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Site Managers can do just about everything, except some of the site and server administration tasks. As with Site Administrators, they do not typically participate in courses.

Differences between Site Administrators and Site Managers

It is important to understand the distinction between Site Administrators and Site Managers, as these roles serve different purposes on your site. 

Essentially, Site Managers help to run and oversee the site, while Site Administrators determine how the site works. While you may only want one Site Administrator (or a handful, at most), you may want to assign several users as Site Managers to help with the day-to-day running of the site.

The key difference between these two roles is how you use them on your site. The Site Administrator role should only be assigned to trusted users who need to configure important server settings, handle site security, and implement advanced features, while Site Managers are trusted users who require access to site-wide content, user information, learning materials, performance management records and more, but are not expected to change important settings.

Site Administrators have the ability to change the most important settings on your site, including the initial setup of your site. 

Site Managers have a more limited set of permissions. Site Managers are unable to: 

  • Change site configuration
  • Install and uninstall languages
  • Override course languages
  • Access the site while in maintenance mode
  • Purge user data and configure purge types
  • Edit learners' submissions

It is also important to note that the permissions and capabilities of each role can be customised, meaning Site Managers may have a different range of capabilities on your site. You can find out which roles have a specific capability by going to Quick-access menu > Permissions > Capability overview. On this page you can select one or more capabilities from the Capability setting, then select one or more roles from the Roles setting.

The capability overview page with roles and capabilities selected.

After selecting roles and capabilities click Get the overview to see which roles have the selected capabilities. The results will be displayed in a grid, and cells will say Allow when the role has the corresponding capability.

Results of the capability overview.

You can also check a specific user's permissions by going to Quick-access menu > Permissions > Check system permissions. Select a user from the list, then click Show this user's permissions to see which permissions they have.

Find out more about the other default roles in Totara.

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