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We're building our first project in Craft. It requires an area for users to submit events to the site, and the submissions will wait in an approval queue. We do not want these users to have access to the craft backend.

Also we are using Rackspace cloud hosting for images, and we would need the users to be able to submit their own photos to the site.

Are their any mechanisms in place in craft that we could leverage to keep plugin development to a minimum? I understand this is a broad question, but being our first Craft project I'm sure it has a lot of functionality we are not aware of and it would be a shame to recreate it just because we were unaware.

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Welcome to Craft!

For starters, I would definitely recommend checking out the Pixel and Tonic Guest Entries plugin, brought to you by the guys who built the CMS. As the title suggests, it allows users to create entries from a custom form on the website front-end.

So, from your example, you can have an 'Events' channel and allows users to create entries (events) using the form.

These entries can then be moderated like any normal entry.

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The one thing i will add onto Jamie's answer is that if you want to create a user's only section you'll probably want to use {% requireLogin %} and/or {% requirePermission "somePermission" %} as these will stop anyone that isnt logged in to your site or any user that doesnt have your selected permission from viewing your template.

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