What is a staff user on hosted Discourse?

When choosing a Discourse hosting plan, you might notice that each plan has a different Staff limit:

  • Standard: 5
  • Business: 15
  • Enterprise: unlimited

This topic will help outline what a staff member is in relation to your community.

What counts as a Staff user?

  • A staff user is any user that is an admin, a moderator, or both. The list of current staff members can be viewed at /about or listed at /admin/users/list/staff.

  • :warning: On hosted sites, there are a few special staff accounts that do not count against your limits. These include: system, discobot, and any Discourse staff accounts.

How do I add/remove Staff?

  • The account you sign up with when you create your trial will be your first staff user since it is an admin account. After that, admin and moderator status must be manually granted/revoked by visiting a user’s admin page. This can be done by visiting the Users section of your admin panel and selecting a user from the list. Once on the user’s admin page, scroll down to the “Permissions” section and adjust the following settings to your liking:

What can Staff users do?

  • Admin

    • Access all content on the site
    • Impersonate non-admins
    • Change site settings
    • Create groups
    • Amend site customizations
    • Create, delete, and modify categories
    • Ignore category permissions to view private categories
    • Perform all the actions moderators can perform
  • Moderators

    • Gets shield icon next to name on posts
    • Immune to rate limits
    • Can process flags and posts held in the moderation queue
    • Can delete topics and posts, split topics, merge topics, hide topics and so on
    • Can view user info (including email address when the moderators view emails site setting is enabled)
    • Can suspend, silence, anonymize and delete users
    • Can adjust a user’s trust level

Are their other ways to facilitate moderation outside of staff users?

Yes! I’m glad you asked :slight_smile:

Trust Level 4 (TL4) - manually granting a user with this trust level will give them the following privileges without counting against your Staff limits:

  • Edit all posts
  • Pin/unpin topic
  • Close topics
  • Archive topics
  • Make topics unlisted
  • Split and merge topics
  • Reset topic bump date
  • Make any post a wiki
  • Rebuild post HTML
  • Reply to closed topics
  • Daily like limit increased by 3×
  • Any TL4 flag cast on any post immediately takes effect and hides the target post

Category Group Moderation - This feature is continuing to grow, but at the moment, you can assign a specific user group to manage the review queue of a specific category. They are also granted the following moderation powers:

  • Gets a shield icon next to name on posts under their category
  • Mark topics as solved
  • Edit posts
  • Close topics
  • Archive topics
  • Move posts from a topic
  • Edit category descriptions
  • Add staff notices

Category moderators do not count against your staff limits. See Category Group Review/Moderation for more information.


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