Using Advanced Forum Permissions

Back in Chapter 8, you learned how to create new forums and set basic permissions on them using the Simple Mode of the permissions screen. While the permission presets cover the most common usages, chances are you will want to delve into the more advanced options phpBB offers.

The first step is to become acquainted with the permissions system's Advanced Mode, illustrated in Figure 10-5.

■ Note Regardless of permission settings, administrators automatically have access to all forum features, and they cannot be denied access to those features.

Figure 10-5. Advanced forum permissions

To set permissions for a specific action, use the drop-down options available underneath each category (View, Read, Post, and so on). The five possible options you can set are described in Table 10-1.

Table 10-1. phpBB Permission Options

Option

Description

ALL All users, logged in or not, will be able to use the specified feature.

REG Only registered users who are logged in will be able to use the specified feature.

PRIVATE Users or user groups with specific permissions in this forum have access to features marked as private.

MOD Moderators and administrators will have access to the feature.

ADMIN Forum administrators will have access to the feature.

After setting the permissions you want, click Submit, and your changes will be successfully applied. You can test your permissions by logging out and logging back in as a normal user.

Tip When setting permissions on your forums, it's a great idea to have a generic user account and a moderator account for testing your permissions. Since having administrative rights trumps all permissions, you need to have a way to get some idea of what to expect when other users and moderators interact with your forum.

ADVANCED PERMISSIONS IN ACTION: AN ANNOUNCEMENT FORUM

Many communities offer a forum dedicated to moderators and administrators posting announcements concerning the board. Some communities lock out all posting by nonstaff members. phpBB's permissions system gives you a unique opportunity to create an announcement forum that restricts creation of new topics to administrators and moderators, but permits registered users to give feedback on those posts. Putting feedback posts on specific announcements in their own topics helps keep the rest of your forums on topic.

First things first: you need to create your forum in the Forum Administration panel. (For a refresher on creating forums, see Chapter 8.) Keep the forum unlocked and do not enable auto-pruning. Next, go to the Forum Permissions panel and select the forum you just created. You'll need to use Advanced Mode, as the permissions are very fine-tuned. As shown in the following example, I'm going to let all users see and read the forum; registered users post replies, edit their own posts, and vote in polls; moderators and administrators make new topics, delete posts, and create new polls; and administrators give priority (sticky/announcement flags) to topics.

Forum: Now Hear This!

[all_B

1 ALL 1 MOD

| REG | REG T I

1 MOD

1 ADMIN

1 ADMIN

|reg _d

1 MOD

simple

Mode

Submit 1 1 Reset |

Feel free to adjust these permissions as desired. For example, if you want only administrators to be able to make forum-wide announcements, set the Post permission to ADMIN.

Click Submit, and then log in as a regular user. You'll notice that you don't have permission to create a new topic in the forum. Now, log in with your administrator account, and try again. This time, it works! Your regular users should still be able to reply to topics in that forum, which you can test by creating a topic and logging back in with your regular account and trying a reply.

You now have a unique forum for your users to sound off about your announcements in the proper threads, which encourages discourse between the staff and the users, and ultimately fosters a healthy community.

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