Site ChecklistReady to start building your site? We've prepared this brief Site Checklist to help get you going. This guide assumes you have already installed BoltWire and been able to login and access the site admin area.
If you have had trouble doing that, please see our Installation guide. If you are new to BoltWire, we also recommend taking our Welcome Tour for a quick overview of how our software works.
Here are the first 10 things you should do to get your site going...
- Log into your site admin area and look in the side menu for a link that says "Config" and click it. You can begin customizing your site by updating the values for the fields at the top of the list, like mysite, myslogan, mydescription, etc. This first step is easy! Just be careful to avoid changing any values you do not understand.
- Let's create a new "welcome" page. Go to page "welcome" to see the current start page. Then hit the "edit" link in your action bar to see the contents. Tweak as desired. And save!
- Take some time to think through the main tabs you will want to have along the top of the page. We've already suggested some, like forum, blog, and classes, etc. You will probably also want to have one section for Members. Try to limit yourself to 3-5 tabs. Now here's how to update your tabs:
- Go to block.tabs and click edit.
- Update the links to point to your various sections, adding or removing a link if needed.
- We recommend setting each link to welcome.forum or welcome.blog, so visitors can click them. Then on that page you can either forward to that specific area, or refer to a login page if necessary.
- You can see how we setup these default links, with the blog area being public, and the others member only. Just go to welcome.blog&action=source and then welcome.forum&action=source. Feel free to modify how these work as desired.
- Feel free to update the link labels that are displayed. The "titles" are what displays when someone puts their mouse over the link.
- Save your changes and take a look.
- You'll see red question marks for links to pages that don't exist. To get rid of them, just click the link, then save the blank page that pops up. Better still, put "! My New Area" at the top of each page, and maybe "//Coming soon//" a line or two down. You'll have to go back and build these pages later.
- Go to block.bottom and click edit.
- Start replacing the text in this section with appropriate links. Create a link by using this format: [[some.page|Link Display]].
- If you wish, you can tinker the width of the columns to make them look even.
- Update block.side-guest. This is the side menu visitors to your site will see before logging in.
- Update block.side-member. As you might guess, this is what members see!
- If you want to change our whole system, you can tinker with the "side" page. It's worth taking a look, so you see how the two blocks above work.
- Finally, you can create custom side pages for specific sections of your site. Create a forum.side page or a blog.side page for example, modeling them off the main "side" page. Those will show to anyone visiting those specific sections of your site.
- We recommend setting a "sitemail" value, with an email address from your domain. You will need this in place to send emails from your site. For email to work, you may also need to make some configuration changes to your server.
- Consider adding a timezone parameter. Check this page for a list of available settings. For my site, I might add "timezone: America/Chicago". Be careful to not misspell this setting, and only use officially recognized values.
- Do you want to another language besides English? Set the language parameter to any of the codes available on the site.languages page. Don't have the language pack you want? Use our language creator and google translate to create your own.
- The main one to look at is site.auth.view, to make sure member only pages are only visible to @members. Note that the blog is visible to guests, and the forum only to members. Feel free to change up these settings as desired.
- Similar, the site.auth.write page controls who can edit which pages. Unless your site is an open wiki, editing most pages should be limited to @editors and @admins.
- Be careful about changing things if you are not sure what you are doing.
- Use the zones action to see what pages are used to construct the different sections of your site and edit those sections as needed. Some skins use different tabs or zones than the default skin.
- To customize the html or css, go to site.skin and select your installed skin. Be careful about editing skins if you are not familiar with html or css.
- Check to see if there are any configurable skin settings for your skin, and if there are, tweak as desired.
- Last, delete any skins you don't wish to keep. Just click the installed skin you no longer need, and then choose the delete option. You can reinstall a skin at any time, and if you delete skins you don't use, they'll always be updated and current.
- Do you want members to confirm their email address before creating their account? If so, check out our Verify Email plugin. You will want to first make sure you have emailing capabilities enabled on your site
- Do you want encrypted or unencrypted passwords? If they are unencrypted (the default setting) you can use our password reminder plugin to send people their passwords. Read that page to enable it. To enable encryption, see our tutorial. Note, it's not easy to convert a site from unencrypted to encrypted. And it's impossible to convert it back! So make this choice carefully.
- Last, don't forget to check out the Members page in the Site Admin area, and become familiar with the tools available there. Soon you'll hopefully have lot's of members showing up.
Once you've completed your initial setup, it's time to go back and begin building up and customizing the various sections of your site. All the best in your journey to build an engaging and interactive membership site!