Understanding the Home Page
Now that you are logged in, let us have a look at the forum controls on the home page, to get you started. Click on the respective link to find out more about each item.
- 'Quick links' allow you to quickly view your posts, new posts, etc. as well as the member list.
- 'FAQ' takes you to the 'Frequently Asked Questions' page with details on a wide range of usage instructions.
- 'Rules' takes you to the page explaining the polices of the respective forum.
- 'Contact us' lets you send a private message to the forum moderator, who is there to help you (but please look at this User Guide, first).
- 'Notifications' inform you of events happening on the forum that need your attention. You can set what notifications you will see, in your board preferences.
- Private messages are where you can write to and receive replies from other members.
- 'Your Username' (in the example above: 'Test Account') is where you can access the User Control Panel, Profile and Logout.
- On the second line, you can see where you are on the board as well as the Search bar.
Below the menu-bar on free-hosting forums, you will see an advertisement that helps to pay for the hosting. Upgrade the forum to a premium account to remove this and add a lot of extra features.
- On the top left, you see the current time, according to your timezone settings.
- On the top right, you are told when you last visited the forum.
- Below that, you can mark all forums as read.
- At the top of the blue window, you see the respective category (e.g. 'GENERAL' and 'CATEGORIES')
- Then you see the forums listed in each category, (e.g. 'Forum Discussions' and 'Feedback'). Click on the forum name to view that forum.
- The circular icons on the left give you additional information on the respective forum.
Below the forums, you will find an alternative place to login (if you are not logged in), and then some forum statistics for your information.
The Footer-Bar provides some more useful links including the ability to delete all cookies created by the board. This is useful when passing the device onto someone else.
Viewing a Forum
After clicking on a forum link, you will be taken to that forum, in this example: 'Forum Discussions'
- At the top left, you see the name of the forum (e.g. 'Forum Discussions')
- The 'New Topic' button will let you start a new discussion topic (alternatively for Premium forums).
- The Search-bar will let you search this forum for keywords. The cogwheel is for advanced searching.
- If you want to ignore the posts in this forum, you can mark the topics as read.
- The round icon tells you more about the respective topic.
- The name of the topic is displayed (e.g. 'Welcome to the Free Hosting Demo Forum') along with the author's username and start date.
- The number of replies and views gives you an idea how popular the topic is
- 'Last Post' tells you who wrote the most recent reply with date and time.
- Beneath the topics list and after the 'New Topic' button, a dropdown button lets you filter the topics shown and determine the order it is displayed.
- 'Jump to' lets you quickly change to a different forum.
The following video will walk you through the process of logging in and writing your first post (using a premium forum with WYSIWYG editor).
How to post with Links and Attachments
Forums.Group: How to post with Links and Attachments
An important part of any forum post is the ability to add links and attachments. In this video, Peter Walker demonstrates how to do this on a forums.group premium forum (phpBB based).