Drupal - Basic: What is a Web Steward? Roles and Permissions Explained

This article will explain the role of Web Steward and the Group or Section/Department roles are for editing content in Drupal.

See also:

Drupal Roles

There are a few Drupal tutorial videos that mention certain Roles in Drupal. Here is a breakdown of the most commonly referred to roles and their definitions.


Simply put, this is anyone in the world that is not logged in to our website. 

Anonymous users can view published content and media. They can use search. They can access Protected Page password screen. They can create new events and announcements.


This means, once you log in using your BMC credentials, you can view content limited to authenticated users. This means that you can see unpublished content.  You can also, depending on your permission level, perform tasks such as creating or editing content.  

The most widely used Authenticated role in our site is Web Steward. 

Web Steward

Web Stewards are content creators and contributors that have limited access to editing basic pages and news articles in Drupal. These are Bryn Mawr faculty and staff members who are not part of the Communications Team. They predominantly author content on the Inside Bryn Mawr theme and they can submit Announcements and Events and only edit their own Biography, News Articles, and Basic Pages that belong to Groups (Departments or Sections) that the Web Steward is a member of. 

Documentation for Web Stewards can be found in our Ask Athena tech docs

Group Roles

Group is what we used to call Section, though some may also refer to it simply as Department. It is the area or areas of the website that you are responsible for editing.

Groups is the way we allow Web Stewards to access only the content they are allowed to create, edit and delete.  Each Web Steward is assigned to be a member of one or more Groups. 

The Web Stewards have Drupal-level permissions, but then, as a member of a Group, they also have Group-level permissions.

Drupal-level permissions for Web Steward include global (Drupal-wide) permissions for a role, like limiting them to only being able to create/edit Basic Page and News content types, for instance.

Group-level permissions have three Basic Group Roles: 

  • Group Member 

  • Group Admin

  • Group Editor

There are also supplemental roles within Groups to allow Web Stewards to perform specialized tasks.  These Specialized Group Roles are: 

  • Course Editor

  • Honor Roll Editor

  • Homepage Editor

  • Story Editor

See our Special Roles articles for more on these Specialized Group Roles levels

Group MemberGroup EditorGroup AdminGroup Special Roles
The default role for anyone in the group. Can view any Group-related item.
  • Can create a new Basic Page or News and add it to the group.
  • Can edit or delete their own or others Basic Page or News 
  • Can edit their own or others Office/Services and Directory. 
  • Can view published AND unpublished nodes within Group.
  • Can view published group and individual group members.
  • Can access group node overview

Can do all things Group Editor can do, plus:
  • Can add existing Basic Page or News to the group. 
  • Can delete, edit or view (any or own) Group Basic Page or News
  • Can edit group information, administer group members.

 our Special Roles articles for more on these Specialized Group Roles levels 

  • Course Editor

  • Honor Roll Editor

  • Homepage Editor

  • Story Editor

Still need Drupal help? Have more Drupal questions?

If after reading this article or watching the training videos you still have questions, we can help!

Sign-up for any of our Drupal Drop-ins throughout the year. 

Schedule a Drupal training session for you or your whole department with our Drupal Trainer.


If you have any additional questions or problems, don't hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!

Phone: 610-526-7440 | Library and Help Desk hours
Email: help@brynmawr.edu | Service catalog
Location: Canaday Library 1st floor