MyBB 1.4 Admin CP – The Complete Overview (Part 2)

It’s time for another overview of MyBB 1.4’s Administrator Control Panel – this time, we’ll be covering the “Forums & Posts” and “Tools & Maintenance” tabs, as well as some of the general design decisions made – and how we made them.

Did you know? Many of the Admin CP pages are born by rough sketches by hand from Justin, one of our designers. We then discuss and revise them, and finally implement the finished product in code. We have taken a lot of time to develop pages which let administrators extensively manage their forum, while maintaining the ease of use. Read more about this process in the “Design Decisions” section below.

Sketch of the forum permissions view

Forums & Posts

Forums Management

So, by now, you’re probably drooling for more screenshots. The interface of the Forum Management has changed significantly. The forum listing page has been cleaned up and refined; all of the previous buttons are now condensed to a single drop-down menu. Adding a forum only shows the basic options, but you can show all options by clicking on “Show Additional Options” (the screenshots show this with the additional options already expanded). Copying a forum, however, has remained more or less the same since 1.2.

Forum Management
Adding a Forum
Adding a Forum
Adding a Forum
Copying a Forum

The forum view page (the page you visit after selecting a forum from the primary listing) has radically changed since MyBB 1.2. Although it contains all of the same information, it includes a sleek new interface separated into javascript tabs, where subforums, permissions, and moderators now each have their own tab. This was done to make permissions and moderator management easier and more visible. The permissions tab now combines quick & full permissions, providing the option to set or edit a group’s permissions from the quick permissions table under the permissions tab.

Viewing a Forum
Viewing Forum Permissions
Viewing Forum Moderators
Editing a Moderator

Forum Announcements

The forum announcement manager functions the same as MyBB 1.2. However, unlike past versions, when an administrator edits an announcement, the announcement author will remain the same instead of being changed to the user who last updated it.

Forum Announcements
Adding an Announcement
Editing an Announcement

Moderation Queue

The moderation queue no longer has an option to view Threads and Posts on the same page. This was due to the fact that there are already individual pages to show these, and that even if they were on the same page, they could not be moderated together at once.

The information and options have been optimized in the new layout to use the least vertical space as possible, so as to fit as many posts/threads/attachments onto your screen. Also, there are options at the bottom of the page to mark all entries as approve, delete, or unchanged.

Threads Moderation Queue
Posts Moderation Queue
Attachments Moderation Queue


The main change in this section is that the orphan scan encompasses all possible unlinked attachments. These include uploaded files that are not in the database, missing files, leftover attachments due to post deletion, and files uploaded to abandoned posts.

Orphaned Attachments

Tools & Maintenance

System Health

When you click on “Tools & Maintenance” in the top tab, you’re taken to the System Health page by default. It’s essentially your standard miscellaneous and useful information page.

System Health
System Health

Cache Manager

Little has changed here, other than a few new caches necessary for MyBB 1.4. Everything else is essentially the same as the cache manager in 1.2.

Cache Manager

Task Manager

MyBB 1.4 introduces a whole new system for running various tasks that otherwise would take up valuable database resources and time to execute. The new Task Manager in MyBB 1.4 allows specific tasks to be run at certain times. You’ll notice you can run any task manually via the Task Manager by clicking the little Alarm Clock.

You will also see some tasks disabled by default. More specifically, the ‘Backups’ and ‘Check Tables’ tasks. This is because they require, or are at least highly suggested, to be run via a cron. The command would look similar to this: “php /path/to/mybb/task.php x” where x is the task id.

Task Manager
Adding a Task
Adding a Task
Editing a Task

Recount & Rebuild

Again you’ll notice that Recount & Rebuild has not had much of a change from MyBB 1.2. However, the page has been cleaned a bit to show all of the tools in much less space, while still providing the same options.

Recount & Rebuild

View PHP Info

There is little to say about the PHP Info page, but as always, it is extremely handy in identifying all of the various settings regarding your PHP installation.

View PHP Info


Database Backups have received some minor tweaking. You’ll notice [above] that backups can be automated via the new Task System. The ‘Sequential backup?’ option previously found in MyBB 1.2 was designed to help on hosts where a full backup would time out. However, the option has been removed from MyBB 1.4 due to confusion as to its purpose, and is instead a default feature of the backup.


Optimize Database

As with MyBB 1.2, you simply select the tables you wish to optimize and perform the task. Little to do on your part, but your database will thank you!

Optimize Database

Administrator Logs

You’ll notice the Administrator Logs has received a fairly good revamp. We log a lot more useful data now and you cannot see it but only Super Administrators can prune logs. In the event a hacker gets in, it will be much harder for them to erase their tracks. Or for that fact, any other misbehaving administrator you may have.

Administrator Logs
Administrator Logs

Moderator Logs

Moderator Logs are essentially the same in MyBB 1.2 with a few changes here and there.

Moderator Logs

User Email Log

With MyBB 1.4 comes the ability to view emails that have been sent via your forum. This can allow you to track abusive or spam messages being sent from other users. You will notice that you can search for criteria and view the email by clicking the subject.

User Email Logs
User Email Logs -> View Email

System Mail Logs

Another new feature introduced in MyBB 1.4 is the ability to view emails that could not be sent due to server errors. This can help pinpoint problems within your mail server or server configuration.

System Mail Logs

User Warning Logs

User Warning Logs, in conjunction with MyBB 1.4’s Warning System allows you to view warnings given by moderators or administrators. You can filter through the warnings and view full details on the warning.

User Warning Logs
User Warning Logs

Design Decisions

MyBB 1.4’s Admin CP was well planned from the start. Several staff members spent hours on end discussing the various improvements that would be made in some of the worse parts of the Admin CP. We all pinpointed some of the interface disasters in MyBB 1.2’s Admin CP, and built the interface for each page from the ground up – countless non-functional “mock-ups” or “prototypes” (some on paper, others in HTML) were created to demonstrate how the page would end up looking. These would then be discussed, all before a single line of code was written for the page in the Admin CP.

Early on, it was decided the 1.4 Admin CP would be tabbed – there were so many different tasks that could be performed, they would have to be divided into different categories. This sort of thing is done all the time, in all sorts of different applications, so it just made sense to do it in the Admin CP too.

Each was then categorized into the different sections – such as Forum Management, Forum Announcements, and so on under the Forums and Posts tab. While some sections could apply to more than one tab, all were put in the most logical location. For instance, general configuration items go under the Configuration tab, whereas those directly dealing with the forums or posts on your board would go under Forums & Posts.

Beneath these sections are the various tasks that can be performed in the Admin CP. Before this point, everything was simply categorizing in order to make finding each task much easier. The Admin CP was designed to make finding individual tasks easier – after all, once your forum has been set up, you’ll usually only go into the Admin CP for just one or two tasks.

You’ll find that for just about every design decision made in MyBB 1.4’s Admin CP, we have a legitimate reason for doing it that way, and not a different way. This is because 1.4’s Admin CP was built from the ground up in order to ensure we could find the best way to design all of the various pages in the Admin CP.

Questions? Comments? Anything else?

As with the Configuration section, there’s a lot you can do under the Forums & Posts and Tools & Maintenance sections, but it’s very easy to use once you dig into the administration panel. It might look confusing now, as all you’re seeing is screenshots, but rest assured that all was planned out to be as well organized as possible.

Another overview covering the “Users and Groups” tab will be posted next week. We will also take time to answer some stabbing questions you may have. Leave a comment with your question and check to see if your question has been answered next week!

There is still a lot to cover, but as always, we’re happy to hear any questions or feedback you may have. We’ll try to take advice on board, but understand it isn’t always possible. There’s still more exciting parts of the Admin CP left to share, so by no means is this all we’ll be posting!

Multiple people contributed to the writing of this article, including DennisTT, Tikitiki, Chris Boulton, and Justin S.

Open MyBB Team Positions

Greetings all,

We currently have a few open positions on the MyBB Team for support and development roles. If you’re interested in becoming a part of one of the most powerful, free forum applications available today, we’re interested in hearing from you.

Current vacancies are as follows:

  • Development Team Positions
    We’re looking for people with a strong background in web development with PHP and MySQL as well as a solid understanding of how MyBB operates in both code and functionality to become an active particpiant in our development team, preferably having released MyBB plugins or modifications at some stage. Knowledge of other database management systems such as PostgreSQL and SQLite is also highly favourable. You must be able to work well with a team and work under project management.

    Your primary position will be working with myself and the other developers to bring new releases of MyBB out.

  • Support Team Positions
    We’re looking for people who are dedicated to MyBB and have a solid understanding of the functionality of MyBB and have experience in managing a forum themself, an understanding of PHP and MySQL is not required however may be beneficial. You must be able to work well with other team members. You must be able to communicate clearly and correct in English.

    All we ask of you is that you’re an active participant in both supporting other users with MyBB and can do so in a professional manner.

Please note that all positions are on a volunteer basis, you’re under no obligation to stay with the MyBB Group if you have other commitments that need attending.


All applications and requests can be submitted through the following form on the MyBB website:

Please include the position you’re applying for, background information on yourself, information on your knowledge of MyBB, PHP & MySQL experience if necessary and any other information you wish to include.

If you don’t receive a reply, no – we haven’t forgotten about you, it’s just that there are usually too many applications to individually reply to each one. Private messages containing applications/team position queries will be ignored.

Note that existing and active community members will be given preferential treatment for these positions due to their existing dedication to the MyBB project.

Thank you,
MyBB Group

MyBB 1.4 Admin CP – The Complete Overview (Part 1)

As most of you would already know, MyBB 1.4 has been in development for quite a while. The reason for this is that the administration area of MyBB has received a complete overhaul, along with several new features being implemented.

It’s now time to release information regarding the new Admin CP and I’ll be doing so over a series of posts which cover the different sections of the administration panel. I’ll be covering how we developed the admin panel and reasons why we’ve structured it as it is. I’ll also be answering any questions that users may have.

In this post, I’ll be introducing the administration panel, the configuration area and talking about some of our design decisions.

The Login Screen

The first page you see when you first visit the administration panel is the login screen. It’s essentially your standard login screen however it now looks much more user-friendly and pleasing to the eye.

The Dashboard

Once you’re logged in, you are sent to the dashboard where you are given an overview of your installation of MyBB. As you can see, the interface is tabbed and divided into different sections for the tasks you can perform. Navigation in each section is performed on the left menu.

It was decided that a tabbed design would be the most sensible to use for MyBB because we’ve got quite a large amount of tasks that can be undertaken via the Admin CP and to list them all (as we do with the current 1.2 Admin CP) makes the whole control panel feel very cluttered and hard to navigate.

Along the top you see the primary tabs:

  • Home – The main dashboard as shown above. This page also allows access to the version checking and control panel preferences for the current user.
  • Configuration – Everything to do with the configuration of your forum on a global level is done in this section. This includes things such as settings, smilies, bad words and help documents.
  • Forums & Posts – Anything relating to forum and post management is performed on this tab. This includes creating and managing forums, assigning permissions to forums, searching for attachments and moderating the thread & post queues.
  • Users & Groups – Everything relating to users such as account management, banned accounts, user groups, mass emailing, group promotions, etc. is performed via this tab.
  • Templates & Styles – Anything relating to the appearance (themes) and design (templates) of your board is changed via this tab.
  • Tools & Maintenance – A general section containing miscellaneous tools, logs and general maintenance messages belongs in this section. It contains items such as the task scheduler, email logs and the system health information.

As I mentioned previously, secondary navigation on the side of the page is used to navigate between the different features of each of the primary tabs – this includes things such as settings, smilies, bad words, help documents and calendars – all of which fall under the configuration tab.

In order to reduce the complexity, this menu only contains the “base” actions, so clicking “Settings” will take you to the manage settings page and from there you can choose to manage existing settings, add a new setting or add a new setting group.

When researching the control panel, we took a look at how competitors do things. Some use our current approach (frames), whilst others use a tab based structure. The problem we found, however, with most of these other bulletin boards is that when we went to attempt to try and find a particular feature, it wasn’t where we would expect it to be, and we’d have to squint our eyes to read through the long lists of navigational menus. For this reason, we decided it would be better to break the navigation up between items even further, resulting in three levels of navigation per page.

I’ve had a few people mention to me (through the beta) that this would be extremely complicated for new users and you should never have more than (at most) two levels of navigation. Whilst this may be slightly true, it all comes down to how well the navigation is laid out and how easy it is to move from one section to another. In this case, because we’ve organised things in a logical manner, it isn’t complicated and you won’t get lost in the administration panel.


So, by now, you’re probably after another few screenshots – and maybe to better explain what I mean as well. When you click on “Configuration” in the top tab, you’re taken to the settings management page by default but you’ll notice the menu on the left has also changed to the “Configuration” context – where you’ll do all of the configuration for your forum.

Changing Board Settings
Adding a Setting


MyBB 1.4 moves the banning for email addresses, IP addresses and invalid usernames out of their previous (and strange) location under the settings page. The new banning tools support wildcards, and they show you when the last attempted use of the item was.

Disallowed Email Addresses
Banned IP Addresses
Disallowed Usernames

Custom Profile Fields

The custom profile fields section hasn’t changed much compared to previous versions. What has changed is that when you add a new profile field or edit an existing one, you’re not shown fields that are irrelevant for that type of profile field – for example when creating a text box profile field, you’re not asked to enter a list of options to be shown.

Custom Profile Fields
Adding a Custom Profile Field
Editing a Custom Profile Field


Smilie management has had a bit of a revamp. First, from the screenshot, you’ll also notice MyBB will be shipping with a brand new set of smilies. The old smilies were way past their expiry date and were something I quickly threw together for the release. The new smilies? I sat down, thought about how they should look and the end result speaks for itself.

Additionally you’ll notice that when clicking on “Mass Edit” you can now edit more than one smiley at a time. Great for when you want to update a whole bunch but don’t want to navigate through all of the pages individually.

Adding a Smilie
Mass Editing Smilies

Word Filters (Bad Words)

The word filters page lets you define a list of words that should be replaced in posts. You’ll notice that because this feature is so simple and there isn’t much to do on it, you can add a new word filter from the existing management page.

Word Filters
Editing a Word Filter


The MyCode manager allows you to create your own custom MyCode without editing any of the MyBB post parsing files. You can create custom MyCode based off regular expressions, by specifying what to search for, and your replacement text.

Adding a Custom MyCode
Editing a Custom MyCode


The language manager provides a full interface for translating MyBB via your web browser with no technical experience required. It hasn’t changed that much since 1.2, however, behind the scenes the code has been completely redeveloped.

Editing a Language Set
Editing a Language File
Editing a Language File (Comparison View)
Editing Language Set Properties

Post Icons

The post icons feature was probably one of the most neglected features of earlier versions of MyBB. We shipped with very few, and mostly pointless post icons by default. Things have changed in MyBB 1.4 and we’re now bundling some of the gorgeous famfamfam icons by default as post icons. The management interface is relatively similar to past versions – you can create post icons either individually or in bulk by specifying a directory to fetch them from.

Post Icons
Adding a Post Icon
Editing a Post Icon
Mass Editing Post Icons

Help Documents

The help documents section has seen a bit of a revamp – you can now edit the default help documents (previously, you’d need to edit the language files to do so). We’ve also cleaned up the interface a little and made it easier to use.

Help Documents
Adding a Help Document
Adding a Help Section
Editing a Help Document


The plugin manager allows you to enable or disable any plugins you have in your plugins directory. The plugins system in 1.4 has had a bit of a revamp as well. You can now define custom install and uninstall routines and allow users to completely uninstall a plugin or just disable it (hide it from view). Plugins can also be marked as only being compatible with certain versions of MyBB.

Plugin update checking is also built in. Plugin developers, when posting their plugin on the MyBB Mods site, receive a unique ID which, when placed in their plugin, will allow users to check for newer versions directly via the MyBB Admin CP.


Attachment Types

Not much of an explanation is needed here, these are a list of the attachment types that can be uploaded to your forums.

Attachment Types
Adding an Attachment Type
Editing an Attachment Type

Moderator Tools

Any custom thread or post moderation tools you create are managed here. Custom moderation tools allow you to quickly perform multiple moderation actions on one or more threads or posts at the same time.

Moderator Tools
Adding a Thread Moderation Tool
Adding a Thread Moderation Tool
Adding a Thread Moderation Tool

Spiders / Bots

New in MyBB 1.4 is a fully featured spider & bot tracking system. You can now configure which bots are identified by MyBB by specifying part of their user-agent, assigning them to a custom user group, showing them a certain theme or changing their language. You can also see when each spider last visited your forum.

Spiders / Bots
Adding a Spider
Editing a Spider


For those that don’t already know, MyBB 1.4 supports multiple calendars. Each calendar has its own settings, permissions and can have different events posted to it. The calendar management pages allow you to create these calendars and specify options such as:

  • The day the start of the week should fall on
  • Whether or not to moderate new events before they’re publicly visible
  • If HTML, MyCode, Smilies, or [IMG] code should be allowed to be used within posted events

Calendar permissions work in much the same way that group permissions do – that is members whom are a member of multiple user groups will have the permissions applied from each of the permissions they have for a particular category.

Adding a Calendar
Adding a Calendar
Editing a Calendar
Editing Calendar Permissions

Warning System

Also new in MyBB is a very powerful warning feature allowing you to warn users for offences they commit and have them automatically banned, their posting privileges revoked or their posts moderated for a certain amount of time.

The warning system pages allow you to create the various warning types (reasons) that can be issued to a particular user, the number of points the warning should add to the user’s warning level and the period of time before those warning points expire.

Warning Types
Adding a Warning Type

You can also create different “warning levels”. A warning level contains actions that should be taken against a user once they reach a certain warning level (percentage, out of 100%). From here you can choose to ban the user, suspend the users posting permissions or moderate all of the users new posts. For each of these actions you can specify the time before this penalty expires.

Warning Levels
Adding a Warning Level

Questions? Comments? Anything else?

As you can see, there’s quite a lot you can do under the configuration section but it shouldn’t be too confusing as everything is really well organised. If things look confusing, that’s just because you haven’t actually used the administration panel yet – but once you do, I guarantee you’ll find it very easy to use.

That’s all I’ll be covering for this overview, however another overview covering the “Forums and Posts” as well as “Users and Groups” tabs will be posted next week along with some of the technical design and decisions with the new Admin CP.

I invite you all to post any feedback or queries you may have. If you don’t like something, we’ll do our best to try and take your advice on board (if it’s possible and actually works). There’s still a lot we have to go through, so don’t by any means think that this is all you’ll be getting.

Securing your MyBB Installation

There are many things you can do to keep your MyBB Installation secure – the below list contains 5 basic ways to make sure your MyBB Forum is as secure as possible. I’ve tried to keep it as simple and concise as possible. Leave a comment if you don’t understand and we’ll clarify.

  1. Keep your MyBB Software Up-To-Date – Always make sure your running the latest version of MyBB. Using the Version Check tool from your Administration Control Panel you can always check for the latest version of MyBB and latest announcements.
  2. Sign up to the MyBB Mailing List – By signing up to the MyBB Mailing List you can receive notification of important MyBB updates and releases, allowing you to update your forum in a timely and fashionable manor.
  3. Rename your “admin” directory – Renaming your admin directory to something else will greatly reduce the risk of someone being able to hack their way into you Administration Control Panel.
    1. Using an FTP Program navigate to your forum directory.
    2. Find the ‘admin’ directory and rename it to something less obvious. If you want to be really secure you can use an online program to generate a name for you. For example:
    3. Now that you’ve renamed your admin directory we need to update the configuration file so MyBB knows what it is called. Navigate to your ‘inc’ directory and open up config.php using a Text Editor such as WordPad.
      1. In config.php Find:

        $config['admin_dir'] = 'admin';

      2. Replace with the new admin name (where admin-name is the name of the new admin directory you set):
      3. $config['admin_dir'] = 'admin-name';

    4. Save the file on your server.
  4. Backup Regulary – Backing up your forum regularly is the best defense you can have against hackers. At least once per week! MyBB Offers a Backup solution in the Administration Control Panel under Backup Database. For more information and alternative ways see our wiki: (Note: MyBB 1.4 allows for automatically backing up your database.)
  5. Keep MySQL, PHP, and Apache Up-To-Date – Hackings of your forum aren’t always caused by exploits in MyBB. Often hosts are running months old versions of MySQL, PHP, Apache, and even other programs and extensions riddled with security exploits. If you find your host is running an old version urge them to upgrade as soon as possible. If you own your own server you can respectively find updates at, and

We’ll have another, more technical blog post on security for all of you IT pros (or in training, of course) later on.

The MyBB Development Blog

Welcome to the MyBB Development Blog, the place where from now on we’ll primarily be talking about what is going on behind the scenes at the MyBB Group as well as taking a look at upcoming features in new releases.

We hope to keep the blog fairly active and we’ve got quite a few posts planned already:

  • Extensive MyBB 1.4 Control Panel Overview
    A series of posts which will contain a full overview of the MyBB 1.4 Admin CP including many screenshots, feature overviews and our design and technical decisions.
  • Advanced Plugin Development Tips & Tricks
    A few tips and tricks for getting the most out of the MyBB Plugin System.
  • Regular MyBB Tips and Tricks
    Ranging from security related tips and tricks right through to uncovering some of the more hidden features and customising your copy of MyBB.
  • Behind the Scenes
    A look at how things happen behind the scenes with MyBB, including our development process.

I hope you’re looking forward to being able to discuss some of the things above with us on this blog, as we’re very much interested in your feedback for a lot of the above to help improve MyBB in the future. Stay tuned for another post shortly.