Defining WordPress User Roles

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Defining WordPress User Roles image WordPress User RolesWordPress sites can have an unlimited amount of users. You can have users, authors, subscribers, admins, super admins and contributors. Each role is assigned a specific set of permissions, allowing the user access to various WordPress site areas and functions.

The user function is one of the best used features in WordPress, but one that is seldomly used correct. Most of the time, someone will request access to a site, and when the new user is created they are automatically given ‘admin’ access.

I can’t tell you how many ways this is so wrong – so terribly wrong.

Before adding new users and assigning Jim in accounting, Bob in marketing or Jill in sales admin access, think about two things:

  1. How do they need to use the site to be effective
  2. What is their technical acumen

Once you better understand these two things you can assign your site’s contributors the proper user role.

WordPress User Roles

  • Super Admin – somebody with access to the site network administration features and all other features. This user role is only available for multi-site WordPress installs.
  • Administrator – somebody who has access to all the administration features within a single site. The admin can edit themes and their files, plus install themes, install plugins and add users. For security reasons, you should limit the number of site admins. If there is an attack on your site, this is the user role they will try and attack. (Please heed this warning.)
  • Editor – somebody who can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users.
  • Author – somebody who can publish and manage their own posts.
  • Contributor – somebody who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.
  • Subscriber – somebody who can only manage their profile, but has no access to posting or publishing.

Understanding the above roles and assigning them accordingly is the first step to running an effective WordPress site.


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