Joomla! 1.5 Content Administration — Save 50%
Keep your web site up-to-date and maintain content and users with ease
Managing your users: The User Manager
The User Manager within the administration interface gives you an overview of all the registered users of your website and the ability to manage them as needed.
Only users registered as Administrator or Super Administrator can make changes here.
Creating a new user
The Party People website has only one administration user and we want to add a new user who has backend manager access. As the administrator, you can do this by accessing the User Manager from within the administration.
- Click Site | User Manager in the top menu or click the User Manager icon on the front page of the administration page.
- To add a new user, click the New icon on the top right toolbar.
- Type in a name, a username, an e-mail address, and a password into the Name, Username, and New Password input boxes, as shown in the following screenshot. Verify the password to be sure you have entered the correct string.
- Click on the user group that you want to allocate them to from the selection in the Group window. Your choice will obviously depend upon the content and access level you want them to have. We'll select Manager for our site.
- Click No for Block User, as we are setting up a new one.
- Select Yes or No for Receive System E-mails.
- Save your new user.
Adding a new user as a site contact
Before you add your new user to your contact list, consider whether they fit into the established contact categories. If they don't, you can add a new Category. Do this before you add the new contact.
Adding a new contact Category
Create contact Categories based on what role the user is to take within your site. It is described in the following steps:
- Select Components from the top menu, then Contacts and Manage Contacts to see the Contact Manager.
- To add a new contact Category, select that link.
- In the new Category screen, give the category a name and complete the details as shown in the following screenshot. Add a brief description if you need to.
- Save your new category.
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Adding the new user to your list of contacts
If you have added a new user profile, say for an employee, and also want them to be available as a site contact, you can simply do so by following these steps:
- Click Contacts in the Contact Manager and the New icon.
- Type in the name details for your user.
- Select the Category of contact you just created, if necessary.
- Click Registered for the Access Level, as the user is the administrator for the site.
- Add the Information you want to register for the new contact, including their Contact's Position, E-mail, and Street Address (if necessary).
- Select the appropriate Parameter radio buttons to Show or Hide information on the frontend of the site.
- You can apply the settings within the Advanced Parameters and the E-mail Parameters as well, in order to add icons to the contact page and filter the e-mails.
- Click Save.
Adding a new customer manually
We'll add a new customer to the Party People registered users list, the same way as we added a new administrative user.
- Navigate to Site | User Manager, then select User Manager in the top menu.
- Click the New button.
- Add in the details for your new user as shown in the following screenshot.
- Select the Registered group.
- Click No to Receive System E-mails, as they are a customer and not an administrator.
- Save the new user.
Editing existing users
User details can be edited through the User Manager quite easily.
Editing a user profile
Let's edit a Party People user's e-mail address in the User Manager.
- Click the checkbox next to the user and click the Edit icon at the top right of the screen, or click on the name of the user in the list on the User Manager screen.
- Click on the E-Mail text box and replace the existing with the new e-mail address.
- Click Save.
Also, if your site has numerous users, it would be time consuming to have to work your way through all of the names in the list. To make the process of locating a username in this case easy, use the filtering options at the top right of the User Manager, as shown:
Updating the linked contact details
Within the user profile, you will also find a link to update the contact details of the user if they are listed as a site contact.
To update the user's contact details:
- Click the Change Contact Details button under the Contact Information section to view the contact profile details of the user.
- Update the profile details within the Contact profile information as shown in the following excerpt from that screen.
- Click Save.
Resetting a username and password
As mentioned, registered frontend users can do this for themselves using one of the links in the Login Form. Otherwise, we can use the User Manager again to edit the user's profile details. You can do this especially for the backend users, following the given steps:
- Navigate to the User Manager screen.
- Select User and open the profile screen.
- Enter the new password in the Password input box. Then verify it.
- Save the change when you're done.
Dealing with problematic users
There may be times when you will need to block a user's access to the site. In fact, some spam bots can register themselves and you can find yourself with a list of oddly named users as a result. In this case, you would simply delete them.
However, if you have a particular individual user to deal with, the best method for handling them is to disable the account rather than deleting it altogether.
You can also use this to suspend an account as a temporary measure. The account can easily be reinstated at a later date, which is more efficient than re-establishing the account from scratch if you simply delete it.
Deleting a user
If you find yourself in the position of having to delete a user, follow the given steps:
- Navigate to the User Manager screen, through the Site | User Manager menu or click the User Manager icon on the administration control panel.
- Use the Filter drop-down list as shown in the following screenshot if you have many to choose from, and select the checkbox to the left of the user's name.
- Click the Delete icon at the top right menu to remove that user profile.
You will have noticed in the User Manager that user registrations are either enabled or disabled, the green ticks or red crosses indicating the user's status.
Blocking a user
If you find yourself having to suspend a user profile, prevent any activity by blocking them.
- Navigate to the User Manager.
- Filter your user listing if you have many, and click the green (enabled) tick under the Enabled column to disable the particular account. Changing the tick to a cross immediately disables the account and the user will not be able to log in from that moment.
Note that only Administrators and Super Administrators can do this.
What if a new user can't log in?
It may be that the user has not activated their account because they have not followed the link in their activation e-mail. Alternatively, these e-mails can sometimes be blocked by the user's spam fi lter, which will send it directly to a junk e-mail box. In the first instance, ask them to check there first. However, if this is not the case, you can quickly enable their account if it is disabled. Activate the user account by the following steps:
- Navigate to the User Manager.
- Click the red (disabled) cross to immediately enable the account.
Sending e-mails to a group of users
As a Super Administrator, you can send an e-mail to a particular group of users. To do this:
- Select Tools | Mass Mail from the top menu.
- Type in your e-mail Subject and the body of the message into the input boxes as shown in the following screenshot.
- Click on the Parameters icon to set some consistent details for every e-mail sent. This could be the name of the website, or a signature at the end of the e-mail.
- Also note some of the special e-mail settings:
- Mail to Child Groups: Selecting this option means your e-mail will be sent to the user group selected and all of the child groups within. For example, if you send the e-mail to the Public Back-end group, the e-mail will be sent to all members of that group who are registered as Managers, Administrators, and Super Administrators. Otherwise, you can select just Manager. Using this option allows you to send the e-mail to a broader group.
- Send in HTML Mode: This means sending the e-mail with special code to allow the recipient's e-mail client to display any HTML content.
- Group: Select the user group the e-mail should be sent to. Work in conjunction with the Mail to Child Group function.
- Recipients as BCC. Adds a copy to site e-mail : This means all recipients will be included as BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) entries. This means none of the recipients will see each other's e-mail address and, as many e-mail routers treat e-mail without a To entry (because all of the recipients are in BCC), the site e-mail address will be used in the To entry box.
- Click the Send Mail icon to send the e-mail to your recipients.
Sending a private message to a user
Also note that private messages can also be sent to any backend users. Note that these messages are not actually e-mails, but messages sent within the scope of the administration interface only. A protocol for checking these would be good practice.
- Click on Tools, then the Write Message link.
- Select your recipient, enter the subject, and type in your message.
- Click Send.
In this article, we looked at how the user management system within the administration interface allows you to effectively manage your website users and their profiles. There are many add-on third party extensions you can use to make this process even more functional, such as the powerful Community Builder component. The ability to undertake key administrative tasks, such as what we have covered in this article, is important and once you understand these fundamentals, you can build on your skill level to address tasks within any of the add-on extensions available.
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About the Author :
Tracey Porst is a freelance web developer and tertiary-level visual and interactive design teacher in Brisbane, Australia. Using the powerful Joomla! Content management system for the past few years has contributed to Tracey successfully managing a busy freelance practice that has delivered a range of functional and engaging web sites to her clients.
With several years experience in establishing and refining digital identities for a diverse range of businesses, Tracey's practice includes designing logos, corporate stationery, web site design and development, multimedia presentations, and other graphic artwork such as banners and advertising material.
Tracey's clients are happy to find a new media developer who can communicate the technical and strategic process of launching an online identity to them in relative terms, rather than being bedazzled by the jargon often associated with digital and online media.
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