Quick Start Guide

Welcome
Welcome to CMNTY Platform and welcome to the Help Center. While you will find in-depth articles here about many aspects of CMNTY Platform, we are often asked for a “quick start guide” that people can use to get familiar with our software. You will notice that this article is a bit longer than others, but it is meant to help you get familiar as quickly as possible.

Front-end vs. Admin section
When we talk about CMNTY Platform, we will make a distinction between the “Front-end” and the “Admin Section”. The Front-end is typically where members interact with each other. The Admin section is where you (the community manager) can manage the community settings & content.In this guide, we will focus on things in the Admin section since that is where you will want to do your initial setup. You can access the Admin section by clicking on the Admin symbol in the Front-End menu:admin sectionThe Admin menu is divided into five tabs:

  1. Configure 
    In this section, you can set default platform and user settings (select your modules and widgets, craft your default text, customize user profiles and roles etc). Learn more about what you can do with Configure by reading this article.
  2. Design 
    In this section, you can brand your CMNTY platform to give it the look and feel that you want (add your own logo, background image, platform color etc). Learn more about what you can do with Design by reading this article.
  3. Publish 
    In this section, you can create, add, schedule, or edit both content and community activities for your CMNTY Platform (this is where you write blogs, create questionnaires, and update your images slider etc). Learn more about what you can do with Publish by reading this article.
  4. Manage 
    In this section, you can invite and manage members, observers, or community managers (you’ll find invite functionality, a place to set up your gamification triggers for rewarding members with points or badges, and create your user groups etc). Learn more about what you can do with Manage by reading this article.
  5. Analyze 
    In this section, you can access and export your community content and activity (download pdfs or ready-made graphs for questionnaire or polls, create CSV exports of platform or user activity, etc). Learn more about what you can do with Analyze by reading this article.

admin menu is divided into five tabs


1. Look around, then get a fresh start

Your platform is filled with demo content from Bagels & Friends to give you an idea of how the platform and all features can be used. We suggest that you spend some time exploring the demo content. Click through each module to see how the presentation and interaction styles differ.

For example, while you will see that community members leave comments in a forum, members submit ideas to your challenges. These ideas can be voted on, commented on, and tracked on times viewed. If you have questions about the specific functionality and use for each module, we have plenty of articles about them as well in this Help Center.

After you got a sense for how your community could look, feel free to reset the content so you can start adding your own content and activities to make your platform your own. You can reset the demo content by clicking on the orange bar at the top of your community overview page. Please be aware that the deleted data can not be retrieved.

orange bar

2. Set-up your own email signature

  1. Go to the Configure page at the top menu.
  2. Underneath Email at the left menu, choose Email Settings. The Signature will be placed underneath every email that the Platform sends (i.e. invitations, newsletters, notification emails, etc.). The Sender Name will be display as the sender and Platform Email is the email address that will be displayed as the sender’s address.

You can find more information about your email settings in this article.


3. Check and set your Default Messages

At Default Messages, you can configure messages that are visible within the platform. The default invite/decline message will be sent out as an email. All default messages can be found and changed by following the steps below:

  1. Go to the Configure page at the top menu.
  2. Choose Default Messages at the left menu.default messages
  1. Login message 
    This is a text which you can add to the login page. You can welcome your members or give extra information about the platform.
  2. Welcome message
    This text will appear on the home page of your CMNTY Platform. You can use shortcodes to show usernames, first/last name, the time of the user’s last visit or the number of users that are currently online to make the message more personal.
  3. Footer message 
    The footer message is the text that will appear at the bottom of each page in the front-end of your CMNTY Platform, with the exception of the login and registration pages.
  4. Terms & Conditions
    Terms and Conditions can be used to inform your members about the rules and requirements of participation in your community. When Terms and Conditions are activated, users will have to accept them in order to complete registration.
  5. Cookie Message
    The cookie message can be used to inform your members your platform uses cookies to, for example, remember user logins, sessions, default languages, time zones, and/or page settings. When third part software is integrated with your platform (for example Google Analytics or Social sharing), they may also use cookies. Activate the cookie message at:

    1. Go to the Configure page at the top menu.
    2. Choose Front End at the left menu.
    3. Choose Platform Details.
  6. Invite Message 
    This message is used whenever you generate a new platform invitation. While this can save you time, you can always edit the invite title and and text for specific invites before sending if you wish to customize them. The invite title is the email subject and the message is the body of the email. ! You can change the text of the invite message, but please leave the {acceptlink} shortcode untouched. We also strongly recommend that you do not change or copy/paste the accept link because if the link breaks the users won’t be able to sign up. In case you use the decline link, please do not change or copy/paste this link either.

    Decline Message
     When a user clicks on the decline link in the platform type, he/she will be directed to this message. If you do not want members to be able to decline an invite, you can remove the decline link from the invite. When an invite is declined it will be moved from the ‘open invites’ tab to the ‘declined invites’ tab. Declined invites cannot be resent.
    To see which members declined an invite you can view the declined invites tab:

    1. Go to the Manage page at the top menu.
    2. Choose Users at the left menu.
    3. Choose Invites.


4. Add your own logo and header image

Once you’ve reset your content, the first thing you do is add a logo and header image to make the platform match your brand identity. You can do this by following the steps below:

  1. Go to the Design page at the top menu of the Admin section.
  2. Choose Platform Template from the left-hand menu.
  3. You can upload a HEADER IMAGE and LOGO IMAGE (and be sure to look at other options on this page as well, like platform color).logo and header image

You can make more design changes to personalize the platform even more. Learn more about these changes here.


5. Add content to your platform

Before you start creating content, we advise you to take a look at all the available modules and decide which ones are usable for your project. You can activate/de-activate modules by following the steps in this article.

To use a module, you have to add content to it. You can do this by following the steps below:

  1. Go to Publish at the top menu of the admin section.
  2. Choose a Module in the left menu to which you want to add content to, for example: the Blog module.
  3. Click Add Blog in the overview page.add content to your platform
  4. On the next page, you will be able to create the content and choose different settings based on the module that you have chosen. When your platform is set to multiple languages, you can enter content for each of them using the button in the upper right corner.Don’t forget to save your changes.
    create the content and choose different settings


6. Invite members to your community

As a community manager, you will usually send invites based on a list of email addresses. If you do not need to import any member information (i.e. if you will collect everything you need to know via the platform) then this is the simplest way to go.

If you want to send many invites at once or if you want to import profile fields along with the invites, you may choose to import your members from a CSV file. You can learn more about the different ways of sending out invites in this article.

To create and send an invite based on email address(es), go to the admin section of your platform and follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the Manage page at the top menu.
  2. Choose Invites at the left menu.
  3. Click Add Invite in the overview. You can fill in the email address or email addresses (separated with commas) of the member(s) you want to invite to your community.sending invites
  4. Add Multiple email addresses to the invite by separating the email addresses with commas.
  5. Choose a default Language for your invite.invite members to your community
  6. Choose which USER ROLE your invited users will get.
  7. When you have created USER GROUPS, you can categorize your invited users.add multiple email addresses to the invite


7. Optional Settings

That’s it! That were the most important settings.

We conclude with a few articles about other topics that might be useful while setting up your community:

  1. Language
  2. Terms & Conditions
  3. Google Translate
  4. Landing Pages
  5. Push Notifications
  6. Custom Elements
  7. Cookie Message
  8. Create User Groups
  9. Gamification
  10. Social Login

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