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Site Improvement

Started by Skb, December 10, 2017, 07:09:26 AM

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First, a little background please. I booked our domain and built our website in March of 2016. I had earlier built a couple of websites with MS-Publisher. By the time I got down to developing The Diabetic Pub, Publisher has stopped it's plugin for web page development. This time around I built the website using OpenElement, which is very 'drag & drop' and easy to use open source s/w.

After this, I looked for forum s/w and settled in with SMF. Bit by bit I've added functionality as required by the Team and members. We use the default Curve theme. Until then, I knew nothing of Portals and their compatibility with forum s/w. By the time I installed TP, the website was well settled and there was little point in disturbing the arrangement. I therefore use TP only for the right panel with a few blocks in it. But the truth is that the website & the forum are mismatched visually, both being based upon different s/w.

With some basic skills in place, I think I am now ready to use TP fully and port the website content into a Frontpage with the Article system. Right now the forum is placed in the website/forum folder. Once both are integrated I can do away with this arrangement and just have the one URL. I might need to switch from the Curve theme to a slightly better variant so long as all the mods (32 of them) are supported. I am looking forward to some advice, suggestions & help in how to go about doing this. 

For starters, can someone explain what is the difference between frontpanel & frontpage ?

Thanks for your patience.

SMF 2.1 RC4 (default theme) / TP 2.1.0


Hi Skb

Ok, lets start with your question

"For starters, can someone explain what is the difference between frontpanel & frontpage ?"

Front Page:  If for example you only have SMF installed and then added TP the Home button would take you to the Portal home page, this is basically a blank canvas waiting for you to add blocks and content. The forum button would take you to the forum.

Frontpanel:  The front panel is a panel just like the other panels L/R/Upper/Lower/top/bottom.  The difference being that anything added to a frontpanel will only display on the front page of the portal, and can't be displayed anywhere else.  The other panels can be displayed anywhere including the front page.

So basically the front panel is ideal for doing what you need, and if you can do a little html magic you should be able to produce another nice looking front page to replace your existing one right there in a font page block.

I noticed you said  "port the website content into a Frontpage with the Article system" If it was me I'd use a block(or two) rather than a article to do this. 

Not a great example, but if you look at the home page here, this is made up using three or four blocks, (except for the example blocks). The only reason I used 3-4 blocks was for ease of editing, so if I make a mistake I don't screw the whole page up.

Hope some of this info was helpful.


Ok, are you asking how to make Curves look like your pages? Or how to make TP articles look like your pages?

If you want your TP articles to looks like your current articles, right-click on an article and select "View Source". Then select everything within the body tags, paste it into a html article and see if that gets you close to where you want to be. Then adjust the code as necessary.

You can also adjust the coding for Curves  to at least match the colors of your current articles. I highly suggest you do not use the original Curves theme but make a copy of it and edit that one as well as rename it. More work would need to be done to match the look of the articles.


Thanks for your replies.


Yes. The idea is use both the Home & Forum buttons in the Main Menu & the Linktree. I'm still not sure what is the difference between the Panel & the Page. Eventually, we do want a page, where the user would land post login. The forum would remain in the background and would be accessible by the above buttons.

As of now our forum has 14 articles, which I'd like to bring to the FP, only there wouldn't be enough space to put them all there. I could use the "Intro" feature to have a short description, but even with that I'd prefer a random selection of 5-6 articles to be shown on the FP.

I'm a little familiar with html tags and design would be something that I'd look at, after I've accomplished the above.


I would like to look at curve alternates which would then be applied to the forum as well. I could try the copy/paste methods you recommend but I don't think that using all the elements from the website pages would sit pretty on the forum frontpage. But thanks for your siggestion, I will certainly play around a bit and see where I end up.

SMF 2.1 RC4 (default theme) / TP 2.1.0


Simply put, you have left and right panels which hold the blocks on the and right, respectively. Frontpanel blocks show in the center of the Frontpage (also called the Home page).

Click my sig. The blocks you see in the middle of the frontpage (home page) are frontpage blocks and are only shown on the frontpage. I hope that helps you to understand it better. :)


Thanks, that helped in understanding the roles & placement.

Like I said, I have 14 articles at present, which number is likely to go up if I invite members to contribute. If I use the front panel to display one article at any given time, is there a way to randomly select one article every time the Home page is displayed.

SMF 2.1 RC4 (default theme) / TP 2.1.0


Hmmm, can't remember there being a way to randomize it. However, there I believe there's a way to set articles to show by a specific from feb 10th to mar 7th., etc. IO'd need to do a little research but there is either a setting for it or custom coding here on this site that may do that.


I couldn't find any random selection in the settings. I will search for a code snippet to do that, if possible.

SMF 2.1 RC4 (default theme) / TP 2.1.0


Not sure if this one works,

Unfortunately a lot of the snippets need updating, but I don't have the skills to do this myself.


Ah! I do remember that topic now! I've never used it myself. But, if I have a little extra time this weekend I'll give it a shot and what happens on a test forum.