Getting Started

You have installed Elgg and worked through any potential initial issues. What now? Here are some suggestions on how to to familiarize yourself with Elgg.

Focus first on core functionality

When you’re new to Elgg, it’s best to explore the stock features in core and its bundled plugins before installing any third party plugins. It’s tempting install every interesting plugin from the community site, but exploring the core features builds a familiarity with Elgg’s expected behavior, and prevents introducing any confusing bugs from third party plugin into your new Elgg network.

Elgg installs with a basic set of social network plugins activated: blogs, social bookmarking, files, groups, likes, message boards, wiki-like pages, user profiles, and microblogging. To change the plugins that are activated, log in as an admin user, then use the topbar to browse to Administration, then to Plugins on the right sidebar.


The user you create during installation is an admin user.

Create test users

Users can be created two ways in stock Elgg:

  1. Complete the signup process using a different email address and username. (Logout first or use a different browser!)

  2. Add a user through the Admin section by browsing to Administration -> Users -> Add New User.


Users that self-register must validate their account through email before they can log in. Users that an admin creates are already validated.

Explore user functionality

Use your test users to create blogs, add widgets to your profile or dashboard, post to the Wire (microblogging), and create pages (wiki-like page creation). Investigate the Settings on the topbar. This is where a user sets notification settings and configures tools (which will be blank because none of the default plugins add controls here).

Explore admin functionality

All of the admin controls are found by clicking Administration in the topbar. The has a dashboard with a widget that explains the various sections. Change options in the Configure menu to change how Elgg looks and acts.

Extending Elgg

After exploring what Elgg can do out of the box, install some themes and plugins. You can find many plugins and themes at the community site that have been developed by third parties. These plugins do everything from changing language strings, to adding chat, to completely redesigning Elgg’s interface. Because these plugins are not official, be certain to check the comments to make sure you only install well-written plugins by high quality developers.