Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Steps for Setting Default User Notify option in phpBB Forum

Few years back, we had set-up a phpBB based Forum for allowing the users to discuss about various things including software testing and web development.

And, our Team is spending time and effort to update knowledge base section of this Forum. We use this Forum as Support Forum for our products.

Large number of users are joining this Forum, as this Forum members can freely access lot of our applications such as Quiz, Twitter Tools, SEO Tools, social bookmarking, etc.

While writing this post, this Forum is having 4,890 Members. Note that almost all these members will be real active users. Because We had taken lot of steps to prevent spam users. And, our own batch script will delete the spammers periodically. Let me know if you still find any spammers in our Forum.

So, the Forum is having lot of benefits and lot of members too. But active discussion in this Forum is low even it is having lot of active members.

After doing some investigation, we were able to find the reason for this low active discussion. The Forum is NOT informing the users about any new reply added to their question. So, the people are NOT willing to use this Forum for asking any further questions without knowing the fact that their questions are getting answered.

This Forum is having "subscribe" option for allowing the users to get notified whenever they get any reply. But it seems most of the people are not knowing this feature. By default it is turned off.

So, I wanted to turn on it by default. I searched the ACP to find any setting for making this change. But I couldn't find any setting for turning it on by default.

After doing some Google search, I did it with below two steps.

1. For setting default "subscribe" option for the New users.

Open \includes\functions_user.php and replace 'user_notify'=> 0, with 'user_notify'=> 1,

2. For setting default "subscribe" option for the Existing users.

Run the following SQL query:

UPDATE phpbb_users
SET user_notify = 1
WHERE user_type <> 2;
Remember to purge the Cache  using ACP if you want to see this change immediately.

I plan to focus more on improving the quality of our Forum further so that the huge user base can utilize our Forum effectively.

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