Query about adding another admin


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Can anyone help me here? I have set up a new forum - after being a member of another one for many years that stopped being supported and was broken. A couple of other members and I asked to take over that forum but the owner wanted an extremely high price for it so we basically jumped ship. I took the initiative to actually set up another forum from scratch and kept everyone updated and we already have a few members.

However one other member (who was also in the old forum) I have as a moderator. He was previously a moderator on the old forum. He is saying he wants to be more than a moderator- ie another Admin. And offered to chip in on my costs so far.

I have mixed feelings about this. I set up my own forum because I wanted to manage it successfully. The mod guy does have a lot of IT experience though. My concern is it could a) lead to disagreements and b) mean things are changed that I don’t want changing.

So part of me wants to say - yeah great - two admins means I don’t have to be in all the time. Another part of me is thinking - I want control over my forum! Came up with the domain name, designed the logo and chose the software. I feel a bit attached to it! I have done a huge amount of marketing work and invited various useful people to join (who have indeed joined).

Any thoughts or advice? Could I give someone admin privileges without them being a co owner? While the admin guy knows a lot more about servers than I do (abd has their own server) I would be reluctant to change what I have set up. If we are equal admin/owners then it could lead to hassle and disagreement.

On the other hand I don’t want to offend him (or lose him from the forum).
You can still have him as admin but not let him have access to the server. You can also only allow him to have certain permissions in the ACP.
THere's two pieces to being the admin.

One is being able to admin Xenforo itself, e.g. go into ACP.

One is being able to do admin work that supports Xenforo like backups and other server work.

You can have one without having the other. I have both, but that's not necessary.

If he has IT background, though, you might want to try to leverage that. Part of how I ended up in the role (I do both) is that I had over a decade IT experience already at the time we started the board and was one of only two members who had that background.
Has nothing to do with owning. It's a title and permissions. Just go to the source and ask! Find out what he wants to do and why. He may just want a title or he may want to do admin duties in acp or he may want to reorganize the whole place. You don't know until you ask and you can grant certain admin permissions without granting all. Just saying "I want to be an admin" tells me nothing.
Sounds messy.

Unless you're willing to draw up contracts, and get lawyers involved, i wouldn't do it.

Moderators are volunteer roles.

Admin is a harder sell. When the site starts making money, he'll want some of that, too.
The only other co-admin i have is a friend of 25 years. and that's mostly disaster recovery aspects in mind in case i get hit by a bus.
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Not true at all. It's simply extra permissions and you can select what you need.

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Admin is a harder sell. When the site starts making money, he'll want some of that, too.
Why should that be an expectation of being an admin? As someone already pointed out, admin does not equal owner. An admin could be a hired gun or volunteer who just does admin work for the real owner(s).

In my case, Wondercafe2 is officially community run. If we had a revenue stream beyond donations, the money would be going back into the site for maintenance, improvements, etc. I am just the guy who does the work to keep the lights on and the doors open. To close the site down, I would actually have to have a membership vote, not just do it by my own fiat. I don't consider myself the owner, nor do the other two admins.

For my writing sites, there is a woman who owns both. She then has a hired gun programmer to do modifications and fixes (it runs on open source code) who also does server administration and volunteer admins who do the board admin work (the stuff we do in ACP). None of the admins has an ownership stake as far as I know.
I think since the owner is also and admin, some believe an admin is also an owner. I guess? It's a dated term anyway. I only see it with forums. I don't ever ask to speak to an "admin" in any other business. And it's just a word. Just add what permissions you need and be done.
Cheers all! Yes it is vague and complex. The fact he is offering to share the set up costs suggests to me he wants to be co owner basically - like equal partners in a business. And yes maybe he is thinking of the profits! Which right now I am not - I am just fairly passionate about having it up and running successfully. But there may be profits and he is aware of that.
I am a bit confused about how I could make someone admin and also set permissions for them - because admin can change permissions can’t they.

I’m trying to prepare/avoid an awkward situation before asking him exactly what he wants - and preparing what I’m prepared to do. But if he says yes I want to be co owner etc I’d have to say no - it’s my baby. And risk losing a good moderator with a lot of experience in the topic of the forum . But hey that’s life.

My main concern is that he is itching to change things, being an experienced IT person and I want to have it the way I want- designs etc. So I’d have to say that. And as someone said above that almost means drawing up contracts as to what the extent of each role is.

I once went on a course for people setting up in business and the biggest piece of advice given was - never trust a business partner! Even your best friend, husband or wife. I fell foul of that with a business partnership (spouse). The lesson learned from that was - make sure it’s a limited company not just a partnership.

Anyway. I think partly he just wants to be more than a moderator (how do I create a super moderator?) but also seems very keen to be more hands on about how it looks and operates.

This is partly because three of us were mods on another forum which basically failed due to lack of admin /ownership input for a few years. As mentioned above - and wanted to take it over as an existing group. Then discussion between him snd I about possibly starting another one. Then nothing for ages so I started one, set it all up and asked if he wanted to be moderator. Which he is.

I am going to have to be diplomatic I think.

I can’t see the appoint of having another admin if they can’t do admin stuff - and no need because it’s all set up and running. Email activation for signing up and mods to approve new sign ups.

So I think basically he’s wanting equal shares and to be more involved in decision making. Which could lead to disagreement or me losing control of the site I’ve just set up.

Sorry guys - I’m going round in circles I know.

So main question is - can I make him admin and still restrict what admin can do? Maybe he just wants to be more important!
I am a bit confused about how I could make someone admin and also set permissions for them - because admin can change permissions can’t they.
A regular admin is unable to change their own permissions. Only a superadmin can change an admins permissions.

So main question is - can I make him admin and still restrict what admin can do?

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@Alvin63 These are all great answers you've been given here and are all relevant, but here's something from a slightly different perspective to consider.

Being a mod, or even more so, an admin, means power and that feels good.

I created my own forum from scratch recently using XF, including the domain, everything, so I'm the super admin. I have complete control over the hosting too, the infrastructure of the site. This gives me control over everything, completely untouchable - no warnings or bans, ever, even from the other admins. And I love it. It feels awesome! I also don't plan an abusing that power and responsibility, but there are those who do in this world, alas. Of course, my fellow "regular" admins could trash the forum, forcing me to recover from backups and then fire them, which is why I have only people that I absolutely trust there. There's simply no question in my mind that they'd do anything like this. Only this level of trust should be acceptable.

Your guy definitely has this power in mind, but won't tell it to you, obviously. Ask him why he wants the role, but bear in mind that this is part of it, for sure. If this makes you feel a bit uncomfortable, it should.

Also, it doesn't sound like you know him that well. All my admins I know personally in real life and know them to be reliable people, so I put them in that powerful position to help me out with running the forum and as a backup for me. In short, I wouldn't give him the role, even after discussion, given what I've read here. You will know the situation much more fully however and can make a judgement based on that.

In the end though, you do need at least one other admin, whoever that may be, perhaps a trusted family member. And that's for continuity should something happen to you. Otherwise the site will just run on autopilot until a payment needs to be made that bounces. It will then go offline without warning and stay that way, permanently. And that's pretty horrible and unfair for your users. Therefore, you need a contingency plan for that scenario. The sooner you put that in place the better.
Thank you that is very helpful. I am wondering what is the main difference between a super moderator and a regular admin. Can either see email addresses for super admin or other users? I would prefer not to have another member see others email address. Good point about having someone I know, trusted, to be able to take over.

FTL I think you're right there. I only know him from another forum. A reliable moderator. A regular admin may be an option but I am thinking of suggesting super moderator. Although that probably isn't what he had in mind. Does it actually say "supermoderator" under "staff online" on the right hand side? I wouldn't think so because I am super admin and it just says "admin".
Can either see email addresses for super admin or other users?
Only Admins can see email addresses providing they have the proper permissions.

There is no difference between supermoderator and moderator besides permission settings.
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Cheers. Not quite sure what that means. I went into profile and added a designated title - don’t know if it worked until he signs in.

Anyway - I have messaged him briefly and evaded the vague suggestion saying have changed his account to super moderator and he has full permissions on the forum. (All he actually said was he wanted to be more than a mod). Which is kind of saying - that’s the most I’m prepared to do. Unless he comes back saying no that’s not what I meant, I’d like to be admin. If he says that I’ll probably just say I can see the advantages of that but think it could lead to disagreements and spoil relationships and there is no real need for any admin to be done right now as site is set up and running fine.
I went into profile and added a designated title - don’t know if it worked until he signs in.
Having a custom user title does nothing. You need to go into user groups in the admin control panel and set up banner text and styling for supermoderators. This allows you to set different texts and styling for different groups such as moderators, supermoderators, admins, or other user groups if you decide you want to make them some sort of staff.
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