Trust levels vs. groups to manage a community that will eventually be paid

I’m about to invite 50 people to join a community. It will never be easily publicly accessible.

Once it’s up and running, I expect to add another 100 people, but the first 50 will always be ‘founders’ who never have to pay.

And then, I’ll put a paywall on, and want to be able to be smart about who is who, so I can ‘group’ people in terms of how much they have to pay, if anything.

I can easily use Groups, which I understand, and can use that to provide access to different categories, and to message people at a certain stage.

But my hunch is that Trust Levels may have a role to play here, and I want to set it up correctly from the start. It feels to me that Trust Levels are optimized for public sites, and that trust advancement is performance based, but if someone has experience with a situation like mine, delighted to hear!


Hey Seth,
You are correct that TL advancement is almost always dynamically affected by performance (read time, topics entered, days visited, replies etc) but there are a couple of caveats.

Firstly, TL4 is a level that cannot be achieved dynamically – a user must be manually promoted to that level by an admin because it affords people extra power as per Trust Level Permissions Table (inc Moderator Roles).

Secondly, an admin can lock a user’s TL so that they don’t move up or down the levels. This is done on an individual basis.

You can also set the minimum trust level for a new user when you invite them.

I think the best way to achieve what you are trying to is to create custom groups outside of TLs but @JammyDodger is our resident expert.


thanks for confirming this amateur’s hunch

unless I hear otherwise, groups it is.

thank you