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The administration functions

7.1. The administration functions

Figure 7-2. Administration panel: Add story.

Administration panel: Add story.

Add Story:

It is the function that adds a new article to the News module. (We discuss how to modify the News module in Section 18.7.) The options offered are many and will be analyzed here one by one [1]:

  • Title: inserts the news title.

  • Topic: Determines which Topic will be associated with the article.

  • Category:Determines which Category will be associated with the article.

  • Publish in the Homepage: if this option is not selected, then the article will be displayed only in the topics or the relative categories and not in the main page of the news module .

  • Activate comments: If it's not activated the users cannot comment on the article.

  • Language: If in the preferences we have activated the multilingual option, we will be asked in which language we will publish the article. (e.g. if I publish an article in english, I will see it displayed only if I click on the small english flag in the languages block and so on...).

  • Story Text: It is the text that appears in the preview.

  • Extended Text: It is the text that appears when we click on "read all".

  • Programmed article: The administrator is given the ability to choose when the article should be published, deciding on the publishing date and hour. It is not a neccesary function but it is very useful.

  • Preview or send: Depending on the choice made here determines whether the article will be displayed in preview mode or directly published.

  • Survey: It is possible to attach a survey to a specific article (Figure 7-3).

    Figure 7-3. Attaching a poll to an article awaiting admission.

    Attaching a poll to an article awaiting admission.

    In the case that this option is activated, when the reader clicks on "read all", a survey block will appear that is different from the survey block on the home page. We thus have two survey blocks active:

    1. The survey block on the home page (Figure 6-14).

    2. The survey block attached to the specific article (Figure 7-4).

    Figure 7-4. Article Poll block.

    Article Poll block.

Figure 7-5. Administration panel: Backup DB.

Administration panel: Backup DB.

Backup DB:

It is the function that allows us to create a backup file that contains both structure and content of the PHP-Nuke database. This is very useful in case our data gets lost.

Once we click on "Backup DB", we will have to wait for the server to create the file. Waiting time varies from a few seconds to some minutes in the case of a large database. Once created, we will be asked to download the file. Remember to keep your backup in a safe place! See Section 27.16 for other backup solutions.

Figure 7-6. Administration panel: Banners.

Administration panel: Banners.


You can manage your advertising strategy with this function: you can add clients, then add banners images for each client. The banners will be displayed at the top of the page, before the header (if you want to change banner placement, see Section 14.3.6). You can control the number of impressions per banner and you can also gather statistics on the achieved views and clicks.

See also Section 20.7, for advertisements in PHP-Nuke blocks and Section 21.11, for advertisements in PHP-Nuke modules. For Google ads, you can also use the Google AdSense block of Section 8.2.7.

Figure 7-7. Administration panel: Blocks.

Administration panel: Blocks.


It's a very important function because it allows us to control the left and right columns of our portal. The scheme is presented with a list of the blocks that we have created, we can then activate, deactivate or edit them changing their position and order and assigning them permissions. We can in fact decide if a block should be visible by all, only by the registered users, or only the administrator. We can also make the block visible only in a specific language.

Note Please note

This info is also present in Chapter 20

The PHP-Nuke blocks can be of 3 different types:

  • RSS/RDF: These are blocks that capture news put at our disposal from other sites. The files are in a standard format, suitable for reading the text contained in them (for example, the site is a site that feeds news to other sites).

    RSS is a protocol, an application of XML, that provides an open method of syndicating and aggregating Web content. Using RSS files, you can create a data feed that supplies headlines, links, and article summaries from your Web site. This function is done automatically by the backend.php file of your PHP-Nuke system, so that other sites that wish to display (we say "syndicate" in this context) news from your site, only have to enter the address "" . For more information on RSS, see this RSS Workshop.

  • Blocks of content: They are blocks which we insert simple HTML or text that will be displayed inside the block (see the following example)

  • Blocks of files: They are PHP scripts that execute predetermined commands (see the following paragraph)

In order to create a new block that will be added to the list of available blocks, we must scroll down the page and position ourselves on "add block".

The title field is a common element for all and will be compiled in.

  • If we want to create a RSS/RDF block we must choose the news source from the available list or add one by clicking on "setup". In this case we will supply the address of the file to read (this info generally will be supplied by the webmaster of the site from which we capture the news, or, if it is a site created with PHP-Nuke, simply by asking for the file backend.php of that site). The other fields will all be compiled in with the exception of "filename" and "Content". There is a bug that will display a message, saying "There is a current problem with the headlines from this site.", although everything will be set up right, see Section 17.3.

  • If we want to create a block of simple text instead, we will omit the field "RSS/RDF file URL" and will complete "Content" instead (Omitting "filename").

  • If instead we want to include the PHP files that interface with a database or perform particular functions, then we will omit "Content" and "RSS/RDF" and will choose between the available files the one that will create our block. (If you want more info on how to create blocks, see Chapter 20). Just choose the block from the drop-down list of available blocks and set a title for it (or leave the title untouched).

Remember that before publishing a block, we will be shown a preview of it.

Tip Use custom blocks for building navigation menus

Many users think that the Modules block (Figure 17-1) is the obligatory way of building a navigation menu. However, it is just as possible to create custom blocks containing our HTML code and images or links - see Section 17.2 for various approaches in this direction.

Finally, the block can be positioned

  • in the left/right column, or

  • in the central column, either at the top or at the bottom.

You can change the relative positioning of all the blocks inside a column by clicking on the up and down arrows in the table that lists all blocks in the blocks administration panel.

See Section 8.2 for interesting add-on blocks.

Figure 7-8. Administration panel: Content.

Administration panel: Content.

Content Manager:

This function allows us to add new categories and new content inside the content section. Think of it as a container for creating empty pages. A noteworthy feature is the possibility to add the tag

<! -- pagebreak -- > 

in order to create a multipage article. The elements that comprise the Content module are:

  • title,

  • subtitle,

  • page header text,

  • page main text,

  • page footer text,

  • signature.


<! -- pagebreak -- > 

function is only active in the page main text field.

After you have created the desired categories you can then go to and start adding pages to the categories.

You can create links that point directly to the pages created by the Content module and use them in menus or buttons. The links could look as follows:


where pid=1 is the page ID that uniquely identifies the Content page.

An easy way to find out the correct URL to use in links to Content pages, is to click on the Content link in the modules block, view each page and copy its URL from the browser's address window. You can then just add these URLs to a HTML block, maybe like this:

<img src=images/blocks/icon_dot.gif>&nbsp;
<a href="contentid-1.html">
Page Title 1</a><BR>
<img src=images/blocks/icon_dot.gif>&nbsp;
<a href="contentid-2.html">
Page Title 2</a><BR>
<img src=images/blocks/icon_dot.gif>&nbsp;
<a href="contentid-3.html">
Page Title 3</a><BR>

and so on. See also Section 21.5, Section 21.6 and Section 21.7 for other techniques to incorporate HTML content in PHP-Nuke.

Figure 7-9. Administration panel: Downloads.

Administration panel: Downloads.


It creates categories, subcategories and adds files to the download area. For security reasons, the system does not allow file uploads via HTTP, only their linking through their HTTP address. If for example the file is found in the directory files of our site, we would have to link it as This allows us to link external resources also. If you have thousands of download links to enter, consult Section 27.6 for an automated procedure. Further, in Section 18.10 we show how to modify the PHP-Nuke Downloads module.

Figure 7-10. Administration panel: Edit Admins.

Administration panel: Edit Admins.

Edit Admins:

Enables us to add new administrators, defining their access levels. Besides having a super administrator it is in fact possible to activate only partial functions for the various administrators. For example, for an editorial activity, you can create sub-administrators and enable only the News administration functions for them.

Figure 7-11. Administration panel: Edit Users.

Administration panel: Edit Users.

Edit Users:

From here it is possible to manually add new users and to modify existing ones, choosing their profile by typing the nickname in the appropriate form. Through the same form it is also possible to delete a user, by simply changing the drop-down menu selection from "modify" to "delete".

Figure 7-12. Administration panel: Encyclopedia.

Administration panel: Encyclopedia.


Allows the creation of multiple word lists (choosing also the language), after having created an encyclopedia we can proceed to the insertion of terms.

Caution Attention!

You can only insert terms in an encyclopedia after you have already entered the encyclopedia's title!

The whole interface is contained in one single screen, so that for entering the encyclopedia terms you will have to scroll down, then insert the term, its description and also choose the encyclopedia you want to have it in. If you have thousands of terms, such an approach is not practical. You may want to have a look at the techniques presented in Section 27.5 (for web links) and Section 27.6 (for download links) and adapt them to the Encyclopedia module.

For internationalization (i18n) issues regarding the Encyclopedia module, see Section 27.9. You can also use the Random Quotes block (Section 8.2.8) to create a random encyclopedia.

Figure 7-13. Administration panel: Ephemerids.

Administration panel: Ephemerids.


Allows the insertion of recurrent events choosing the date and inserting a description. Given such an event in the Ephemerids table, the Ephemerids block will display its description on the day that it occured. More than one events on a given day are possible, of course. To modify such an event, you have to scroll up to the bottom of the screen, choose the desired date and then proceed as usual. For a more speedy alternative, see Section 27.8.

Figure 7-14. Administration panel: FAQ.

Administration panel: FAQ.


Allows the creation of the main FAQ categories and all related questions/answers. After a category has been entered, you must click on its content to be able to enter, delete or modify a FAQ.

If you want to display HTML code in a FAQ, have a look at Section 27.4. See also Section 22.1 if you want to duplicate the FAQ module.

Figure 7-15. Administration panel: Forums.

Administration panel: Forums.

Splatt Forum:

The management of the forum is divided in 4 areas[2]:

  • Preferences: It manages the characteristics of the forum (For security reasons it's advisable to deactivate the option to mail in HTML).

  • Categories and forum: defines the categories, the forums included in them, the moderators of every forum, levels of access etc... For a forum to be visible, you MUST activate at least one moderator otherwise the forum won't show up!

  • Ranks: defines the attention thresholds for the forum. Upon reception of the nth post, aproppriate images will be attached to attract proper attention of the visitors.

  • Users: moderator management through a complete list of the registered users.

Figure 7-16. Administration panel: HTTP Referers.

Administration panel: HTTP Referers.

HTTP Referers:

It displays the URL of the site the visitor was on, before coming to our site. See also the IP Tracking module in Section 8.3.6 and the Protector module in Section 8.3.7 for a similar, but extended, functionality.

Figure 7-17. Administration panel: Messages.

Administration panel: Messages.


It creates a central block in the Home Page in order to send selective messages to the users. The messages can be sent to only registered users, to non-registered users, to the administrator or one may carry out a selection by language. They also may carry a expiration date, making it possible to say, for example, "show this message for 1, 2, 5, 15, 30 days, or for unlimited time".

Figure 7-18. Administration panel: Modules.

Administration panel: Modules.


Allows for the management of the modules installed. The modules can be activated, deactivated or be assigned read permissions. A module can be world-readable, readable only by the registered users, or only the administrator (Figure 7-19). Further, you can define the module that will be "put in Home", i.e. appear in the index.php page (the "Homepage" of PHP-Nuke), but see Section 27.1 if this seems to be not working.

Figure 7-19. Modules administration panel.

Modules administration panel.

Figure 7-20. Administration panel: Newsletter.

Administration panel: Newsletter.


the PHP-Nuke administrator can send a newsletter to the registered users who have consented to receive them or send them to all the registered users. Attention to spam!

See Section 19.2 if you want to allow HTML in your newsletter.

Figure 7-21. Administration panel: Optimize DB.

Administration panel: Optimize DB.

Optimize DB:

Optimizes the data in the database, increasing database speed. Use with caution. Backup your database before! See Section 27.16 for automated backups through the browser - and Section 26.2 in case something goes wrong and you have to restore your database from a backup.

Figure 7-22. Administration panel: Preferences.

Administration panel: Preferences.


This subject will be treated in Section 7.2.

Figure 7-23. Administration panel: Reviews.

Administration panel: Reviews.


It allows us to insert book reviews. In every book review it is possible to cast a vote, a link relative to the subject and finally an image that represents the content. To insert an image, you must save it in the images/reviews folder, then enter its filename (without the path, e.g. pippo.png) in the aproppriate field.

Further, you can set up a title and a description for the reviews main page.

We discuss how to modify the Reviews module in Section 18.4.

Figure 7-24. Administration panel: Sections.

Administration panel: Sections.


here you can manage the sections and their contents. It is possible to associate an image to the section subject, just as it is in the topics. It is possible to add articles to the sections selecting the aproppriate category through a radio button, to divide long texts using the <! -- pagebreak -- > tag and to edit or cancel already added sections.

Figure 7-25. Administration panel: Submissions.

Administration panel: Submissions.


Here you can manage articles inserted by others. It is the moderation area of the News module that we have already analyzed in this section. You can publish, modify or delete submitted articles - there is even a field for "notes" that allows the webmaster to enter a comment to the article that will be visually distinguished from the main text by a cursive font.

Figure 7-26. Administration panel: Surveys.

Administration panel: Surveys.


Creates a new survey for the site, edits or cancels old ones. It is possible to insert up to 10 different answers to every survey. In the context of the creation of the survey it is possible, on the same page, to publish a news article that announces its creation.

Figure 7-27. Administration panel: Topics.

Administration panel: Topics.


Allows you to create new topics and the association, through a pop-up menu, of corresponding images (Figure 7-28). The images must have been copied to the images/topics folder previously.

Figure 7-28. Administration panel: Add a new topic.

Administration panel: Add a new topic.

Figure 7-29. Administration panel: Web Links.

Administration panel: Web Links.

Web Links:

Allows us to edit links published by others, create categories for archiving the links, eliminate links, see user messages informing us of any broken links through an interface very similar to the downloads section and add new links.

If you have many links to enter, an automatic procedure based on scripting, as discussed in Section 27.5, may be of interest to you. Further, in Section 18.5 we show how to modify the PHP-Nuke Web Links module.

Figure 7-30. Administration panel: Logout.

Administration panel: Logout.


Exits from the administration area rendering the cookie invalid. It is good practice to login logout after having finished working with PHP-Nuke. For security reasons (see Section 23.4.5).



Note that, starting from version 6.7, a news article may be associated with multiple topics.


This applies to PHP-Nuke version 6.0, that has the Splatt Forum installed, or to those installations of a later version that nevertheless use the Splatt Forum module. For the administration functions of the phpBB Forum, see Section 7.1.1.

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