Curious to know more about WordPress user roles and capabilities?
Well, WordPress comes with an easy and flexible user roles management module. With the default WordPress user roles management, you can easily manage user roles of your WordPress website.
No doubt, WordPress is a flexible CMS, which makes it super easy to manage and grow a website.
WordPress comes with six default user role to choose from to manage your website-however, it’s super important to know all the nitty-gritty details about the user roles offered by WordPress.
What’s more important, you should know how to manage the WordPress user roles effectively.
In this post, we have featured a beginner’s guide to WordPress user roles and permissions. What’s more, we have also listed a section that enables you to manage user roles of your WordPress website effectively.
Also, if you want to know how to create new user roles on your WordPress website, stick to the guide.
Here’s a quick index to help you navigate this article:
Let’s have an insider’s view into WordPress user roles and their importance.
What Are WordPress User Roles & Why Do They Matter?
WordPress comes with various default user roles including administrator, author, editor, contributor, subscriber, etc.
These WordPress roles actually define what actions a user can take on your WordPress website. The actions which users can perform on the basis of their roles are known capabilities.
For example, adding a new post and publishing a post is one capability, while adding a new plugin is another capability.
In other words, each user’s role comes with certain capabilities and limitations that enable users to perform certain actions on your website.
WordPress user roles play an important role; that’s why you need to be sure before assigning new user roles on your WordPress website. Let’s have a look at why it’s important to take WordPress user roles seriously.
- Assigning proper user roles helps you secure your WordPress website. When you assign user roles on your website, you need to make sure users don’t have access to perform certain actions they aren’t supposed to perform. For example, you would never want your editor to have the capability to install and delete plugins on your WordPress website.
- WordPress user roles can potentially help you define the workflow of your WordPress website. For example, you can create various user roles such as authors and contributors to allow users to publish content on your website. You can even create editor access for your editor to manage all the editing and publishing of your content.
So these are a few reasons why you should take your WordPress website user roles seriously. Still, if you don’t have any idea about the default WordPress user roles, we’ve got your back.
The Default User Roles in WordPress (Detailed Explanation)
By default, WordPress actually comes with six specific WordPress user roles. It’s necessary that you understand all the aspects of these default WordPress user roles.
Once you understand them, you will be more capable of protecting your website and creating a smoother workflow of your WordPress website.
Let’s have a look at the default WordPress user roles of WordPress:
Once you host and create your WordPress website, the administrator access will be created. As the name suggests, the administrator has the most controlling user role.
Any users with the administrator role have complete access to your WordPress website. Admins of your website can add new posts, delete posts, add or delete plugins, make changes to your website’s backend, and so on.
For most WordPress websites, there is only one administrator who has access to the WordPress backend dashboard.
Admins of your website have various capabilities such as:
- Adding, editing, or deleting any content
- Easily managing WordPress plugins and themes
- Editing your website backend code
- Easily creating new user roles
- Managing all kinds of actions on your website
As a WordPress website owner, the administrator is the most important and powerful WordPress user role.
When giving anyone administrator access, you should be very careful and think hard about giving them this responsibility because once you give any user the administrator role, you’re giving them complete access to your WordPress website.
When you assign the author user role, the user can easily add new posts, edit their posts, publish their own posts, and delete their own published posts.
They can also upload media files to their posts and even add tags to their posts. However, authors of your WordPress website can’t edit or delete other authors’ content on your website
When it comes to managing comments, authors of your WordPress website can view approved and pending comments, but they can’t edit, delete or approve any comments.
Talking about the author’s capabilities, they can’t make any changes to your WordPress website themes, plugins, or other settings.
In other words, the author only has control over the post they are adding and publishing; they don’t have any kind of administrative capabilities.
As the name suggests here, editors of any WordPress website have full control over your WordPress website’s content.
Editors of your WordPress website can easily edit, publish, update, or even delete any WordPress posts or pages on your website.
Seeing the editors’ capabilities, you can say they have a high level of access to your WordPress website.
An editor of any WordPress website can easily:
- Moderate and approve comments on posts and pages
- Manage categories and links of your site
Editors of your website don’t have access to change any settings on your WordPress website; for example, they can’t install plugins, themes, or change any other settings on your WordPress website.
The contributor user role can easily add new posts and edit their own posts, but they cannot publish their posts.
Also, contributors of any WordPress site cannot create any new categories for their posts, they must choose from the existing categories.
One of the down sides of the contributor user role is that they cannot upload media files to the media gallery; this means they can’t upload and add media files such as images to the post they are editing.
Yes, contributors of a WordPress site can easily view comments, and they can easily check comments under moderation. However, they don’t have access to add or delete any comments.
When it comes to capability, contributors don’t have access to settings, plugins, or themes. This truly indicates they can’t make any changes to the WordPress website.
A subscriber of a WordPress website only has only one main capability which means their WordPress dashboard is kind of empty.
A subscriber of your WordPress website has access to read all your site’s content and can easily manage their profile on your website.
However, if you don’t run a membership website, anyone on your site can easily access all your posts and pages. So the subscriber user role isn’t for all websites out there.
Instead, if you’re running a subscription-based website, the subscriber user role comes in handy. If you’re running a membership website, you can provide access to members-only content to your subscribers only.
6. Super Admin (Additional)
The super admin role is only available on the WordPress multisite network (a network of connected WordPress websites).
A super admin is responsible for the entire network and can easily make certain high-level changes like adding more sites or even deleting sites added to that multisite network.
What’s more, the super admin can easily manage all the Multisite Network users, themes, plugins, and more. Also, the dashboard of super admins looks similar to a regular admin dashboard.
When you give super admin access to your WordPress website, the regular administrator is somehow modified.
For example, all the admins on the multisite network will not be able to install, upload, and delete themes and plugins or modify the users’ settings.
For a multisite network, these capabilities are reserved only for the super admins.
A super admin of a multisite network has the authority to decide which plugin they want to install on the network. The site admins of a multisite network can only choose whether or not to activate the plugins.
How to Effectively Manage User Roles in WordPress
As a WordPress website owner, it’s essential for you to clearly understand the various user roles on WordPress.
Knowing all the aspects of the user roles is essential; however, knowing how to manage and apply user roles is especially important.
The needs of each WordPress website might differ from one another; however, there are few common strategies that enable you to manage user roles effectively.
Let’s look at some of the user role strategies you should incorporate to manage user roles of your WordPress website effectively.
- Give User Roles Access Based on Needs: While giving user roles to any user on your WordPress website, you need to check the level of capability they need. For example, if some users are willing to contribute to your blog as an author, assign the user roles that fit as per the requirements. This is sure to help you manage the security of your website in a better way. If a user can perform the only action they are supposed to, you’re going save your WordPress website many potential future hassles.
- Assign Limited User Roles on Your Website: This one is important, as you should keep the number of user roles limited. To avoid the hassles of managing your website, you don’t need to create multiple user roles unnecessarily. You should limit it to one administrator and only have a few trusted editors on your WordPress website.
- Use Robust Plugins to Manage User Roles of Your WordPress Website: There is no doubt that WordPress’s default user roles system is effective. However, if you use a plugin to manage users, it will enhance the capability of managing user roles on your WordPress website. You can use various plugins like User Role Editor to create your own specialized roles easily and manage users’ capabilities on your WordPress website.
These were some tips that can potentially help you manage user roles on your WordPress website.
How to Assign a New User Role on Your WordPress Website
Assigning user roles on WordPress isn’t that complex. WordPress comes with easy user role management.
No matter how many user roles you want to create, WordPress makes it super easy. So let’s have a look at how to assign new user roles on your WordPress website.
Step #1: Create a New User
To add new user roles on your WordPress website, you need to navigate to your WordPress Dashboard >> Users >> Add New.
Step #2: Fill in User Details
Once you are on the User Roles management interface, you can see various custom fields where you need to add details in order to add a new user role.
Now you need to enter the user’s details such as username, email, first & last name, website, and password. Once you enter all the details there, you need to select the user’s role you’re going to add.
If you need to click on the role, a drop-down menu will open up, which will help you choose from various user roles on your WordPress website.
Note: Before assigning user roles, make sure you check the user role capabilities, which were mentioned previously. Refer to the section above before assigning any user roles.
How to Customize Existing User Roles in WordPress (Control User Capabilities)
WordPress comes with basic user roles management, which doesn’t enable you to change user roles capabilities. However, you can do so when you use a plugin like PublishPress Capabilities.
To start customizing the existing WordPress user roles, you need to install and activate the PublishPress Capabilities plugin on your WordPress website.
Navigate to your WordPress Dashboard Plugins >> Add New and then search for “PublishPress Capabilities“. Once you locate the plugin, install it. After the plugin installation, you need to activate it then and there.
Then from your WordPress dashboard, you need to navigate to Users >> Capabilities to start customizing user roles on your WordPress website. Here you need to choose a user role from the menu which you want to customize.
Let’s say you want to customize the capabilities of editor on your WordPress website. You will see many WordPress Core Capabilities to choose from. You can easily check/uncheck the capabilities which you want to assign to your editor.
Once you have disabled/enabled the capabilities you want to assign, you can scroll down a bit and click on the Save button to make the changes. In the same way, you can easily customize the existing user roles on your WordPress website.
You can select any default user roles from the menu, and then you can edit your WordPress website’s role capabilities.
So this is the complete walkthrough of customizing the existing user roles on your WordPress website.
Conclusion: Beginners Guide to WordPress User Roles and Capabilities
WordPress offers a flexible CMS, which makes it super easy to manage all your WordPress website aspects.
Managing user roles with WordPress is easy, although you should know the basics of user roles and, more precisely, how to manage user roles effectively.
When you have the right knowledge and manage your user roles carefully, you’re actually enhancing your WordPress website’s security.
How do you manage user roles on your WordPress website? Do you use any third-party plugins or do you manage user roles with WordPress’s default user roles management? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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