Step by step guide to setting up your site

Welcome to your new website. This is a default 'news' article which you should delete or replace with a real news item by the time this site is launched. Before that you should:

  1. Work through every item in the setup menu on the right
  2. Import your users, balances, offers, wants and transactions (optional)
  3. Train the other 'committee' members to manage users, content and transactions.
  4. Test.
  5. Then if you have imported, there is a launch procedure, or you can let people know gradually.

Depending on your skills, your ambition and your organisation, this process could take hours, weeks or months, it is up to you.

Each user on the site logs in using their first name and last name and a password. Users are given roles such as 'trader' and 'committee' which affect what pages they can visit. Roles can be added and removed on the 'manage users' page or on each user's 'manage' page. Committee members can see two menus in the grey bar, but most members can only see one of them. One menu is for the public and has links to pages that explain what your organisation does. Visit these pages and edit them. The other menu is for members and contains links to the community's data. Note that the public's 'default' page is in the public's menu and is called Home. Logged in members have the 'News' page as their default, which is how you are reading this news item now. To edit a news item on the news page, click the title to visit the article's own page, from where you can edit it. The 'secondary' menu, in the top right is visible to all users. If you can see the setup menu on the lower right, then you are hosted on the Community Forge server and you have a role 'local admin'. You should visit every link in that menu and configure the site as you please. If you can't see the setup menu then you are independent of Community Forge and you should install the 'Administration menu' module and explore. Content types are provided to help you keep the site organised, each one appears or behaved slightly differently. Photos are uploaded and put in galleries, where they can be viewed from the link in the secondary menu. The galleries are configured as taxonomy Events have a date and appear in an 'upcoming' list Documents have attached files and are put on 'shelves' from where they can be viewed. The shelves are configured as taxonomy. Offers and wants appear in the lists according to category and can expire. you decide the default expiry period Community Tasks are a way for you to request volunteer input. Members commit to a task and when a committee member marks it done, it shows on a counter in the user profile. Stories are news articles which appear on the news scroll, newest first. Pages are static pages with menu links. Pages can go in any of the three menus. Note that there is not much space in the menus. This is to encourage you to keep your site tidy. On the create/edit page for a content item there are a few things to know. The text area is 'rich text' That means it will retain formatting information if you copy and paste from a program like Word or a web page. You should clean the text before pasting it in.* If you understand html you can press 'Source' to edit the underlying markup. The Url alias is to give your page a friendly address for linking and for search indexing. The editor of some content types can enable or disable comments for that type. Note that 'published' content is visible to everyone while unpublished content is visible only to the author. Before offers, wants or transactions are added, ensure you have some categories listed in the vocabulary 'market sectors'. Community Forge provides some default categories which you can alter (and translate). Menu items. Menu items can be moved around within and between menus, and the text edited. note that some menu items are generated by the pages item they link to. That means if you delete the menu item you may not be able to find the content except through the administrators 'administer content' page. however if you edit and delete the content item, the menu item will disappear automatically. Managing Users Many groups prefer that only adminstrators create accounts on your site but you can decide whether strangers can create accounts. In case of the latter, new accounts are created 'blocked' and will wait for a committee member to unblock them. Committee members can find these accounts on the 'administer people' page. Note that only committee members can view the 'manage' subtab on the member profile page. Note that members must have the 'trader' role AND be active (not blocked) in order to participate fully. Members much have a first name and a locality chosen from the list you created in setup. Non-member accounts can be created with the role 'system' instead of 'trader'. Managing transactions There are three ways to enter transactions but once entered they can't be edited - only erased. users can enter payments they were involved in using the first-party form committee members enter payments between two other users using the third-party form. committee members enter payments between one and many users using the mass payment forms (transactions can also be imported from a spreadsheet if the module is enabled.) First party transactions will need to be confirmed by the other user and Third-party transactions by both users. The transaction is checked before creation to ensure that it takes neither member beyond their balance limits. Balance limits are determined on the currency edit page where you can choose from a handful of algorythms. Multiple currencies. If you want more than one currency we suggest you talk to us. The Hamlets package is capable of such accounting. Transfer your domain name (Community Forge hosted sites only)

CommunityForge gives you a subdomain to prepare your site, for example shortname.communityforge.net. We prefer however if you have your own domain name which you can purchase yourself for a few euros a year. Once you have your domain login to your Domain name host and change the nameservers to: mimi.ns.cloudflare.com and phil.ns.cloudflare.com. Then tell us, because we have to set up the 'zone' on our server. Life is simpler if everyone uses their own email address. However if our server receives any mail for your domain it will be forwarded to the local administrator adress. Ask our support team about forwarding more emails @yourdomain.org importing your old data

With the Launch module you can import members, their balances OR the transaction history, and Offers and wants. Remember that once you have put the data into a spreadsheet, any changes made on your old site will not be shown in the new site. Pay careful attention to the help and specifications for preparing your data. This spreadsheet contains 4 sheets with column names and help for each column. Export each sheet as a csv, open in notepad, and paste the contents into the import pages Import users Import offers Import wants Import transactions Community Forge can import your data for you, but because the quality of data submitted has been low, now we suggest a 20 EUR donation for each community we help. NB: you do not have to do an import, you can pretty much do it by hand on your website.

Once you have imported your members, you are ready to invite the members to start using the site. Because they don't know their usernames or passwords, so we created the launch tool. You can skip this step and disable the launch module. Much more configuration and change is possible without writing code. Cforge hosted sites can be granted 'user 1' access, after which Cforge takes no responsibility! If you want to do more like choose another theme, you'll need to ask us for special favours, or move the site to your own servers and use your own skills or money. Find an expert in Drupal.

 

Remember this whole package is a community effort, accomplished without money. Please consider contributing with tutorials, screen movies, join the support desk, tips and tricks. We do appreciate money however, to run the web server and pay the server administrator, and to get ourselves to meetings and conferences. See donate@communityforge.net

Sometimes we are able to deliver training in person.

We'll try to stay in touch, matthew@communityforge.net &tim@communityforge.net (Founders) and the support team support@communityforge.net