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vBulletin.org and vBulletin modification for Beginners.
Zachery
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 11,440

Ontario, Canada
by Zachery Zachery is offline 20 Jun 2006
Rating: (1 vote - 5.00 average)

So youíve got this sweet vBulletin forum you say, but you want more, letís say an arcade and some shout box and ooh youíve got to have a jukebox. But wait now Billy, before you run off and start adding mods & add-ons like they were free candy lets sit back for a second and think.

First of all have you ever worked with any type of real coding language before? If not are you willing to learn? Remember when you start to modify the default code base by adding add-ons and mods that you will lose official support from vBulletin.com. If you are not willing to try working though issues that may pop up on your own and you do not want to wait on user to user support you may wish to stop reading right now! But if you say you are willing to do all that lets continue.

The first thing you should do before installing any mod or add-on is look at first if it will do what you need and if it does is the general majority of users reporting that its working. Remember to look over the last 3-5 pages of a mods release thread to ensure that the general majority of users are not complaining that itís not working. Also ensure that it is working correctly for your version, you may want to ask.

So letís assume all is well for our mod and continue on, next we want to test this mod in a safe environment for if some reason it drops the entire user table, itís not the end of the world. If you havenít yet you should get a test vBulletin forum installed, as per the vBulletin license agreement you are allowed to install a second forum for testing code modifications. The only restrictions to it is that it must be; 1. Not publicly accessible, 2. Used as an active forum for non development forum, so you should name the folder testvb or dev and have htaccess protection either IP based or auth based. If you are not in an apache environment, contact your host on how to do this.

After youíve read over the instructions for the mod and confirmed that you meet all of its requirements if it has anyway, follow the instructions. In vBulletin 3.5 and beyond this process has gotten a lot simpler with the addition of the plug-in system where you no longer need to do a mass of file, template, database, edits by hand. Now youíve followed the instructions for your new mod and all is working well. Test it thoroughly and make sure you can tell your new members how to use it. Lets also assume you like the way it works and everything is working to your want.

So youíve got this sweet new add-on working, what really will this do for your site? Are you adding a new requested feature? Are you trying to draw more people to your site? If itís the latter an arcade or store system is probably not going to be a terribly huge draw to your site, look at the install count for that mod. If you are adding it to help existing users to have more fun on your site, than it will probably help boost things. The biggest mistake I see new users doing is adding half of the mods at vBulletin.org to their site and wondering why no one joins. General mods does not make the site, content is king always! So if everything went well during testing, make a backup and go for it!

Look for more in the coming weeks.
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Old 01 Jun 2013, 18:56
pwhitehead pwhitehead is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Originally Posted by Zachery View Post
If you are not willing to try working though issues that may pop up on your own and you do not want to wait on user to user support you may wish to stop reading right now! But if you say you are willing to do all that lets continue.
Funny as hell, here's a great Cover Your Own Ass Disclaimer. Great article!
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