User Guide & Reference Manual

Welcome to Hero

Hero is an all-in-one website publishing system and ecommerce framework designed to make building websites and web applications easy, fast, and profitable. It is specifically built to power subscription websites, large content sites, shopping carts, and membership websites with ease right out-of-the-box.

Hero will save you thousands of hours in programming and architecture design and prides itself on being a website platform for the future - one that can be maintained, extended, and customized by developers of all skill levels.

Installation

This software is installed directly on your web server or as a client on a multi-tenant web server. If you are installing the software yourself, it installs via a 2-minute installation wizard and auto-configures with a myriad of default settings. These are easily customizable after installation. For more information regarding installation, check out the Installation section of the User Guide.

Application Structure

Hero can be conceptualized as having four complementary units:

The Hero software is built on an industry-standard Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework, CodeIgniter. By using an open framework, Hero makes itself extremely conducive to customizations and extensions by developers. This may include adding new modules, customizing existing modules, adding new fieldtypes for adding custom fields to the system, or performing many other configurations.

For Everyone

Anyone can use this software. Right away, just minutes after install, you are at the helm of the most complete and powerful web publishing and ecommerce system on the market. The control panel is easy to use and provides a simple way for you to learn to use the platform from day one.

Here's an idea of the things you can do with Hero without any technical knowledge:

For Designers

This User Guide has a specific section built for Designers. In this context, "Designers" refers to people who have at least basic knowledge of HTML and CSS and are looking to change the way their website looks or functions in the frontend. This involves modifying templates powered by the Smarty Template Engine, modifying CSS stylesheets and JavaScript includes, and harnessing the immense power of Hero's global and module-specific template plugins.

The following is a sample of Hero template code. It is used to display a list of the five latest news headlines on a news site:


<ul>
{content type="headlines" var="headline" limit="5" sort="date" sort_dir="desc"}
	<li>
		<a href="{$headline.link}">{$headline.headline}</a> ({$headline.date|date_format: "%m %d, %Y"})
	</li>
{/content}
</ul>

See how easy it can be to take the content stored in your database and display it exactly as you desire? This code can be dropped into any template for a standard Hero module, or even dropped into a new template and mapped to a URL of your choice.

Identical procedures are used to display products, forms, registration forms, your website's checkout, members list, and anything else stored in the system.

The most important principle for modifying Hero is that there are no frontend design limitations imposed by this platform - anything goes!. You have complete control over what HTML is sent to the user's browser.

For Developers

Although the distinction may be unimportant to some, this User Guide will specifically refer to "Developers". These are people who likely have the technical skills of designers (though perhaps with less artistic flair) but also who have at least an intermediate knowledge of the PHP programming language and object-oriented programming. It is highly suggested that these users have experience with CodeIgniter, as this will allow them to understand the basic URL routing and MVC structural principles of this software from the beginning.

It cannot be stressed enough that this platform is specifically built for developers to modify, extend, and configure it. Here are some specific examples of what a developer can do just by sitting down with the platform for a few hours:

Getting Started

This guide has all the information you need to get started. If you haven't installed Hero and plan to download and run it on your web hosting server, head over to the server requirements documentation to make sure your environment is alright. Otherwise, just begin exploring Hero using this User Guide to help you along the way!