ocPortal Tutorial: Basic Installation
Written by Allen Ellis, ocProductsBefore you begin using ocPortal, you will need to install it. Installing ocPortal is easy with our installation utility, which will be explained in detail in this tutorial.
Table of contents
PrerequisitesBefore you install ocPortal, you will need to make sure that your host covers our minimum requirements, and a general knowledge of web applications will also help you, but is not required. You also need the following information from your web host, if you don't already.
- FTP servername
- FTP username
- FTP password
- mySQL databasename
- mySQL username
- mySQL password
Similar products require the same information.
If you would like to use a 3rd party system as the forums of your website, we require that you install that before installing ocPortal.
Deciding: Quick or manual installAt some point you'll need to decide which method you'd like to use to install ocPortal. You have two options, the quick installer, or the manual installer.
We highly recommend choosing the quick installer. This is a simple process, where you upload two files to your web server, then launch our installation utility from there.
The second option is the manual installer. This option requires you to manually upload all of ocPortal's files and apply permissions to them - the typical method for most CMS systems. This method takes much longer - as there is a pause for "handshaking" between each file. We maintain this version in case the quick installer fails on your host.
Example of "Download Now" link
Download ocPortal by clicking the "Download Now!" link in the bottom left corner of the version you choose. Save it to a location where you'll be able to find it - perhaps the "My Documents" folder or the Desktop if you're using Windows.
After it downloads, you'll need to extract the files. The exact methods for doing this will vary based on which zip utility you use.
File upload demonstration
Internet Explorer FTP login
If you'd like to use the one bundled with windows, open a new Internet Explorer window, and in the address bar, type ftp://email@example.com, replacing username with your username and servername with the servername given to you by your web host. You should be presented with a login screen (if not, you can access it by choosing File > Login As), where you can enter the username and password given to you by your web host [Example ]. Then you'll need to navigate to your webroot (possibly in a folder called www or httpdocs). If you can't find your webroot, email your webhost for help.
At this point you need to decide whether you want your website to reside in your root folder or not. If you choose to place it in your root folder (which is the recommended option), people will be able to access your site by going to http://www.mywebsite.com (unless you don't own your own domain name). If you choose to place it in a subfolder (for example, "subfolder"), people will access your ocPortal installation by going to http://www.mywebsite.com/subfolder.
When you successfully connect, find your webroot, and navigate into a subfolder if you chose to, you need to upload the files that were inside the zip package you downloaded. If you chose the quick installer, these files are called 'install.php', the other is called 'data.ocp'. If you chose the manual installer, there will be many more.
Regardless whether or not you chose to make a new subfolder, you need to put these files in the same folder. This can usually be done by dragging and dropping the files from your computer to your web host in your FTP client [Example ].
PermissionsIf you chose the manual installer, you now need to set the appropriate permissions for your files and folders.
If you have "shell access" (ask your web host if you don't know), then you can automatically set these permissions by logging into your server with a program like putty, and executing the file fixperms.sh.
If you don't have shell access, then you will need to manaully set each folder to the correct permissions.
Note for Linux users: If you are on a suexec-system (where the PHP script is run as your own user), 744 and 644 permissions should be suitable (with info.php being 600 for additional security).
Set the following to 777: (full directory permissions)
- collaboration/pages/comcode_custom (available to enterprise version users only)
- collaboration/pages/comcode_custom/<for-each-language> (available to enterprise version users only)
- collaboration/pages/html_custom/<for-each-language> (available to enterprise version users only)
- collaboration/pages/html_custom (available to enterprise version users only)
- collaboration/pages/modules_custom (available to enterprise version users only)
- collaboration/pages/minimodules_custom (available to enterprise version users only)
Set the following to 666: (full read/write permissions)
Remember - if you chose the quick install option, none of this permission setting is required.
The ocPortal installation screen
After you upload these files, you've completed the hardest part of the installation. The next step is to open your web browser and go to http://www.mywebsite.com/install.php (substitute 'mywebsite.com' as appropriate for your domain and install path). You should be greeted with a welcome screen, asking you which language you would like to use.
On step three, you are presented with a choice to choose which forum system you would like to use for your website. Choose the name of the software on the left, and then choose the appropriate version from the right-hand column.
If you would like your website to be one of many on one network, you can choose the option to install a multi-site-network. Read our multi-site-network tutorial for more information on this feature, and to decide whether or not you would like to use it.
Step 4: primary configuration
On step 4 is where the guts of the configuration happen. Fill out each of the configuration options to the best of your knowledge. If you chose the "No forums or members" option or the "ocPortal's own forum" choice, you will need to fill out less options than shown in our example.
If you are not installing any forum system, the "password" field near the top is the password that will allow you to access your Admin Zone (with the username "admin").
Pick a password that's easy to remember, yet difficult for others to guess
All of the database fields should be filled out with the information given to you by your webhost. If you would like to tweak the cookie settings, you can click the "Cookie Settings" link to open up several more options. Each other option is explained in detail on the configuration page, thus is will not be repeated here. When you finish, click the "Install ocPortal" link at the bottom of the screen.
Step 5: success message
Hopefully, at this point you'll receive this success message. If you receive any errors, return to the previous page and correct them. Click the "Proceed" button to continue through the installation. There will be 4 more similar screens until you finish the installation.
After you finish the installation, you are presented with one final screen, congratulating you on your successful installation, and giving you two choices - you can either jump right to your new homepage, or go to the Setup Wizard.
Congratulations on your successful installation!
- Administrative password
- The administrative password is a special password that will help you restore settings if something makes the traditional ocPortal interface unusable.
- Multi-site networks (M.S.N.)
- Multi-site networks allow you to have more than one ocPortal installation (multiple websites), all running on the same network. If you choose this, members who join one website will also have registrations at other sites.