glFusion Quickstart Guide
Welcome to the glFusion Community. glFusion is a very flexible and feature rich Content Management System (CMS) that will allow you to build and maintain an online community. glFusion contains many features, but strives to make it easy for anyone to build and maintain a site.
To assist you in creating your site, let’s get a quick overview of the features and describe how each works and interacts with the other. We’ll also introduce you to the terminology used in glFusion. Let’s get started!
There are 2 things you should do immediately after installing a new glFusion site:
Delete the public_html/admin/install/ directory - it is important that you remove the installation files as they can allow a malicious user to potentially change or modify your site.
Change the Admin user's default password - you should immediately login at the Admin user and change the password to something that is secure.
There are several configuration settings you should review and tweak to meet your needs.
By default, glFusion will periodically check for new versions new versions of glFusion and any plugins you have installed, and it also sends some data with the request. Specifically, the following information is transmitted during the version check:
This data is only used by the glFusion development team to understand how broad the install base is and what versions of PHP and MySQL are being used, it is never sold, shared, or disclosed for any purpose.
You can turn off this feature and still check for new versions, but no data will be sent or collected.
Configuration → Site → Update Checker Tab
Send Site Data - set this to your preference - true will send the site URL, PHP version and MySQL version along with the version check - false will not send any data.
Spam / Bot Prevention
There are several controls available to assist with spam / bot detection and prevention. We recommend you read the How-To article at glFusion DOT org on Fighting BOTs and spammers. This is an excellent introduction into the capabilities and features to help protect your site.
glFusion can automatically ban IP addresses under certain circumstances. For example, if a client fails the New User Registration CAPTCHA test 5 times in a 1-hour period, the IP address can be automatically banned for 24 hours. This has proven to be a very effective defense against automated bots trying to create new user accounts for spamming purposed.
See Configuration → Spam / Bot Protection and configure the controls to meet your needs.
Social Site Memberships
If you have a Facebook page, a Twitter account or another social media account for your site, you’ll want to enter your site’s username in the Site Social Follow Me page under Command & Control. This will automatically display a Follow Us block in the footer of the site.
See Command & Control → Social Integrations and configure the social integration's to meet your needs.
You’ll see that we have created some default content to get you started and show off some of the features in glFusion. You’ll probably want to either modify it, or remove it to meet your needs. Let’s review what is there so you’ll gain a good understanding of how the home page is built.
Logo / Slogan
In the upper left corner, you’ll see your Site Name and Site Slogan. You set these values during the installation. If you want to change them, you’ll need to login as admin to your site and go into the online configuration: My Account → Command & Control → Configuration. You’ll see Site Name and Site Slogan near the top of that configuration screen.
You can also upload a custom logo that will replace the text based name. Logo management is handled by the Site Tailor Plugin. Under the Command & Control menu option, you’ll see an option called Logo, this is where you can upload your own custom logo.
You’ll see we have included some standard menus: the top Navigation Menu, the mobile friendly off canvas menu, and the right Block Navigation Menu. You can easily customize, and turn on/off, each of these menus using the built in menu editor. To edit the menus, look under the Command & Control menu option and you’ll see an option called Menu Builder. Menu Builder allows you to completely customize all the menus.
glFusion allows plugins to place content in the center block. The default home page is made up of the following plugin center block items:
Top rotating graphic block – Static Page Center Block
Forum Summary – Forum Plugin Center Block
Bottom slider block – Static Page Plugin Center Block
The stories are the standard center content. Let’s take a quick look at each of the default items:
Static Pages Plugin Center Block
Take a look at one of these pages: Let’s go into the Static Pages Administration screen – Command & Control → Static Pages. Here you will see a list of several static pages.
Let’s take a look at the page labeled rotator by selecting the edit (the pencil icon) button. The contents of this page is PHP code, but don’t let that intimidate you! The important item we want to look at right now is just below the content, the section where Centerblock is located. By checking the Centerblock box, we’re telling glFusion we want to display this static page on the home page. There are a few options so we can specify exactly where to put it (top, bottom, after featured story, and entire page). Entire page is an interesting feature; this means we can completely replace the center content on the home page (or really any page) so no stories display.
If you want to turn this centerblock off, simply uncheck the Centerblock box and save the page.
The included Forum plugin has the ability to display a summary of the latest forum posts as a centerblock. This feature is controlled in the Forum Configuration screen (Command & Control → Configuration → Forum). Look for the Centerblock Section a little way down the page. Here is can turn on / off displaying the centerblock, control how many posts to show, etc.
Stories are about the only content item in glFusion that is not a plugin, instead stories (or sometimes called articles) are the main content type for glFusion. Stories are associated with Topics. Topics are like containers that allow you to easily organize your stories in some sort of logical fashion. When you create a story, you have the option to define whether it will appear on the front page, or only when viewing the topic. The default content is set to show on the front page and also when viewing the topic. Look at the left navigation block called Topics and choose General News, that will only display 1 story (remember there were 2 stories on the home page). By choosing a specific topic, we’re only showing stories assigned to that topic.
glFusion refers to the right column blocks as the ‘Navigation Blocks’. The footer blocks are called the ‘Extra Blocks’.
glFusion uses the term ‘blocks’ to refer to the items on both the left and right sections of the page. You can turn on or off any block in the system. Some blocks you can edit while others are generated by glFusion and you can’t change them (although there are several configuration options that can alter what they show or how they look).
Standard system generated blocks include the following blocks; Topics, My Account, Events, Who’s Online, and What’s New. Each of these are dynamic, meaning their contents will change depending on various factors. For example, add a new story, and it will appear in the What’s New block, but after 2 weeks it will remove itself from displaying in the block.
Plugins can also publish blocks. A good example is the Events Block, it is published by the Calendar plugin to show upcoming events.
Unlike the center column content, blocks have a single interface to turn on / off, create, and edit blocks. Command & Control → Blocks. From this administration screen you can easily manage all aspects of the blocks.
Blocks can also contain pure HTML. A good example is the Translations block. This is nothing more than simple HTML typed into the block editor.
This was a very quick overview of the glFusion default install. There is a ton of information in the glFusion Wiki here at glFusion.org, we recommend you browse through it. We also have a very active and informative discussion forum where you can ask questions. Again, we welcome you to the glFusion community!