Group Administration - User Requests to Join Your Group - Add User Method #2

If you make it convenient for members on the site to find your group, they can initiate the proces by requesting to join your group. This workflow involves a few more steps. This tutorial will take you step-by-step through the sequence from the member requesting to join the group and from the group administrator who will approve the request.

We'll have the user "heykiddo" request to join the "Public Recipes" group.

Step #1 - heykiddo locates the Public Recipes group.

Top level menu - group tabFirst, heykiddo logs into the site. Remember, users must be logged into the site so we can identify them as a current active member on the site. Heykiddo heads over to the Group Directory (Group tab on the top-level menu).

There, heykiddo finds the "Public Recipes" group in the listing. See below.


Group Directory - Public Recipes


Notice the link to "request membership" in the right-hand column, circled in red above.

Step #2. heykiddo requests to join the Public Recipes group.

Next, heykiddo clicks on the "Request membership" link from the listing in the Group Directory. This brings up the "Request membership" form, as shown below.

You can provide more details in the "Additional details" textbox. For example, it might be helpful to indicate your real name so the group administrator can more easily recognize who is requesting to join. Remember, the group administrator may not know or recognize your site username.

Hit the "Join" button to send the request to the group administrator. This generates an email to group administrator to notify that the user, heykiddo in this case, has requested to join the group, "Public Recipes" in this example.

After hitting the "Join" button, heykiddo sees the confirmation message that his request is waiting approval from the administrator (that would be the group administrator, not the site administrator), as shown below.

Group join request awaits approval from the administrator


Step #3. The group administrator receives the group join request email from heykiddo.

The group administrator will receive a notification email that a user has requested to join the group, see below.

Request to join group email to group administrator

The personal message from the requesting user is also included in the request email. The group administrator can click on the "approve or deny this request" link provided in the mail, which takes the group administrator to the group list form at the website, as shown below in step #4.

This is the same form (below) that the group administrator can access via the "Members list" link from the "Group navigation box" displayed at the top of the right-hand sidebar when you have the group in view. It's not a bad idea for the group administrator to visit this link every so often just to be sure you don't miss a pending request waiting in the queue.

Note: the group administrator needs to be logged in to the site in order to access the group "Members list" from the email link. If not logged in, trying to access this secure form will generate an "access denied"  message. If you get this error message when trying to access the email link, simply login to the site, leave the browser open, go back to your email and click on the link again.


Step #4. The group administrator approves or denies the request.

Group administrator member list - request to join

Notice the pending approval request for "heykiddo". As the group administrator, you simply click on the "approve" or "deny" link to accept or reject the request from the user to join your group. In this case, we'll click on the "approve" link for heykiddo.

After the group administrator hits the "approve" link, it takes you to the "List" tab as shown above. Notice that "heykiddo" is now displayed as a group member in the list.


Step #5. The approved member receives an group approval email.

Group membership request - approval email

Next, the approved member receives the email notification as shown above indicating that the request to join the group has been approved by the group administrator.

Heykiddo's my group navigation boxNow, "heykiddo", as an approved member to the "Public Recipes" group,  will see the group name displayed in his "My groups" box at the top of the right-hand sidebar.

To access the group, the user selects the group from their "My groups" navigation which brings up the group home page. As a member of a group, the user has access to the group content including recipes, cookbooks, image galleries, videos, etc.



It may seem a little involved to go through these request and approval steps to add members to your group. But it has a few advantages over the direct "add member to group" in method #1.

  • The user can initiate the request to join the group. This can be a somewhat more polite way to grant group access rather than directly adding members to your group without their explicit consent, since not everyone you add to your group may actually want to be a group member. It's not a big deal, since users can remove themselves from a group very easily, but you'll find that people do like the opportunity to request membership. And group administrators appreciate the control to approve membership as well.
  • You'll also find that users that you might not be aware of (even family members) will find your group and request to join. We've found that not everyone communicates that directly, and they might be looking for your family group.
  • This takes the burden off the group administrator to track down the interested user looking to join your group (and determine that user's correct username), leaving the first step to initiate the request to join up to the user.

As always, if you have any questions or difficulty with these steps, be sure to head over to the support forum and ask for help.

Next tutorial - Invite a User to Join Your Group - Add User Method #3