WordPress User Roles and Capabilities

One of the great features of WordPress is that it can be maintained by lots of people, which is great for rich and diverse content. However, there are some key factors to consider before adding WordPress users to the site. These include what their role will be, and the type of access they will need to complete that role. WordPress comes with five predetermined roles:

  • Administrator
  • Editor
  • Author
  • Contributor
  • Subscriber

The Administrator has the most responsibility for the website so this role has the most access. Administrators can control everything on the WordPress site, from posts to theme options and everything in between. It’s generally only recommended to have one Admin at a time.

An Editor has control over all of the content creation and generation of the website. They can view, edit, publish, and delete any posts/pages, moderate comments, manage categories, manage tags, manage links and upload files/images.

An Author can only edit, publish and delete their own posts, as well as upload files/images.

A Contributor can edit their own posts but cannot publish them without going through another user. When a contributor creates a post, it will need to be submitted to an administrator for review. Once a contributor’s post is approved by an administrator and published, it may no longer be edited by the contributor. Contributors cannot upload any files or images.

Subscribers are WordPress users who have signed up to receive updates each time you publish new content. They do not have any editing privileges. If your blog is public, anyone can follow it. You can send out specific invitations to people you may want to follow your blog.

The ability to assign, edit and delete users is predominantly given to the admin. To assign roles to new users, click on the users tab in your admin bar. This will take you to a page that lists all the WordPress users on your site. Click Add New, next to the title. Complete details for the new user and assign them a role from the Role drop down. If you would like the user to receive their password through email, select this checkbox.

You can change existing user roles by clicking on their user name, which will take you to a new page where you can edit their details. You can also batch-edit users if you need to change multiple people over to a particular role. This can be done by selecting those users and changing their role through the Change Role To drop down menu and clicking Apply.

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