Website Help

Members must be logged-in to view the contents of this page. If you are a member of ASTT and have not received a registration invitation, please contact the Webmaster to apply for registration.


The Help topics below offer guidance on various website functions.

It should be noted that the level of functionality available to each user depends on the “role” that they have been assigned.  These roles are set out and explained on the Website User Roles topic below.  Forum roles are separately defined on the Forum User Roles topic.

Members are requested to contact the webmaster (the Webmaster) if they experience problems with the website, as solving their problems may alert him to the need for additional help material to be added to this page.

__________________________________

Please click on any of the topics below to find the “Help” information associated with it.

Help Topics

Following the unexpected demise of the old 5AT website, the 200-odd pages that were recoverable were transferred to a new “5AT section” that’s been set up on the back of ASTT’s website – see 8 Jun 2017 News report.

Links to the home pages of the AST and 5AT sections have been provided in the upper (black) menu band as shown in the screen-prints below.  Page links are provided between sections, so viewers can jump seamlessly from an AST page to a 5AT page.

Pages in each of the sections can be identified by their page headings, ASTT’s page heading being shown in the upper illustration and 5AT page heading being shown below it.  It may be noted that each section has its own menu heading, the 5AT menu replicating most of the main menu items from the old website.

ASTT Page Heading and Main Menu as they appear above each ASTT web page
showing link to 5AT home page.

 

5AT Page Heading and Main Menu as they appear above each 5AT web page
showing link to AST home page.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

The basic information contained in a Member’s personal profile (as set up by the webmaster) contains consists only of the Member’s name; username and email address.   A logged-in member will have created their own password which is also accessible (i.e. changeable) through the Profile page.

Editing Personal Profile through the Front End of the Website:  Members can access their personal Profile through the back-end of the website as described on the Website Help – Back-End page.  They can also access the same page through the Front End by clicking on their name in the upper right-hand corner of the page and selecting “Edit my Profile” as below:

The Profile page allows members to change any of the information contained on it or add addional information (including a personal “avatar” or image).

To change a password, click on the button “generate password” (near the bottom of the page) and replace the autogenerated code with a new password – see below:

Once finished updating the page, click on “Update Profile” at the bottom of the page.

For further guidance, try https://en.support.wordpress.com/manage-my-profile/ or numerous other help sites.

ASTT’s website is built on a WordPress platform which defines, and sometimes limits, the level of functionality that it can offer to users.   “User Roles” are one example of the functionality that the platform offers, each role level being assigned “permissions” that define what users can do on the website.

WordPress’s default setting defines five User Roles as follows (starting from the lowest level):

  1. Subscriber:  Users at the “subscriber” level can login and update their user profiles and change their passwords. They cannot write posts, view comments, or do anything else inside the “back end” admin area.
  2. Contributor: Users at the contributor level can add new posts and edit their own posts, but they cannot upload files (i.e. they cannot add images on their posts) and they cannot publish posts of their own.  When writing posts they cannot create new categories and therefore have to choose from existing categories. However, they can add tags to their posts.   Contributors can view comments even those awaiting moderation, but they cannot approve or delete comments.  Contributors do not have access to the site’s settings, plugins, or themes.
  3. Author: Authors can write, edit, publish and delete their own posts.  Like Contributors, Authors cannot create categories, so have to choose from existing categories, however they can add tags to their posts.   Likewise Authors can view comments but cannot moderate, approve, or delete them, and they do not have access to the site’s settings, plugins, or themes.
  4. Editor:  Editors are granted full control over the content sections of the website: i.e. they can add, edit, publish, and delete any posts including the ones written by others.  An editor can moderate, edit, and delete comments as well.  Editors do not have access to the site’s settings, plugins, or themes, and they cannot add new users.
  5. Administrator:  Administrators can add new posts, edit any posts by any users on the site, and delete any posts.  They can install, edit, and delete plugins as well as themes.  Most importantly, Administrators can add new users to the site, change information about existing users including their passwords as well as delete any user.

Each new member of ASTT is assigned a “user” role when they are registered on the website.  At present, all members have been registered as Contributors, with only the webmaster and his daughter (who set up the site) registered as Administrators.

Members wishing to make greater use of the website are encouraged to write to the webmaster to request adjustments to his User Role and/or Permissions.

Note:  The website Forum is controlled through a separate plug-in called BBPress which defines a different set of roles and permissions for users of the Forum.  These are defined on the Forum User Roles page.

 

This section describes some features of the Front-End of the website – being the part that you and others see when the website is opened in a browser.  A desciption of the “back-end” (which is only accessible by logged-in members) is described on a separate page.

User Registration and Passwords:  every member of AST should be registered as a User of the website.  If you (a member) have not received an email from the website giving you your username and inviting you to register your own password, then please notify the the Webmaster and ask to be registered as a User.

Logging in:  Once registered, each member should be able to log-in to his or her account using their username and password.  The logging-in functions can be found in the “footer” area at the bottom left of the Home page as below:

Once logged in, Members should be able to:

  1. access pages that are restricted to members only (to be found under the Members menu heading).
  2. access the Members’ Forum (see below) and make contributions to it;
  3. add contributions (posts) to other forums or topics listed on the Forums page;
  4. propose new topics for the Forum.
  5. “subscribe” to receive email notifications of new posts on any Forum topic;
  6. post comments under any of the headings in the News section;
  7. “subscribe” to receive email notifications of new posts and comments;
  8. submit News items (posts) for publication.

Note: Members will initially be registered as “contributors” to the website and “participants” to the Forum. Individuals’ “role” settings (which define levels of access) can be adjusted if/when needs arise.

Additional Notes:

  1. An “SSL certificate” has been purchased for AST’s website for Member’s security since it ensures that their usernames and passwords are encrypted when they log in. [This can be verified by noting the prefix https:// (instead of http://) in front of AST’s web address in your browser.]
  2. A link has been created that automatically sends AST News “posts” to AST’s facebook page immediately they are created.
  3. Similarly, a list of the most recent “posts” now appears in a side-bar at the bottom of AST’s Home page.

 

 

Instructions to Associate Members regarding access to the “back-end” of the website:

When logged-in, members have access to a  number “back-end” functions.  These can be found by clicking on the “Dashboard” link at the top-left-hand corner of a page, as below:

This will take them to the back-end section with a menu of options at the left side of the page, as below:

Of these menu items, there are only two that are immediately useful:

Posts: This page allows members to see a list of existing posts and to add posts of their own – e.g. news items – to the website. The method of doing so is described on the Posts page.

Profile: This page members to change their passwords or other information about themselves or add a “profile image”.  Note:  To change a password, click on the button “generate password” (near the bottom of the page) and replace the autogenerated code with a new password.  Once finished updating the page, click on “Update Profile” at the bottom of the page.   For further guidance, try https://en.support.wordpress.com/manage-my-profile/ or numerous other help sites.

[Note: members can also access their profile through the Front-End of the website as described on the Profile page.]

Of the other menu items:

Comments: Allows members to see comments that have been added to pages or posts on the website. At present, members can add comments to/about articles that appear in the News section of the site.  For further information see Posts and Comments page.  [Note: If desired, the site can be reconfigured to accept comments on/about any/all of its pages.]

Wikis: This facility (“plug-in”) is still functional but it is not currently functioning. It was originally set up to allow members to add or modify articles (pages) under the “Technical” section of the main menu. There were some minor formatting issues with the Wiki pages (which is why they were replaced with standard pages) but they and the functionality of the Wiki system can be reinstated if required.

Portfolio:  This appears to be a feature that allows members to add information about themselves. It is not known how or where that information would be displayed.

Contact: This section appears to have no functionality for members (or at least its purpose is not known to the webmaster at this stage).

Tools: Likewise, this item has no obvious functionality for members to use.

Return to Front-End

To return to the Front-End of the website, click on the “Home” icon at the top-left corner of the page.


 

Notes to Moderators regarding access to the “back-end” of the website:

When logged-in, members who have been given “forum moderator” roles have access to some additional “back-end” functions listed in menu of options at the left side of the back-end window.  These can seen below:

The two additional menu items are Topics and Replies.   Both relate to the Forum and are described on that page.

 

 

Instructions for adding “Posts”

To add a post logged-in members must first access the back-end of the website by clicking on the Dashboard icon at the top left-hand corner of any page (see below).

Clicking on the “Posts” option in the left-hand menu will open a new page as shown below:

On this page all the existing posts on the website are listed and can be viewed. At the top left-hand side of the page is a button marked “Add New” which (when pressed) will open a new page where members can add their own posts, as below:


Entries should include a “title” in the “text box” top at the top of the page, and their article or news item in the main text entry area in the middle of the page. It is then important to select the Category under which the post is to appear. In most cases, it is expected that this will be “AST News” but it’s up to the author to choose.

Once the entry is complete, the author should click on the “Submit for Review” button at the top right of the page. Entries are thus sent off to the webmaster for acceptance or rejection.

As noted elsewhere, when “AST News” posts are added to the website they are relayed to AST’s Facebook page as well.

 


Replies or Comments: these  can be added to Posts as described below:

Comments can be added against “Posts” through the Front-End.  For convenience, a listing of all comments (in date order) can be accesses for reading through the Back-End of the website.

Adding Comments through the Front-End:  To add a comment through the Front-End, logged-in members should go to the Post that they want to comment on.  (These can all be found under the “News” menu heading.)   At the bottom of the page should be found a text-box headed “Leave a Reply” into which a comment may be added.

Before posting a comment, one or both of the tick-boxes can be checked to initiate email notifications of new posts and/or follow-up comments.

 


Reading Comments through the Back-End:  When the Comments item in the Back-End menu is selected, it opens a page showing, in date order (starting from the newest), the text of all comments posted on the website as per screen-print below.

 

Introduction: This website contains a number of different forums each of which is listed in the Forum page.  The name of each forum defines the subject area that it covers.  Each Forum is a collection of Topics that can be added and discussed by members (through the addition of comments) as described in the following sections.

Whilst members can create their own “Topics” within any of the forums, they cannot create new forums.   If members see a need for a new forum – e.g. to cover a new subject area – they should write to the Webmaster by email or through the forum itself, asking for a new forum be set up.


Topics:  A topic is a subject for discussion which should fall within the general scope of the Forum that it is placed in.  New topics can be created by any member through the Front-End of the website.  Members who have been given the role of Moderator can also add and read Topics through the Back End of the website.

To create a new topic through the Front End, open the Forum that the topic is to be placed into.  At the bottom of the page is will be found an invitation to “Create New Topic in [Forum Name]”, below which is a text box into which the topic title can be added, and below that a large text box where the topic text can be placed – see below:

 


Topics:  Creating a new topic through the Back End can be done by members who have been given the role of “Moderator”.  This can be done as follows:

1 – Login to the site and click on the “Dashboard” link at the topic left corner of the page – as below:

2 – This should open up the “back-end” of the website giving you access to various functions – as below:

3 – Select the “Topics” function to see all the topics that have been set up – as below:

4 – Click on “New Topic” to find your way to the page where you can create your new topic.  Enter the topic name at the top and copy-and-paste your article into the text area below – as below:

5 – Choose a Forum for the topic to appear in from the drop-down list at the right of the page – perhaps General Discussion Topics for this one (see below).  The choice is yours, but if you think none of the Forums are suitable and want a new Forum set up, you can ask me to set one up for you.

6 – Click on the Publish button at the right of the page, and it should appear on the website.

 


Adding Comments or Replies to Topics: Members can add a reply or comment to the bottom of the Topic’s page (as below):


 

Subscribing to Topics:  Members can subscribe to any or all of the Topics by clicking on the “Subscribe” link near the top of the Topic’s page (as below).   When subscribed to a Topic, members should automatically receive email notification whenever a comment is added about the Topic.

 


Replies:  Below the Topics item in the Back-End menu is “Replies”.  Clicking on this opens a page that lists in date order all the replies that have been made to all Topics, as below:


To get back to the Front-End of the website, click on the Advanced Steam Traction link (or the little house icon) at the top left of the Back-End page.

 

 


ASTT’s website forum is controlled through a “plug-in” (extension of its WordPress platform) called BBPress.

Like WordPress, BBPress defines the level of functionality that it makes available to users.   Like WordPress, BBPress specifies a range of “User Roles” each with predefined “permissions” that limit what each user can do on the Forum.

The default bbPress Roles (in ascending order) are:

  • Blocked – All capabilities are explicitly blocked.
  • Spectator – Can only read topics and replies.
  • Participant – Can create and edit their own topics and replies.
  • Moderator – Can create and edit forums. Can create, edit and delete other users’ topics and replies. Can manage Tags, and moderate a forum with the moderation tools.
  • Keymaster – Can create, edit and delete other users’ forums, topics and replies. Can manage Tags, and moderate a forum with the moderation tools. Has access to global forum settings, tools, and importer.

Each new member of ASTT is assigned a “user” role when his or her name is registered on the website.  At present, members have generally been registered as Participants with the exception of Committee Members who have each been assigned the role of Moderator, while the webmaster and his daughter (who set up the website) are registered as Keymasters.

Members wishing to make greater use of the forum are encouraged to write to the webmaster to request changes to their User Roles and/or Permissions.

Please note that at present it is not possible to add attachments (files, images etc) to forum topics.  This limitation can be lifted if users require.