Build Your Site: Feature Experience: Using the 'UserCP' Section
We recently added Hobbierz to our list of staff members on vBulletin.nl and decided to ask him if he wanted to write out an indepth experience on a feature of vBulletin. He picked the User Control Panel and .. well, let him tell it himself! Thank you Hobbierz for taking the time to work with me and write out your experience. The difference with this indepth feature and the on-line manual is 'how we experience it' rather then 'explaining what it means'.
Author:Tyler Cote (Hobbierz)
Indepth Feature Experience: Using the 'UserCP' Section by Hobbierz
-A brief overview of the User Control Panel and its counterparts-
One of the many features available to you in vBulletin is the UserCP. Jammed pack with all your profile-editing abilities, one could easily get sidetracked. Whether it be your signature and avatar , Private Messages , Reputation, or Event Reminders , there's something here for everyone. Along with all the possibilities comes organization. The outline and depth of the UserCP is clear and precise , detailed, but simple for your average-user. Although, with more familiarity, this area becomes more and more of a necessity. Of all the end user options, this section would most-definetly be my most visited, other than the Search option or the Memberlist.
Secondly, another of my favorite features of the UserCP would have to be the Attachments sub-section. What this section does is display all your attachments ever appended to a post. It also shows the Thread name, post name, Attachment size, post date, and number of downloads. All of these are most certainly convenient so in a matter of seconds (depending on how many total attachments you have uploaded), you can easily pull up any of your past files for use. One last thing I thought was really nice was the ' Number of downloads' feature, since it allows me to see just how useful/popular my attachments were. That, and the switch to view my attachments in thumbnail images makes it a winner for me.
Another excelling section of the UserCP is the Edit Profile feature. Completely customizable from the Administrator-side, this is by far quite a comprehensive option. Although it may take a little getting used to, once accustomed, nearly anything is possible. The many different Profile field types reveal quite a few possibilities, ranging from 'Single-line textbox' to 'Multiple-selection Checkbox'.
The final component that makes the UserCP section great is the effortless navigation. A quick fix to your profile, signature, or your avatar is only a few clicks away!
Now we shall further explain these features and options in greater detail. Some shall benefit, some won't, hopefully though, a majority of you will enjoy this article.
(Please note that some features and/or options might only be available to you on certain forums because they are based on usergroup permissions)
Without further adieu,
The UserCP contains 4 sections:
The first section is generally my primary stop when entering the UserCP. From here, I can: Edit my Signature, e-mail, Profile, Options, Avatar, and Profile-Picture. Browsing of each of these is practically self-explanatory, for both veterans and first-timers.
- Settings and Options
- Private Messages
- Subscribed Threads
The first part of the topic at hand, Edit Signature, allows you to alter and edit your signature into many different colors, fonts, and sizes. Most of this is made possible by WYSIWYG, vBulletin 3's comprehensive text-editing feature. Personally, I have no quarrels with how the signature editor works, but if a change was needed, I would most definetly make it possible to view the source code tag. The reason for this being, so you could edit the URL and whatnot of your linked Signature image. Currently, I do not see this as an allowable option:
[b]1. Settings and Options[/b]
[*][b]Edit your signature[/b] - I myself use this feature to edit my Signature image and update text.
[*][b]Edit Email and Password[/b] - Relatively important, for all those times you forget your password or would like updates from the Forum Administrator.
[*][b]Edit Profile[/b] - Quite simple. Make your biography, interests, birthdate, and more available through you're community profile by adding it here.
[*][b]Edit Options[/b] - Also a necessity, update your timezone, Posts per page, and Thread Display options here.
[*][b]Edit Avatar[/b] - Upload custom or preset Avatar images here. These images are displayed next to your posts.
[*][b]Edit Profile Picture[/b] - Similar to your Avatar, but it doesn't show next to posts. This is displayed in your public profile.
[/list]The first section of the UserCP discussed above pretty much allows you to edit and personalize your experience on the forum at hand. Hopefully the brief indepth overview gave you some more insight. It is important for users to keep it up to date at all times.
Up next, is the Private Message section of the UserCP. The structure and compatibility of this feature has been remade into a lot better of a system than vBulletin 2's,
[b]2. Private Messages[/b]
[*][b]List Messages [/b]- Clicking this will take you to your Inbox. From there you can view all your latest Private Messages in chronological orer, and depending on the settings of the Forums, older ones also.
[*][b]Send New Message [/b]- Compose a new message to any Member of the Forums. The Member at hand, though, must allow Private Messages.
[*][b]Track Messages[/b] - I myself find this to be quite a fun option. You can track your sent messages from here, in chronological order.
[*][b]Edit Folders [/b]- Also a nice add-on to vBulletin 3, you can add, delete, and edit your folders from here. This allows for an organized Private Message box!
[/list]Well, that just about covers the Private Message section. Now it's onto Subscriptions and Miscellaneous.
[b]3. Subscribed Threads/Forums[/b]
[*][b]List Subscriptions [/b]- Go here to list all your Thread/Forum Subscriptions, in chronological order. I myself though, am not much of a subscription person. Since I often scoff at e-mail spam. However, this is quite an advanced sub-section to manage your subscriptions, because you can set the type of subscription, remove it or turn it into a digest.
[*][b]Edit Folders [/b]- Relatively new to me, here you can place your subscriptions in different folders, for quick accessing and organization. A great way to get important threads from the staff or private sections of your site listed for quick overview.
[/list]Continuing on, Miscellaneous J.
[*][b]Event Reminder [/b]- A quick way to remember a birthday, special meeting, or important event!
[*][b]Buddy / Ignore Lists [/b]- Separate your good buddies from your acquaintances. Buddies show up with a + next to their name on the Who's Online page and Forum Home. Ignored users' post's are minimized in each thread. Although, if you wish, you can expand their post and read it.
[*][b]Attachments [/b]- From here, you can view all, or most, of your attachments. Links are displayed for the Thread / Post / and image URL. I find this to be one of my most liked features of the UserCP. Saving me from time-wasted searching through old and forgotten threads for one attachment. This, by far, gets my A+ approval when it comes to vBulletin 3.
[/list]Well folks, this is just about the end of my indepth coverage of the UserCP. I hope you enjoyed reading through it and all. And most of all, learned a thing or 2. If you have any questions or comments relating to the UserCP, I would be glad to help, or give some guidance. Thanks !
[b][i][color=#2f4f4f]© Copyrights 2004 Tyler Cote & [/color][/i][/b][url="http://www.vbulletin.nl/"][b][i][color=#2f4f4f]http://www.vBulletin.nl/[/color][/i][/b][/url]
[b][color=darkslategray][i]Original thread: [/i][/color][/b][color=darkslategray][i][url="http://vbulletin.nl/community/showthread.php?t=5643"]http://vbulletin.nl/community/showthread.php?t=5643[/url][/i][/color]
You can discuss this indepth feature experience [url=http://www.vbulletin.nl/community/showthread.php?t=5644][b]here[/b][/url]
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