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WordPress User Roles And Permissions Customizing

WordPress is said to be the best content management system for all the right reasons. In addition to the wide range of themes and plugins it provides to enhance the functionality of your WordPress site, it has a role management system.

What are user roles and permissions in WordPress?

A role decides what things a user has access to on your WordPress site. As you start expanding your WordPress site to incorporate more people in your team like editors, content makers, plugin developers, knowing the user roles and permissions becomes the top priority.

If you add a new user to your WordPress site to edit the posts on your site, you wanna make sure he only does that and nothing more. That’s where permissions come in to the picture. Every role comes with a set of permissions.

These permissions make sure that the user you add to your site can only do what is required of him and not anything else that is beyond his authority.

By default you get five user roles on installing WordPress.

Also see : How To Install WordPress In Easy Steps

The five user roles are:

  • Administrator
  • Author
  • Contributor
  • Editor
  • Subscriber

Let’s look at each of these user roles.


Administrator: An administrator has full control over the site. Being the most powerful role of all, administrator can add users to the site, and also add, edit and delete posts by other users. Administrator can also install plugins and themes as well as delete them.

With great power comes great responsibility, so this role is basically for the site owners as they know what exactly they want on their site.

Author: An author can edit, write and publish his own post. These users can also delete a published post. (As long as they are the author of that post)

Though they can publish their own post, they have no authority to add a new category while writing a post.

They cannot intervene in the matters of site functionality and hence cannot install or delete any plugins and themes.

When it comes it to comments, all they can do is be a spectator and view the comments, also those comments that are yet to be moderated.

Contributor: Users with the role of a contributor have similar access rights to that of an author except that they cannot publish their own post.

They can add a new post, edit it, and just like in the case of an author, they cannot add any new category.

They also have no control over the site functionality and cannot install or delete plugins and themes.

Editor: Though the users with this role have no control over your site settings, they exercise full control over the content on your WordPress site.

They can edit, add, publish or delete any post on your site even if it’s written by other users.

Subscriber: The users with this role cannot do much in your admin area beyond just logging in to your WordPress site and changing their passwords or updating their profiles.

They cannot add, edit posts or view comments.

This role may come handy if you want your users to log in to be a part of any discussion on your site or to leave a comment on any post.

Now that you know the default WordPress user roles and permissions, you can decide what role should be assigned to the users on your WordPress site.

Many of you might still not be satisfied with this information. Are you thinking of customizing the WordPress user roles and permissions?

Great! Curiosity can take you places. For now our curiosity has brought us to this amazing Wordpess plugin: Capability Manager Enhanced.

Customizing WordPress user roles and permissions

Capability Manager Enhanced

Install this plugin on your WordPress site and activate it.

Go to Users and click Capabilities.

Here is what you will see.

User roles and Capability in wordpress

These are the different capabilities for the subscriber role. You can add or remove from any of the given categories in editing, deletion and reading capabilities.

Let’s take a look at some additional capabilities.

Wordpress core Capability

Here is a list of other WordPress Core Capabilities.

The user having a subscriber role has only read capability among all the core capabilities.

Now I’ll show you how to add a new user and customize the role and permissions for that user.

Go to Users and click Add new.

Here is what you’ll get.

Adding New User in wordpress

Add the required details and choose a role for your new user. Click Add new user.

Once you have added the new user to your WordPress site, it’s now time to customize the capabilities of the role that you’ve assigned to the new user.

Here the new user has a role of an editor.

role of an WordPress editor

On the right section of the Roles and Capabilities page you can select a role to view or edit. We choose editor and start assigning capabilities to this role.

Assigning Capability to editior role in wordpress

In the above screenshot, you can see I’ve added new editing capabilities to the editor role.

Now I want the editor of my WordPress site to edit files and users as well. So these capabilities can be assigned in the Other WordPress Core Capabilities section.

Other WordPress Core Capability

Once you have added the required capabilities to the role, click Save Changes.

There you go, that’s how easy things are with WordPress plugin.

Customizing WordPress user roles and permissions is just a few clicks away with this Capability Manager Enhanced plugin.

User roles and permissions play a major role in a WordPress site as you have seen in this article. So managing these roles becomes one of the most important jobs for the site owners.

This is something that would take your site by storm if not managed well.

So choose the roles for your new users wisely and also be very careful while customizing the capabilities of their roles.

I hope you take a lot from this article and if you need any help with WordPress plugins or themes do refer to other articles on this blog and be a part of the discussion in the comments section below.

About Akhil Biju

He is one of the co-founders of TBT. His skills include SEO, affiliate marketing and online money making strategies.

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