When you do the updates or when you make changes on the sites made with Joomla, is a good idea to put the site offline for several reasons. One of these reasons it is during the development phase when unfinished site, we want to show it to a user or to a specified group of users.
Among the most important new features of Joomla 1.7 is a long-awaited and powerful ACL (Access Control Levels) which gives us the opportunity to give permissions to read, create, edit and delete pages to certain users or groups of users, depending on the role they have in the website.
The permissions can be assigned to groups and not to individual users, and therefore if we want to assign specific permissions to a user must create a group for that user and assign permissions to that group.
Here's how to proceed:
1. Login from back-end with superuser credentials.
2. Click on "Users > Groups > Add New Group".
Enter a title such as "Offline Group" and choose "Registered" option for the "Group Parent" drop-down list and then click on "Save & Close" right-top button. Now that we have created a group we need to create an access level for this group.
3. Click on "Users > Access Levels > Add New Access Level", enter a title for this new access level like "Offline Access", put the check mark next to "Offline Group" then "Save & Close";
Now what are we missing? Ah yes, the user:) Let's create!
4. Click on "Users > User Manager > Add New User" and fill all the mandatory fields like this:
Name: Offline User
Login name: OFFUser
Confirm Password: pa$$w0rd
Don't forget to check the boxes in front of "Registered" and "Offline Group" groups. As usual "Save & Close".
At this point, we see how to configure the permissions for the "Offline Group" so that all users in this group can access the site even when it is in Offline Mode.
5. Click on "Site > Global Configuration" and select the "Permissions" tab. We see a list with all the groups across their permission settings (Calculated Settings). Then click on the "Offline Group" group, under calculated settings we see "Not Allowed" permission. To enable offline access for this group we need to select new setting on "Select New Setting" column for the "Offline Access" action.
We only have to change the value from "Inherited" to "Allowed".
Now we just have to try to put the site offline and log on with the credentials of user OFFUser. Will it work?