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Installing MODs the Right Way

Description: There's installing MODs then there's the right way of installing MODs. Read this article for the best way to install modifications on your board.

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[url=https://www.phpbb.com/support/docs/en/3.2/kb/article/installing-mods-the-right-way/]Knowledge Base - Installing MODs the Right Way[/url]

Installing MODs the Right Way

Hello.

There are other articles (like this one: How to Install MODs) that tell you how to install a MOD. This article won't cover that. This article will cover how to install MODs the right way. "What's the right way?" you ask. Good question. Let's look at the 8 steps of installing MODs the right way. ;)

The steps

  • Decide. This step may not seem significant, but it's very important. You need to decide if you really need this MOD. Sure, it may look cool and great to have, but do you really need it? You may ask, "Well, it's free, so why not?" The more MODs you install the greater the potential of them conflicting or making updates to phpBB harder. Generally, it's harder and takes more time to update a board with 20 MODs than it is with 10 MODs.
  • Look. Always look at the MOD before installing. If you don't download the MOD from phpBB.com (recommended), then does the author seem trustworthy? Does the MOD work with your version of phpBB? Some of the older MODs may be incompatible with the latest version of phpBB. Needless to say, you should only download and use MODs from the MODDB (Modifications Database) since they have been tested and have been given a brief security check.
  • Backup. This point can't be stressed enough. Make a full backup of all files and the database before installing any MOD! If something goes wrong, you will be glad to know you can fix it by restoring the backups.
  • Test. Before making the MOD available for your users, try to test it as much as possible preferably on a separate test forum or on your own computer. This helps insure that it works and your users won't encounter any unexpected errors that might confuse them.
  • Wait. I know, I know, this may be one of the hardest steps. You find all these great MODs and want to install all of them. DON'T. If you install them all at once (or even close together) it will make debugging (fixing errors) much, much harder. Does this error come from MOD 1 or MOD 2 or even MOD 3? Wait at least 24 hours or until you feel comfortable that the MOD works 100% before adding new MODs.
  • Remember. This may seem like a very obvious step, but you need to remember what MODs you installed. Yes, you may remember now but what about 6 months or a year from now? It may be hard to even remember the specific name of the MOD much less something minor like the version number. Always make a reminder of what MODs you installed. Here's a fast and easy way I recommend: create a new hidden forum on your board that only you can view and make a new topic for each MOD you install and use the guide below.
    Title: MOD's title here
    Version: version number
    Link: link to MOD
    Problems: any problems you had installing it
    Files changed: list of all the files that were changed
    SQL changes: list of any SQL changes made to the database
    Updated: have you updated it since originally installing it? If so what was the first version number you installed.
    Notes: any notes about the MOD

    Or if you don't want to do that, you can use a MOD to keep track of your MODs. MOD Tracker
  • Update. You update your OS. You update phpBB. You need to update your MODs too. Just like everything else, MODs can sometimes have bugs or security problems so you need to update them. If you use the reminder system I talked about above or the MOD Tracker MOD then you have this covered. Check the MODs weekly or so for updates.
  • Ask. To receive MOD support please visit our Customisations Database and post in the specific MOD's designated support area. The link to the support area for each released MOD is also available in the first post of each released MOD listed in the MOD Database Releases forum. Please don't ask for help in the phpBB Support or Discussion forums. The MOD author is the person that can help you the best.

I hope this article helped you. With a few easy steps you can enjoy MODs to the fullest!

Enjoy! :mrgreen:

[Edited by stevemaury on 1312209279 to remove reference to version 2.0.x and update method of receiving MOD support.]