Dolphin/Boonex "First Timers"

Zarcon posted 18th of November 2010 in Community Voice. 12 comments.

I have been noticing alot of "newbies" coming in to Dolphin. This is a great thing when it comes to BoonEx as a business and yet, also a scary thing at the same time. I wanted to post a few 'suggestions' for trying to make your transition to Dolphin a little smoother and possibly fewer headaches. I encourage input from Unity members to include into this (especially senior members).


Things you need to know BEFORE you start:

  • Have at least a basic understanding of HTML, PHP, and MySQL (includes minor coding and scripting)
  • Knowledge of tools used in website building (FTP clients, HTML/PHP Editors, etc.)
  • Understand terminology used in web design and maintenance.
  • Proper hosting requirements CLICK HERE


Although I would encourage anyone to use Dolphin, I really have to say that for your very first website ever, Dolphin may not be the best choice for you. Dolphin is packed full of features and the possibilities are practically endless, however to achieve these possibilities, you will need to know what I mentioned above. These are not words of discouragement, they are precautions to let you know that working with Dolphin can be somewhat stressful for some... Just don't give up :)


Getting Dolphin Support:

  • Agents are available for you to choose and use as a single point of contact for questions and support. Remember though, there are only a few of them and 10s of thousands of us, so you may not get a response too fast. Also, some agents assist with the development of Dolphin (new updates/releases) which may also delay in response time.
  • Nobody knows Dolphin better than the community of members here at Unity that use it, install it, and customize it every day. BoonEx mostly relies on its community members to provide support and testing when it comes to Dolphin.
  • Search the forums as many questions have been answered or topic has been started already.
  • Post your questions in the Forums when needing support. If someone can help you... they will.
  • Unity members are not "required" to help, they offer to help if they choose. Some may help you for free and others may charge. That is totally up to the assisting member.
  • Sometimes it is required to allow a helping member to access your Dolphin site as the administrator, FTP access, and/or database access. This is due to several possibilities that could be causing your issue and needed to diagnose the problem. So if your do not want to allow that, then you may not get your problem resolved strictly in the Forums.


When posting in the Forums, please be sure to post them in the correct forum topic (ex. Dolphin 7, Dolphin Betas & RCs) Just because something may not work on YOUR site doesn't mean its a bug. Hopefully this will shed a little light on what to expect here at Unity. I hope your transition to Dolphin is a great one, but get ready for a ride !!

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Great informative post.. Maybe add to "Things You Need To Know Before You Start".

- Proper hosting requirements (link to hosting requirements)
- Search the forums as many question have been answered or topic has been started already
Great addition.. Thanks rhimpr! I will add that now :)
Sorry but I'm not really agree with you

there are now 3 years - I started my site with dolphin - D6

I got my first computer about 5 months before discovering BoonEx and Dolphin -

I did not know how to register on the site - because I did not know what it was an e-mail

I asked a friend making me an email address - and when he asked me a nickname - I asked him what's a nickname

I swear I tell no joke

and now I have a site with about 15,000 members - it's not a big site - but it see more is starting to be known

I can tell you that for me the way has been difficult - very difficult - but so exciting - so exciting that sometimes I forget to eat or sleep

for beginners I have only one word - yes you can
You actually validated my point. I never stated that beginners should NEVER use Dolphin, I simply said that it would be best if you knew the basics of web design before attempting Dolphin. Dont get me wrong, there are some people who dont even know what HTML stands for, but yet can figure out how to install Dolphin.

Even you stated it was "very difficult" learning how Dolphin works. And that is what Im trying to say here as well. I think Dolphin is absolutely great once you get to understanding see more how the software works.. Its the time in between that can be a real nightmare for some.

Thanks for you input though :)
And don't forget:

If at first you don't get a reply to your post, keeping bumping it up until somebody finally answers.
HAHA.. Yeah.. that will work..(sarcasm)
Nathan Paton
@JasonVan: Actually, that just pisses me off.
@ Zarcon, first I'd like to say, thank your post validates ALL my frustration with Dolphin as a product. Newbies coming to Dolphin IS NOT a great thing EVER! I, in no way consider myself a "newbie" when it comes to computing. I am NOT a programmer/developer however, instead I am a computer professional whose ENTIRE career was built on helping people use software/hardware that companies rush out impose onto the general public with slick advertising and I guess a lot of corporate pressure see more to release something. Vista comes to mind when I say that.

So newbies, know that unless u spend the $900 dollars for the Premium license you are an insignificant nothing to Dolphin and good luck on running your site professionally where that kind of attitude is the RULE, not expception. I am making my statement based SOLELY on what I actually experienced. ALL THE HOSTS I TRIED SAID I COULD RUN VIDEOS ON A SHARED SERVER BUT THE TRUTH IS YOU CAN NOT! I didn't have a clue that I needed to mention things like RMS or ffmpeg. All I said was "Will I be able to run videos" and can your server run Dolphin, THEY ANSWERED YES but the truth is some you can only get RMS if you purchase a dedicated server, that is not common knowledge a newbie can be expected to know. 6 hosts later, a whole year of tearing my hair, wasting monies I'm too poor to lose and pouring over manuals to finally come to the conclusion that DOLPHIN IS NOT FOR NEWBIES! PERIOD, POINT BLANK unless u make friends with a Dolphin knowlegeable person in this forum OR you are married to a programmer. There are simply BETTER scripts with out the box great performance MUCH MORE USER FRIENDLY than Dolphin.
Experience is the best teacher though. I can confidently say after trying nearly a dozen scripts, including Elgg, Drupal, SocialGo, KickApps, Handshakes, PHPFox, and JomSocial. Dolphin comes out as the sore loser in terms of user friendliness. In fact, the only advantage Dolphin had over them is being FREE and that is the marketing ploy I fell for regrettably.
Very good points Zarcon , thanks for posting!
All good points. I also suggest those buying modules take a good look at the reviews and do a search on BoonEx for the developer to see if there are positive or negative comments. A huge bonus is if the developer has a support forum for each of their modules (for sale). Finally, check the disputes forum to see if people have had to use it as a last resort to deal with a developer that has not provided the product and support as advertised. The various developers selling modules at BoonEx range see more from very good to very lazy. I suggest you avoid the lazy programmers (poor code work, slow to provide support, rarely upgrade/improve their modules).
Below is the legacy version of the Boonex site, maintained for Dolphin.Pro 7.x support.
The new Dolphin solution is powered by UNA Community Management System.