It's possible to accomplish all of these tasks by harnessing the power of vBulletin's user groups and permissions system!
What is a User Group?
A user group is just what it sounds - a group of users. By default, the vBulletin software includes the following user groups:
- (COPPA) Users Awaiting Moderation - all users that have not been validated by an administrator or moderator will be included in this group (for bulletin boards that require user accounts to be validated by an administrator).
- Administrator - all vBulletin administrators are included in this group.
- Moderators - all vBulletin moderators are included in this group.
- Registered - this group is populated with all the standard users.
- Super Moderator - this group contains all the super moderators. A super moderator can moderate all forums on the bulletin board.
- Unregistered / Not Logged In - this group contains all visitors to the bulletin board who have not logged in, or haven't registered for a user account.
- Users Awaiting Email Confirmation - if you have configured your vBulletin forum to require email verification before the registration is completed, all users in this group have registered, but haven't yet activated their account.
95% of all permissions-based configuration will be dealt with by editing the existing seven standard user groups. By editing a user group option, you can change the permissions for a particular set of users across the whole bulletin board. If you would like to alter a user groups options for a particular forum only, you can set up custom forum permissions. Let's take a look at three practical scenarios:
1. Jack would like to force all users to register for the bulletin board before they can view the forums.
In this case, Jack would need to turn off the can view board option for all user groups apart from Registered, Moderators and Administrators.
2. Jill would like to set up a private forum for administrators only.
Since these permissions changes affect just a single forum (not all forums), Jill can accomplish this configuration by turning off the can view forum and can post new threads options (for this forum only) for all user groups apart from the Administrators.
Now we've dealt with the theory behind setting up permissions on your vBulletin forums, let's take a look at the admin control panel options.