Did you know that you can give other people your site access to manage your WordPress website? By using WordPress user roles, you can collaborate with people easily and safely, assign different access roles to your site and the content that lies within.

In this article, we will going discuss how WordPress user roles work and how to configure them on your website.

WordPress User Roles

So, over to our main question – what are WordPress User Roles and why they used for? As the name suggests, it is a built-in user management feature on your WordPress site. You can define what actions users can and cannot perform, and group them under roles. So, a specific role can be assigned with specific site management privileges.

WordPress provides six default user roles to give you more power over your site’s management. Let’s get to know them better.

# Super Administrator

The super administrator role only exists when the WordPress multisite feature is enabled. They are in charge of overseeing all site administrators and the multisite network.

They can manage and change everything – from creating and deleting sites, to controlling the content, themes, plugins, and profiles.

When the Super Administrator role is enabled, the regular administrator’s privileges are reduced. They can no longer install themes and plugins but can choose to activate or deactivate them.

# Administrator

Administrators have the full power to not only manage your site’s operations but also assign other roles.

They can create, delete, review, edit, and publish content, manage plugins and themes, even edit code. This Administrator role also has the authority to customize other user roles.

You can be your own site’s administrator, or appoint someone else. However, be careful if you want to assign this task to others. It’s critical to choose someone that you trust.

# Editor

Editors have full access to manage all of your site’s content and its attributes.

They can create, delete, review, and publish their own posts as well as ones created by other authors. Editors can also manage post categories, comments, and links. Users with this role usually supervise authors and contributors.

# Author

Unlike editors that have full control over the whole content section, authors only have full control over their own posts.  They have the authority to create, edit, delete and publish their own posts. Additionally, they can edit their own user profile.

# Contributor

Similar to authors, contributors are capable of creating and editing their posts and profiles. The main difference between the two is that contributors cannot publish their posts.

# Subscriber

This role can only read posts and manage their personal profiles.

Basically, all visitors can read posts without being assigned as a subscriber. However, you can encourage users to become subscribers by offering access to special content that can only be viewed by them.

Things to Do Before Setting Up User Roles

There are some good practices you should follow when deciding to set user roles.

Backup Your Site

It’s crucial to backup your WordPress site first before making any changes. Not only can you restore the database from your hosting server, but also upload the backed up file from your local disk whenever needed. You can check out this A WP Life.

If the transition to multiple user roles causes any issues or security threats you can easily restore your site to its previous state.

Appoint Appropriate Roles

You need to consider the user privileges before assigning the roles. Choose what users can and cannot do.

Ask yourself, Do you trust the users? Are they going to write, review, edit, publish your WordPress website? , Will they have full control or partial control over your WordPress site? etc. Then, you can start authorizing the roles.

By doing so, controlling the workflow and each user role becomes a breeze. Moreover, you’ll rest assured knowing that your site’s operation and management is in the right hands.


Configure User Roles

Add Users from Your WordPress Dashboard

Add Users from Your WordPress Dashboard


Follow these simple steps to add, edit and delete users from your Dashboard:

  1. Once you log in to your Dashboard’s admin area, select Users and choose the Add New option.
  2. Fill the form with the new user’s personal details, password configuration, and designated role. Then, click the Add New User button to save it.
  3. Once added, you can edit or delete the user by selecting All Users from the dropdown menu.



Use a User Role WordPress Plugin

Use a User Role WordPress Plugin

While manually customizing WordPress user roles through code gives you the most control, it can be risky if you don’t have coding skills. Alternatively, you can just use a plugin like Capability Manager Enhanced.

Not only does the plugin allow you to configure the default WordPress user roles, but it also adds custom user permissions based on your needs.


Once the plugin is activated, you can customize the WordPress user roles from your admin dashboard. Go to Dashboard Click the Users menu, and select Capabilities. Then, you’ll see an editor that will let you set up the role and add the capability.

Final Notes

WordPress’s default user roles are quite beneficial to maintain your site’s operation. You can assign different roles:

  • Administrator – fully manage the site’s maintenance and content
  • Editor – fully oversee the authors and content management
  • Author – is only responsible for their own posts
  • Contributor – is only able to create and edit their post’s content
  • Subscriber – is only able to read posts
  • Super Administrator – fully manages a WordPress multisite network

Make sure you have first back up your site and considered the suitable roles before officially assigning the capabilities.

You can easily add, edit, and delete users from your Dashboard’s admin area. so, go to your WordPress Dashboard.

Additionally, you can manually customize the roles by modifying your theme’s functions.php file.

However, customizing user roles using a WordPress plugin can be a better option. We recommend the Capability Manager Enhanced plugin to add, remove, edit, and customize user roles with a few clicks.

Lastly, remember to always limit the number of user roles and not assign suspicious users.



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