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Overview of User Management in Joomla

How to Create Back-End Accounts in Joomla

Joomla has three levels of user permission groups for back-end functions in Joomla — Managers, Administrators, and Super Users. Assigning accounts to these permissions is done in Joomla’s User Manager.

First a quick overview of the different account levels:

  • Managers can manage everything having to do with site content.

  • Administrators can perform administrative functions.

  • Super Users can do anything that’s possible to do on a Joomla site.

Create managers in Joomla

Managers are back-end content managers and can do anything related to the content of your site, such as writing articles, editing them, and publishing them — all from the back end. They can’t do the following, however:

  • Manage users

  • Install or uninstall modules

  • Install or uninstall components

  • Work with some components (as set by the super user)

These tasks are reserved for administrators and super users.

To add a new manager, click the New button in User Manager: Users to display the New User page; then fill in the user’s account information, making sure to add the user to the Manager group. When you finish, click the Save button.

Create administrators in Joomla

Administrators are near the top of the Joomla hierarchy. No one is higher than administrators except super users.

Administrators can manage other users (except super users); they can enable or disable user accounts; they can install or uninstall modules. They can’t do the following things, though:

  • Add to or edit the Super User group

  • Access the Global Configuration page

  • Access the Mass Mail function to e-mail multiple users

  • Manage, install, or uninstall templates

You add a new administrator the same way that you added a manager. Click the New button in User Manager: Users to display the New User page; then fill in the user’s account information, but this time add the user to the administrator group. Don’t forget to click the Save button when you finish.

Create super users in Joomla

Super users can do it all: publish and edit articles; set global configurations; install and uninstall modules, components, and templates; disable user accounts; create new accounts — and more. These administrators can do anything that a person can do in Joomla, either from the front end or the back end.

To create a super user, just click the New button in User Manager: Users, fill out the account information, and add the user to the Super User group.

With Joomla 1.6 there are no sacred cows so far as default categories go. Even the mighty Super User group can be deleted or altered to a specific end. If you wanted to, you could give the members of your Registered Users group the same privileges as your site’s Super Users. Probably not a good idea though.

You need at least one super user for every Joomla site, and when you create a new site, that’s you. The default super user account is given the username admin.

For security reasons, it’s a good idea to change the admin username once you have your site up and running. It’s an even better idea to create a second super user account and then delete the one that was created when you first installed your Joomla site.

Why? When Joomla creates that first super user account, it automatically gives the account a User ID of 42. Because all Joomla installations use 42 as the default User ID, there could be a risk of someone figuring out how to leverage this in order to gain access to your site’s back-end functions. So, do yourself a favor: set up a fresh super user account.

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