Creating user accounts

A key reason for using a content management system such as Drupal is to spread out the work of adding content to your site.  Ensure that all staff members or volunteers who are in a position to contribute to the site have an account set up for them and are assigned the appropriate role for the tasks they will be carrying out on the site.

Watch the screencast Creating Users on Open Outreach to view these instructions in action.

Adding a new user account

  • Start by logging in using the administrator (admin) account that you created when installing the site.
  • There is a CAPTCHA (in this case a math question) to prevent machines logging in.
  • Once logged in, with the administrator role, you will see a toolbar at the top of the page.
  • Select the “People” link.
  • For administration duties such as adding new users, you want to use this admin account.  But for day to day use of the site such as adding and editing content, it is good to set up another account for yourself with your own username.
  • Start by clicking the button “Add user”.
  • Type in a user name (this will appear in certain places, such as as the author of content) as well as an email and a password.  Note that the email address you used to create the admin account cannot be used again—each email address may only be used for one user account.
  • The next step is to assign this new user to a role.  Roles determine what permissions a particular user has (that is what they are allowed to do on the site.)


There are four roles present on an Open Outreach site:

  • Authenticated user: Anyone who has registered on the site, and authenticated herself/himself by logging in.  This might be a member of the general public who wants to post comments.
  • Contributor: A contributor is a member of staff or a volunteer who is going to be posting content but not editing other people’s content.
  • Editor:  The editor can post content but also edit other people’s content.
  • Administrator: The administrator has all permissions.

When you have assigned a role, save your information.

Users registering their own accounts

  • Website visitors can also create their own accounts by visiting the login/register link and selecting the "Create new account" tab. 
  • Here they will fill in a user name, supply their email address and answer a CAPTCHA. 
  • For Open Outreach, the default setting is that site visitors can register an account, but a site administrator needs to approve it.  You do so via the user administration page (the "People" button in the toolbar.)  Select the user account(s) you wish to activate and select "Unblock".  This will activate the account and send an email to the new user with login information.
  • If you want to change this setting so that site visitors can create an account without requiring approval or to set it so that only an administrator can create user accounts, you can change the settings on the "Configuration" page under "Account settings" in the section on "Registration and cancellation."