

  directory to your web-hosting account. This can be done using your favorite FTP Client. There are many clients available—free, as well as paid for. One of the best freely available clients is SmartFTP (

  www. s mar t f t p. c om

  ). You should upload all the files and sub-directories of the upl oad/ root directory:


FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is used when you transfer files

  from your computer to a remote server. These files are "uploaded" to the server so they can be accessed via the Web. FTPing is done via an FTP Client such as the free SmartFTP mentioned above. You will find an introduction to FTP at the SmartFTP website:

  ht t p: / / www. s mar t f t p. c om/ s uppor t / howt o/

  Once uploaded, you can freely rename upl oad/ to something more suitable such as

  f or um/


  f or ums /

  , or

  c ommuni t y / . Installation and Configuration

  Following that, you must change the file permissions so that IPB can

  c hmod

  write to certain directories. This can be done using the command from Linux or by using your FTP client. Most FTP clients build this into their right-click menu. Right-click on the files, select Properties, and select the options to change the file permissions. You should c hmod (or set the permissions) as the following:

  c ac he/ 0755

  Directory to

  l ang/ 0755

  Directory and all contents to Directory s k i n_c ac he/ to 0755 (or 0777 if you get permission errors) Directory s t y l e_emot i c ons / to 0755 Directory s t y l e_i mages / to 0755

  upl oads / 0755 0777

  Directory to (or if you get permission errors)

  c onf _gl obal . php 0666 0777

  • File to (or if you get permission errors)

  c hmod is a Linux command. For Windows users, you must

  ensure that your web server has access to the files concerned, which is usually done by right-clicking the file on the server (or through your FTP client) and changing the permissions options to read and write access.

  This allows the application to write to those directories during the installation and during the normal use of the software. If you do not set the correct permissions, a warning will be displayed when you try to run the Web-Based Installer in the next step.

  Now that all the files have been uploaded and have the correct permissions, you can use the installer to begin the setup process.

  Step 2: Web-Based Installer

  The database and initial configuration must be set up using a simple automated process through your web browser before using the board. f or ums /

  If you uploaded your files in Step 1 to and your domain name is

  ht t p: / / www. ex ampl e. c om

  then you would access the installer by going to ht t p: / / www. ex ampl e. c om/ f or ums / i ns t al l . To give a real-world

  ht t p: / / www. ol at e. c o. uk

  example: for a domain name with the files uploaded to f or ums / , the setup URL would be ht t p: / / www. ol at e. c o


. uk / f or ums / i ns t al l . You will then be shown the welcome screen for

the installer. Click on Proceed.

  The next step requires input of the information available from your web host. This includes the database details and the administrative account login information.

  Your Server Environment

  The IPB i ndex . php URL should already be set to the correct address. If not, you can set it manually. Following the example we used above, if

  f or ums /

  you uploaded your files in Step 1 to and your domain name is

  ht t p: / / www. ex ampl e. c om , then the correct value will be ht t p: / / www. ex ampl e. c om/ f or ums


  Your Database Environment

  This information—the access details required to connect to your database— can be obtained from your web-hosting company. The table prefix will be added to the beginning of the name of all tables created to avoid confusion. This is useful if you have many tables in your database. The default is i bf _ , but you could change it to something like f or ums _ .

  Installation and Configuration f or ums _

  This is just a case of adding (or whatever prefix you would like to use) into the SQL Table Prefix box: If any of the information you enter is incorrect, when you click Proceed, you will be shown an error message explaining what went wrong.

  Your Administrator Account

  The first account created on your forums will be your own and will have full administrative access to all functions of the forum. You should specify a username and password for this account here. Note that it is important to choose a strong password (i.e. not admin for username or password). If someone guesses or cracks your username and password, they will be able to access everything in your forum.

  Passwords should be at least six characters long and should contain no dictionary words. They should be a mixture of upper and lower case characters and numbers. This is your primary admin account so a strong password is recommended.