Guildomatic Site FAQ and Tutorial

We've taken a shot at answering some of the most common questions for new and old guild site owners alike. If you don't see an answer to your question here, you can always post at http://support.guildomatic.com or contact customer service. You may also find ready answers to your questions by searching the support forums.

Getting Started

How do I get started configuring my new guild site with my guild name, membership roster, news, and making it look the way I want?

To kick things off, here's an overview of the common steps you'll want to go through to set up your site, with much more detail on them in the rest of this tutorial.

  1. Log in to your guild site with the user account you created when you registered your guild site to see the "Administrator Console" (also sometimes called the "admin console") and other important links you'll be using as you manage and work with your guild site. The login link is at the top-right of your guild site. If you forgot your password, you can request to reset it by visiting the login page and clicking "forgotten your password" at the bottom of the page. If you don't see the email with your password reset link, it could be getting filtered to your junk mailbox by your mail provider, so check there. If you still aren't getting it, feel free to contact us -- perhaps you made a typo when entering your email address on registration.
  2. Add your guild members via the "Member Add" tool in your "Administrator Console". For WoW guild sites, also see below on WoW-specific roster update tools.
  3. Configure your guild title, description, user registration mode, banner image, home page content modules and layout, and other details via the "Site Config" link and other links you'll see in the "Administrator Console".
  4. Configure your message forums, logging into the separate Forum Administration Console with the same login you used previously. With your roster up to date, your guild's ranks will be pre-populated in your forum's "groups" for use when assigning permissions to restrict forum access.
  5. Post a few news articles on your main guild site and some starting messages on your forums, and invite your guild members!

Notes for WoW Guilds on Roster Update

If you entered your guild name and WoW server correctly when you created your guild, your guild roster should be populated automatically for you via the WoW Armory.

If it's been a little while and your guild roster is still not populated with your guild members, it's possible that the Armory is unavailable or slow, so check back later. Also, make sure your guild name and WoW server are correct, as these have to be right in order for Guildomatic to pull your roster information from the Armory. You can review and make any changes as needed via the "Site Config" link in your Administrator Console.

As a fallback, and/or for advanced users, you can use the in-game Guildomatic module to capture your roster and upload it to your guild site:

  1. Download and install the Guildomatic in-game WoW module.
  2. Capture your guild roster with the in-game module and upload it to your guild site.

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Upgrading and Adding Services

How do I move to a paid subscription for ad-free service, or otherwise enable additional features? I love my Guildomatic guild site, but I want to be able to use things like the raid calendar, boss progression, and voice server status hover. Plus my guildies are convinced we should buy the noobornot.com domain name for our guild site, and our old Ventrilo server expired, so we need a new one. And I'm tired of accidentally clicking on the WoW Gold advertisements.

Log in to your main guild site and you will see a green "Account Status/Upgrade" link at the top of your Administrator Console. Click that link and you will see the available paid subscriptions and additional services. Both Basic and Pro paid subscriptions offer ad-free service. For more on feature comparisons, see our features page.

Currently, the Account Status/Upgrade page allows you to:

  • Upgrade a free site to Basic.
  • Upgrade a free site to Pro.
  • Upgrade a Basic site to Pro.
  • Add a Ventrilo voice server.
  • Add a custom domain you already own.
  • Add a custom domain you want us to buy and set up for you.

If you're looking to upgrade to a Pro subscription from Basic, the upgrade page will automatically show you the pro-rated cost to move your current subscription term to Pro.

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Guild Administrator Console

How do I find the Guild Administrator Console I hear everyone talking about?

There are actually two consoles. The main one most frequently talked about is accessible via your main guild site. Go to the front page (e.g., http://demo.guildomatic.com) and log in with the user account you entered when you created your guild site. That account is your main "administrator" or "guild site owner" account, with which you can enable other users to be assistant administrators.

At the top of the screen, once logged in, you'll see a link titled Administrator Console" which links to a page containing a table of links to the core administrator tools, such as "Site Config" or "News Add". This is the "main guild site" Administrator Console. You can bookmark this link to jump straight to it easily any time you want. Some users also like keeping it open in a separate tab or window to make it easy to perform common administrator tasks when working with their guild site.

There is another Forum-specific administrator console that provides functionality specific to managing your forums (as they're an entire tool within themselves). If you visit your main forums page (e.g., http://demo.guildomatic.com/forums) and log in with your administrator account, at the bottom of the page you will see a small link titled "Go to Administration Panel". If you click it you will have to log in again with your administrator account (for extra security), and you will then be looking at what is called the "Forums Administration Panel". This is where you can configure forum permissions, tweak the look and feel of your forum site, and so forth.

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Navigational Crumb

What is the Navigational Crumb?

The Navigational Crumb is the row of links at the top of your guild pages. You'll see a row of links called "Home", "Forums", etc. This is your navigational crumb.

You can add more links to your navigational crumb via your "Site Config" page in your guild Administrator Console. For example, if you created a custom blank page called "Guild Rules", you can add a link to the page there.

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Blank Pages

How do I create a blank page for my site, enter whatever content I want, and then link to it from somewhere else on my site?

Log in with your administrator account and click the "Guild Pages" link in your Administrator Console. You can create a new page here. Each page has a name, title, and body content. You can enter text in BBCode or HTML.

Once you've created the page, you'll see it listed in your list of pages under the "Guild Pages" page. If you want to then add a link to it from somewhere on your site (i.e., a News post, or in your Links section, or even the navigation Crumb or Guild Description) just use BBCode like [page]MyPageName[/page] and it will turn that into a link to your page, with the title of the page as the text.

So, for instance, if you create a page named "GuildRules" with the title "Important Guild Rules", and a big long list of ten rules as the content, you can then link to it with [page]GuildRules[/page] which will turn into a link titled Important Guild Rules.

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Guild News Pages

How can I add news to my guild homepage? How do I edit or delete news?

Log in with your administrator account and click the "News Add" link in your Administrator Console. From there you can add news. Each news post has title and body content. You can enter text in BBCode or HTML.

You can edit or delete news from the "News" page linked to from your guild site's Navigational Crumb. If you're logged in with your administrator account, you'll see an "Edit" & "Delete" link underneath each news post.

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Granting Specific Administrator Permissions

How do I grant administrator permissions for specific guild site features (like news posting, forums, raid calendar, etc.) to my guild members?

Log in to your main guild site as the owner. Click the "Administrator Console" link at top of page. Click the "User Management" link in your Administrator Console. Find the user, click the "+" next to their name, and then click their "Edit Permissions" link. You can then enable or disable whichever features you want them to be able to administer on your site.

For easier ongoing management, once a user has at least one administrator flag set, they will appear in the user list on the "Manage Permissions" page (also linked to in your Administrator Console). Note that the site owner always has all permissions.

Here is an explanations of the powers granted by each of the badge slots you'll see in the permissions pages:

  • Boss Progression: Allow adding, editing, and deleting boss progression kill entries.
  • DKP: Allow adding, editing and deleting Raids, Raid Items, DKP Adjustments, and Raid Snapshot Events. Allow modifying the DKP settings. Will also allow downloading the guild's static DKP data file even if DKP data is set to private and the user has no associated member.
  • File Hosting: Allow adding, editing, and deleting hosted files.
  • Forums: Allow forum administrator access to manage all aspects of the message forums.
  • Guild Applications: Allow configuring guild application settings, viewing submitted applications, replying to applications, and deleting applications.
  • News: Allow adding, editing and deleting guild news.
  • Pages: Allow adding, editing, and deleting custom "blank" pages.
  • Raid Calendar: Allow adding, editing, and deleting raid calendar events. Note that the assigned Raid Leader for a particular calendar event is given limited administrator-like access over that single event -- they can edit, modify signup status, and delete just that one event.
  • Roster: Allow adding, editing, and deleting members from the roster. Allow modifying the Roster configuration settings. Allow using the "Roster Update" page to upload a manual roster snapshot or to request a roster update via the WoW Armory. Allow clearing/resetting the roster. Allow using the auto-upload roster data upload functionality intended for use with Uniuploader (as described further in the Guildomatic In-Game Module documentation).
  • Site Config: Allow modifying the overall guild site configuration settings seen in the "Site Config" page from your guild Administrator Console. Allows adding, editing, removing home page content modules and custom home page content modules. Allows changing the overall guild site theme configuration and upgrading the guild site theme version. These tools have important and far-reaching impacts as they affect things like user activation mode, your overall guild theme, your guild site language encoding, date format, and so forth, therefore this level of permission should rarely be given to anyone other than the guild site owner.
  • User Management: Allow managing users via the "User Management" tool in the guild Administrator Console, which in turn allows doing things like viewing all users (regardless of whether they are active and/or banned), banning, unbanning, activating, deactivating, and deleting users. You should be very cautious about giving out this level of administrator control to your users. Also allows managing the "alternate" member links to your guild's main member characters via the "Alt Management" page in the guild Administrator Console.
  • Voice Server: Allows using the "Ventrilo Settings" page in the guild Administrator Console to manage the voice server optionally displayed on your home page. Allows managing the settings of your Guildomatic-purchased Ventrilo server, if any, via the same page.
Keep in mind that there are a set of important guild tools that are limited to the guild site owner account and cannot be granted via administrator permissions, such as the administrator permissions page itself; modifying a guild's custom domain; and the like. These tools are all grouped in the "Owner" section of your guild Administrator Console and are visible when you log in with your site owner user account.

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General File Hosting

How do I upload files (such as images, video, audio, spreadsheets, Flash files, and the like) to my guild site and then link to them?

If you have a paid subscription (either Basic or Pro), you have access to a "Hosted Files" feature that will allow you to upload files to your guild site. Once uploaded, you will get a link to the file that you can use to reference that file from places like your guild site news, forum posts, and so forth.

To access the hosted files feature, log in to your main guild site as the owner or an administrator with file hosting permissions enabled. Click the "Hosted Files" link in your Administrator Console. From there you can add a new file, edit or delete existing files, comment on files, and obtain links to your files.

The maximum size permitted for an individual hosted file is currently 256 MB. If you have need to upload something larger (for instance, a gigantic video you're convinced will rule the world), you may want to consider a more specialized service such as one of the various video hosting sites out there.

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Guild Banks

How do I add support for my favorite guild bank module or add-on?

Blizzard has recently released in-game support for Guild Banks. We are in the process of reviewing their implementation and determining the best way to add support for bank information to our guild web sites. We know this is a hot topic for many guilds, as tracking bank items can be tedious and yet is of great import for getting guildies geared up properly for successful raiding. We want to get something solid in place here as soon as we can.

In the meantime, there are a variety of third-party guild bank modules and systems out there, many of which will output HTML or other data summarizing the state of your bank which you can easily copy periodically into one of our blank pages. As a reminder, you can access the blank page feature by clicking the "Guild Pages" link in your guild Administrator Console.

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Transfer Guild Ownership

How do I transfer my ownership of the guild to a different user? I have to take a break from the game and want to make sure my site can continue, but need someone else to assume payments and/or general site management.

You can transfer your guild site ownership by logging in with the guild owner account and using the "Transfer Ownership" page, linked to from the "Owner Only" section of the Administrator Console.

If you have any issues with this or other questions, contact customer service letting us know:

  • your guild site url
  • the username of the user to whom you'd like to transfer ownership

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Deleting a Guild Site

How do I delete my guild site? My guild has disbanded or merged with another guild or become overrun with leprous gnomes and we simply can't go on.

We're sorry to see you go! But we know many unforeseen circumstances can befall a guild. You can delete your guild site by logging in with the guild owner account and using the "Delete Guild" page, linked to from the "Owner Only" section of the Administrator Console.

If you have any issues with this or other questions, contact customer service letting us know:

  • your guild site url
  • clearly stating your desire to cancel your guild site services and delete the guild site

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Guildomatic API Documentation

Does Guildomatic have an API so that I can write scripts to grab my guild data or interface my site with other systems?

We do indeed! We have an early initial release of an API allowing programmatic access to much of your guild's data via XML over HTTP. See the detailed API documentation for more information.

The API is very much a work in progress, and we plan to evolve it based largely on user feedback, so be sure to let us know what you think on our support forums.

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Forum Themes

How do I change my guild forum theme?

Visit your main forums page and log in with your administrator account. Click the link titled "Go to Administration Panel" at the bottom of the page. Click the "Configuration" link on the left under the "General Admin" section. Choose the theme you'd like to try from the "Default Style" menu in the main page frame. Scroll down and click the "Submit" button.

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New Forum Themes

How do I request a new forum theme?

You can find a variety of different phpBB templates at these locations as an example:

Try doing a Google search for "phpBB templates" if you can't find something there that you like.

Once you find a theme you like, post your desire for the theme on our support forums here.

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Specific Rank-Based Forum Permissions

How do I configure my guild's forum permissions so that only guild officers can see the officer forums?

First, create the forum if you haven't already. You can do this through the Administration Panel in the forums, using the Forums Management link. After creating the forum, go to Forums Permissions and select the forum. In simple mode, you will have a list of selections. Here's what they mean:

  • Registered - Only registered users can read/post
  • Registered [Hidden] - Only registered users can see this forum
  • Private - Only certain groups can read/post, but everyone can see these forums
  • Private [Hidden] - Only certain groups can see and access this forum
  • Moderators - Only moderators can read/post
  • Moderators [Hidden] - Only moderators can see this forum
If you want to be able to configure permissions for a forum so that only specific groups have access, you need to choose one of the "Private" variants. Let's choose "Private [Hidden]", and we'll aim to set it up so that only the Officer group can see the forum and read/post there. NOTE: If you leave it at "Registered", you won't see the list of groups available when you go to change the forum permissions later on in these instructions.

Before the next few steps, make sure your roster on the guild site is up to date.

Now you can go to Group Admin => Permissions and select the guild group you want to modify privileges. In the next screen, you can update which forums this group has access to and which forum group members have moderator privileges.

Now, any time you update your guild roster, the folks automatically added to the "Officer" group will have access to the new forum and those removed from the group will no longer see that forum.

IMPORTANT: Your guild administrator(s) with forum administrator permissions automatically have access to any forums you create.

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Custom Group Forum Permissions

How do I configure my guild's forum permissions to allow specific users to access specific forums? I know about the rank-based forum permissions but I want to do my own thing or be more specific.

The way you're supposed to do this in phpBB-based forums is to first create groups. Login to the forums Administration Panel, go to the Group Admin section, and click on "Management." Click the "Create new group" button. Name and describe your group and pick the appropriate setting for your group, ie. closed, open or hidden.

  • closed group - only the moderator can add people to the group
  • open group - anyone can join the group
  • hidden group - only the moderator can add people to the group and only the moderator and members can see the group
Next, make sure you have the forums you want to have access controlled set to "Private" or "Private [hidden]". You can do this by going to Forum Admin => Permissions. Setting it to Private means only group members have access to the forum, but the forum itself is actually visible on the forum main page. Private [hidden] is the same except the forum can only be seen by group members.

After you've gotten your group created and the forums set to the right permissions level, you would go to Group Admin => Permissions and select the group you just created. Select the group and you should see a menu of forums you have and the permissions level that group has for that particular forum. Here you would determine which forums this group is allowed access and which forums they're a moderator.

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Automatic Rank-Based Permissions

This forum permissions stuff can get pretty complicated. How do I simplify my life and set things up so that my forums are configured to allow, for instance, "lowbie and up" to read the members forums, or "Officer and up" to read the officer forums, and when I update my roster all users get the right permissions for the right forums automatically?

First, make sure you've read the "Specific Rank-Based Forum Permissions" and "Custom Group Forum Permissions" sections above.

Now that you have that background, if you want to make things easier for managing forums, you can have the ranks in your guild drive some of your forum permissions. First, make sure your roster is updated with everyone in your guild, including their rank.

Let's say you wanted everyone in your guild that has "Officer" rank to automatically get access to an Officer only forums. You would go ahead and create the forum and set it to "Private [hidden]". Since you have your roster updated already, when you go to Group Admin => Permissions, you will automatically see all the guild ranks as if you had already created those groups. You would then set the permissions for the Officer rank appropriately and voila, you're done.

Now the cool thing here when you have your guild rank drive your permissions, if you promote someone to Officer rank and you update the roster on your site, that new Officer will automatically get access to any forums that the Officer group has. And likewise if they're demoted, they will lose access accordingly. This way you don't have to worry so much about who's in what usergroup on your forums and instead you just need to make sure your roster is updated.

The same procedure described above for making forums Officer-only will work with your other ranks, such as Member, Lowbie, Peon, and what have you.

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Changing Usernames

How do I change my login username for my guild site and forums?

If you do not have administrator permissions to your guild site's forums, you will need to ask your guild site administrator to do the steps below in order to change your username for your guild site and forums.

  1. As a site admin, login to your guild site.
  2. Go to the User Management page in your guild site's Administrator Console.
  3. On the User Management page, click the current username you wish to change.
  4. On the following page, you'll be able to update their username.

NOTE: Doing this changes the username for both the guild site and forums.

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Change Your Password

How do I change my login password for my guild site and forums?

Go to your guild site forums and click the "User Control Panel" or "UCP" link at the top navigation bar. Next, click the "Profile" link in the list of options. Then, click "Edit account settings". You can change your password on the following page.

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Updating Your Account Email Address

How do I update my email address associated with my user account?

You can update your account email address via your forums user Profile page. Once you're logged into the forums, you should see a "Profile" link appear in your forum navigation bar.

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"Authentication Failed."

I get an "Authentication Failed." error message when I try to login to my guild site. What's going on?

Here's what we suggest if you're seeing the "Authentication Failed." notice when trying to login to your guild site:

  • Make sure the user account you registered via the guild site has been activated. After registering a user account, you should receive an e-mail shortly with information on how to activate your user account. If you haven't received the e-mail, check your e-mail account's SPAM folder to see if the e-mail ended up there.
  • Reset your password. On the guild site login page, click the "forgotten your password" link and enter in your username on the following page. You'll receive an e-mail shortly with a link to reset your password.
  • Clear your web-browser cache and cookies. Then reload your guild site in your web-browser and try logging in again.
  • If the suggestions above didn't help you, have your guild site admin contact customer service. Have your site admin provide the username for the person having the issue.

Deleting Users

How do I delete a user from my site/forums?

Users can be deleted via the User Management page in your guild site's Administrator Console. In the User Management page, mark the checkbox next to the user(s) you wish to delete. At the bottom of the page, select the "Delete" action from the drop-down menu and then click "Submit". Doing this will also delete the forum user as well.

Note: Only site administrators with admin access to the User Management page can do this.

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Guildomatic In-Game Module

How do I install the Guildomatic In-Game WoW Module that I'm supposed to use to capture roster data, take snapshots, run item auctions, and so forth?

See the more detailed Guildomatic Module Documentation. It will walk you through where to install the module, where the data files are placed on your hard drive, and so forth.

Common issues people have, to highlight here:

  • Make sure you quit WoW before looking for and uploading the data files. The data isn't always written to disk until WoW exits.
  • If you are running Windows Vista, make sure you right-click the main WoW application and check the "Run as Administrator" checkbox in the Properties dialog.
  • Another Windows Vista potential issue: you may need to "un-block" the data files. In Vista, when you unzip downloaded files, the files have a block added for security. To bypass this, open the folder where the module was installed. Right click each file in the folder and open the properties dialog box. At the bottom of the general tab is an option to unblock a file. Unblock and apply changes to each of the files.
  • With Windows Vista's new "User Account Control" (UAC) security system, the data files may reside elsewhere on your hard disk than noted in our documentation. Check alternate location as:
    C:\Users\<your user name>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\
      Program Files\World of Warcraft\WTF\Account\
      <your account name>\SavedVariables\Guildomatic.lua
    
    You may also have to turn on the ability to view hidden files as the AppData folder may be hidden. Click the "Start/Windows" button, select "Control Panel", "Appearance and Personalization", "Folder Options". Next click on the "View" tab, under the "Advanced Settings", click "Show hidden files and folders", and click "OK" to finish.
  • If you'd like to disable the Windows Vista "User Account Control" (UAC) feature that causes so many permissions issues for WoW and other applications at your own risk, you can follow these steps (thanks to Tommiuss):
    1. Click the Start menu.
    2. Type in "msconfig"
    3. Click on the "Tools" tab.
    4. Search down the list and find "Disable UAC".
    5. Highlight it and click Launch.
    Restart your computer and you should no longer have problems with file permissions, files not being created when they should be, and so forth. This basically restores your computer's permissions management to the structure used by Windows XP.
  • Note that all data, including roster data, item auctions, raid snapshots, etc. is contained in the single data file called Guildomatic.lua. There is no separate file for roster data — it's all-in-one.
  • If you are getting errors in-game or trying to upload your data file, it's possible that the data file is corrupted. Try moving aside or deleting your Guildomatic.lua file. The in-game module will automatically create a fresh data file.

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Roster Armory Update

How does the built-in roster update via the World of Warcraft Armory work?

Blizzard's World of Warcraft Armory (EU) provides, among many other things, a view into your guild's recent roster information. Guildomatic allows you to pull this information into your guild site on an ongoing basis to automatically keep your guild membership roster up to date with what happens in-game. This saves you from the workload of manually taking roster snapshots and uploading the data file to your web site. In general, if you have Armory updates enabled, Guildomatic will aim to update your guild's info on a daily basis. However, it can take longer depending on Blizzard site availability and data refresh rate.

The Armory site provides info on your guild roster (member name, level, race, class, gender, and rank number) but it does not include the names of your member ranks, and can be up to several days or more out of date with respect to guild membership info.

For advanced users (or for the extremely detail-oriented among us), the in-game Guildomatic module offers a roster snapshot feature which gathers the absolute latest membership info and your actual rank names. However, the in-game roster snapshot does not include race, class, or gender information as that is not available to the module via the World of Warcraft in-game programming interface.

As a guild site owner with Guildomatic, you are free to use either or both of these methods to update your guild roster. Since most guilds will want to see their race, class and gender info, even if you are using the in-game roster snapshot method, you can always manually request a "partial" Armory update (more on this below) to pull in the latest additional info on each character. You can also edit your rank names manually (which are then actually applied on the next full armory update) via the Roster Config page, or on each individual member's page.

All new Guildomatic guilds will receive a one-time initial automatic Armory roster update, and will default to receiving full Armory roster updates on a periodic basis, but you can change this setting via the Roster Config page.

On the Roster Config page there are three modes available for Armory updates:

  1. Enabled: Update your entire roster (member name, rank, level, class, gender and race) automatically on an ongoing basis.
  2. Partial: Update non-critical information (level, class, gender and race) automatically on an ongoing basis, but don't add or remove members, or update ranks or rank names, from the Armory. Some guild site owners prefer this as they want more precision over things like active members and ranks as they tie to things like forum permissions and places where security can matter, and the Armory can sometimes be unavailable or have stale data, whereas manually uploading roster data from an in-game module snapshot will always offer improved accuracy.
  3. Disabled: Turns off all automatic armory roster updates. All of your roster data (member names, ranks, level, class, gender, and race) will only be updated when you either upload a manual roster data snapshot or manually request an armory update via the Roster Update page.

If you use the Enabled or Partial modes, make sure to review and configure your roster rank names in the Roster Update page as the Armory does not provide this information automatically. If you upload roster data obtained from the Guildomatic in-game module, your latest rank names will be stored and your next Armory update will apply those rank names to your members.

Note: automatic ongoing armory roster updates are only available to guilds with a paid subscription. You can set your update mode to whatever you like, but the nightly server-side processor that fires off your armory request will only execute if you have a paid subscription.

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Roster Upload

How do I upload or update my membership roster?

You can use the Armory Roster Update method, which will automatically pull in your roster information from the World of Warcraft Armory site on an ongoing basis. This is the easiest and requires minimal effort from you, but may not be as precise or accurate and you'll need to either manually enter your rank names, or also do a manual roster snapshot and upload via the Guildomatic in-game module, to get your rank names filled in correctly.

The ongoing automatic nightly Armory roster updates will only execute for guilds with a paid subscription. However, all guilds can use the manual request WoW Armory "Full Update" or "Partial Update" buttons on the "Roster Update" page to request a single Armory update.

Using the Guildomatic in-game module is more advanced as it requires downloading and installing the module, running it in-game, and then uploading the resulting data file to your guild site. More on the rough outline:

  • Download and install the Guildomatic Module.
  • Run WoW, log in as your character, and once the Guildomatic window is showing click "Record Roster" or type "/gt roster". If the Guildomatic window isn't visible, click the Guildomatic mini-icon (small gear) in your mini-map, or type "/gt window" to display it.
  • Quit WoW, visit your guild site logged in with your administrator account, click "Roster Update" in your Administrator Console, and select the Guildomatic.lua file per the Guildomatic Module Documentation.
The Roster page will show the last date/time the roster was updated, and which user performed the update. Every time you upload a new roster new members not previously seen will be added, and members that are no longer in your guild will be automatically deactivated.

Note that the users can log in to your guild site even if their member is no longer active in the guild. If you want to prevent the user from logging in, you'll also need to deactivate or delete their user account via the "User Management" page in your guild Administrator Console.

It's possible to set up a tool called Uniuploader to automatically upload your roster data file to your guild site on a regular basis. More on this is available in the relevant Guildomatic Module documentation.

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Alternate Member Linking

How do I link alternate members to a user's main member? I have guild members who have alternate members they play with occasionally, and I want them to be able to sign up for raid calendar events with their alternate member. I might also want their DKP to "flow" up to their main member. And I don't want them to have to log out and log in again whenever they want to use one of their other characters.

The site owner, and any site administrator with User Management permissions, can link guild alternate members to their main member via the "Alt Management" link in the guild Administrator Console.

Once a member is linked to a main, the "show member" page for a main will include a list of their alternate members; and for an alternate, will include a link to their main. When a user is logged in, they will have a drop-down when signing up for a raid calendar event allowing them to choose which of their members they'd like to sign up as.

If you'd like to have DKP automatically "flow", or roll up, from your alternate members up to the main member accounts, you can use the "DKP Settings" configuration page in your guild Administrator Console, and check the "DKP from Alts to Main" checkbox. With DKP set to flow from alternates to the main, viewing the "show member" page for an alternate member will still show all of their historical item loot, raids, and dkp. Viewing the "show member" page for the main member will roll up all alternate member DKP into the main's page. And viewing the top-level guild DKP page or by-class DKP pages will show DKP rolled up to the main member. Note that DKP data is always kept internally linked to the actual member who received it; so if you later uncheck this box, all historical DKP will "de-flow" from the main, and go back to the originating member.

In order for a member to be available for linking, they must not already be linked to an existing registered user. For instance, if in the past you had alternate members actually register a separate user account so that they could sign up for calendar events, you'll need to delete (through the User Management page) those old alternate users in order to "free up" the alternate member for linking to the main member's user account. Note that deleting the user will not delete their associated member-based raid data (raids attended, loot received, dkp received, etc.). The Guildomatic system intentionally separates the User record (which is what you can ban, deactivate, or delete via the User Management administrator page) from the Member and their associated data.

We will soon be adding support for users to request alt-member links themselves, and for the owner/administrators to approve those requests, to make ongoing management of this functionality even easier.

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Text Formatting

How do I format text for my guild site, news posts, and blank pages? I see a lot of stuff about BBCode and HTML but I'm not sure what it all means.

When you post something on your guild site, or in the forums, you write a bunch of text. Aside from the words, you'll end up wanting to spend time occasionally doing things like:

  • embedding a video or image
  • making your text larger, or smaller
  • making your text a different color
and so forth. At their core, BBCode and HTML are just different ways to lay out and format your text. You don't need to use them, but chances are you'll end up wanting to use them sooner or later. Our guild sites let you use either to format most of the text you might post, including things like your guild description, links sidebar, news posts, and blank pages. Just choose the appropriate "content type" from the menu next to the text box you're filling out, and then mark up your text with the appropriate formatting commands for the chosen content type.

BBCode is a well-known simple text formatting language, used by the phpBB message forums we've built upon, as well as many other systems out and about. We've added some of our own extensions to it. You can read more about it and view a bunch of examples at our BBCode page.

For those who have prior experience with it or are up for learning, HTML is essentially the raw underpinning of most of the web pages you see today. There are plenty of resources on the web and local bookshelves on HTML, so we'll leave further information on this as an exercise for the reader.

NOTE: Our "custom" extensions to BBCode also work in your HTML text, so that you can still use things like [item]Carrot on a Stick[/item] or [youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=61VSkYLragA[/youtube] to easily embed otherwise complicated things into your posts.

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Guild Banner and Navigation Images and Animations

How do I create a custom banner or navigation toolbar image or Flash animation for my guild?

You'll typically want to use an image editor such as MS Paint, Photoshop, or Gimp. Here is one list of free image editors. You can then put together a banner that looks however you'd like, piecing together images you gather from elsewhere and typing whatever text you'd like.

There are also some third-party tools and services that may be of interest:

If you're looking to change your navigation crumb links so that they're embedded within your banner image, you are likely going to want to take a look at using Image Maps (more at the W3C).

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Custom Stylesheet

How do I use the "Custom Stylesheet" feature under Site Configuration in my Administrator Console to customize the look and feel of my guild site?

The custom stylesheet feature allows you to write your own CSS file and upload it to your guild site to modify the look and feel of the theme you've selected for your site. CSS is a broad topic and there are some great books written on it — we like Bulletproof Web Design and CSS Mastery. Some key web browser development tools you may also want to check out:

If you are just looking to make some very simple changes to your guild layout, you may be able to do what you want with the "Theme Configuration" page (available via your guild Administrator Console if you have "Site Config" administrator permissions) which allows setting things like page width and alignment, font size, a background image, and so forth without having to know anything about CSS or programming.

To jump back to the custom stylesheet, the general idea is that your CSS stylesheet definitions will be executed after the base guild site CSS and theme-specific CSS, thereby either overriding or adding to any previous definitions.

Some common examples of things you can do:

  • Change your guild site to align things to the left rather than centering everything.
  • Change the width of your main guild home page left and right columns.
  • Change the overall width of your main guild home page.
  • Change the font and font size for your guild pages.
  • Add a background image to your guild pages.
  • Change the color, background, borders, and most anything else of your site layout.
Let's walk through each one of these in more detail, but first we'll cover some background on how to see the existing stylesheets and what DOM elements are available for you to reference via your stylesheet.

If you visit your guild home page (such as http://demo.guildomatic.com) and view the page HTML source via:

  • Firefox: select "Page Source" from the "View" menu.
  • Safari: select "View Source" from the "View" menu.
  • Internet Explorer: select "Source" from the "View" menu.
you'll be looking at the HTML for your guild home page. At the top you'll see something like the following under the HEAD section:
  <link href="/stylesheets/wow_item.css?1181839255" 
    media="screen" rel="Stylesheet" type="text/css" />
  <link href="/stylesheets/guild-global.css?1185427271"
    media="screen" rel="Stylesheet" type="text/css" />
  <link href="/stylesheets/themes/2/monobook.css?1185432238"
    media="screen" rel="Stylesheet" type="text/css" />
    <link href="/stylesheets/ventrilo.css?1181839255"
    media="screen" rel="Stylesheet" type="text/css" />
  <link href="http://s.guildomatic.com/2/stylesheets/custom.css?1185769755"
    media="screen" rel="Stylesheet" type="text/css" />

Here's a summary of what each of these is:

  • wow_item.css: defines layout of the WoW item hovers.
  • guild-global.css: defines the bulk of the guild site page layout, borders, and look and feel.
  • monobook.css: the CSS file for the currently-selected theme, which (for the built-in themes) will usually do something fairly simple like override the text or background colors. If you have a different theme selected, you'll see that theme's stylesheet here instead, such as black.css for the "Classic Black" theme.
  • ventrilo.css: defines Ventrilo voice hover layout.
  • custom.css: your uploaded custom stylesheet, if any. Our system will always rename your stylesheet file to custom.css.
You can actually view these files by pasting their link into your browser, prepending them with your domain. So, to view the "Monobook" theme, you would visit:
http://demo.guildomatic.com/stylesheets/themes/2/monobook.css

Looking at an existing theme's stylesheet can be useful as a starting point for customizing to suit your needs, although keep in mind that since your stylesheet will extend or modify the base theme stylesheet, you only need to include your desired changes and needn't re-specify everything already in the base theme stylesheet.

The other main item of interest will be the HTML itself, where you can see what DOM ids or classes exist for you to customize. Most of these will become apparent if you review the guild-global.css or theme-specific stylesheets described above, but seeing the ids or classes in-page can also help you to see which ones are relevant for what you're trying to do.

Let's say you wanted to change the background color of the label text in your Guild Info content module on your home page. If you go back to the HTML page source for your guild home page and search on your server name as displayed in that module (for our example, it's Uldum) you'll find something like:

  <table id="guildInfoNib">
    <tr><th class="title" colspan="2">Guild Info</th></tr>
    <tr><td class="label">Server</td><td>Uldum</td></tr>
    <tr><td class="label">Members</td><td>55</td></tr>
    <tr><td class="label">Founded</td><td>04/27/2005</td></tr>
  </table>
So, you can change the label table cell background color by referencing the guildInfoNib id, and if you put something like:
  #guildMain table#guildInfoNib td.label {
    background-color: #00FF00;  /* or 'green', or 'purple', or what have you. */
  }
in your custom stylesheet, you should be good to go. Note that it's important you specify the path to the element like this to ensure appropriate specificity and so extension of other definitions. For instance, here we looked at how it's modified in monobook.css where we see:
  #guildMain table#guildInfoNib td.label {
    background-color: #202A2C;
  }
If, for instance, we used #guildMain #guildInfoNib td.label and didn't specify table#guildInfoNib, we wouldn't succeed in overriding what monobook specifies since table#guildInfoNib is more specific. The CSS books referenced earlier have much more information on how specificity and extension operates in CSS. A general rule is, if you're unsure, look at what the existing CSS or HTML is doing and imitate it yourself as closely as possible.

As we continue to develop the Guildomatic site hosting platform, we may add, rename, or delete certain DOM ids or classes, or otherwise change the base CSS stylesheets. This should be infrequent and we will endeavor to provide migration notes and keep our community informed, but it's worth being aware that your custom stylesheet may need to be updated periodically in order to stay current with the latest features and layout of the base Guildomatic site.

With all of that under our belt, let's revisit the common changes you might want to make that we listed above and give example CSS you can use to effect those changes.

Change your guild site to align things to the left rather than centering everything

Take a look at the monobook.css stylesheet which centers everything by default and you'll see:

  table#root_table {
    background-color: #333;
    border: 1px solid #aaaaaa;
    margin: 10px auto 20px auto;
    padding: 5px;
    width: 700px;
  }
If we change just the margins portion by adding to our custom stylesheet:
  table#root_table {
    margin: 10px 0 10px 0;
  }
We will see our page content now left-aligned (since that's the alignment specified in the root CSS body tag elsewhere in the stylesheet). This is because we have removed the auto for the left/right margins, and replaced it with 0.

Change the width of your main guild home page left and right columns

Try this out in your custom stylesheet to get sizing more targeted at a screen resolution of 1024 pixels (below assumes you are using a two-column layout, if you have a three-column layout you'll need to reference column_2 as well and change widths as desired):

  div#guildMain table tr td#column_0 {
    width: 275px;
  }

  div#guildMain table tr td#column_1 {
    width: 700px;
  }

Change the overall width of your main guild home page

In addition to changing the main home page column widths, some themes constrain the main page to 700 pixels in width. You can see this in monobook.css, for instance, as:

  table#root_table {
    background-color: #333;
    border: 1px solid #aaaaaa;
    margin: 10px auto 20px auto;
    padding: 5px;
    width: 700px;
  }

So, our custom stylesheet to change the overall page width might look like:

  /* first change the left and right home page column widths */
  div#guildMain table tr td#column_0 {
    width: 275px;
  }

  div#guildMain table tr td#column_1 {
    width: 700px;
  }

  /* now change the root table width */
  table#root_table {
    width: 1000px;
  }
Try it out on your guild site!

Change the font and font size for your guild pages

Take a look at the guild-global.css and you'll see:

  body, td {
    font-family: "Lucida Grande", Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 10px;
  }

  form textarea {
    font-size: 100%;
    font-family: "Lucida Grande", Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
  }
These are the only two font-family definitions in the stylesheets, and they're inherited by all of the other elements on the page. So if we change them, for instance, via:
  body, td {
    font-family: Times, serif;
    font-size: 14px;
  }

  form textarea {
    font-family: Times, serif;
  }
You'll have changed your guild site to use the Times font (falling back to the browser-generic serif font), and increased the base font size to 14 pixels from 10. That's all there is to it!

Add a background image to your guild pages

One easy way to make your guild site look far more customized and spiffy is to add a background image to be displayed behind your main guild page. You can do this via something like:

  body {
    /* optional, to remove any existing background image, like 
       monobook's gray tiling */
    background-image: none;
  }

  div#root {
    background-image:
      url(http://worldofwarcraft.com/new-hp/images/burningcrusade/page-bg.jpg);
    background-repeat: repeat-x;
    background-position: left top;
  }
which will tile the linked image horizontally across the top of your page. You can easily modify the background-repeat and background-position to get dramatically different effects.

Note that you can use this general background-image technique to place background images behind anything definable in CSS. So you could in theory use images behind your table cells, headers, forms, etc. Just look up the appropriate CSS id or class and experiment with setting a background image, tiling as desired, and so forth. There is much more info on setting up background images with CSS at W3Schools.

Change the color, background, borders, and most anything else of your site layout

This is essentially the same as the font and font size example described above. We're really just pointing out that these are other items you can modify through CSS. In monobook.css you can see that all links are set to default to showing as orange when clicked (or active) via:

  a:active {
    color: orange;
  }
If you'd rather they be green, have at it! Want your common main table cells to have a purple dotted border, and the table headers top/bottom-ed in red? Try:
  table.data td {
    border: 1px dotted purple;
  }

  table.data th {
    border-bottom: 1px solid red;
    border-top: 1px solid red;
  }
A note on this last example: this will modify most all tables in your guild site (check out the "Roster" page after making the above edit, for instance), but not those on the main home page. To modify those you need to override the specific definitions within each content module (remember that talk on "specificity" above?). So to make the same change above for your voice server content module, you'd look at guild-global.css and see:
  div#guildMain div.voiceServerNib td {
    border: 1px solid black;
    padding: 2px;
    vertical-align: bottom;
  }
and then in your stylesheet you'd put:
  div#guildMain div.voiceServerNib td {
    border: 1px dotted purple;
  }
This may seem annoying, but the idea is that it allows the base stylesheet to specify each of the content modules on the home page separately, and gives you the flexibility to change how just one of them looks without changing all of the others at the same time.

CSS is extremely powerful, but can sometimes be tricky. Fortunately there are many other guild site owners and our support staff ready to help you out. Feel free to visit our support forums to ask questions or seek assistance. And if you make a theme you're particularly proud of, let us know on the forums and we'd love to consider making it a new "default theme" listed in the menu and available for other guilds to select.

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Home Page Layout Broken

My home page layout is broken — I modified the banner, or the navigation crumb, or both, and now everything is broken and I can't even get to the main pages of my guild site.

The Guildomatic guild sites provide you with the flexibility to customize your banner and navigation crumb with full HTML. Per Uncle Ben, "Remember, with great power comes great responsibility." It's possible that you'll find at some point you enter incorrect HTML into one of these fields in your site configuration page, after which you can't even find a link back to the config page to fix or otherwise reset your site to its previous state.

To safeguard against this, the one page on your guild site that does not display the banner and customized navigation crumb is your main site configuration page, where these things are specified. One of the first things you should do is bookmark this page. If you've lost the bookmark, you can always get to the page by adding /admin after your guild url.

So, if your guild site is

http://myguild.guildomatic.com

your site configuration page is located at

http://myguild.guildomatic.com/admin

Once you're back there, you can reset your navigation crumb, or modify your crumb or banner contents. Think of it as a failsafe page where you can always fix things should they get into a bad state somehow.

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Custom Home Page Content Module

How do I add a blank content module to my home page? I just want to embed a third-party widget, or write some of my own text, and I want it to show in a box separate from everything else on the page.

Using your guild site owner account or a user account with "Site Config" administrator permissions, visit the "Home Page Layout" link in your administrator console. Click the "Custom Modules" link at the top of that page. This will list all of your current custom content modules, and let you create a new one, edit an existing one, or delete an existing one.

Once you've created a custom content module, it will then appear in the list of available modules to add to your left or right page column, in the "Home Page Layout" page. You can tell a custom module from a Guildomatic-provided default module in the layout page module lists because it will have an asterisk ('*') after its name.

Let's walk through an example. Say you want to create a new content module on your home page that lists your favorite ice cream flavors. The steps are:

  1. Click on the "Home Page Layout" link.
  2. Click on the "Custom Modules" link at top of page.
  3. Click the "New Module" link at top of page.
  4. Enter "Ice Cream Flavors" in both the Layout Title field and the Title field.
  5. Enter the following in the Content field:
    [list]
    [*]Chocolate
    [*]Vanilla
    [/list]
    
  6. Click the "Create" button.
  7. Click the "Manage Layout" link at top of page, or "Home Page Layout" in the administrator console, to go back to the main module layout page.
  8. Add the "Ice Cream Flavors" module to the right column by selecting it in the bottom list and clicking "Add Right".
  9. Go to your guild home page and check out the new "Ice Cream Flavors" list at the bottom of your guild home page, in its own box with the title you entered.

If you are pasting in a third-party HTML or Javascript based widget (like, a shoutbox, or a music widget, or video) you will need to make sure you change the Content Type when you create the module to "HTML" from "BBCode".

If you then want to be able to further customize the look of your widget with CSS, you can set the optional DOM id on the widget when you create it. If for instance we had entered "iceCreamNib" in the DOM id field when we created the ice cream widget, then we can add the following to our custom CSS stylesheet that we upload for our guild:

#guildMain table#iceCreamNib {
  color: green;
}

Note that if you make CSS changes for your custom niblet and they aren't taking effect, it's sometimes due to another CSS setting specified elsewhere that is overriding what you're trying to set. Using HTML/CSS tools like Firebug referenced elsewhere in this document can help track these things down. You can also of course always embed whatever CSS/HTML you want in the custom niblet content itself.

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Third Party Content Modules

What are some popular third-party sites providing widgets like shout boxes, realm status, and music that I can embed in custom content modules on my guild site?

There are a bunch, and more showing up all the time. Some of the more popular ones we've seen guild sites using include:

Widgetbox is a useful directory site with many widgets you can add to your page.

The way these sites typically work:

  1. You register and create a user account with them.
  2. You create your own "widget" (chat room, shout box, slideshow, etc.) and configure it, populate it with content, and so forth.
  3. You get a snippet of HTML/Javascript from them that you're supposed to paste into your guild site.

Once you have the HTML/Javascript snippet, for instructions on embedding these in your home page, see Custom Home Page Content Modules. For embedding in news posts, blank pages, and anywhere else where you can enter text to display on your guild site, you'll typically just need to make sure you have selected the "HTML" Content Type, rather than BBCode, before pasting in the text given to you by the widget provider.

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Donation Button

How do I put a PayPal donation button on my guild site so that guild members can send me money to help pay for the guild site subscription, Ventrilo, etc.?

Login to your PayPal account. Click the "Profile" link. Under the "Selling Preferences" column on the right click the "Create New Button" link. Configure everything as appropriate per PayPal's instructions and when you have created the button, copy the HTML and paste it into a Custom Content Module on your guild site.

Now you can move the module around and position it on your guild site with the "Home Page Layout" tool just like you'd do with any other module.

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Guild Site Theme Upgrades

What changes were made as part of the Guildomatic theme upgrades, for my awareness as I look to update my own custom stylesheet?

For the theme upgrades published on 10/01/2008:

  • Initial release of "upgradeable" theme stylesheets to allow for the addition of new two- and three-column guild home page layouts, and a simplified "Theme Config" tool (available to administrators with "Site Config" administrator permissions in the guild Administrator Console) for making common edits such as setting the overall page width, column widths on home page, font size, and so forth.
  • IMPORTANT: The base stylesheets and most all themes were modified so that the main page content defaults to stretching to fill the entire web browser. This is probably the most visible change that is most likely to impact every guild upgrading from an earlier theme version. It is easy to restore the width constraints your guild site had previously. There are two ways: (1) use the new "Theme Config" tool (in your guild Administrator Console) to set an overall page width, or (2) update your custom CSS stylesheet to have something like:
    div#root table#root_table {
      width: 800px; /* or whatever pixel width you want here */
    }
    
    However, you should also consider adapting to the new uses-full-page approach, and updating your banner logo, background image repeating, etc. using the same approaches described above ("Theme Config", or further modifications to your custom CSS stylesheet) as this allows for maximum screen real estate and content display.
  • To allow for more than two columns, the guild home page has been changed so that instead of #leftColumn and #rightColumn DOM ids, the main columns containing the home page content are now in table cell elements as td.column (a table cell with the CSS class column), and individual columns can be referenced as td#column_0 (for the first column), td#column_1 (for the second), td#column_2 (for the third). As an example, if you wanted to set the width of the left and right columns via custom CSS (and you weren't happy doing it with our newfangled built-in "Theme Config" tool which will generate the CSS for you), you would add something like:
    div#guildMain table tr td#column_0,
    div#guildMain table tr td#column_2 {
      width: 175px;
    }
    
    to your guild's custom CSS stylesheet and reupload. Or, if you wanted to add some padding on the left and right sides of all columns on your home page, you could do:
    div#guildMain table tr td.column {
      padding: 0 10px;
    }
    
  • Home page #guildMain CSS definitions were further qualified in the base CSS, and all themes, to div#guildMain. Guilds may need to do the same to any legacy #guildMain definitions in their own stylesheets for their changes to continue to take effect.
  • Raid Calendar home page content module in "week" display mode was tweaked: boxes were made wider and taller, and we switched to an explicit height rather than the not well supported min-height definition we used previously. The date displayed at the top of each day was modified to wrap again (we removed the white-space: nowrap we had added previously), and the div.date CSS definition that set an explicit 20-pixel height on the date section was removed so that it will expand vertically as needed to fit the date (so that, if it wraps, the day will still look ok). If your raid calendar week display looks odd and you have a custom stylesheet, make sure you remove or otherwise tweak any custom width or height you may have specified for the div.day and div.today CSS classes.
  • The banner and administrator console were moved from their location above the main #root_table in the base page HTML, to always be placed within the main #root_table. This allows the administrator console to always stay consistently positioned alongside the main page content, and simplifies the use of CSS to manage positioning the guild page content via the new Theme Config page (now available to administrators with "Site Config" administrator permissions in the guild Administrator Console).
  • Guildomatic-provided themes that modified with the administrator console (div#adminConsole) margins no longer do so. The administrator console width has been explicitly specified at 150 pixels, where previously it was 10% of the browser window. If you experience problems with the layout of your administrator console and you have a custom stylesheet in place, check your custom stylesheet and make sure you remove anything that looks like:
    div#adminConsole {
      margin: 8px -10px 5px 10px;
      width: 10%;
    }
    
    and then re-upload your custom stylesheet.

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Ventrilo Passwords

How do I change my Ventrilo voice server's global or administrator password?

Assuming you've purchased your Ventrilo server from us — login to your guild site with the owner account and click "Ventrilo Settings" in your Administrator Console. You should see a form that allows you to modify your Ventrilo server settings, including the global password and administrator password.

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Ventrilo Duplicate IP Issue

How do I fix my Ventrilo server so that it doesn't report duplicate IPs when people log on?

Run the Ventrilo client and connect to your Ventrilo server. You will need to obtain Server Admin privileges. To login as a Server Admin, right click on the server title (the bold text at the very top of the white box), move your mouse to the Server Admin link, and select Login on the next dialog box.

Once logged in, you will see "A" next to the bolded text, this means you are now logged in as the server admin. You will need to change your Guest account to allow more than 1 login from the same IP. We recommend changing this to no more than 2 for security reasons. To do this, you will need to right click on your server title once again, go to the Server Admin link then click the User Editor on the dialog box.

A new window will appear with multiple tabs labeled "Info", "Network", "Transmit", "Display", "Admin", "Chan Admin", "Chan Auth".

You will need to click the "Network" tab. Once on this tab for your (Guest) user, you need to select the Duplicate IPs drop down box and set this to 2, then click the "Update" button at the very bottom of that dialog box. This will now allow users to login with duplicate ips. It will only allow a maximum of 2 users per IP. We do not recommend using the "No Limit" as this can make your server vulnerable to attacks.

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Voice Server Status Hover

Do I have to have a Ventrilo server purchased through Guildomatic to enter my voice server info and have a status hover showing who's online displayed on my guild site?

No, the voice server status hover will work with any Ventrilo server. You just need to enter the host and port into the "Ventrilo Settings" page linked to from your guild site's Administrator Console. Note that you must have a paid subscription (either Basic or Pro) to use this feature.

However! We do think we have one of the better Ventrilo voice server services out there, and we've tried quite a few. And it's nice to be able to manage all of your guild site services through one place, which is, after all, why we're all here — right? If you're interested in our voice server offering, you can add it any time via the green "Account Status/Upgrade" link at the top of your guild Administrator Console.

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