Community Documentation

v3 Knowledgebase

What is a website? (also what is Phpfox)


  • 1 What is a website?
  • 1.1 What do you need to have your website?

  • 1.2 What is Phpfox?
  • 1.2.1 Administration

  • 1.2.2 CMS

  • 1.2.3 Instant Messenger

  • What is a website?

    For the average Joe a website is what they see when they put something in the address bar and hit enter. For us it is so much more.

    From the commercial ground it is a platform to reach your customers, you sell something there, even if its a free service. You can earn money from it too, by placing ads or actually selling services or items.

    From the technical ground a website is a set of files, a database and images usually. Not much to it really.

    What do you need to have your website?

    Any website needs an HTTP Server, this conforms to the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. An HTTP Server is a program, it runs on a computer.
    The phpfox script also needs a database. A database is a group of files and a program that administers these files. A database needs a Database Server, which is also a program. Both the HTTP Server and the Database Server can run in the same computer, or they can run in different computers and still serve one website, just like they can serve many websites. Adding on, the phpfox script allows you to send emails to your users, so you also need a Mail Server which -you guessed it right- is also a program and can also run in the same computer as the others or separately. So in a nut, a Server is also a computer, a special one but a computer nonetheless.

    With all these programs running and your database changing and all the operations having a website imply, there are companies specialized in providing Servers to host your website, we call these Hosting Companies as your website is a guest to them. These companies provide all the servers with the best optimizations they can so your website runs fast and reliable all the time. You do not strictly need to rent a hosting plan but it is by far the best option as maintenance and optimizations is what they do best, from one of our partner hosting companies we learned that they have over 10 thousand optimizations in place from a standard installation so unless you know how to accomplish these 10 thousand optimizations to your server I suggest you pay the $8/month.

    More about hosting companies is discussed here.

    Whatever hosting company you choose make sure it complies with the [phpfox requirements] to make sure you will have a nice experience. Certain modules/sections depend on specific settings.

    If your website is hosted somewhere in internet (you hired a hosting company) you must have gotten at least one user to access your Hosting Account. With this user you can create FTP users (or your hosting company probably already created one for you), create databases, create database users, etc.
    FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, it is what mostly everybody uses for copying files and folders from the local computers to the internet computers, and since we dont know or care exactly where is our website's server the general idea is that it is "up in internet" so we call this process "uploading" (copying files from our local computers to the internet computers)

    What is Phpfox?

    Before you decide on buying something you need to know what you're getting in return for your money, here we want to make sure you know exactly what you're getting.

    Phpfox is a script, it is an internet application and when you install it, it is a website.
    The phpfox script comes in 3 packages, each with a different set of modules. The full documentation about the features can be found here:
    Up next, I will only mention a few details regarding some of the features


    You can create new languages, import them or delete them and translate them from the AdminCP -> Extensions -> Languages.
    If your site is missing a phrase you can also run a check on every module installed by going to AdminCP -> Extensions -> Languages -> Language Manager. Clicking next to your site's language and Find Missing Phrases will run this check. Any missing phrase will be imported and enabled in your site right away.

    You may also find some warnings on your AdminCP Dashboard, these warnings are about potential security risks. In every server there are permissions related to your files and folders, these permissions tell who can read, execute and write to a file or folder and affect the phpfox script, other users/programs in your server and everybody else. Setting the permissions wrong can lead to your site being hacked (as in they steal your users' information), your front page being changed, or malicious being added to every page (and search engines marking your site as insecure).
    The strictest permission is only known by your hosting company, so the best suggestion here is that you ask them about this.
    We made 2 videos showing how to remove these warnings but please keep in mind that the settings there used may not work on your site:

    Now, there are over 340 system settings and over 330 user group settings, that's a big deal of room for customization so you may want to have a very good look at all those settings to ensure you're not missing out. As a general rule here if it can affect one user group and not other then it is a user group setting.


    Yes, Phpfox has evolved into a complete Content Management System and yes, you can use it for far more than a social networking site. It has come to our knowledge that it has been used for mining data out of chess games in standard notation so imagine what you can accomplish with it!

    In order to help you take advantage of its CMS capabilities we put together a guide on how to create Controllers (pages) and Blocks (sections inside pages).

    Instant Messenger

    Phpfox does have a 1-on-1 chat, you need to enable the FooterBar (you do this from the AdminCP) for it to work, it uses the database to store and retrieve messages and this cannot be changed without editing the source code. There may be plugins that work differently, be sure to search our forums if you need special features in this area.