Types of Groups
What is it?
Site Administrators: Membership in the site Administrator group allows Full access to all features and functions across your community; including all features within the Control Panel. Typically, only a small number of people are made members of the Administrators group. These people are in charge of the creation, maintenance, and upkeep of the entire site. Membership in the Administrators group overrides all Access rules, as well. If people require specific administrative powers, consider using Roles.
Site Members: Everyone who can log into your community is automatically part of the All Members group. The group can be found under System Groups -> Members in the Manage Groups area of the Control Panel. This group can be used to set up access rules and subscriptions for areas in your community that you wish everyone to have some level of access to.
As a site administrator, you can create as many Member Groups as you need to break up, organize, and collect members for their varied needs within your community. People can be in as many or as few Member Groups as needed, and groups can be as large or small as you like.
Space Administrators: Each space has the option to assign administrators. Anyone who is part of a space’s Administrators group will have Full access throughout that space, as well as access to the Space Administration panel.
Space Members: Every space has its own Members group which can be used like any other member group with the added feature that Space Administrators can add and remove people from the Members group in their space.
Space Groups (within a space): Both Site and Space Administrators have the ability to create as many sub-groups as they need to manage access and notifications within that space.
Note: Everyone who is added to a Space group is also automatically added to the Members group of that space.
Broad access for everyone
The most common use of All Members is to give Read access to the group in most areas in your community, which allows people to read and comment on the majority of the material available on the site. Often, these rules are set to be Cascading, so they will carry through to channels, articles, and documents that are nested underneath the location that you set the rule.
Member managers and other special roles
You may want some people within your community to have the ability to manage certain aspects of your site that only Administrators would typically have access to. This is often possible using Roles. To set it up, create a Member Group, add the people you need, and give them the appropriate roles in the Manage Roles area.
The most common use for this feature is to let HR managers add and remove people from the community.
Features and functionality
There are a number of features and functions that allow you to modify and manage your groups. Check out the article, Manage Groups to learn more.
How to create a group
Check out the Manage Groups article to learn how to create groups.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I use a Members group vs. a Space group?
Member groups and Space groups can be used interchangeably by a site administrator. The important difference between them is that Space administrators have the ability to change the membership in their Space groups. So use Member groups to control access in areas that you want tight, administrative control over who can have access, and use Space groups anywhere that the relevant Space administrator should have some say over access.
Why can’t I add or remove people from the Members System group?
Everyone that is part of your community is part of the Members System group. Every time you add someone to the site, or revoke their membership, they are added or removed from that group. See the article on Manage Members for more detail.
Best practices / Tips and tricks
Contractors or interns
Some companies have contractors, part-time employees, board members, or interns that shouldn’t have broad access to their communities, while regular employees do. The most common way to deal with this is to create two Member groups: one for regular employees, the other for contractors. The regular employee group would then be used in place of the All Members group when setting up access across the site to avoid the risk of exposing anything that shouldn’t be available to the contractors.
Groups of one
While it is possible to create access rules for individuals, it is almost always preferable to use groups instead. Create a group in Manage Groups and add your single person to that group. You can then use this group to give that individual their special access where they need it. This has a great advantage in long-term maintenance. If that person ever gets replaced, or their team grows, you only have to update the group and do not have comb the site to adjust the access rules.