How do users get the subtitles eg mentor, advisor, on SitePoint

I hope this post is allowed - apologies if it is too off topic. I have looked in the FAQ but can’t find the answer and can’t find a “help” page.

I notice that some users in the forums have a subtitle next to their username such as “mentor” or “advisor”. Are these self appointed or are they awarded in some way? The reason I want to know is so I can guage someone’s level of knowledge - I know a little but not a lot so if a question seems basic and is asked by an “expert” then I have probably misunderstood the question and would not step in but if they were a beginner and were asking eg why their .css style sheet is not being recognised I would tell them about paths.

Some titles are earned (ex. Regular), some are awarded (ex. Member of the Month), some are Staff (ex. Advisor, Mentor) titles.

(On the subject, I probably need to be flagged for having my “Member of the Month” title option swapped for the “Former Member of the Month” one… since this post’ll get staff notice :P)


Hi there

You’ll find an explanation at the end of the FAQ page.

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Also here.
An Explanation of Trust Levels - Community - SitePoint Forums | Web Development & Design Community
(“Regular” grants you a title.)

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Ah yes - sorry I missed that. Thank you. That explains the staff titles.

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Ah, thank you.

However, I have also seen “SQL consultant” and “stateless service”. How are these achieved/what do they mean?

They are selected by the user. “SQL consultant” means what it says on the tin. I’ll leave @rpkamp to explain “stateless service” :wink:

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Special titles for truly long-standing and well respected members of the community. SQL Consultant is Rudy (r937) Limeback, who is a SitePoint author, Member of the Year (Something the forums used to do a while ago), and whether he wants to accept the title or not (:stuck_out_tongue:), pretty much the Database guru on this site. He prefers “SQL Consultant”, but…

Also the Staff get to give themselves whatever title they want, hence Gandalf and rpkamp’s :wink:


Ah, I see. So someone can’t just read “HTML for Dummies” and decide they are an expert and give themselves that subtitle. And only staff can choose a subtitle to describe themselves. So it is a reliable guide to someone’s level of expertise.
Thank you.

And/or their dedication to staring at/asking questions on this forum. I’ll point out that “Regular” just means you’ve read/posted on/posted a lot of threads on a lot of different days and managed to get a couple dozen likes over a period of 3 months. Doesn’t actually mean you’re knowledgeable about anything.

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I understand. At least the words “regular” and “member” don’t suggest a level of expertise, just, as you say,

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Quite a number of our members were imported from the previous vBulletin version of the forums, which awarded titles based on how many posts you’d made (rather than the quality of those posts). As the titles came with them (and have not been updated since the switch over), you’ll find some “SitePoint Wizard” and “SitePoint Guru” titles around, among others.

Custom tags (such as “Life is not a malfunction”) are a staff perk. smile

If you’re trying to judge how reliable somebody’s advice may be, I’d suggest looking at their profile and seeing how many posts they’ve made, and how many “likes” they have received. (Bear in mind that vBulletin had no “like” system, so somebody with large numbers of posts prior to 2014 might have a lower percentage of likes, not because they’re not great posts, but because it wasn’t an option at the time.)


I wonder if all this could/should be collated and put into the FAQ?
(I presume the shield icon denotes staff members?)

A shield is a moderator, which is one kind of staff. The type of staff is indicated by the name colour.
Orange = Mentor
Green = Advisor
Blue = Team Leader
Red = Admin

All types from Advisor onward are Moderators (with a shield).

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And just to be clear here, we are not SP employees or paid staff. All forum staff are volunteers.


They’re all just secret agents of The Man.
“But they’re displaying the badge prominently…”
I never said they were good at the secret part.


The old vBulletin set-up there were “staff rank badges”. iirc it was:

  • Mentors (Orange - 1 Stripe)
  • Advisors (Green - 2 Stripes)
  • Team Leaders (Blue - 3 Stripes)

Them 3 types of forum staff aren’t employees of SitePoint.

  • Administrator (Red - 4 Stripes) Not all those who’ve held this rank have been employees of SitePoint.

  • SitePoint Staff (Black - 5 Stripes) these were actual employees of SitePoint who’d very occasionally be seen around the forums.

There was a “Member of the Month” badge awarded to the “Member of the Month” (voted for by forum staff).

There was the “End of Year Awards”. Think it was nominations by forum staff then the winner for each category voted for by members.

iirc @r937 had his own custom “SQL Consultant/Guru” badge. Not sure if there might have been a couple of other custom badges knocking around back then.

iirc any member could change their title for a custom one, once they’d hit a certain number of posts, there was a list of titles that were “off-limits”

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We had badges for all categories. I miss those.

Yup that is correct. We even constructed a game around it where you could tell the person who replied to the thread before you did what they should set as title for a week. @HAWK was so nice to tell me use the the title “I look pretty in a dress” for a week. To be honest, I haven’t tried, but I don’t think that I would.


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