Introduction: Build a Social Network with vBulletin
This Tutorial will provide a guide to setting up a new vBulletin Connect 5 website after installation with Forum, Blog, Articles, & Groups sections to build a social network.
The vBulletin Connect 5 platform has CMS facilities that compare to BuddyPress, Drupal, or Joomla. There is an easy to use editor for creating & publishing content.
vBulletin Connect 5 also has a static page builder functionality for creating landing pages, faq, terms & conditions, etc. Embed these in the menu as required for the site.
Step One: Set up the vBulletin Forum Pages
Navigate to the homepage of the new site on which vBulletin Connect 5 has been installed. The default view of the page has a test forum with one section:
To begin building forums with vBulletin, enter the “Edit Page” mode for the CMS:
Select “Channels” from the AdminCP Menu & the Main Forum created as a test can be edited or deleted.
Use the Forum link in the “Channel Manager” section to build vBulletin forums. Enter the name of the New Forum and click the “Add” button. Use “drag & drop” to arrange.
Hint: Use Categories to organize your forums & create sub-forums for easier navigation by users. Use the [+] links in the Channel Manager for sub-forums.
Step Two: Set up the vBulletin Blog Section
Next navigate to the /blogs page on the vBulletin Connect 5 website. While still in “Edit site” mode, click on the “Create a New Blog” link underneath the menu tab:
Note: This will load the Blog Admin Settings page at: blogadmin/create/settings
Enter the Title & Text for a Meta Description of the Blog as well as any image files for the blog icon. Click “Next” to save the settings & review user permissions on the blog.
Click “Next” again to review the Blog administrator. In this section, new registered users to the vBulletin Connect 5 website can be added to the blog as permitted authors.
Organize the Sidebar for the Blog display by adding any modules like Comments or Latest Posts to the view. Use drag & drop tools to adjust the display order of blocks.
Finally, click “Next” and add any members to the Blog that you would like to invite to participate. Then click the “Save & Publish” button to view the blog page:
Use the “New Blog Entry” button to post content to the blog. This will lead to a “Create New Blog Entry” page where the text, image, tags, etc. can be input as required:
Write your vBulletin blog post with title, image, links, polls, & events. Under advanced options you can enable HTML or turn comments on/off as required by the content post.
Step Three: Set up the vBulletin Articles Section
Next navigate to the /articles page by clicking the link on the main menu. The vBulletin Connect 5 CMS is already set up with Articles & Blogs as content types on the CMS.
The node create screen for Articles contains a control panel for managing the Author Information, SEO URL Aliases, & Display Settings:
Use the Article control panel to display the published date, page view count, & comments on pages. Save & publish articles to build website content with vBulletin.
Step Four: Manage User Registration Settings & Permissions
Before going live with a new vBulletin Connect 5 website, administrators need to review the user registration settings & permissions for registered users to create posts.
Navigate to /admincp/ & click on the “Settings” menu tab in the sidebar. The list of options will display. Choose “User Registration Options”:
Click "Edit Settings" & review the defaults for user registrations. Make sure "Verify Email Address in Registration" is set to "Yes" (Default is "No"). Save the settings changes.
Next choose “Human Verification Options” from the Options list. Check all forms except for search to enable anti-spam and anti-scriptbot protection on vBulletin users.
Step Five: Set up the vBulletin Groups Functionality
To complete the new vBulletin Connect 5 website set-up process, navigate to /social-groups by clicking on the “Groups” link in the main menu bar:
Click on the link to “Create Group” then follow the prompts in the Group Admin section. Enter a Category, Group Name, Description, & Icon then click “Next” on the menu.
Review the moderation & subscriber settings. Add moderators & invite members from the registered user base as required & then publish the group.
After the Group has been published, use the “New Topic” button to post conversations to the Group forum:
Groups are an important part of social networking & can organize vBulletin Connect 5 around common interests or vocational requirements. Use groups to build a social network on vBulletin Connect 5 with forums, blog posts, & articles from the community.
Conclusion: vBulletin Social Networking Communities
vBulletin Connect 5 offers a quick & easy way to deploy a web forum in minutes. By adding blogs, articles, & groups, the script functions as a CMS platform with theme.
The advantage of vBulletin Connect 5 is that it does not require any customization of CSS, HTML, or PHP to operate “out of the box” at a professional level.
Web designers & independent publishers can use vBulletin Connect 5 to build brand identity for companies, as a tech support solution, or for social networking online.