Posted by Simon Goodchild at January 21st, 2013
The installation page is important for the following reasons:
- It allows you to activate the various features (profile, forum, groups, etc)
- It verifies your installation
- It updates internal WP Symposium information on “where” your components are.
The third point is very important. Always re-visit the installation page after adding, removing or changing a WP Symposium shortcode. For example, if you manually add a shortcode, or manually remove a shortcode to/from a WordPress page, re-visit the Installation page.
The WP Symposium plugin is downloaded from the WordPress repository.
All of the features can be used on your site, so you can verify that it is compatible, and see if you want to use the features that are for Bronze members subscribed at www.wpsymposium.com.
All the core functionality is provided for free, and always will be. The extra features are for Bronze members.
Until you enter a Bronze member activation code, a polite notice will be shown at the top of your website until you do. But you can check them out, and see if you want to subscribe.
The features that are for Bronze members are shown clearly on the WordPress -> Installation page.
At the top of the page, you will see an activation code that you can copy and paste into the Activation field on the Installation page.
Note that the activation code lasts for 365 days. You can return at any point during those 365 days to get a new activation code.
If you cancel your bronze membership, your activation code will continue to work until it expires but you won’t be able to obtain a new one.
Upgrading to Bronze Membership
In summary, you get:
- Unbranded use of all Bronze plugins
- Choice of using the WISIWYG editor on the forum
- Access to a helpdesk for guaranteed response to your questions and any problems
- Chance to vote on the priority of WP Symposium developments
If you are not yet a member at www.wpsymposium.com, register on the site and when doing so select Bronze as the subscription option.
Upgrading to Gold Membership
If you want the highest level of support, and want to purchase WP Symposium with a one-off lifetime payment (which includes updates and support for life), then gold membership is for you!
If you are not yet a member at www.wpsymposium.com, register on the site and when doing so select Gold as the subscription option.
Payment for Membership
You will be prompted to pay with PayPal as part of your registration. You don’t need a PayPal account – PayPal allows you to use a credit/debit card instead.
If you are already a member at www.wpsymposium.com, go to Upgrade Account via the Profile menu (when logged in).
You can then upgrade your account by click on the large link shown.
Then select Bronze or Gold and click on Next, where you either subscribe with your PayPal account, or use a credit/debit card.
Annual Subscription or One-off Payment
Note that the Bronze subscription for WP Symposium is annual, and the Gold membership is for life. Whichever you choose, the activation code lasts 1 year, but can be updated at any time.
This is in addition to the Bronze membership. It makes you a VIP customer! All your helpdesk tickets will be treated as a priority. If your problem cannot be solved, a refund will be provided.
Silver Membership does not include bronze membership, and therefore will not provide you with an activation code, it is in addition to the bronze membership.
The main table shown on the Installation page will show you which WP Symposium features are activated, and give you links to edit them, a link to any relevant options (also available via the WP Symposium->Options menu) along with status information.
If you went through the Getting and Installing WP Symposium chapter, you will be familiar with this table already.
Please re-visit the Installation page if you have a problem, and your browser URL includes “plugin%20url%20requested”. This indicates that you need to update internal WPS URLs. For example, “plugin%20url%20requested%20%28group” suggests that the page on which the Group shortcode has been added to cannot be found.
Adding/removing WP Symposium features
Rather than duplicate the information, please see the Getting Starting and Installing WP Symposium chapter that covers how to do this.
This provides some basic information on your installation, more for reference. If the PHP Curl and JSON extensions are not installed on your server, it will also inform you.
If either of these extensions are not installed, you should contact your hosting company to enable them.
Refresh WP Symposium (re-creates database tables)
When you upgrade WP Symposium, the change in version numbers is noted, and any upgrades to the database are performed.
Clicking on this link (the “click here” one) allows you to repeat the upgrade without first checking for a new version. It will not over-write any data, but will create (if required and not previously done) any addition tables, or fields within existing tables.
It will also switch the welcome message back on so that it displays until you dismiss it.
This can take a long while to complete if you have a lot of users – please wait for it to finish. If your browser “times out” you can repeat until it completes.
You should run the integrity check regularly, preferably daily. Before reporting a support request, please run the WP Symposium integrity check. This will remove potential inaccuracies within the database.
Also, if you are having problems, this is probably the first thing to try as it will clean up your database, specifically it will:
- Update missing forum topic categories
- Report on user images (media) where that user no longer exists
- Remove any rogue users with an ID of Null
- Remove any duplicate users (i.e. duplicate IDs)
You can remove old forum and chat information from the database if you feel this is important. Note that they are deleted and cannot be restored, so it is strongly recommended that you take a database backup first.
If you leave either of the options blank, then no information will be removed. So for example, if you wanted to remove forum topics older than 120 days, but leave the chat untouched, you would leave chat blank, and enter 120 into the forum topics field.
Further information can be found at www.wpsymposium.com/trythisfirst.
bbPress and Mingle forums migration (BETA)
These are not thoroughly tested – although nobody has reported that they don’t work!
If you have either installed, follow the instructions on screen if you want to migrate your forum.
Although the original data (either bbPress or Mingle) is not removed or altered in any way, it is strongly recommended that you take a back up of your database first.
Although nothing is changed in the database or on your website, it is recommended that you do some tests before deciding if you are happy to use permalinks with your WPS installation, and confirm it all works on your site.
Note that once enabled, links will change and members will receive email notifications with the new links. If you then disable Permalinks, any previously sent links (whilst Permalinks where enabled) will no longer work.
They are only applicable to the forum and member profile pages at the moment.
So why use Permalinks with WP Symposium?
The point of forum permalinks, is so that your users don’t see
But instead they will see
This is great for two reasons. First they make more sense for humans. And secondly, search engines will be much more receptive to tracking your forum posts.
Member pages are turned from
To enable Permalinks:
- Check “Enable WPS Permalinks”
- Click on Update on the Installation page
Enabling permalinks does not change any forum data, or profile data, and they can be disabled at any time.
Disable them by:
- Un-check “Enable WPS Permalinks”
- Click on Update on the Installation page
Creating your own Permalinks (advanced users only)
The default entries should work (as demonstrated by www.wpsymposium.com where they are used). However you can enter your own if you have specific needs.
This is for advanced users only, as it is possible to create infinite redirection, and make your site inaccessible (have you backed up your database and website yet?).
All fields do not have to be entered. However for a rewrite rule to be created both the regular expression and the target URL need to be entered. If both are left blank, it is not used.
If you choose to enter your own rules, the first value is the rewrite regular expression rule, and the second (if applicable, like with the forum) is the target URL.
Note that in the target URL $matches, $matches and so on will match the portion of the regular expression in brackets. So, with the forum for example, the default entry where category and topic are included:
is used to take two values ([^/]+), which excludes /, and they are placed in the target URL instead of $matches and $matches. They values of $matches and $matches are assigned to stub:
The value stub equals is then used by WPS. As an example:
will get sent to
WordPress will then execute the above, finding the page called “Discuss” (the forum page), which in turn will be able to interpret stub=general-topic/welcome-to-the-forum.
It should be noted that the stub in the target URL for the forum should be in the format stub=category/topic. If not using the category, the stub should still include the forward slash, i.e. stub=/topic.
Send a test email
Simple enough – allows you to make sure your mail server is working. An email will be sent to the email address you enter. It will report if sent successfully or not. It cannot tell you if the recipient received it!
If you are uploading to the file system (see Settings), then information will be provided on the folder that images are going to, along with the URL.
If you are having problems uploading images, check for any errors or information here.
The daily digest is sent out after midnight (in more precisely when your first visit comes to your site after midnight, that’s how WordPress “cron” works).
The daily digest will include information on what each user is interested in.
Be careful, especially if you have lots of users, as your hosting company may accuse you of spamming. It may also charge you if you are sending out lots of emails!
The daily digest is enabled on the Settings page.
Note that the daily digest takes the opportunity to clean up the database, some housekeeping. You can manually perform this by clicking on the Send Daily Digest button. By default it will only send an email to the site administrators email – if you want to manually send it to all users, select the checkbox shown.
Category: Admin Guide