WordPress user roles and permissions

WordPress user roles and permissions
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If you are connected with us from the beginning, you might already know about WordPress. If not, then I recommend you to read about WordPress. By default, WordPress comes with Theme editor, which allows you to edit some functionalities. Imagine if a wrong person gets access to your WordPress account. Your contents can be altered easily. This is why you need to manage WordPress users and their permissions!
If you are thinking of having other people writing or editing your WordPress blog, then this article is useful for you! WordPress comes with User role management system. It allows you to define their roles. You can specify which user can do what. As your website grows, it is important to specify user’s roles and permissions. These are the default WordPress user roles:

Admin: An Administrator is the most powerful user role. This role is given to the site owners. Users with the administrator role have complete control over the website. They can add new posts or edit any posts by any other users on the site. These users can install, edit, and delete plugins as well. Most importantly an administrator user can add new users to the website. They can change information about existing users (including their passwords).

Super Admin: Users with the super admin user role has some superpowers! Super admin role is only available on a WordPress Multisite Network. They can add and delete sites on a multisite network. Super admin can also install plugins and themes. They can also add users, and perform network-wide actions.

Editor: Users with editor role have a complete control over the content of your website. They can add, edit, publish or delete any posts from your site! They can also moderate and remove comments from your website. Editors cannot change your WordPress website settings. They have no access to install plugin or theme or add any new users.

Author: They can write, edit or publish their posts. They can also delete their own posts. Authors can view comments on your website but they cannot moderate comments on your site. They cannot create new categories, they can add only existing categories in their post. Authors have no access to WordPress settings. They cannot install plugins and themes.

Contributor: They can add new posts and even edit them. But they cannot publish their post. Contributors cannot add new categories but they can choose from existing ones. They can add tags though! Contributors cannot upload files, this means they cannot add images even in their own posts. They have no access to change settings or install any themes or plugins. They can view comments but they cannot approve or delete them.

Subscriber: They have got the least control over your website. The subscriber can log in to your site and edit their profile. They have no access to WordPress settings or plugins or themes. They cannot add or edit posts.

Manage WordPress user roles

So, we are now familiar with WordPress user roles. But the most important question is how do we manage users? What if you want to add or edit any user’s roles. How are you going to do that?

Add New User

WordPress user roles and permissions - Add user

In order to create a new WordPress user and assign the desired role to them, follow the steps:

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard, and select Users > Add new
  2. Add their personal details as shown in the figure above.
  3. Create a new password by clicking on Show password. This is an optional step.
  4. Choose desired WordPress user role from the dropdown list.
  5. Once you are done, click Add New User button

The User Role Editor plugin also allows you to change the default user capabilities. With a few clicks, you can change the default behavior or hide/show admin areas or widgets based on the user role.

Create your own custom User Roles

WordPress comes with limited user role options! What if you want a new custom-made user role, say, for example, a Moderator! You can create your own custom user roles with your own set of permissions by using a WordPress plugin called Capability Manager Enhanced. Follow the steps:

  1. Go to Users » Capabilities
  2. Locate ‘Create New Role’ and Enter the user role name under it.
  3. Click on “Create” button.
  4. You can also choose your own sets of permissions for that role.

This way you can easily create your own user role in just a few clicks!

Customize Existing User Role

WordPress comes with an inbuilt feature to define capabilities of user roles according to your website. For instance, if you run a magazine site, then you can assign Editor role to your senior staff and author role to the junior staff. What if you want to customize existing user role and permission? One disadvantage of Author role is that they can publish or delete their own posts. What if the author deletes the post after leaving the job? That’s when customizing roles and permission comes into the picture!
In order to modify author user role so that they cannot delete their post, you can install and activate the Capability Manager Enhanced plugin. And follow the steps:

  1. Go to Users » Capabilities to modify user roles.
  2. Select the user role you want to edit from the top box in the right column
  3. Click the load button to load users capabilities in the boxes on the left-hand side.
  4. Uncheck the capabilities/permissions that you don’t want that specific user to have!

So, in this article, we tried to explain to you about the default WordPress user roles and how you can customize your own user roles and add your own set of permissions! Have you tried it? We hope this article helped you to understand WordPress user roles and responsibilities.


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