8 min read

User manager

In Joomla!, there is one User Manager component from where you can manage the users of that site. However, for the VirtueMart component, there is another  user manager which should be used for the VirtueMart shop. To be clear about  the differences of these two user managers, let us look into both.

Joomla! user manager

Let us first try Joomla!’s user manager. Go to the Joomla! control panel and click on the User Manager icon or click on Site | User Manager. This brings the User Manager screen of Joomla!:

Creating and Managing User Groups in Joomla! and VirtueMart

We see that the users registered to the Joomla! site are listed in this screen. This screen shows the username, full name, enabled status, group that the user is assigned to, email of the user, date and time when they last visited, and user ID. From this screen, you may guess that any user can be enabled or disabled by clicking on the icon in the Enabled column. Enabled user accounts show a green tick mark in the Enabled column.

For viewing the details of any user, click on that user’s name in the Name column. That brings up the User:[Edit] screen:

Creating and Managing User Groups in Joomla! and VirtueMart

As you see, the User Details section shows some important information about the user including Name, Username, E-mail, Group, and so on. You can edit and change these settings including the password. In the Group selection box, you must select one level. The deepest level gets the highest permission in the system. From this section, you can also block a user and decide whether they will receive system  emails or not.

In the Parameters section, you can choose the Front-end Language and Time Zone for that user. If you have created contact items using Joomla!’s Contacts component, you may assign one contact to this user in the Contact Information section.

VirtueMart user manager

Let us now look into VirtueMart’s user manager. From the Joomla! control panel, select Components | VirtueMart to reach the VirtueMart Administration Panel. To view the list of the user’s registered to the VirtueMart store, click on Admin | Users. This brings the User List screen:

Creating and Managing User Groups in Joomla! and VirtueMart

As you can see, the User List screen shows the list of users registered to the shop. The screen shows their username, full name, group the user is assigned to, and their shopper group. In the Group column, note that there are two groups mentioned. One group is without brackets and another is inside brackets. The group name mentioned inside brackets is Joomla!’s standard user groups, whereas the one without brackets is VirtueMart’s user group. We are going to learn about these user groups in the  next section.

For viewing the details of a user, click on the user’s name in Username column. That brings the Add/Update User Information screen:

Creating and Managing User Groups in Joomla! and VirtueMart

The screen has three tabs: General User Information, Shopper Information, and Order List. The General User Information tab contains the same information which was shown in Joomla!’s user manager’s User: [Edit] screen. The Shopper Information tab contains shop related information for the user:

Creating and Managing User Groups in Joomla! and VirtueMart

The Shopper Information section contains:

  • a vendor to which the user is registered
  • the user group the user belongs to
  • a customer number/ID
  • the shopper group

Other sections in this tab are: Shipping Addresses, Bill To Information, Bank Account, and any other section you have added to the user registration or account maintenance form. These sections contain fields which are either available on the registration or account maintenance form. If the user has placed some orders, the Order List tab will list the orders placed by that user. If no order has been placed,  the Order List tab will not be visible.

Which user manager should we use?

As we can see, there is a difference between Joomla!’s user manager and VirtueMart’s user manager. VirtueMart’s user manager shows some additional information fields, which are necessary for the operation of the shop. Therefore, whenever you are managing users for your shop, use the user manager in the VirtueMart component, not Joomla!’s user manager. Otherwise, all customer information will not be added or updated. This may create some problems in operating the VirtueMart store.

User Groups

Do you want to decide who can do what in your shop? There is a very good way for doing that in Joomla! and VirtueMart. Both Joomla! and VirtueMart have some predefined user groups. In both cases, you can create additional groups and assign permission levels to these groups. When users register to your site, you assign them to one of the user groups.

Joomla! user groups

Let us first look into Joomla! user groups. Predefined groups in Joomla! are  described below:

User Group

Permissions

Public Frontend

Registered

Users in this group can login to the Joomla! site and view the contents, sections, categories, and the items which are marked only for registered users. This group has no access to content management.

Author

Users in this group get all the permissions the Registered group has. In addition to that, users in this group can submit articles for publishing, and can edit their own articles.

Editor

Users of this group have all the above permissions, and also can edit articles submitted by other users. However, they cannot publish the contents.

Publisher

Users in this group can login to the system and submit, edit, and publish their own content as well as contents submitted by other users.

Public Backend

Manager

Users in this group can login to the administration panel and manage content items including articles, sections, categories, links, and so on. They cannot manage users, install modules or components, manage templates and languages, and access global configurations. Users in this group can access some of the components for which the administrator has given permission.

Administrator

In addition to content management, users in this group can add a user to Super Administrator group, edit a user, access the global configuration

settings, access the mail function, and manage/install templates and language files.

Super Administrator

Users in this group can access all administration functions. For every site, at least one should be in this group to perform global configurations. You

cannot delete a user in this group or move him/her to another group.

As you can see, most of the users registering to your site should be assigned to the Registered group. By default, Joomla! assigns all newly registered users to the Registered group. You need to add some users to the Editor or Publisher group if they need to add or publish content to the site. The persons who are managing the shop should be assigned to other Public Backend groups such as Manager, Administrator or Super Administrator.

VirtueMart user groups

Let us now look into the user groups in VirtueMart. To see the user groups, go to VirtueMart’s administration panel and click on Admin | User Groups. This shows the User Group List screen:

Creating and Managing User Groups in Joomla! and VirtueMart

By default, you will see four user groups: admin, storeadmin, shopper, and demo. These groups are used for assigning permissions to users. Also, note the values in the User Group Level column. The higher the value in this field, the lower the permissions assumed for the group. The admin group has a level value of 0, which means it has all of the permissions, and of course, more than the next group storeadmin. Similarly, storeadmin group has more permissions than the shopper group. These predefined groups are key groups in VirtueMart, and you cannot modify or delete these groups. These groups have the following permissions:

Group

Permissions

admin

This group has permissions to use all of the modules except checkout and shop. The admin group does not need these because admin users usually do not shop in their store.

storeadmin

This group has fewer permissions than admin group. Users in this group can access all the modules except the admin, vendor, shop, and checkout modules. They cannot set the global configurations for the store, but can add and edit payment methods, products, categories, and so on.

shopper

This group has the least permission among the three key groups. By default, users registered to the shop are assigned to this group. Users in this group can fully access the account module, and can use some functions of the shop, coupon, and checkout modules.

demo

This is a demo group created by default so that administrators can test and play with it.

For most of the shops, these four predefined groups will be enough to implement appropriate permissions. However, in some cases you may need to create a new user group and assign separate permissions to that group. For example, you may want to employ some people as store managers who will add products to the catalog and manage the orders. They cannot add or edit payment methods, shipping methods, or other settings, except product and orders. If you add these people to the storeadmin group then they get more permissions than required. In such situations, a good solution is to create a new group, add selected user accounts to that group, and assign permissions to that group.

Creating a new user group

For creating a new user group, click on the New button in the toolbar on the User Group List screen. This brings Add/Edit a User Group screen:

Creating and Managing User Groups in Joomla! and VirtueMart

In the Add/Edit a User Group screen, enter the group’s name and group level. You must type a higher value than existing groups (for example, 1000). Click on the Save icon to save the user group. You will now see the newly created user group in the User Group List screen.


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