User Ideas is a Joomla extension that provides functionality people to create and manage suggestions, feedbacks and ideas.

These are a documentation and answers of frequently asked questions about the component.

Download and install

I guess, you have already installed Joomla! and now you have to download UserIdeas package, which is specific for your Joomla version.

Go to "Extension Manager" and install the package.

Joomla! extension manager

If you are installing the extension for the first time, you will see a list of installed libraries, plugins and modules. You will also see a list of minimum requirements. If the system displays red indicators for unfulfilled requirement, it will be good to find a way to fix it.

Requirements

You must install Prism Library because the extension needs it to work properly.

Technical Requirements

The minimum requirements to run the extension properly are:

Additional documentation

You can find additional documentation about on the following sites.

Options

It is a time to set up User Ideas. Go to "Dashboard" and click on the button "Options". Review the settings and save them.

Now, I am going to describe you the most important options of the extension.

Items

The options in that section are used on the view, which lists all items ( menu item "Items" ).

SEO

The options in that section are used to manage SEO features.

Integration

You can use those options when you would like to integrate other extensions to User Ideas.

For example:

  • you can install Social Community and connect user profiles with User Ideas.
  • you can enable Gravatar and the system will display avatar of the people which have Gravatar profiles.

Security

Those options are used for managing functionality, which will affect security of the component.

Item auto publish - if that option be enabled, the system will store the item as published. The item will be visible immediately.

Comment auto publish - if that option be enabled, the status of comments which users submit will be published. They will be visible for other people immediately.

Debug

You can use those options when you would like to disable some functionalities of the component, during a process of maintenance.

Disable adding items - that option disables the process of submitting items

Advanced

Advanced section provides some additional options that you can use to customize the system.

Permissions

You should use the permissions to control user actions. You will be able to give permissions to a group of users to post or edit ideas. You can also control voting and commenting.

For example:

If you would like to allow anonymous users to vote for items, you have to select the user group "Guest" and to allow votes.

If you would like to give permissions, only registered users to post items, you have to select the user group "Registered" and to allow the action "Create".

Permissions

Statuses

The statuses are states of items, and the system will give a assign them to an item automatically, when someone submits one. You have to select a default status that you would like to be assigned automatically.

You can also set CSS class to them by theirs options.

If you use a template, based on Twitter Bootstrap 2.3, you can use its labels.

E-Mails Templates

You have to use the extensions Email Templates to create predefined mail templates, which will use in some plugins like "Content - User Ideas - Admin Mail". You have to select them and the system will send them the administrator, replacing placeholders with data.

 

You should select an email template in the following plug-ins.

  • Content - User Ideas - Admin Mail

The menu items are links to views of the component. You have to create some items and assign them to a menu.

1 .Select a menu and click on the button "New"

2. Select a "Menu Item Type"

3. Enter "Menu Title", alias and some of the advanced options if you want.

4. Click on the button "Save"

Modules

The modules are Joomla! extensions which display blocks with content. They can be placed on predefined position included in a template. They are assigned per menu items.

Here you are an instruction how to install and set up a module.

  1. Go to "Module Manager".
    Joomla! Module Manager
  2. Select a module of User Ideas.
  3. Select a position and change the status.
    Publish module
  4. Now, go to the tab "Menu Assignment" and assign the module to a menu item.
    Menu assignment module option

Plug-ins

The plug-ins add additional features on the website. User Ideas comes with several plug-ins and you can find them on the "Plug-in Manager". Enable those that you would like to use.

You have to enable plug-ins that enable functionality of the buttons, which are used for voting. The system comes with two plugins by default. If you would like, you can develop other ones to change the way the button operates.

  • User Ideas - Vote
  • System - User Ideas Vote

How to publish ideas automatically?

If you would like your system to publish the items automatically, when someone post an idea, you have to enable the option "Item auto publish".

  1. Go to User Ideas options, section Security.
  2. Select Yes for option "Item auto publish".

 

How to send notification mails to the administrator?

There is a plugin that sends notification to the administrator.

Content - UserIdeas - Admin Mail - That plugin sends a mail to the administrator when someone creates a project or publishes one.

How to translate User Ideas?

You can translate this extension in your language using Transifex. Go to the system and sign in. Find UserIdeas translation project and start translating. If you need more information, read the article "How to translate ITPrism extensions in your language?"

You can also use ITP Transifex to create language packages.

How to debug the extension and catch an error?

If there is a problem with the extension and the system does not display error messages, you should debug it. That will give you more information about the problem.

  1. Go to "System" -> "Global Configuration" -> "System" -> "Debug Settings".
  2. Set to "Yes" the option "Debug System".
  3. Now go to tab "Server" and set option "Error Reporting" to maximum.

Now, the system should display information about the error.

You can also check log files in folder "/logs" or the log file "error_log" in your main folder.

What template should I use?

You should use a template based on Twitter Bootstrap 3.x.

How to upgrade the extension?

The better way to upgrade the extensions is:

  1. Make a backup of your site ( database and files ) ( optional but highly recommended );
  2. Install the new version over the old one ( all previous data will be saved );
  3. Check the extension settings and menu items for changes;
  4. Check for a new version of Prism Library. If there is a new version, install it.
  5. You should also upgrade all other modules and plugins, which work with UserIdeas.

It is a good practice to have a copy of your website on a subdomain. It can be something like test.mywebsite.com. You should upgrade UserIdeas on this test site first. That will be useful for you because you will be able to explore the newest features and configuration options. When all is OK, you will know how to upgrade the extension on your production website fast.

How to get support?

You can post issues on UserIdeas Git repository. If you have any questions, you can send me a mail from the contact form. If you need premium support you are able to subscribe for my premium services on ITPrism members site.

It would be great if you send me information about your problem. You can send me information about your Joomla! version, extension version, screenshots or links to your pages.

How to get FREE support?

You can report issues on User Ideas GitHub repository.

If you have any questions, you can send them to me, using the contact form. Please, send me a message with only one question. When I answer you, you will be able to send me your next one.

How to remove "index.php" from URLs?

You should enable the option "Use URL rewriting" and rename htaccess.txt or web.config.txt. You will find these files in the main folder of your website.

For example "http://mydomain.com/index.php/feedbacks" will become "http://mydomain.com/feedbacks".

  1. If your website is running on Apache web server, rename htaccess.txt to .htaccess. If your website is running on Windows Server ( IIS ), rename web.config.txt toweb.config.
  2. Go to Joomla! Configuration options.
  3. Set to "Yes" the option "Use URL rewriting".
  4. Save.

NOTE: Be sure, your server provides URL rewriting functionality.

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