These tutorials together form the ocPortal webmaster documentation.
If you think they can be improved in any way, please let us know.
The tutorials are listed in a logical order – however you can use them in any order you want to.
Web hosting for ocPortal
An overview of how the web hosting industry works, and the general requirements and compatibility for ocPortal.
We explain what you need to do to install ocPortal. This tutorial is particularly important if you use the manual installer.
This tutorial covers advanced installation issues which most users do not need to be concerned with.
Using Windows as a server
How to get an ocPortal installation running on your own Windows computer, if you choose to use that as your server.
Once ocPortal is installed, there is some basic configuration to do before your website is ready to open. We discuss it here.
Importing data into ocPortal
How to switch to ocPortal from other software. We discuss how it's done, and some specifics for various different products.
Nuances of forum integration
ocPortal supports integration with a number of forum systems through our forum driver system. We discuss any issues here.
Embedding a Google map
We show you how to embed a Google map into a ocPortal-powered website.
SU and the if_in_group tag
We show you how to test your site against different users, and customise it for them.
Custom Comcode tags
We show you how to make good use of Custom Comcode tags.
Themes 101 - replacing the header
We show you how to do some basic website themeing.
Themes 201 - brand new themes
Implement a totally fresh design.
Also on YouTube
Web-applications, ocPortal, and PHP
Background into the different kinds of solutions that are out there for creating websites - and where ocPortal fits in.
Drinking from the feature pool
The thought processes required to successfully design a complex and personalised website using ocPortal.
Browser version requirements
How the Internet works
An explanation of how the Internet works, all the way from what goes through the wires, to how meaningful activities happen.
How domain names work
A full explanation of domain names, and DNS - for agencies who need to work with previously registered domain names.
Understanding and configuring e-mail
Setting up e-mail servers can be complex with all the protocols/standards out there. Let's cut through the confusion.
ocPortal site structure
An explanation of the ocPortal systems that together form the structure and navigation for ocPortal-powered websites.
Admin Zone overview
An explanation of how to use the Admin Zone, and the special features available from the Admin Zone front page.
Customising what's on the menus
All about ocPortal's menu system. Did you know you can set up and configure as many different levels of navigation as you like?
Comcode and attachments
This tutorial provides some advanced information on the WYSIWYG editor, for those wanting to push it to the limit.
Custom pages of information
How to add new pages, using Comcode. It couldn't be simpler to do: Comcode pages almost look like plain text.
Advanced Comcode Pages
How to add dynamism and inline content to your pages, using blocks; and multimedia, using attachments.
Some of the more advanced aspects of the Comcode system explained, for those who already know the basics.
Backing up your site
How to backup your website (be it using our backup module, or otherwise), and why it is so important to do it.
Providing featured content
How to pull out content from your website, and put it in a featured spot. There are a number of methods available.
The staff/member divide
A discussion on the features ocPortal provides for members, and for staff - and how permissions divide them.
Access control and privileges
A detailed explanation of how you can configure permissions, how to test them, and how to manage them.
Linux file permissions
The theory behind the permissions ocPortal needs on most web hosts, and practical guidance on setting them.
Manually editing your database
A primer on databases, and how SQL is used to connect to them - as well as practical advice on using phpMyAdmin.
Improving your search engine rank
For most web sites, it is important to draw in visitors. We discuss the process of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
A common features of the largest community sites is to have sub-communities within the larger community. See how.
Been editing files manually, and need to force ocPortal to "empty its caches"? We show you how.
Integrating other scripts/web-apps
This tutorial will provide details on how to integrate ocPortal with another web system installed for your website.
Integrating HTTP authentication
Sometimes, for integration reasons, you want users to login in to ocPortal via HTTP authentication. We show you how.
Integrating with an LDAP network
How to integrate ocPortal into a corporate network via LDAP (OpenLDAP, or Microsoft Active Directory).
Setting permissions. Search-Engine-Friendly URLs. Addons. Changing installation options.
Filtering using ocFilter syntax
ocFilter is our language for saying what content you would like to be matched/selected. Learn how to use it.
How to translate your (ocPortal-powered) website into different languages.
Localisation and internationalisation
How to translate ocPortal into different languages, and how to configure your date/time settings.
ocPortal is very heavily optimised for high performance out-of-the-box, but here are some advanced performance tips.
Advanced techniques for M.S.Ns
You can link multiple installations, via a forum, into a 'multi-site-network'. Read more about it here.
Details and guidance on the advanced security protections available in ocPortal.
The form field filter system
How power-users can apply sophisticated filters to the data that gets submitted to their website.
Want to know everything there is to know about cookies and sessions? You probably don't, but if you do, read this!
Moving ocPortal to a new server
It's really not hard if you know how to do it. In this tutorial we move a sample install from a Windows PC to a Linux server.
Uninstalling ocPortal from a server
We don't want you to uninstall ocPortal, but we provide a script for you to do it with. We're that nice.
Performing an upgrade
Important background information that will help you keep your website up-to-date with the latest ocPortal.
Some 'life saving' solutions to disasterous scenarios that can happen on an unstable web server configuration.
Legal and social responsibilities
Guidance on the legal and social issues that webmasters need to understood.
Advice for choosing/managing staff
A short tutorial with tips for choosing staff, written for community websites run by volunteers.
Choosing how to publish
Details on different publishing features available in ocPortal, and their advantages/disadvantages.
Releasing news & running a blog
How to use the news system for website news, press releases, blogs, or any other kind of article.
Details on some of the more complex features available for news, including blogging and syndication.
Running a newsletter
How to send out news bulletins to newsletter subscribers, and to members of your community.
You can make large files available to your visitors using the ocPortal downloads system. Read about it.
Advanced provision of downloads
We go through some of the advanced features in the downloads system, such as batch importing, and download selling.
A gallery system is provided for the storage, organisation and viewing of images and videos. Read about it.
We go through some of the advanced features in the gallery system, such as batch importing, and personal galleries.
Custom structured content
The catalogue system is a bit like a visual database system such as Microsoft Access. The possibilities are endless.
Custom structured content - CEDI
The CEDI system is ocPortal's equivalent to a wiki, but extended with additional features.
Running a calendar/diary
How to create a community calendar, or let your members maintain online diaries.
ocPortal keyboard shortcuts
Many functions may be activated by key code, rather than clicking. Find out the key codes you can use in this tutorial.
Searching your website
Find out how ocPortal's search engine can make it easy to search all the content on your website at once.
Use the banners system to run multiple advertising campaigns on your website, using multiple media profiles.
Feedback, and user interaction
ocPortal helps you create a highly interactive site, with features for user interaction/feedback at your disposal.
Use the eCommerce system to sell things. Usergroup subscription and member invoicing are available out-of-the-box.
OcCLE's True Potential
Did you know you can reconfigure half your site’s systems in a few easy keystrokes? We explore this and more...
ocPortal includes really cool AJAX-driven chat and instant messaging functionality. Read about the features, and see general advice.
Creating an economy/reward-system
The points system allows members to earn and spend points, creating a great dynamic. Find out how it works.
Dealing with annoying users
Little tricks: changing their permissions via usergroups, mandating prior post approval, and how to ban them.
Find out how authors are different to members, and the tools available to you to create and manage them.
People in their roles
Find out the difference between the 12 terms we use for describing the people who interact with an ocPortal website.
Activity statistics for your site
Find out about the different kinds of statistics/analytics that you can use to analyse your visitors.
Running a collaboration centre
ocPortal includes many features that allow your website to function, in whole or in part, as an on-line collaboration tool.
Running a virtual support desk
ocPortal can be used as an effective support desk tool. Find out what features to use for it.
IP addresses and tracing users
If you find a hacker, you may want to try and trace them back to a real world source. We introduce you to your toolkit.
ocPortal member system
This tutorial explains aspects of the OCF member system, including usergroups, profiles, and avatars.
Correspondence between members
How members may send each other messages (OCF only), using personal topics and whispers.
Advanced ocPortal member system
How to create custom profile fields, manually add members, and set up welcome emails for new members.
Organising discussion forums
This tutorial will explain how discussion forums work in OCF, and how best to organise them.
Basic forum moderation
This tutorial explains how to moderate topics and posts under OCF, and how post approval works.
Running a forum-based helpdesk
Multi-moderation, mass-moderation, and post templates - how to make your forum work for you.
Keeping on track of busy forums
It can get hard to keep up with all the discussions if you've got an active community. See how OCF can help.
The ocPortal emoticon system
Find out about all the funky-cool emoticons that come with ocPortal, and how to extinguish them or add more.
How to create a fixed-width layout
A very practical tutorial showing how to created a fixed-width layout, and how to change the site header.
This tutorial is an introduction to the main standard web technologies that ocPortal is built upon.
Introduction to web design
This tutorial is an introduction to the artistic side of web design.
Themeing your site
Our key themeing tutorial - how to re-theme your site, by changing CSS, templates, and theme images.
This tutorial is a deep-end introduction to ocPortal for web designers.
You'll be shocked at how much themeing control you can muster using Tempcode. Learn all about it...
Specific templates and CSS classes
This tutorial details some of the templates and CSS classes used by ocPortal. Learn how things work from these examples.
Helping improve site accessibility
We discuss how to ensure your website remains accessible to people with disabilities (ocPortal meets WCAG out-of-the-box).
Favicons, Web fonts, Media files
This tutorial will explain and detail some of the features of web technologies that are often forgotten.
Releasing a theme
A short tutorial explaining how to share a theme with other ocPortal webmasters, by exporting it as an addon.
The ocPortal programming framework
ocPortal is not just a web application, but also a programming framework. Find out how the puzzle pieces fit together.
Introduction to programming
This huge tutorial serves as an introduction to programming, with a particular emphasis on PHP.
Making an addon (part 1)
The first in a series of practical tutorials showing how to create addons.
Making an addon (part 2)
The second in a series of practical tutorials showing how to create addons.
Making an addon (part 3)
The third in a series of practical tutorials showing how to create addons.