Mute participant on entry into confbridge

I would like to automatically mute a caller upon entry into a confbridge.
Is this possible via dial plan?
(I would like to automatically mute some, but not others).

You can create a user profile in the dialplan which sets startmuted to yes[1].

[1] https://wiki.asterisk.org/wiki/display/AST/ConfBridge+Functions

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Is using different user profiles for the same conference bridge a problem?
I would have users with startmuted=yes, and others without.

No, there is no problem. The user profile is just that - a profile for the user, so it only impacts the user in question.