User Management in Textpattern

textpatternManaging users in Textpattern CMS is a useful feature if you have an organisational hierarchy in place for your authors and contributors. User management is a much lower priority in the grand scheme of things if you’re flying solo – that is, you’re the only author on your Textpattern website. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to show how a multi-user structure inside an organisation could be managed.

If you’ve administered or simply been involved with a multi-user content management system before, you’ll take to the concepts here pretty easily. To recap, Textpattern has 6 levels of user permission:

  • Publisher
  • Managing Editor
  • Copy Editor
  • Staff Writer
  • Freelancer
  • Designer

Technically, there is also a user permission of No Access where, as the name suggests, the user has no privileges and will not be able to access the administration interface. With the exception of the Designer role, user permissions are generally reduced as the list descends. A Designer has some specific rights that some other user levels do not have.

Management of Textpattern users is a task for a Publisher – from the Managing Editors level downwards, there is no access to edit users and/or their permissions. A Publisher of a site cannot delete their own account, but can administer other Publisher accounts, along with lower-level accounts – i.e., there will always be at least one Publisher per Textpattern. It’s common to have more than one Publisher account, especially for organisations involving tiers of contributors, and if you’re anticipating having more than one person be responsible for user management, then assign each of them a Publisher role.

Users are created, maintained and deleted using the Admin -> Users tab from the Textpattern administration panel. Each user is able to administer their own account from the same tab. If (or when) a user forgets their own login password, they can reset it from the administration login screen and subsequently change it to a more memorable one. Talking of passwords, one thing that may differ from your current content management system is that new users are created without the Published specifying a password – that is to say, the password is automatically generated and emailed to the user as part of the welcome message. A new user will receive an email along the lines of the following format:

Subject: [My Site Name] Your login info

Dear [username],

You have been registered as a contributor to the site My Site Name

Your login is: username
Your password is: bywh0py7co

Login at:

There is presently no way to resend, view or reset a user’s password from the Textpattern administration screen, so the onus sits with the user to manage their own password.

User permissions can be raised and lowered on a per-user basis. In the event that a user goes rogue or leaves the organisation, their content can remain published and optionally attributed to them without allowing access to the publishing system. The best course of action in this instance would be to set the user permission to None, preventing the user logging on.

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Author Spotlight

Pete Cooper

Pete Cooper has been using Textpattern since 2005. Textpattern is his preferred CMS weapon of choice. Its logical and flexible approach to content management makes Pete happy, as does its lightweight core and helpful user community. Pete's website - - runs on top of Textpattern and chronicles his day-to-day experiences from his home near the Atlantic in north Cornwall, United Kingdom.

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