Intermediate WordPress User

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User management

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Hi, in this lesson, we are going to explore user management. In WordPress, you can assign roles designed to allow the site owner to control what users can and cannot do within the site. There are different roles to explore, and each is allowed to perform a set of tasks. Knowing the differences is important as it will help you protect your site and ensure that your editors and contributors are informed about their abilities and the part they play. In this video, we will explain five roles and their capabilities and explore what the dashboard looks like from the perspective of each role. You can assign five main roles: administrator, editor, author, contributor, and subscriber.

Different roles

Let’s start with the administrator. Upon installing WordPress, an administrator role is automatically created, and is somebody who has access to all the administration features within a single site. For multi-site owners, the super admin has these capabilities. Next, we have the editor. The editor is somebody who can publish and manage posts, including the posts of other users. On the other hand, an author can only publish and manage their own posts. Then, we move on to a contributor. This is somebody who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them. And lastly, a subscriber is somebody who can only manage their profile, and it is usually made for subscription-type websites.


The administrator is at the top of the WordPress ladder and there is usually only one per website. As mentioned, the administrator is somebody who has access to all the administration features within a single site. The administrator can publish, edit, and delete posts and pages, edit code, and manage media, plugins, themes, other accounts, and settings. They basically have the keys to all the doors of the site. The administrator can update their profile at the top right of their dashboard page or by going to Users, clicking on the profile, and making the necessary updates there. The administrator also has the power to create and manage other users.

To create a new user, click on Add New. On the Add new user page, create a new user by assigning them a username, a valid email address, and any other optional details. In the next section, choose an appropriate role for this user. And when you are ready click Add new user. WordPress will automatically send a new user a welcome email with their new login information, including the generated password. The user will be prompted to log in and change their password to one of their liking. To change the role of an existing user, you can select Edit, open the role drop-down, and select a different role or no role for the site at all. If you would like to change the role of multiple users, you can use the checkboxes to the left of the user to make the changes simultaneously. If you delete a user, you can delete all the content they have created or reassign it to a different user. Once you have made your choice, click on Confirm deletion. To customize the view of the user’s table, click on the Screen options at the top right. Here, you can specify which columns you would like to view and the number of users you want to view per page. Once you are done, click Apply.


Editors have a high level of access as they usually manage content. Let’s see what the dashboard looks like for an editor. An editor is someone who can create, edit, publish, and delete posts and pages, including the posts of other users. They are also capable of managing media and comments. So what can’t they do? Editors cannot install themes or plugins or approve any updates. They also don’t have access to any site settings. Their role is to manage the work of other users and contributors.


The role of an author is in the name, which is to provide content to the site and nothing else. They are, therefore, only able to publish and manage their own posts and not those of others. As you will notice, they can upload media and create, edit, publish, and delete their own posts. Authors are, therefore, only in charge of adding content to a site and don’t have any administrative rights. Let’s say you have somebody who is willing to contribute content to your site as a once-off. While in the role of contributor, it is perfect for that individual. Seeing that they are not an author, they will only be able to write and manage their posts but cannot publish them.


A contributor cannot upload media files; when they publish content, it will be reviewed before publishing. As you will notice, it is almost the same as being an author but with a few more limitations.


The last role we will be looking at is the subscriber. Subscribers only have access to managing their own profiles and nothing else. If we are into the dashboard of a subscriber, we will see they can only read all the posts on the site and change their profiles. This role will not be used on many sites, mostly subscription-based websites.


You may also decide to search and install a user role plugin to extend this feature’s functionality. All the best in managing the various user roles you wish to assign.