Basic Setup: the Toastmasters Settings Screen

The Toastmasters screen under Settings on the administrative dashboard allows you to set basic parameters for a Toastmasters club website, including whether it should be “public” (advertised to search engines) and which users hold officer roles.

(This entry is a stub, to be added to later).

Sharing or Delegating Website Administrator Rights and Responsibilities

Recommendation: As the Administrator of a club website, you should share your responsibility with at least one other Administrators and assign other officers or responsible members to the website Manager role (defined below).

You can appoint administrators and managers on the Toastmasters screen under Settings on the website dashboard. The Make Administrator and Make Manager sections appear right beneath the section where you specify who the club officers are.

Backups Are Important

Toastmasters leaders come and go. Even if you personally have made a long-term commitment to the club, there could come a day when you are unable to keep participating because of illness, or a job move, or who knows what? Or maybe you are the club leader who has delegated most responsibilities for managing the club website to someone else — perhaps someone with more “techie” skills than you give yourself credit for — and one day that person goes missing.

You don’t want to find yourself “locked out” of your own website, which is showing outdated information (say, because your meeting location has changed), and you can’t fix it.

So name at least one additional administrator, someone who is reasonably comfortable futzing with web software, who can step in if necessary. Having a backup administrator is a good thing even if your primary admin continues to do most of the work.

You may also want to assign officers and other trusted club members to elevated security roles. Your choices, with increasingly broad rights are:

  • Subscriber – the default security role. Can sign up for roles and edit their own user/member profile.
  • Contributor – Can contribute blog posts and submit them for approval by an Editor or Administrator.
  • Author – Can create and publish blog posts without prior approval by an Editor.
  • Editor – Can edit any of the site content, including blog posts, pages, and event posts.
  • Manager – Can edit content and can also add or edit user/member records. (Not a standard WordPress security role — added for use by an officer such as the VP of Membership who needs to be able to add user accounts).
  • Administrator – Can change configuration settings, enable plugins, and change the site design (color choices, banners, etc). On a stand-alone website, the Administrator can also install plugins and themes. On a multisite network such as toastmost.org, only the network administrator can install additional software.
  • Network Administrator – On a multisite network such as toastmost.org, this super-administrator has administrative rights to all the individual club websites and can make changes that affect all websites.

As an Administrator, you can appoint a second administrator, and you can also appoint users to any of the roles below that level.

You can change user roles on the Users screen.

Primary Administrator and Removing an Administrator

Normally, one thing a WordPress administrator is not allowed to do is modify or delete another administrator’s account. Once you have promoted someone to user, you can’t easily demote them from that role.

To make this more manageable for a Toastmasters club, we make a distinction between the primary administrator (usually the person who established the website) and other administrators. Only the primary administrator can remove another user’s administrator rights, for example if that person is no longer active in the club.

The primary administrator is also the only one who can reassign the primary administrator role — ideally, if that person were leaving the club, they would pass the torch to someone else who would become the primary administrator.

Member Access / Security Settings

Building on the user access levels built into WordPress, WordPress for Toastmasters lets you assign a user to be an Administrator, Editor, Manager, Author, or Subscriber. An administrator has all access rights, but you can customize the other roles to determine whether, for example, regular users are allowed to use the Edit Signups features.

See the blog post Understanding User Access Levels in WordPress for Toastmasters for the basic, default scheme.

As an administrator, you can customize to access rights associated with each type of user on the Security tab of the Settings -> Toastmasters screen.

Toastmasters Security Options