WordPress User Roles: Basics of What They Do

When you first use WordPress the available roles can be a bit confusing.

It is important to understand the user roles in WordPress when adding new users to your site since different roles offer more or less control over your site.

From subscriber to administrator we’ll break down what each role does and what permissions they have in WordPress.

Summary of WordPress User Roles

Here is a summary of the six default user roles in WordPress:

  • Subscriber: User who can manage their own profile (useful for commenters). This role isn’t typically used on WordPress sites.
  • Contributor: User who can write and edit their own posts but can’t publish anything.
  • Author: User who can publish and edit their own posts.
  • Editor: User who can publish and edit all posts of all users.
  • Administrator: User who has access to all site settings, plugins, themes, and content.
  • Super Admin (WordPress Multisite Only): In a WordPress Network the Super Admin can modify and administer all sites on the network.

Out of the box, these user roles should fit most site’s workflows. If you are building a more complex site with lots of users editing the site you can use a plugin like User Role Editor to create new roles.

Andy Feliciotti

Andy Feliciotti

Andy has been a full time WordPress developer for over 10 years. Through his years of experience has built 100s of sites and learned plenty of tricks along the way.

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