Wordpress Development

WordPress User Roles

By default, WordPress 3 ships with 6 (5 in your aren’t using MU features) roles that can be assigned to individual users.  Unless you’re browsing the codex or have been using WordPress for ages, it’s sometimes hard to understand the differences between user roles.  Many bloggers run their site on their own, so roles really don’t matter all that much.  However, for those who run sites with multiple contributing users, roles help keep the order.

The 6 default roles are Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber.

  • Super Admin – The Super Admin is a role only available in WordPress 3 when the multi-user (multi-site) features are turned on.  This role allows the super admin to administrate the entire network of sites.
  • Administrator – This role allows the user to access all of the administration features of a site, including themes, plugins, and comment moderation.
  • Editor – An editor can manage all pages, posts, and comments.  They don’t have to own them either, they can be authored by other users.
  • Author – An author is a user that you trust to publish their own posts.
  • Contributor – This is a user who is allowed to write posts, but they have to be approved by an editor before they get published.  This is handy if you have a guest that you would like to write an article, but want to review the content first.
  • Subscriber – This user is only allowed to edit and maintain their profile on your site.

If these roles aren’t enough to suit your needs (perhaps you need finer-grain permissions), there are plugins that exist in the WordPress Plugin Repository that can help.

By Jack Slingerland

Founder of Working and living in Raleigh, NC. I manage a team of software engineers and work in Python, Django, TypeScript, Node.js, React+Redux, Angular, and PHP. I enjoy hanging out with my wife and son, lifting weights, and advancing in my free time.