By default, across all Joomla versions from Joomla 1.0, through Joomla 1.5, Joomla 1.6 to the Joomla 1.7 the basic structure of default user groups is unchanged. The users are generally sorted in 3 main categories, the unregistered/not logged in users, the registered users with frontend only access and the backend users. The exact naming of these main groups are varying across the different Joomla versions, but the default end level groups are the same. The groups and their core permissions are as follows:
- Public (sometimes referenced as Guest or Unregistered): Public can see the content on the front end of the website that is not hidden behind a login. They have no core permissions.
- Registered: Registered users can log into the front end of the website only. Registered users are children of the Public group. They are assigned the Site Login permission.
- Author: Authors can create their own content via the Create permission. Authors are children of the Registered group. They inherit the Site Login permission from Registered users.
- Editor: Editors can edit any content on the site via the Edit permission. Editors are children of the Author group. They also inherit the Create permission from Authors and the Site Login permission from Registered users.
- Publisher: Publishers may publish, unpublish, or trash content via the Edit State permission. Publishers are children of the Editor group. They also inherit the Edit permission from Editors, the Create permission from Authors, and the Site Login permission from Registered users.
- Manager: Managers may delete content via the Delete permission and log into the back end of the website via the Admin Login permission. Managers are children of the Public group, so all permissions previously assigned to Registered, Author, Editor, and Publisher groups do not apply to Managers. They must all be reassigned individually.
- Administrator: Administrators are able to edit and configure extensions (this now includes templates!) via the Manage permission. Administrators are children of the Manager group, so they inherit the Site Login, Create, Edit, Edit State, Delete, and Admin Login permissions from them.
- Super Users: Super Users (formerly Super Administrators) are able to change Global Configuration as well as other abilities via the Admin permission. Super Users are children of the Administrator group. They inherit the Manage permission from Administrators and the Site Login, Create, Edit, Edit State, Delete, and Admin Login permissions from Managers.