Primary roles & custom roles - what are they for and what can I do with it?

  • 17 September 2018
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last updated on 03.05.19

The inSided platform knows two different kinds of roles, primary roles and custom roles. This topic has the goal to explain to you what the different roles are doing, but also to give you tips on how you can use roles to group certain users and explain what the advantages of it are.

Now what do we need roles for?


Roles are there to identify different types of users. For many different reasons you want to categorize people on the community. Let's start with primary roles, as these ones are the same across all communities.

Primary roles


Primary roles can be found and changed in a user profile page in the Control Environment (General settings - User overview ).

Every user on the community owns such a role. Here are the different primary roles available:Registered user
This primary role is the standard role of every regular user on the community.

Users awaiting E-mail confirmation(only for communities that do not use SSO login)
This role is automatically assigned when a user has freshly registered on the community, but not have clicked on the activation link in his registration email yet. Usually these users are not able to start topics or respond until they have activated their account.

Waiting for moderator approval
This role is rarely used, as it only applies for communities where every new registration has to be approved by a Moderator. This is something that could be interesting for closed communities, or communities where you want to control who is registered. Users with this role usually only can see categories and topics, but not post in them.

This feature can be activated in the "User management"-section in the control environment:


Unregistered / not logged in
This role is for all the visitors that are not registered. This role is (usually) not assigned to any account, as they are not registered. 😉 When you do not want that unregistered users are able to see a category, then this is the primary role to manage the access with.

Banned users
These are the bad boys of your community. 🙂 As soon as you ban a user, they automatically receive this primary role. Usually banned users are not able to start topics or to respond.

Super user
This role is for the heroes of your community. Those who are very active, have a lot of knowledge and the right attitude. With this role they are able to mark a response in a question as the correct solution. Also, their posts will not be touched by the spam detection (should this be activated on your community).

Moderators
Moderators have access to most of the features available in the Control Environment, but not to everything. They can moderate content, ban users, create and assign Post Fields, and much more. Check this announcement to see which areas Moderators can access and which not.

Community Managers & Administrators
As you probably would expect, Community Managers and Administrators have full power over a community. Besides the features available for Moderators, there are a number of features in the Control Environment which are exclusive for the Community Managers & Administrators:
Badges (can be made accessible to other users via custom roles)
Phrases (Ability to change text of buttons, Emails etc. on the Community)
Third-Party-Scripts (Option to upload scripts / code to the community)
Administrators have exclusive access to the appearance menu, the embeddable widgets as well as the SSI settings.

Custom roles


Custom roles can be created and changed in a dedicated page in the Control Environment ( [General settings] - [Custom user roles] ), if you want to check which users own a custom role, this can be found in the user overview ( General settings - User overview ).

Now custom roles are a very different thing. Before we speak about this, it's important to understand the following things about custom roles:
  1. They sit "on top" of primary roles. All users have a primary role, regardless if they have custom roles or not.
  2. The primary role is leading. If the primary role allows you to do something, a custom role will not be able to take this right away from you.

What does a custom role that a primary role does not do?


That is a very good question. Basically, custom roles are being used for various things. While primary roles are very good to manage larger groups of users, custom user roles will enable you to create and manage smaller user groups. You can even equip them with more detailled rights (or restrictions). The most important and common use cases are:

1. Access management in the control environment
While both handle a users' access rights on a community, custom roles will enable you to define much more specifically which parts a user might have access to in the control environment.

For a complete overview of all custom user roles and what they do, please refer to this FAQ.

2. Access management in the front-end
You can use custom roles to give people access / posting rights in subforums in the front-end.An example:
You have a group of users on the community who you would like to invite to a private Beta-testing area.

For that you could create a new custom role called "Beta-Tester" and then assign this custom role to the users who you would like to invite (via the "user overview" page).

After that, you could create a new category / subforum on the community, which is only visible to you, your colleagues and the Beta-testers:


Now your users would be able to see that category and post topics and comments in it! :)

3. Give users (or colleagues) specific ranks on your communityAn example:
You want that your colleague can be identified as an official employee on your community.

This can be done easily by applying a custom role to the user, which then will automatically assign a special rank.

First you will need to create a special rank. Give it the name that should be displayed next to the username in your community. For our example, we have chosen for the role '"inSided":

(Note that we also allow these users to edit their posts without a timelimit, because we can trust them)

After you have created that role, go to the "Ranks" settings in your Control Environment and create a new rank. We have called the rank "inSided employee" and even added the company logo as "Rank icon" and "Username icon", so that these icons are visible on the community to other users (see below for how it will look like).
Tip:You can also add the brand color and apply other styling, should you like it!


Now this is important:
  1. Put all the rules for this rank on 0. This way also new colleagues, who never posted something, will receive this special rank.
  2. In the section where it says "How to get this rank" activate the setting "All of the following" and select your custom role from the list:

This way only users with this specific role will receive this special rank.

After you have saved the settings (and recalculated the ranking structure), your colleagues will have all the necessary icons and ranks to be identified as official employees:


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