After viewing the video of this webinar, I'd like to emulate the page that Erik Hommel had shown. CiviCRM 101 for Newbies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5bjr0s02NQ

It looks like he had a front end page to allow users to access the CiviCRM admin area.

We are exploring CiviCRM to see if it will meet the needs of our non-profit organization. We need users to access the contact and case modules primarily. We'd like to set this up as front end pages that would not be visible to the public but perhaps set up with role permissions and possibly limit some of CiviCRM functionality. They need to enter cases and contacts for clients who call with questions, asking for publications etc.

I've read about shortcodes for creating front end contribution and events pages, but nothing about the CiviCRM admin area with the tabs across the tops to create new contacts, cases, dedup contacts etc.

Does anyone have any information or links to where this might be in the documentation or if it's even possible?

Thanks in advance for any help offered.

3 Answers 3


One issue is that in Drupal, there isn't really a division between front-end and back-end. The whole idea of an administration theme in Drupal is relatively new, and the default prior to Drupal 7 was that settings forms would look no different than content pages.

Meanwhile, WordPress (and, to an even larger degree, Joomla!) has a clear delineation between front- and back-end. CiviCRM's main interface (the part for trusted users to see other contacts' stuff) is considered a back-end feature, and you have to access it via the WordPress administrative menu.

(That said, at least in WordPress it's a relatively smooth process to get to the back-end. In Joomla! the login sessions are independent.)

To accomplish what you need, create a dummy user to serve as a prototypical case manager and do the following:

  1. If you haven't already, install a role editing plugin for WordPress to allow you to define a new role for case managers.

  2. Go to Administer > Users and Permissions > Permissions (Access Control) in CiviCRM and then click WordPress Access Control.

  3. You should see a column for your newly-created role with a bunch of checkboxes. Each row is a separate capability within CiviCRM, and by default, your new role will have none that are special. You may need to experiment a bit with granting capabilities, but the ones I know you'll need to grant your new role are:

    • CiviCRM: Access CiviCRM

    • CiviCase: access all cases and activities

    Most permissions have a description (shout out to Jane Hanley and Tommy Bobo for actually documenting all of them at a code and documentation sprint), so you can get an idea of what others you should grant. Unless you grant specific ACLs (see below) for your users, for example, you'll probably want to also grant CiviCRM: edit all contacts and CiviCRM: view all activities to your role.

  4. Use the "Private Browser" feature in Firefox (or "Incognito" feature in Chrome) to log in as that prototype user. See if the permissions seem correct for that sort of user. If not, go back to the WordPress Access Control page as an admin and adjust accordingly. (When you, the admin, grant or revoke capabilities, you, the case manager user, should probably log out and then back in to make sure the permissions are working correctly.)

If you want to set up detailed permissions over subsets of contacts, fields, etc., you'll need to use CiviCRM ACLs to grant access. Permission is additive, so if, for example, a user has the CiviCRM: edit all contacts capability, the ACLs for editing contacts will have no effect since that permission is already granted across the board.

Finally, check out the CiviCRM User Guide page for Permissions and Access Control for a more thorough guide to this.


I see what you mean :-)

In CiviCRM you can switch on/switch off tabs but that does not deal with the part where user a can see only part of it. In Drupal I would do that with the CiviCRM permissions but I guess that is different in Wordpress.

It is quite possible that an experienced WP developer has better answers but what you could do I assume is create an extension where you use the tabs hook to determine what user can see which tabs?

Alternatively we have created a CiviCRM Wordpress plugin for Contact Form 7 which sends all the data from a Contact Form to CiviCRM using the API. That might provide part of the answer? Check https://nl.wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-7-civicrm-integration/ and https://civicrm.org/blog/erikhommel/send-wordpress-contact-form-7-data-to-civicrm-with-api

  • Erik, Are the screenshots that we see in your webinar the Drupal backend or are those front end pages?
    – 406CODE
    May 2, 2016 at 14:19
  • 1
    Drupal backend pages May 2, 2016 at 17:12

Thanks for watching my webinar :-) I am not sure I understand what your question is about? What CMS are you using? In my webinar I used Drupal with CiviCRM, and in Drupal you can allow users all sorts of access to parts of CiviCRM, which also means being able to create new contact etc. Not sure if that is what you mean by 'the CiviCRM admin area'?

  • I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear. We are using WordPress. Currently one can login to the WordPress dashboard and access all of CiviCRM's tabs, or what I call the admin area from there. (contacts, cases, reports...) We would like to set up front end WordPress pages with only the tabs needed for that individual. For example, if one individual is taking incoming phone calls, we want him to be able to create a new contact and possibly a case, but we don't want him to have access to the "administer" tab. I might be wrong, but from your webinar it looked like you were using front end pages?
    – 406CODE
    Apr 27, 2016 at 13:59

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