How do I create a Moderator forum?

  • Affected Version
    WoltLab Suite 3.0

    Hi all,

    I would like to create a special forum so that members can appeal against moderator decisions, but I am not sure how to do it or whether the software can do exactly what I want. I don't know what forum and user permissions to set, or any other settings that I might need to change.

    Basically, when members appeal a decision, I want to send them to a hidden forum called "Moderator decisions." In that forum will be the list of threads by members appealing their decisions, but I do not want members seeing the other threads only the thread they create. Additionally, I would like to set this up so that staff can talk within the same threads amongst themselves, but their discussion is hidden to the member who created the thread. Only once a staff decision is made, is then when I want staff comments made visible to the member, but only the decision not the discussion about the decision, Is any/all of this possible? Or is there another/better way to achieve this?

    I would be grateful if someone could walk me through how to do this, if is possible?

    Many thanks!

    I am a Newbie Admin. Please be gentle, I don't understand technical things.
    (Please can we have a full manual for this software)

    Edited once, last by Jupiter: Replaced the word moderators with members in the third paragraph. (February 12, 2018 at 2:19 PM).

  • I don't think that WoltLab Suite Forum has all the features to realize that. I once used the software of a competitor which had those options. There you could create a forum where users would only see their own threads and the admin/mods could of course see and reply to all threads.

    But such a setup can't be done in WoltLab Suite Forum afaik right now.

  • Thanks for all the replies. Good news about the private forums in 5.1.:thumbup::)


    I am trying to set things up so that they are as orderly and organised as possible.

    I haven't yet fully explored all the capabilities of conversations, but that is a possibility. The reason I want to go down this route and it forms part of my next question here, is I do not want members to attack staff over their decisions, so the hidden forum is essential to at least prevent other members seeing who else has been reported other than themselves. This leads me onto the next question which is directly related, so I hope everyone doesn't mind if I post it here too:


    It is important to me that my staff do not come under attack especially when making moderator decisions. As a new admin, I am struggling to understand user and forum permissions, a lack of a manual does not help... But I hope doing this is a simple matter, once I understand how to.

    I would like my staff to be able to post moderator decisions, but to do so anonymously. I want my staff to post under a staff account, so that no member can identify which moderator has made a decision on them. Is this possible and if so, can someone walk me through it?

    A follow on question is, how would my staff operate using both their own member account which has a moderator permissions attached to it, and a staff account so that they can post their moderator decisions anonymously? Would they need to keep logging off one account and logging into the staff account to post decisions, or is there a better way to do it?

    Many thanks and sorry for all the questions!


    I am a Newbie Admin. Please be gentle, I don't understand technical things.
    (Please can we have a full manual for this software)

    Edited once, last by Jupiter (February 12, 2018 at 2:28 PM).

  • Hi Jupiter,

    You introduce some of the best / interesting proposals for Forum inclusions, additions, and modifications!

    This issue you are now explaining is something that I would also be interested in having on my Forum; but perhaps not quite as detailed.

    So I am interested in your progress on accomplishing your goal with regard to this matter. Keep me informed if you are able to.

    What about Throwholics's suggestion of the Plugin by Cyperghost? Did you look into that as being a possible help for you?


  • Hi Ruff Seas

    Thanks for your remarks, but its only the basics of setting up forums really, I'm not capable of anything beyond the basics! But I am being hampered by a lack of manual for Woltlab.:(

    When I was evaluating forum software, IPS has a excellent manual and some great features which WOltlab doesn't have (although I'm going to try and persuade the developers here to get them too!;)) but, despite the lack of a manual, Woltlab just has that extra special feel to it, so I got it.

    I haven't downloaded the plugin by Cyberghost yet, but I will and let you know how I get on. I'm just waiting to see if anyone answers my follow on questions about setting up staff accounts, then I can make a decision about how to set things up on my forum.

    I am a Newbie Admin. Please be gentle, I don't understand technical things.
    (Please can we have a full manual for this software)

  • Thanks Throwhlics for that.

    As you say, that plugin isn't available yet for WCF3 as you say, but I'm not sure if it would do what I wanted anyway.

    When I said I want my moderators to post their decision anonymously, it's not that I want the decisions to be anonymous, I just want want my staff to be able to post their decisions under a staff account which each member of staff has access to. So to take myself as an example, I am called Horizon on my site Forum Box. Rather than post moderator decisions under the user name Horizon, I want to post them under the user name "Forum Box Staff", but I don't really want to have to login into another account called Forum Box staff to just post moderator decisions, I want to be able to do it via my own account.

    I just don't know how to do this yet. I will download the hidden forums plugin that Throwholics mentioned earlier. I'll start with that and see how I go.

    I want to use the same features in dealing with banned members. In effect, giving banned members a hidden forum and hidden thread to post in where they can appeal their ban which no other member can read, only staff and again for the staff decision to come from a joint staff account rather than being posted under their own member names.

    I am a Newbie Admin. Please be gentle, I don't understand technical things.
    (Please can we have a full manual for this software)

  • Hello jupiter ,

    I read your post and your idea is great but the philosophy of woltlab is different , i think

    first you must define active warning with points

    second you must define suspension , no avatar , going to a group with minder autorisation ( by exemple , they can not publish a post , a thread , an answer without moderator permission ) one week , one month , always depending of the points

    thus a moderator does not ban a people

    people receive points by moderator 1 , moderator 2 , moderator 3 and the sanction is not given by a moderator but by the addition of points

    thus i think , it is not a priority to have a forum to appeal their ban , ban is not automatic , your customer see the warning and can stop or not

    it is not a problem for moderator because the points is not given always by the same moderator.

  • Hello marcblelgigue

    Thank you very much for your post. It's really appreciated.

    What you have said about Woltalb is indeed very different to what I am used to using which is mainly the vbulletin way of doing things. I am severely hampered by a lack of a manual to use the software, which I am frankly now getting really annoyed about. How do Woltlab expect us to know all this stuff, are we expected to be magicians or something and magic all the needed information out of the air?

    Is there any place which can give me further details on what you have said which can explain all the various settings/options I need to do what I want, if I can do what I want? I still need to absorb what you have said, it's such a different system to what I am used to and need guidance on how to set it all up.

    Many thanks!


    I am a Newbie Admin. Please be gentle, I don't understand technical things.
    (Please can we have a full manual for this software)

  • Ah I have something else in mind.

    Look for account switcher plugin.

    First you create the anonymous team account. Add a new group which can only write in the moderator forum.

    Second install the account switch

    Third link the user with the account switch, but only in one direction. Otherwise all linked users could switch to other accounts too.

    So the user who wants to post anonymous switches to the general team account and writes his post. Had to logout and login to his personal account.

  • Thanks for the replies, that has certainly given me something to think about!:)

    I think what marcbelgique is talking about was going to be my next question, which would have been:

    How do I set warnings for members for certain offences, such as bad language? And, can this be automated?

    Essentially, Marc's reply to me has answered that one. Cheers!:thumbup:

    But, it's Throwholics suggestions I need to explore, which I am going to do right now.

    I am a Newbie Admin. Please be gentle, I don't understand technical things.
    (Please can we have a full manual for this software)

  • if you are moderator , you have a hammer .

    when you click , you can choose a predefined warning or not , you must make the reason and the reason is send by conversation.

    warning is not automatic but the points are added and if the points is more than you have suspensions

    my suspension are

    5 points : no avatar no signature

    10 points : put to a special group , this group can't post without moderator approbation

    15 points : one week suspension

    20 points : suspension are unlimited

    never use 15 or 20 does , i don't know if it is work

    the warning have 90 days or 180 days expires for me

  • That's really interesting, thank you for that Marc. Why don't Woltlab highlight all this stuff via a manual at the very least?

    Once I've set up the moderator forum, your steps are next. It is different to what I am used to, because I think of "points" as something purely positive, but as you have clearly demonstrated, they are not. It's probably how all forum software works, but I've never set these features up before. I did have a vb5 forum before transferring to Woltlab and they probably did a similar thing, but I never set it up.

    Gives me things to play with over the next few days.:)

    I am a Newbie Admin. Please be gentle, I don't understand technical things.
    (Please can we have a full manual for this software)

  • Okay, just a update on my progress so far and a request for help too please

    I have the two plugins installed: "account switcher" and "read your own topics."


    I have set up my staff account and have linked my main admin account to the staff account. That works. I have posted under the staff account and then switched back to my main admin account.

    I have set up a "Moderator decisions" forum.

    I have set up various test accounts and have posted from each of these test accounts in the Moderator decisions forum.

    The test accounts can only see and reply to their own specific posts in the Moderator forum.

    But have been struggling from that point onwards.


    My main admin account and newly created staff account cannot see threads/posts from the test accounts in the Moderator Decisions forum, which is obviously bad as they are the ones who are meant to see these threads/posts as well as the thread creators and be able to adjudicate on them.

    ALL test posts created in the Moderator Decisions forums by the various test accounts are showing in the Dashboard. They shouldn't. Staff should see all posts in the Dashboard, but the test accounts should only be able to see their own specific posts made in the Moderator Decisions forum on the Dashboard. Instead, they can see all the posts made by the other test accounts on the Dashboard. What should happen is only those posts created by the test accounts should only show on the Dashboard by the specific test account that created them.

    The red indicator button is showing unread posts for my test accounts, where there aren't any unread, at least not for that specific user. Presumably, it's also counting the total amount of unread posts in the moderator forum, but this is incorrect. It should only show those posts for those who have access to see them, not a complete count of all posts in the forum. This causes problems, as an example, if I'm using test account 1 it is telling me there are posts by test account 2. I click on test account 2's posts and cannot access and read the threads/posts which is correct. What is incorrect is being given a red indication of posts that the test account has no permission to see in the first place.

    Note, I didn't add a new usergroup for the moderator forum because I want existing groups to have access to it. As said, staff should have full access, but members should only be able to access the moderator forum and read and reply to only their topics in the forum, which they can, but staff can't see them, read them or reply to them, except in the Dashboard which shows all posts when it shouldn't.

    Can anyone help me with the specific user/forum permissions I need to set? Perhaps Cyperghost can assist on the user permissions??

    Finally, How do I only set the switcher to it works only one way as advised? Perhaps Christopher Walz can help on this?

    Many thanks!


    I am a Newbie Admin. Please be gentle, I don't understand technical things.
    (Please can we have a full manual for this software)

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