A few ex-vB users have been singing the praises of IPB, so I'm here to take a look as I am considering using a different solution for our sites. Got a few questions I hope someone can help with...
Firstly, the thing I am most interested in is your IP.Content, so I'll kick off with a few questions about that:
Ok I think that's enough about IP.C for now.. here's some more about IPB in general:
- Can the pages created include a user comments area? (So members can comment on published content)
- Can the pages created be set-up with multiple custom fields? Eg, Name, Address, Tel, Postcode, etc?
- Can members search by those custom fields?
- Can some of them be set as 'required'
- Can permissions allowing members to (or not) publish content in these IP.C sections be granted depending on which usergroup they are in?
- Is IP.C server efficient for a busy site that will have lots of published content?
- Does IP.C offer SEF urls? Or can we set our own? Eg, /about.htm
- If user comments are allowed - do they get counted towards post-count and can be found from the users profile? 'eg in the 'latest posts link' or similar
- Can we have different types of 'content' in IP.C, for example most of the above could apply to an article publishing system where the pages are the story - could we create another page then in IP.C that acts like a homepage for the above, pulling in the latest 10 articles, most read articles, most commented articles etc (I guess so, but just checking).
- How easy is it to do the above? How much PHP knowledge would you need? Are there any tutorials on getting some basic stuff done?
1) At present, only the database system supports direct comments. We may or may not expand comments to pages in the future. An alternative that you can do presently, as well, is to create a topic and feed it to a page (or mirror it, if you want to just copy it). Then you can feed replies to that topic to the page and style them as comments. Users would then go to the thread to reply.
2) Pages in IP.Content are exactly that - pages. You get a big textarea basically to define the page content. Databases, on the other hand, are completely custom organizational units. You create the fields for your custom databases yourself. There are no limit to the number of fields you can create.
3) Members can filter content based on the custom fields, yes.http://community.inv...tml?category=35
This is a custom database we created. It is using the default template, which we haven't modified. You'll see sorting and filtering options at the bottom of the page, which you can use to sort and filter the content (i.e. to search for errors in a specific module, for instance).
4) Custom fields in databases can be set as required, yes.
5) Yes. You can control permissions on a per-category basis as well (i.e. allow members to publish articles in a database, but then only allow admins to publish articles within a specific category, for example).
6) We use IP.Content for our main website and have had no trouble at all. I would not anticipate any IP.Content-specific resource issues.
7) When you create pages you specify the URL. It can have an extension if you prefer ("about.html", "somepage.page", etc.) or you can leave the extension off. It's up to you. Databases, when embedded into a page, use that page name you specified, and then append query string parameters to identify what content to load. Again, see the link I provided earlier for the error codes database as an example.
We are considering SEF urls for categories and records within databases for the next release. It's a bit harder than the rest of the software, because we allow you to define folder and page names for IP.Content, but I imagine we'll be able to come up with something.
8) No, they do not count towards post count. There is also no block in the user profile presently to show comments a user has made, although this wouldn't be a difficult thing to add.
9) Yes, IP.Content is a powerful tool for this sort of thing. You can create a database of articles, for instance. Then you create a normal homepage, and create feeds from your database (and blog, and forum, and whatever else you want to grab data from) and place those feeds on your homepage.
On our main website homepage at the bottom you will see two such feeds pulling our latest blog entries and our latest news.
10) For the stuff you've listed, it's extremely simple.
--Create your custom database
--Configure the custom fields for the database
--Configure categories, moderators, or anything else you need (none of these are required)
--(Optional) Edit the database templates for the layout you want. You can also use the default templates to get started, as we've done in the error codes database
--Add the database to a new page
- Can you choose not to use the tabbed layout? Can I just have one scrolling page and each element where I want? (Like this example)
- Can we have custom profile fields? Is there a way to create graphical representations of some of those items in such fields? (Again see link above, i.e. the consoles owned)
- Can I rearrange custom profile fields how I want? (i.e. the order and placement)
- Will custom fields parse line breaks correctly?
- When you reply to a comment left on your profile - does the comment appear on both yours and the persons profile who left you the comment?
1) You would need to modify the skin template, but it's doable, yes.
5) No, only on your own
- Conditionals - I guess you can show only certain things to members/guests? Can you read things from a users profile too - eg, if there is a custom field on the profile asking if the member is male/female, I can use a conditional to show they are m/f in the posts they make? Same for any other profile info - is it available to me in posts they make (via template>conditionals) ..see this page for an idea (console platform images)
- Does IPB have plug-ins or an easy way to say, show the last ten threads in a column on forum home?
- Will you be adding Social Groups? This is a must for a number of my sites. SGs should be able to have their own mini-forums and group blogs too.
- Have you got any example urls to some customised professional looking IPB forums?
- ..Could the site's design I have linked to above be easily customised into IPB?
Well I think that's it for now - I'll have another look at your demo at a later date (it ran out before I could have a proper look last time!) but hope someone can answer these questions in the meantime. Cheers.
2) Yes (we have such a plugin on our forum index actually, in the right hand sidebar). You can use hooks, or if you use IP.Content you can create custom blocks in IP.Content and then embed them anywhere in the forums too.
3) We have not decided on this as of yet.
(yes, this is an IPB)http://answers.oreilly.com/
(again, yes, this is IPB)
Few examples off the top of my head.
5) Yes - there's very little you can't do in terms of layout and visual customization (see the last 2 examples I gave)