One of the great advantages to using a content management system like Joomla is the ability to allow your visitors to register on your site for various sections that are not open to the general viewing public. The default Joomla setup allows visitors to register as either a registered user, an author, an editor or as a publisher. You can tell Joomla how you want people to be classified when they first register, and this article will explain the steps necessary to set this up.
This article assumes that you have Joomla currently installed and that you understand how to access the administration area.
The first thing you will want to do is log on to your back end administrator area and then go to "Global Configuration" and make sure that you are in the "System" section. Under "User Settings" make sure "Allow User Registration" is checked to "yes" and then decide what level of registered user you want visitors to be by default (either registered, author, editor or publisher).
Next, you will want to decide whether to enable "New User Account Activation". This is where an email to activate the new user's account is sent to them. This creates an opt-in email requiring the visitor to confirm he wants to become a registered member. There are a number of reasons to do this, one is to make sure that the visitor really wants to become a registered user of your site, and another is because this will help weed out spammers.
Now you will have to decide whether "Front-end User Parameters" is activated where users can select their language, html editor, detail screen and site preferences from the front end after they log in. Use this wisely as it can create a security hole that hackers can try to exploit.
Now you will need to set up the login form. You will have to go to "Extensions" and choose "Module Manager" and look for the "Login Form" module. Open it and make sure that it is enabled. Then you will decide which pages you want the log in form to appear on as you would for any module. If you want some text to appear before the login form, put it in the "Pre-text" field, and if you want some text to appear after the login form, put it in the "Post-text" field. Next to the "Login Redirection Page" field, decide which page the visitor will be sent to after logging in, and then next to the "Logout Redirection Page", decide which page the visitor will be sent to after logging out.
If you would like a greeting after the user logs in click "Yes" next to "Greeting", this will create a message that says "Hi, Username / Name" after they log in. Then choose whether the visitor is referred to when logged in by their Username or by their Name with the "Name / Username" pop up. Finally, if your site uses SSL, you can decide if the login form is encrypted by checking "Yes" or "No at" Encrypt Login Form. "Clicking" Save "is the final step.