Controlling Access

User groups

One of the main two building blocks needed for access control to your forums is User Groups.

Simple:Press will create some default User Groups when it is first installed. For many users these default User Groups will cover their requirements. For others, who perhaps need a more sophisticated level of access control, then as many User Groups can be created as needed.

When a new user registers on your site, Simple:Press will place that new user in a User Group. Which one they are placed in is set in the Forum -> Usergroup > Map Users to Usergroups panel and can be mapped to a WordPress role. By default when first installed, new users will be placed in the ‘Members’ User Group.

Using the ‘Add Member’ and ‘Move/Delete member’ tools you can manually adjust the memberships of each User Group.

Default Usergroups

  • Guest: This is a ‘virtual’ User Group as, by default, it has no members. Guests, by their very nature, are not registered. Simple:Press will automatically treat non-registered users as guests and apply whatever permissions are linked to this User Group. Note that it IS possible to place genuine members into the Guest User Group who will then be granted the same permissions as your Guest visitors.
  • Members: This is the default User Group for registered Members of your website. It is largely in this area that you may wish to extend the number of User Groups you create if you wish to have different ‘classes’ of members.
  • Moderators: This is a special User Group for your forum Moderators. You can have multiple Moderator User Groups.

Please note that forum Administrators do NOT belong to a User Group and do NOT require permission being assigned to them. By their very nature, forum Admins are granted total and unrestricted access although their activities within the forum admin panels can be restricted


A Permission Set is a large group of options that you can turn on and off that will grant or deny access to features, tools and actions within your forums. For example, whether a user can edit or delete their own posts, whether a user must have their first or all posts moderated, whether they can create signatures for their profile. These and many others are all controlled by permissions.

It is essential to understand these permissions and how they work and they should be set and created with care. Along with User Groups they provide the Simple:Press user powerful control over how their users interact with your forums.

Simple:Press will create some default Permission Sets when it is first installed. For many users these default sets will cover their requirements.

It is worth mentioning that a large number of questions that come up on our support forum are resolved by resetting a permission. Understanding and awareness of the permissions that can be granted or denied can save a lot of time and frustration later.

Default Permission Sets

During the installation process, Simple:Press creates the following default Permission Sets.

  • No Access: As the name implies, this set has all available permission turned off.
  • Read Only: This set provides for read only access to a forum and very limited options.
  • Limited Access: This set grants users permission to create topics and posts but limits their activity elsewhere.
  • Standard Access: This set is designed for average members usage and is probably the widest used for registered users on your forums.
  • Full Access: This set is Standard Access but with a few extras like bypassing spam control.
  • Moderator Access: Specifically designed for your forum moderators with the permissions they need to perform their tasks.

Please note that forum Administrators do NOT belong to a User Group and do NOT require permissions being assigned to them. By their very nature, forum Admins are granted total and unrestricted access.

User access

Simple:Press has an extremely sophisticated, yet easy to work with, user access control system that enables you to create a forum that anyone can visit and post to right through to a completely private forum for invited individuals only. Or – of course – a mix of the two.

This system is controlled through the combination of User Groups and Permissions.

Understanding these User Access controls before you start populating the forums is recommended as it can save you time and avoid later reorganizations.

User groups

You may have as many user groups as you wish but there must be at least one. When you create a new forum, your user groups are listed in the forum creation form and you will need to assign to each user group a set of Permissions.

One important thing to consider is that you do not have to assign the same set of Permissions to the same Usergroup in all of your forums.

Permission Sets

Like Usergroups, you may define as many Permission Sets as you need but there must always be one. Permission Sets control what a user can and can not do within the forum – such as view a forum, post to a forum, upload images or use private messaging.

Through Permission Sets you can control what members of a Usergroup can do in any forum to which they are assigned.

What Does This Mean?

Let’s construct a very simple example.

Let us assume you want to create three Usergroups:

  • The first will be for ‘Guests’ or non-registered users who you wish to have access to a couple of forums that are open and public.
  • You also need a Usergroup for ‘Members’ who will have access to more forums and will be able to perform more actions.
  • Finally, you have a more private forum open to ‘Special Members’ and they too will require their own Usergroup.

You will also now need the appropriate Permission Sets:

  • Users in the ‘Guest’ group are to be granted ‘Limited Access’ to the forums they can see. For forums they can NOT see, they will be granted ‘No Access’.
  • Users in the ‘Members’ group can perform more actions then ‘Guests’ so will be granted ‘Standard Access’ to the forums they can see but, again, ‘No Access’ to the forums they can not.
  • And your ‘Special Members’ will be granted ‘Standard Access’ to all forums.

Using the above, simplistic example, your forums could be defined as follows:

ForumForum TypeUser Group/Permission Sets
Forum1Open/Public Forum with Guest PostingGuests/Limited Access
Ordinary Members/Standard Access
Special Members/Standard Access
Forum2Public Forum with No Guest PostingGuests/No Access
Ordinary Members/Standard Access
Special Members/Standard Access
Forum3Public Forum with Limited AccessGuests/No Access
Ordinary Members/Limited Access
Special Members/Standard Access
Forum4Private Forum for Special Members onlyGuests/No Access
Ordinary Members/No Access
Special Members/Standard Access

In this way it is possible to create a complex series of relationships for the most demanding situations. It is just as easy to create simple relationships for more open and public forums.