Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Oluwatuyi
Do you know that WordPress comes with a user role management system which defines what a specific user can and cannot do on your website.
In this beginner’s guide to WordPress user roles, we will compare each WordPress user roles and permissions in an easy to follow.
when you install WordPress, there are five default user roles:
Let’s start by looking at each default user role and their permissions.
Administrator is the most powerful user role. Users with the administrator role can add new posts, edit any posts by any users on the site, and even delete those posts.
They can install, edit, and delete plugins as well as themes. Most importantly an administrator user can add new users to the site, change information about existing users including their passwords as well as delete any user.
It is reserved for site owners and gives you the full control of your WordPress site.
Users with the editor role in WordPress have full control on the content sections your website. They can add, edit, publish, and delete any posts on a WordPress site including the ones written by others. An editor can moderate, edit, and delete comments as well.
Users with the author role can write, edit, and publish their own posts. They can also delete their own posts, even if they are published.
When writing posts, authors cannot create categories however they can choose from existing categories.
Authors can view comments even those that are pending review, but they cannot moderate, approve, or delete any comments.
Contributors can add new posts and edit their own posts, but they cannot publish any posts not even their own. When writing posts they can not create new categories and will have to choose from existing categories. However, they can add tags to their posts.
Contributors can view comments even those awaiting moderation. But they cannot approve or delete comments.
Users with the subscriber user role can login to your WordPress site and update their user profiles. They can change their passwords if they want to. They cannot write posts, view comments, or do anything else inside your WordPress admin area.
Customizing Existing User Roles
Default WordPress user roles are designed to have capabilities that fits the requirement of most websites.
For example if you run a News site, then you can assign Editor user role to your senior staff and author user role to the junior staff. You can assign contributor user role to your guest authors and subscriber user role for your site visitors.
But what if you wanted to modify the permissions of an existing WordPress user role?
Let’s suppose that you want to modify the author user role, so that the authors cannot delete their posts once they’re published.
First thing you need to do is install and activate the Capability Manager Enhanced plugin. Upon activation, go to Users » Capabilities to modify user roles.
Next, select the user role you want to edit from the top box in the right column and then click the load button. This will load users capabilities in the boxes on the left.
All you need to do is uncheck the capabilities that you want to remove from that user role. For example, in this case we want to remove the capability to delete published posts from authors. We will uncheck ‘Delete Published’ capability. Once you are done, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the save changes button to store your settings.
Creating Your Own Custom User Roles in WordPress
You can create your own custom user roles in WordPress with your own set of capabilities by using the same Capability Manager Enhanced plugin. After installing and activating the plugin, go to Users » Capabilities and enter the user role name under ‘Create New Role’.
For example, a News site may need some staff member to actively moderate comment. In that case, you may want to create a user role that can only moderate comments. All you need to do is create a new user role, and then select the moderation comment option from under ‘Other WordPress Capabilities’.
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