Hotaru Docs


Hotaru CMS Features

Here is an explanation of some of the features available in Hotaru CMS, some built-in, others provided by plugins.



User registration includes anti-spam measures such as ReCaptcha, email validation, a "blocked" list, a plugin for Stop Forum Spam and options for a starting role: pending approval, under moderation or regular member. Furthermore, you can have moderators notified of new registrations by email.

With the RPX plugin, users can register and log in with third party providers such as Twitter, Facebook, Google and Yahoo. This is a fantastic way to increase the number of people that register for your site.

Roles, Permissions & Settings

Users in Hotaru can be assigned to any of these roles: admin, super moderator, moderator, member, undermod, pending, banned, killspammed or deleted. Each role is given a default set of permissions that determine what a user can or can't do within your site. Admins can go one step further by editing permissions for both individual users or groups, enabling or disabling features. Users themselves can personalize their experience with individual settings, such as choosing to open new posts in a new tab or editing email notification settings.

Profile, Activity & RSS Feeds

The entire history of a user's activity is shown on profile pages, and RSS feeds are provided for a user's submitted posts, comments and site activity. Profile pages are initially quite basic, but can easily be extended by site owners using tutorials from our documentation section.


Social Bookmarking

Like Digg, users can submit urls to news they wish to share with other users. These posts can be assigned to categories, given tags and edited. Other users can comment on and vote for the best posts, which are prominently displayed on the front page of the site. Users with given permissions, can post without providing a url - a handy feature for site announcements. Posts are divided into three main sections - Latest, Upcoming and Top, depending on the number of votes received.

Comments can be posted in response to each post with replies up to 5 levels deep. Comments can be shown oldest first or newest first and there's also an option to divide them over pages. The latest comments can be displayed in the sidebar and there's a dedicated "All Comments" page, too, complete with an RSS feed.

Voting helps sift the good posts from the bad, and for the very bad posts, there's a "Flag it!" option which gives the user a choice of reasons why they are flagging the article. While on the Latest Posts page, a yellow or red flag is shown beside the post title which shows how many users have flagged it and why when you hover over the flag. Too many flags will bury a post and, optionally, delete it from the database. Votes and flags appear in the Activity widget, along with new posts and comments, to keep other users abreast of the latest happenings on your site.


In the event that spammers get past your registration checks, they will hit another wall when trying to post content. Hotaru CMS uses the same Akismet service that is so successful on Wordpress. It works for both posts and comments, sending any dubious content into moderation for approval and informing you by email. On the off-chance Akismet gets it wrong, your actions when correcting the mistakes are fed back to the Akismet server to help train it better for next time.

In addition to Akismet, there are a variety of options for managing new content. For example, you can specify how many posts a user can submit in a 24 hour period, how quickly a user can submit back-to-back posts, whether posts or comments should require approval, and even set how many initial posts and comments should go into moderation before being automatically approved. If that's not enough, you can specify what HTML tags can be used, how many links can be included, and if you keep getting hit by the same url or domain, you can add it to your "blocked" list. In the meantime, moderators can be alerted to new content by email.

Admin Control Panel

The basic admin panel includes pages for site settings, maintenance, managing your blocked list and plugin management.

The "Maintenance" page gives you one-click ability to clear cache folders, optimize the database, archive posts,and close or open your site. Advanced options include removing plugin settings and emptying database tables.

"Plugin Management" is the workhorse of Hotaru CMS. By enabling plugins, you add new features to your site. Many plugins add their own settings pages to your Admin Control Panel to give you further control over your users and content. For example, the User, Post and Comment Manager plugins put all your moderation needs in one place, and the Widgets plugin lets you customize your sidebar. More: Admin Control Panel

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