One of the most powerful ways of extending your website is to allow people to join it. The system is very flexible and allows you to choose how you let people join your site and which features you make available to them.

Allowing people to join your site means that you can offer extra features that are normally can only be made available to website members. For example: 

  • Discussion forums and blogs: Any member of the public can read these on your site but only members are able to post to them or add comments.
  • Photo galleries and file storage: Members of the public can view and download files and photos but you can allow members to upload them as well. Members can add comments to photos.
  • Calendars, job vacancies and small ads: Again, the public can read these on your site but members are able to do much more including adding events to calendars, applying online for vacancies, uploading CVs and adding new small ads. 
  • Members only areas: As the name suggests, only members of your website can access the members only area. It can be as simple as a single page or it could be an entire second website complete with all of the interactive features such as discussion forums, photo galleries etc.


How do people join my site?

You can set a membership policy for your site; "open" which allows anyone to join without you approving them, "closed" which allows anyone to join once they have been approved by you and "private" which only allows people that you have invited to join your site.

People have to already be registered with to join sites (if they try to join and aren't already registered, they'll be prompted to register first). 


Before you allow people to join

Allowing people to join your site is a great way of enhancing it and connecting with people visiting your site but it can also create some extra work for you as the site administrator.

Depending on the membership policy of your site, you may need to allow some time to approve any new members.

Members may be able to contribute to parts of your site. You should read the summary of what members are normally allowed to do before you accept your first member to make sure that you are happy with this. If necessary, you can change what members are allowed to do by using the permissions system.

As the administrator for your site, you are responsible for any content added by your members (including comments on blogs, posts in discussion forums, pictures added to albums etc). You must  regularly check any content added by your members to make sure it doesn't break our terms and conditions.


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