User Group Access levels explained in simple terms

Joomla controls access to certain areas and features of a site through use of a basic ACL, or Access Control Level mechanism called Groups. Certain groups have certain access level features and they are directly related to the creation, editing and publishing of content (through the Frontend and Backend interfaces) as well as to access to the Administrative (Backend) interface.

Each group has different levels of access control and once a user is made a member of that group, they inherit those rights. Note that the ‘Public Front-end’ and ‘Public Back-end’ groups are merely placeholders at this point in time. They are not valid group selections at this time, but in the future, they will define the default access levels for anonymous users in the Front-end and Back-end systems.

The Joomla ACL has been completely reworked in Joomla 1.6 (released in Jan 2011) further information on the new ACL mechanis can be read here [1] and in many other places on-line.

There are four (4) Front-end groups available:

Registered – This group allows the user to login to the Frontend interface. Registered users can’t contribute content, but this may allow them access to other areas, like a forum or download section if your site has one.

Author – This group allows a user to post content, usually via a link in the User Menu. They can submit new content, select options to show the item on the front page and select dates for publishing but they cannot directly publish any content. When content is submitted by an Author level user, they receive the message, “Thanks for your submission. Your submission will now be reviewed before being posted to the site.” They can edit only their own articles but only when that article has been published and is visible.

Editor – This group allows a user to post and edit any (not just their own) content item from the Frontend. They can also edit content that has not been published. If your site uses the default installation’s menu option “News”, which is a Table List – Content Section type, Editors will see unpublished articles in the list that they can select for editing, where as an Author or Public (unregistered) user will not even see the unpublished items in the list. Still, Editor users cannot, publish or change the publishing status of any articles, even their own.

Publisher – This group allows a user to post, edit and publish any (not just their own) content item from the Front-end. Publishers can review all articles, edit and change publishing options but the can also determine when an article is ready for publication, making it visible to Registered, Author and the Unregistered Public (depending on what visibility was chosen in the article, of course!)

There are three (3) Administration section groups that allow access to Joomla:

Manager – This group allows access to content creation and other system information from the Backend. Think of Manager users as Publishers, with Backend access. They can log in through the Administrator interface, but their rights and access are generally restricted to content management. They can create or edit any content, access to some Backend only features like adding, deleting and editing Sections and Categories, editing the Front Page and Menus, but they don’t have any access to the “Mechanics” of Joomla, like user management or the ability to install components or modules. Note that if a Manager logs in through the Frontend interface, they’re treated just like a Publisher, with the same rights and access.

Administrator – This group allows access to most administration functions. An Administrator user has all the privileges on the back end of a Manager, but they also have access to set options on, and install/delete components, modules and bots, User Manager access and can view the site statistics. What they cannot do however is change, edit or install Site Templates or make any changes to the sites Global configuration options. On login through the Frontend, they are treated as Publishers, just like the Manger users. Interesting to note; when an Administrator accesses the User Manager list, they will see all users at their access level or below; in other words they can modify any user EXCEPT a Super Administrator – in fact, they will not even see Super Administrator accounts in the list! Also, they cannot create additional Super Administrator level accounts, only a Super Admin can do that.

Super Administrator – This group allows access to all administration functions. Only another Super Administrator can create or edit a Super Administrator user account. Full access to ALL AREAS is given to Super Administrators, and once created they cannot be as easily deleted. It might not be obvious, but you have to change the user’s group to something other than Super Administrator first. Then you can delete them.

Because of this, give a bit of thought to who you need to grant this highest level of access to. Super Admins can block the user from logging in or change the password on another SA account. Like the other Backend user accounts, SA’s are treated as Publishers when they login through the Frontend interface.


As mentioned previously, the Joomla ACL has been completely re-written for Joomla! 1.6 to provide new features and greater control.

Many third-party extensions exist to extend the Joomla ACL, but due diligence should be exercised with ANY ACL extension – not only in how it affects currently available extensions for Joomla, but also how it may or may not cooperate with future releases of Joomla.

Courtesy of Joomla Documentation

joomla update packages

The importance of constantly updating your joomla site.

So you’ve got an old Joomla 1.0 – 1.7 website, either for yourself or one of your businesses. While it may look and function perfectly fine, it’s probably a good time to consider upgrading that website from an older Joomla to Joomla 2.5. It’s important to understand the benefits of upgrading your website’s backend, and security. You may ask yourself, “Why would I bother going through the trouble of upgrading to a new Joomla 2.5 when my old Joomla site is working perfectly fine?”. It’s not just about having the latest backend interface, the newer Joomla packages gives yor website a number of other important features such as:

  • Security: (This is the most important reason to migrate your site) As of July 22 2009, Joomla 1.0 will no longer be supported. This means that Joomla will not be updating the 1.0 code going forward, which also means that any potential security “holes” will no longer be patched. Joomla hackers know that your 1.0 site is vulnerable, and are constantly looking to exploit this code. In a world of digital information, nothing reflects more poorly on your business’ professionalism than a website in disarray due to a hacker.
  • Support: Another consequence of having an older, outdated joomla site is that they are no longer being supported by many 3rd party extensions so they will no longer work with it. If you want your site to enjoy all of the latest and greatest components and plugins, you’ll be out of luck with your older site.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Many of today’s best search engine optimization (SEO) tools don’t work with older joomla sites. There’s nothing better than getting your site on the first page of Google.

It is highly recommended to update Joomla sites. If you are using an even older version of Joomla series then every day you come closer to someone gaining access to your site and causing an unnecessary disruption to your website. The people of Joomla Development Working Group are constantly checking the code and making improvements to Joomla! But mostly on the newer packages

Joomla migrations

joomla is constantly being updated and improved, from joomla 1.0 to the latest joomla 2.5 there have been many changes for the better. If you or your business has an older joomla site, and you want to migrate your site to the latest version there are many ways this can be accomplished, there are components that can be used to do this but only for standard joomla sites, if you have a custom site this makes the migration a little bit more tricky as the newer joomla version may not support the older components, plugins and extensions. We find that it is a much better practice to completely re-create a site using the newest version of joomla and then replace your old site, this ensures that the site will run smoothly, we will find the latest updates of your existing components, plugins and extensions and if necessary we will find the best replacements if they are not supported by a newer version of joomla.

It is always a good time to upgrade a joomla site as older versions will stop being supported by developers because they will be focused on creating new software for the newer versions, keeping your joomla site up to date will ensure your site will look good, run smooth and will not be compromised by any online threats.

How to reset my Joomla administrator password

Joomla’s admin username can be easily changed with a simple MySQL query. The most convenient way to manage the database is through the phpMyAdmin tool. Go to your cPanel and click on phpMyAdmin in the Databases box. If you are not using cPanel or do not have phpMyAdmin, you can run the query directly for Joomla’s database.

Once in the phpMyAdmin select the Joomla database from the drop-down menu at left. The page will refresh and the database’s tables will be displayed on it. Open the SQL tab (look at the top navigation bar).

In the text field write the following SQL query:

UPDATE `jos_users` SET `password` = MD5( ‘new_password’ ) WHERE `jos_users`.`username` = “admin” ;

“new_password” – replace this with the new password you wish to use.
“admin” – replace this if your admin username is different.

Once you are ready, click on the GO button to submit the query. If everything goes fine without errors, you should be able to login to Joomla with the new password.

Note: These instructions are valid both for Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.0.*.

Problem with updating from Joomla 1.7.3 (via 1.7.4) to 2.5??

So you have just updated from Joomla 1.7.3 (via 1.7.4) to 2.5. Everything should seem fine but if you have an error that reads

Table ‘abc_mydatabase.jos_user_notes’ doesn’t exist SQL=SELECT n.user_id, COUNT( As note_count FROM jos_user_notes AS n WHERE n.user_id IN (65,71,72,70,42,17) AND n.state >= 0 GROUP BY n.user_id

Heres a quick and simple way to fix it…

extension manager > Tab “Database” see errors > Click “Fix” in button top right

This should solve the issue