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XF 1.5 Desperate need for advise for a non-programmer

Discussion in 'XenForo Questions and Support' started by T Money, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. T Money

    T Money Active Member

    I have purchased three weeks ago and spent hours playing with Xenforo. I have read many threads here on this forum on how-to's and made attempts to follow them. However, for a non-programmer like myself, I hate to admit it but have realized Xenforo may be too difficult to work with.

    Tasks simple as trying to change color scheme, and changing the logo has been a challenge. Not having programmer/developer knowledge at all, I feel completely overwhelmed. It may sound silly to most of you here but I was expecting something more like simple click and play.

    I really really wanted to like XF but it is too advanced. I am wondering if there is/was anyone in a similar situation and how they resolved it? I mean I can't be the only one with this problem?

    Any advise would be appreciated.

  2. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Feel free to post any specific questions and we will be happy to help.
  3. T Money

    T Money Active Member

    The problem is that I have read existing threads already addressing some of my issues, I just can't follow along. But here are my initial tasks I want to accomplish:
    1. Is there a template I can use (paid or free) that has ACP more user-friendly for a non-tech like myself? Something where I don't have to mess around with coding but rather just click-and-play (something like BBPress or BuddyPress).
    2. I have my own logo, and how do I replace the XF logo with my own?
    3. How do I change color scheme? How to change skin/theme?
    4. How do I create a page to showcase products? Should be one of the menu bar items. Here I would like to have a picture with brief description, which when clicked will lead to more details including part #s, pricing, payment terms, etc.
    5. How to add a new category? In addition to "Main Category"?
    6. How to add subscription/paid memberships? Some threads are to be limited access to paid members only.
    7. How do I assign different membership types for each member? Admin vs. Corporate vs. Gold vs. Silver. vs. member, etc. And can I assign certain badge logo below their name when they post? Admin will have a badge "A" vs. Corporate will have a badge "B", etc.
    8. How to create a calendar? To be added to main menu bar.
    9. Intro page w/ admin log-in: Can I create a "Intro page" or landing page where all there is my logo and have a place where log in for admin?
  4. sbj

    sbj Well-Known Member

    I partly agree that xenforo needs advanced knowledge, but nevertheless, once you understand how something works, after that everything is self-explanatory.

    And also you can ask any kind of basic question here. You are not left alone. Just don't be ashamed of asking.

    So my advice would be not giving up and spending some more time with xf. After a while you will see how the "overall framework of xf" works.

    Changing logo is for example not that difficult. You login to your admin account and go to the admin control panel. There is the "appearance" settings, which deals with the appearance of your forum. Then in "Style Propertiers" -> "Header and Navigation" you can change the logo. Just tell the system where your "new logo" is located in your server (the path of it) and it is done.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
  5. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Everything has a learning curve.
    Time is money.
    Pay someone to Help you over Skype to get you going for 1,2,3, 5,6,7
    4,8 need addons.
    9 - dont get what you mean.
  6. sbj

    sbj Well-Known Member

    I am sure Brogan can help you better, as he is known for giving excellent support here, but I try my best.
    1. It would be an add-on if such thing would exist but I am not aware of such an add-on which makes the ACP more user-friendly. But you don't hvae to mess with coding, I don't mess with it either, mostly it is click and play.
    2. See my example above: ACP->Appearance->Style Properties ->Head and Navigation->Logo path"
    3. ACP->Appearance->Color Palette to change colors overall. If you just want to change specific colors of specific parts (just the footer for example), then you must go go ACP->Appearance->Style Properties and find the right template you are looking for and change its colors there.
    For installing skins, again the same section ACP->Appearance->Styles. There you can import styles (which you have downloaded) or create your own ones.
    4. You need an add-on for that.
    5. ACP->Application
    6. That would work with usergroup promotions/upgrades which you find in ACP->Users and probably an add-on additionally
    7. Also ACP->Users (see user groups to make banners) and see User group promotions to promote people
    8. You need an add-on.
    9. Not sure what you mean.

    But I think all of your questions were asked already here multiple times. Just use the search and you will find the same questions, and if it is not clear after reading that reads, either post in that thread or create a new one.
    T Money likes this.
  7. T Money

    T Money Active Member

    Thanks for such quick replies, much appreciated.

    For my first task #1, how/where do I find my logo path? Right now it says "styles/default/xenforo/logo.png"

    #9. I mean that when people enter my forum domain, the first page they will see is not the forum itself but a page where only admin's would be able to enter. Basically to block out people until the forum is completed, in effect "under construction."
  8. sbj

    sbj Well-Known Member

    Ah, no need for such a page. There is this wonderful feature of xenforo, with which you can make the forum with 1 tick active or inactive.
    Just go to ACP->Home->Options->Board Active
    And untick the box and done. You can also type a message there.
    Then log off and visit your domain again, then you will see that nobody can enter the forum, because it is inactive. And people will see your message. Just admins can enter the forum, so log in to your account and you can do whatever you want and nobody can access.

    Your forum installation is installed somewhere, right? A host. You use a hosting company to host your forum. This company must have given you log in details to connect to the server where your Xenforo installation is installed.
    Just connect to the server (with a ftp client, for example FileZilla), find the directory where your Xenforo is installed. When you found it, in the sub-directory "styles", then "default", then "xenforo" (see "styles/default/xenforo/logo.png") you will find the logo.png which is the default xenforo logo. So just drag and drop your own logo to the same directory (or anywhere you want) and copy the path and put it in your Admin Control Panel. For example if you have used the same directory and your logo is named "MyLogo", you would put "styles/default/xenforo/MyLogo.png". (of course if the logo is png, if it is jpeg, then with the jpeg extension).
  9. T Money

    T Money Active Member

    @sbj thank you very much. I think I am slowly getting a grasp of this.
    So far I successfully installed an add-on skin "xendisConnect" and changed logo to my own.

    For my previous task #4, you mentioned I needed an add-on for a "product showcase" page. Where would I find this? I tried to search but didn't come up with anything.
  10. T Money

    T Money Active Member

    To be more specific, I'd like to add "Products" and "Calendar" here (in between "Forums" and "Members" on the main header:


    Do I need an add-on and where do I find it?
  11. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

  12. sbj

    sbj Well-Known Member

    Just a tip:
    Always create a child of the style you are using and customize the child style of it. So when you upgrade the skin, you'll update the parent style and your customizations will stay. Else, if you don't do this, you will lose all your custom changes.

    In your case, first, I would check all xenforo settings/options. Get used to them, explore everything. Then you will see what xenforo can offer you and what not (I mean the default package).
    If you do this, you will see what kind of things are missing from your perspective. Xenforo delivers a core package with everything important everyone needs. The rest can vary from owner to owner. In your case you need a calendar or a products feature, but these are not in the core of xenforo. So for all those extra things you must look for released add-ons from members of this community (paid and/or free).
    There are almost for everything an add-on, so you should be able to find for every custom need an add-on here (if your wishes are not that unique).
    In this case a calendar and a showcase for products are extra, so you must look for add-ons.
    I know that there are 4 calendar add-ons, 2 are free and 2 are paid ones. Look which one of them would suit to your needs, or first check out the free ones and if they are not satisfying, try the paid ones.
    For showcasing products, there are many add-ons. I don't use any of them, so can't help you out with it. Ask the community which add-on they would recommend you or use the search first.

    But before you install an add-on, install the "add-on installer" add-on:
    It makes the life easier or else you will have to install add-ons the manual way (uploading the files manually via ftp-client to your server and then using the xml-file for installing)

    Just check out in general the most popular add-ons here.

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