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Drupal comes with one special superuser account that can access everything and two built-in roles. One of them for members who have signed up for your site and the other one for anonymous people who are just coming to the site and haven't signed up for it. But you can add as many more roles as you like and we will show you how to do that. First, go over to Administer, then scroll down to the area User Management. We are going to change Roles. And here you can see that it lists the two roles that come as part of the Default Drupal installation, anonymous and authenticated. It's very easy to add an additional one. Let's say that we are building a site where some people are allowed to contribute content, but others aren't, let's call them Contributing user and say Add role and there we are, we have added a new role, but we haven't actually given them permission to do anything, so to go there, let's click on edit permissions. Now we can see all of the permissions that, that new user can add. But there is a bit of a problem, we can't really compare what this user can do against all of the other users. So let's go back and instead of clicking on Edit permissions here, we will go to Administer and Permissions. There, now we see anonymous user, authenticated user and contributing user, all on one screen. In reality, we don't have to check these boxes because members of the Contributing user group are also authenticated users. I like to check them any way, just for visual clarity and then Save permissions.
So, so far, this user is only on parity with the authenticated user. Since this is a contributor who is going to be writing things, we are going to give them access to create pages, and create stories. Now if we scroll down to the bottom and say Save permissions, we have created a new kind of user that has those additional permissions and any user that we have on our system can be made in to a Contributing user. We will show you how to do that in another video. So now we have created a type of user that has all the rights of a normal authenticated user, but with some additional ones. We can take any user who is already on the system and give them that role in addition to what they already have and in fact, if we continue adding roles, somebody could have one role or multiple roles simply by adding that from the administrative interface. As you add more roles, you have to be careful because these columns will keep getting wider and wider and at some point, it's going to go off the screen, that becomes very difficult to manage, not only from going from one to another, but also because it's going to become harder and harder to keep one type of user separate from another in your mind. So we recommend a lot of simplicity when you are designing user roles. Don't add any that you don't need to add.
In addition to giving users a new role explicitly, some Modules will let you escalate user roles based on participation. For example, if somebody comments a lot or if somebody writes a lot of blog posts, there are modules that will automatically elevate that person's permission. Another type of Module lets you see certain types of content only if you are at a certain user role. So you can see that these user roles actually have a lot of use once you start mixing in modules that take advantage of them. Finally, I would advise everybody to plan out what roles are going to be needed on a site before you start implementing them. That will help you keep it simple, but realize that you may have to add more even beyond the plans you originally made as your site develops.
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