The next building block of a Drupal website is the concept of users. On a simple brochure-ware website that will be updated by a single administrator and visited only by potential customers, you might create just a single user account for the administrator. On a community discussion site, you would set up Drupal to allow all of the individuals who use the site to sign up for the site and create their own user accounts as well.

The first user you create when you build a new Drupal site—User 1— is special. Similar to the root user on a UNIX server, User 1 has permission to perform any action on the Drupal site. Because User 1 bypasses these normal safety checks, it's easy to accidentally delete content or otherwise break the site if you use this account for day-to-day editing. It's a good idea to reserve this account for special administrative tasks and configuration, and create an additional account for posting content.

Every additional user can be assigned to configurable roles, like "editor," "paying customer," or "VIP." Each role can be given permissions to do different things on the website: visiting specific URLs, viewing particular kinds of content, posting comments on existing content, filling out a user profile, even creating more users and controlling their permissions. By default, Drupal comes with two predefined roles: authenticated user and anonymous user. Anyone who creates a user account on the site is automatically assigned the "authenticated user" role, and any visitors who haven't yet created user accounts (or haven't yet logged in with their username and password) have the "anonymous user" role.

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