Users and Permissions with CMS Made Simple 1.6: Part 1

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Understanding users and their roles

A role is a collection of permissions grouped by general tasks that the user has to be able to perform on the website. An editor may be responsible for creating, reorganizing, and editing pages. A designer does not need to have any permission for page operations, but for creating and editing templates (including module templates). An administrator is a person who has all permissions in the admin console and has unrestricted access to the entire admin console.

In CMS Made Simple, three roles are suggested by default—editor, designer, and administrator. The first user created during installation of CMS Made Simple gets the administrator role by default. This user cannot be deleted, deactivated, or removed from the administrator group, as it would mean that there is no administrator for the website at all. You should choose the name of this user and pay attention to the password strength. Members of the administrator group automatically get all the permissions.

Let’s see how you can create a new user and learn about the minimum features that every user has, independent of his/her role.

Time for action – creating a new user

  1. In the admin console, click on Users & Groups | Users.
  2. Click on Add New User, and fill in the fields, as shown in the following screenshot:
  3. CMS Made Simple 1.6: Beginner's Guide

  4. Click on Submit.
  5. Log out (CMS | Logout) and log in as Peter. The admin console should now look as shown in the following screenshot:

CMS Made Simple 1.6: Beginner's Guide

What just happened?

You have created a new user without assigning him to any group. This user can log in to the admin console. There are only two main menu items that the user can access—CMS and My Preferences. The user can change his name, password, and e-mail address in the MyAccount section. He can define his personal preferences such as language, admin template, set default start page for the admin console, and more. He is also able to manage his personal shortcuts.

It is important to define an e-mail address for every user, as this e-mail is used to recover the password, in case the user forgets it. On the login screen of the admin console of CMS Made Simple (when you are not logged in), you will find the link Forgot your password. Click it, enter Peter in the Username field, and click on Submit. An e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address associated with this user. If no e-mail address has been set for this user, then automatic password recovery is not possible. In this case, only the administrator of the website can reset the user’s password.

The administrator of the website can set any user as inactive by clicking the icon with a green tick in the column Active (Users & Groups | Users). The user account is not deleted, but the user is not able to log in to the admin console until his account has been activated again. If you delete the user, all permissions and personal user preferences will be irrevocably removed.

If the user is not assigned to any group, then he is not allowed to do anything other than changing his personal settings. Let’s assign the user Peter to the editor group to see what tasks he will be allowed to perform as an editor.

Time for action – assigning a user to a group

  1. In the admin console, click on Users & Groups | Users.
  2. Select the user Peter for edit by clicking on his username.
  3. Select the Editor checkbox at the bottom of the screen, as shown in the following screenshot:
  4. CMS Made Simple 1.6: Beginner's Guide

  5. Click on Submit.
  6. Log out (CMS | Logout) and log in as Peter. The admin console should look as shown in the following screenshot:

CMS Made Simple 1.6: Beginner's Guide

What just happened?

You have given the user additional permissions. Now, he can access a new menu item called Content. There are no content pages, but only News that Peter can submit. Let’s see what permissions Peter has now. In the admin console, click on Users & Groups | Group Permissions. In the first column, all available permissions are listed. To the right of the permission, there are three columns, one for each group—Admin, Editor, and Designer. You can limit the view to only one group by selecting the group at the top of the table from the drop-down list.

Find all selected checkboxes in the Editor column to see what permissions the user assigned to this group gets. You can see that only the Modify News permission is checked for the group. This means that the user can create news articles and edit existing news. When the user creates a new item, the news is automatically saved as a draft, so that only the administrator of the page or a user who has the Approve News For Frontend Display permission can publish the article on the website.

Peter is not allowed to delete news articles (permission Delete News Articles) and has no access to the content pages (permission Modify Any Page or Manage All Content).

Content permissions

As the target goal of CMS Made Simple is content management, the permissions on editing content are the most flexible. You can create and manage as many editors for the website as you like. Moreover, you can create editors with different access levels thus thoroughly separating who is allowed to do what on your website.

For example, the permission Manage All Content will give the group full access to all the features that are available with the administrator account in Content | Pages. A user assigned to this group can:

  • Create new pages
  • Reorder and move them through the hierarchy
  • Make pages inactive or prevent them from showing in the navigation
  • Change the default page of the website
  • Delete pages
  • Edit pages including all the information placed in the Options tab

To restrict the features mentioned above, you can grant the permission Modify Any Page. This permission allows us to edit the content only. The Options tab is not shown for the users with this permission, so that any information placed in the Options tab cannot be changed.

In addition to the last permission, you can allow some fields from the Options tab, so that the editor is able to change the template or mark the page as inactive.

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