Offline access is configured under Site – Global Permissions – Site tab, in the “site offline” option. By default, the site is set to be online. However, many site builders set this to offline when building a new site for a client. This gives a login box to the front end of the website, rather than displaying the site, like this:
You then provide your client a username and password to access the site. By default in Joomla 1.5 and 1.6, only super users could then see the site. This meant you had to give your client a super admin or super user login in order to view the site on the front end. And if your client knew where the backend of the site was… well… let’s hope they didn’t do anything too awful!
The new “offline access” global permission in Joomla 1.7 is set to give offline login permission to super users only. But now, with Joomla’s new ACL features, you can give your client a lower level of access to the site, allowing them to still log in to see the front end of the site, but preventing them from logging into the back end.
Simply change the setting for “offline access” to “allow” for your client if they are in any user group other than the super user. If you choose registered, author, editor, or publisher, they will then be able to log in to the front end of the site while it’s in offline mode and edit articles, but they won’t be able to access the back end of the website. Managers and administrators can log into the front or back end of the site by default.